Tuesday, March 27, 2012


BJ Neblett
© 2009
            “Why did you come here?”
            “I don’t know…”
            “I thought we could talk.”
            “Do I look like I want to talk?”
            “I don’t know. You know I could never read your expressions. Your eyes, they’re…”
            “Cold… empty?
            “No! No, not cold, just… what’s that word you use?”
            “Yes, enigmatic, confusing.”
            “We were together for seven years and you still don’t know me.”
            “Yes, I do…”
            “You don’t.”
            “I want to…”
            “A little late for that, don’t you think?”
            “You always said it’s never too late.”
            “I was wrong.”
            “Time can…”
            “What, time can what?”
            “It’s only been six years. That’s not too long a time… is it?”
            “Not if you are building the pyramids!”
            “I hate it when you do that.”
            “Do what?”
            “When you are sarcastic… I just meant it hasn’t seemed like six years.”
            “You weren’t the one in prison.”
            “That’s not fair…”
            “What isn’t?”
            “In a way I was in prison. I didn’t know what had happened… or why. I didn’t know what I should do… what you wanted me to do.”
            “So you did nothing… nothing! No letters, not even a lousy post card. You wouldn’t even let me call.”
            “I was confused… hurt… felt betrayed…”
            “I needed you.”
            “I wrote…”
            “Yeah, for what, the first couple of months, till you found out I would be gone for a while. Then nothing…”
            “I sent you a card when your mother passed away… I didn’t know what else I could do for you… I liked her.”
            “She liked you, too. If you’d read my last letter you’d have known what to do. It was a birthday card.”
            “It was returned. I never received it.”
            “Because you moved… with no forwarding address!”
            “I had to! I couldn’t stay there. Not by myself, not alone… I couldn’t.”
            “So you sold the cars, my equipment. What else… you sold it all and took off. No letters, no forwarding address, nothing…just gone.”
            “It wasn’t like that… I kept your collection for you…”
            “Why are you here?”
            “Your sister told me you’d been released.”
            “Why are you here?”
            “I thought we could talk…”
            “Why are you here?”
            “I don’t know…”
            “You should have written.”
            “I know. I’m… I’m… Alisha says hell-o.”
            “How is she?”
            “Good. She misses you. She’s good. She finished school, has a good job as a paralegal. She’s dating one of the attorneys. He’s a nice guy… You really cared for her. You were a good father to Alisha, the father she never had.”
            “She’s a good kid.”
            “It was hard for her, really hard. She blamed me. We didn’t speak for a long time. When we did it was just to argue… usually about something stupid.”
            “I’m sorry. The whole thing was stupid.”
            “What happened to us? What went wrong…was it me?”
            “Kinda’ late to worry about that now don’t you think?
            “Is it?”
            “How the hell do I know? I don’t know anything anymore. Damn it, I didn’t even know myself! How was I suppose to know what was going to happen… I didn’t know what I was doing. I was sick… I tried to tell you that… in my letters.”
            “I couldn’t listen then…”
            “Couldn’t or wouldn’t?”
            “I don’t know. Tell me now…please.”
            “Damn, you really didn’t know, did you… you don’t understand… well I didn’t understand either. I mean we planned on getting married. What would have happened if we had?”
            “I don’t know. I always believed marriage… love… love was forever. Tim destroyed that fantasy.”
            “I’m not Tim… it’s no fantasy…”
            “Then why? Why did it happen…why did you let it happen?”
            “I didn’t!”
            “You did! You did…”
            “I swear I had no idea! I was sick. I didn’t know I was sick. Hell, what would you have done if I had cancer…if I had to go away for six years for treatment?”
            “That’s different…”
            “No! It isn’t! That’s what I tried to tell you, tried to make you see. But you wouldn’t listen. You weren’t there.”
            “I’m here now…”
            “You’re still smoking.”
            “No…smoking again. I quit. Almost four years. I started again last Thursday.”
            “The day I was released...”
            “I’m here now…listening…”
            “All of those years. All those lousy freakin’ years! I had no idea… ”
            “You couldn’t have known…”
            “Fifty three years! That’s how long my life was run, taken over, half a freakin’ century!”
            “That must have been so weird…I can’t imagine.”
            “The final piece of the puzzle fell into place when I learned my career was keeping it all in check. It satisfied a need… like some junkie.”
            “So when you left your last job you lost your control.”
            “Take away the control and things begin to fall apart…quickly.”
            “I’m so, so sorry…”
            “It was my decision, after thirty years I was worn out… tired. I was happy… content with the life you and I had made. Or at least, that’s what I believed.”
            “You had no way of knowing…”
            “Knowing that I would destroy everything I cared about…destroy my life…”
            “You mean our life…our relationship. But we’re still here…”
            “Things change… people change… life changes.”
            “Only if you let it…”
            “No! I’m not the same person I was… the person you once knew.”
`           “I didn’t know…”
“I needed you!”
            “And I didn’t understand…”
            “You weren’t there for me!”
            “I didn’t know what to do…what to say. I thought you’d abandoned me, left me…that you didn’t want me anymore… you weren’t there for me, either!”
            “Why did you come here?”
            “I don’t know…”

                                                                                                Seattle, WA
                                                                                                July, 2009

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pockets Full Of Wishes

Pockets Full of Wishes
BJ Neblett
© 2006

This story appears in Short Story Me. For a free read please follow the link below:

Discipline: Why Write When You Can Be Writing?

It’s an old axiom that ‘writers write’. And, since I am indeed a writer, it would follow that I should devote a large portion of my waking hours writing. Not so.
            Writers are notorious procrastinators. And I am a choice example.
            When it comes to writing, discipline is everything. Having attended Catholic grade school in the fifties, you’d think I would be fairly disciplined; again, alas, not so. There is a vast difference between having discipline and having been disciplined. Yes, all of those stories about Catholic school killer nuns are unfortunately true. The reports from those of us who suffered through eight years of straight backed wooden desks, (nine years in my case, I liked fifth grade so much I did it twice) are anything but exaggerated. I once owned a T shirt which unabashedly proclaimed: I survived marriage, Viet Nam and Catholic grade school… what else you got? As for me, discipline, as dealt out by the order of Sacred Heart Sisters, had quite the opposite of its intention.
            But something of value did emerge from knuckles battered by yardsticks, faces reddened by palms and self esteem squashed by ridicule: I am working on a wonderful memoir of my growing up and coming of age during the Kennedy era, which just happened to fall at the end of my Catholic school experience.
            So, I have my memoir; my two collection of short stories; my auto biography of 35 years as a radio DJ, and the sequel to my first novel Elysian Dreams, which my publisher is clamoring for me to complete. If ever discipline were needed…
As a result, today, after a protracted coffee and Sunday Funnies session at the local bean brewery; a leisurely stroll through the local farmers market, and a prolonged visit to my favorite record seller, I determined that I needed to get back to the pen and pad (a lot of my writing is actually writing).
And hear I sit, watching the NASCAR boys circle at 200 MPH, while Timi Yuro circles at 33 1/3 RPM, writing this blog.