Monday, July 28, 2014

the bridge



 From the beginning of time, bridges were created for a pu8rpose. They were usually made to traverse a river and communicate one town with another.

  In modern times, bridges were forged to facilitate underpasses, with overpasses on colossal constructions of cement and steel. This enabled the masses of metal, in the form of vehicles, to go and return from their places of work. That was the idea, but when it became necessary to oust inhabitants from their safe homes, due to the fact that they lost their jobs, family et al, it evolved that they became a sort of refuge, for the displaced people. Most of them were degenerates, but as time went by and taxes rose, there was a spattering of college graduates and former professors were forced to camp out there.

     "Who the hell stole my cardboard bed? If I catch the bastard, I´ll kill him!" exclaimed a former assistant professor at UCLA

  He had a degree in anthropology, enrolled in a PhD program and an assistant professor when the department was closed and he was without a job. His wife left him and took the children. He lived in his Toyota for a time, until he had to sell it and since there was no other alternative remaining, he went under the bridge.

      "Now you know that Xerxes, the son of Darias, built a bridge of an enormous undertaking, linking the land of the barbarians to that which would lead them to the land of Athens…" the bridge occupant explained too the reporter of the L.A. Times, who was doing his own anthropological study of modern urbanity…"and even though it did not succeed, for various reasons, it was still a bridge, which was useful for its purpose."

     "And these bridges on the super freeways. Do you think they serve the same purpose?"

     "Well, at that time, it was for an act of war. Nevertheless, from what I have experienced, it seems that every day we commit ourselves to the war of infinite highways and pray for luck to get us through it. But, just like the trials that Xerxes went through, we could also suffer the same fate: due to a flat tire or a breakdown of a Japanese car. Do I explain myself?"

     "Definitely," the reporter replied, keeping his recorder going.

     "Thus, the definition of anthropology, of which I have my degree, states that it is the study of man in all his aspects. I assume you understand that."

     "Yes, of course." was the other´s reply.

  It was already late afternoon and he wante4d to get back to his office to finish the story, which might or might not appear in the Sunday supplement. He was worried about his new Nissan, which was parked a mile away7, for he suspected that they might steal the tires to make Mexican sandals or just break the windows for the fun ot it.

     "So then bridges were made and laid asunder, either by natural causes or that of man." The anthropologist continued before he shouted out his former threats: "If I find that bastard who stole my cardboard bed, I swear I´ll kill him with my own hands!"

     "And now? We´re not living during the time of the Peloponnesian wars. So why do y ouo live under this bridge here?"

     "For no other reason than I have no alternative. I did everything that was expected of me. I got my degree, marr5ied and raised a family. That was all well and good. I had a position of assistant professor and was told that I would be kicked upstairs after I got my PhD…"

     "And then?"

     "Then the bottom fell out and the wholes department was discontinued. They said it was going to be replaced with something practical, so they intr5oduced computer programming. It was agreed that if anyone wanted to study anthropology, the could go to Berkley and be damned!"

     "I guess you lost your job after that."

     "You don´t have to guess or even speculate. I predict that the whole department of humanities goes next and I´ll be sharing my cardboard mattress with other former professors."

  Daytime straggles appeared, as the reporter sat on the cement and watched them pass by. They were not all young although youth seemed to be the majority and as they ambled to their prearranged spots, they did so with the stare of zombies who had just returned form the asphalt jungle.

     "Hey! Anybody see what happened to my cardboard bed?" the ex professor cried out and a young man, with long hair and smoking a joint, appeared with the evidence in  hand.

     "Look man, it wasn´t that I was stealing anything. I mean I wanted to ball this girl and she said she had to have something to lay on, so I borrowed your cardboard, Sorry, but here it is," he explained, then took another puff and disappeared.

  It was now getting dark and the reporter figured he had about a half hour to get out of there and back to his car, if it was still there. If he took AK-9 it would be a more direct route, but that was always crowded during the rush hour. Therefore he could chose AK-11, which was more circumcuous albeit less traveled At any rate, there would be the same amount of overpasses and underpasses, not to mention the bridges.

     "I´m sorry, but it´s getting late and I really have to get going if Ii want to get this story out. I´ll try to send you a copy and I hope your plight, as well as everyone else who lives here. When the citizens of this country find out about this, there will be an uproar and I predict it will be heard all the way to Washington!"

  The reporter, who was really far ahead in his thoughts of getting where he would be safe and sound, didn´t notice the expression of the defunct anthopo9logist He spoke of Xerxes, the son of Dari as and the Peloponnesian wars. It was bizarre. Perhaps he was an untapped genius. All of that didn´t matter, he knew, for modern communication, left everything like a billboard in the universe. You saw it, but paid no attention. It was a blip on the screen. Yet, it was his job to provide new blips, so he stood up and turned off the recorder. He shook the professor´s hand and asked:

     "Do you  have any idea for the title of this article?"


     "What if it?"

     "The Bridge.".


Monday, June 30, 2014


On Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 11:32 AM, Harry Danvers <> wrote:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Harry Danvers <>
Date: Mon, Jun 30, 2014 at 11:21 AM
Subject: WOODY

   He lived in Plainsville, Ohio, which was founded in 1798 and had one stop light, one grocery store, one bank and the rest were antique shops. In face it was the center for antiques in Ohio as well as other states. The had one of the oldest Quaker Meeting Houses in the nation and next to that was a home for the eldely insane. That´s where Woody existed.
   It was determined by the state psiquiatrías that Wooddy did not live in this world. He had the mind of an infant who had never learned to speak and was surrounded by memories of an unknown origin  Noone knew exactly how he arrived in own or where he came from. He was just there and the oldest border in the elderly insane asylum. He therefore had a long, white beard, which coveed his face up to his eyes. These were remarably vivid, without color, but piercing and alert. He was of middle height, somewhat pauncy andf well endeared by all the inhabitants of Plainsville, Ohio. The state.psychatrist determined he was not dangerous, so he ws allowed the roam the streets of the village at his leasure.
     "Morning Woody!"
     "Heh Woody!"
     "What´s going on ole man?"
   were some of the salutations he received, to which he would smile, in a toothless way and grunt back to them.
   Thyat grunt and other similar grunts, spliced together like a kind of morose code, sufficed for his conversation and the people seemed to understand.
   He didn´t frequent the antique shops but had a habit of going to the grocery store. Usually he just looked arund but one day he took a pack of cigarettes off the wrack, put it into his pocket and started walk out before a cashier yelled out;
     "Heh! You have to pay for that!"
   Woody turnd around with an astonished look. He didn´t know what she meant. He couldn´t undestand her. He grun ted and made such undecipherable sounds that she called Mr. Nell and he shepeared Woody outside;
     "Woody," he said, "we know you didn´t steal anything, but here the people pay for what they take. Do you understand?"
   Woody changed his palor and even beamed, making three grunts before walking away.
   Mr. Nell was so impressed that he told the check-out girls never the charge him and spread the word hat maybe Woody was speaking in an unkown tongue
   Mr. Nell was the proprietor.of the grocery store. He had inherited it from his father and grandfather before him Therefore there was not one soul who did not know about someone in his family tree. moreover, his opinions were well regarded.
   Now the old Quaker Meeting House was still attended by a few people. Of course nothing was said unlss someone wanted to break the silence with dsesultory remarks. AT the same time it was established in their doctrine that anyne could enter the metting house and one day Woody did.
   No one wasw surprised fr he seemd as old as the came, colonial building itself. Everyone knew Woody from the next door elderly insane asylum. Therefore he sat down on one of the hard benches and joined in the silence
   It was a long, protracted, invisable silence in which each individual tried t lose himself in meditation. There is not much to think about in  small town, but there is still the individual with his wandering thoughts. If you are a child this is simple but when you become an adult, you are the shadow of all that and Woody was a shadow.
   One hour led to the next and no one said anything. Woody remained motionless, until he decided he wanted to have a cigarette. Instinct told him he should not do this but he could not cointrol this instinct. He stood up abruptly and uttered a bellowing grunt. It echoed offthe ancient walls and woke the people from their restless sleep. Many knew what Mr. Nell had said and now it appeared it was coming true Woody continue to grunt in different tones and octaves as he walked down the asile.
   He went next dfoor to the elderly insane asylum and poaused ont he front porch to light a cigarette. He had no idea how he was affecting the town now or that he was fast becoming a local saint.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014




              "The two don´t mix and I´ll swear on a stack of Bibls, that they don´t ! Jeb Baker exclaimed, in the one room sore, along a lonely West Virginian road.

    All the folk hat was gathered around the cracker barrel were born and bred there, just as their parents and grandparents had been. Therefore, there were no secrets here and one could tell a lie as well as the next on, but sometimes they told the truth and this was beginning to sound like an interesting story.

              "Now you probably all remember John Miller´s boy over there in Buckley and what kind of an erasable creature he was, as though he was born mean!"  Jeb pronounced, with a voice he used for killing snakes.

    Everyone knew that the old man retired from the mines and later made his fortune in moonshine. Everyone present had dabbled in that lucrative art at one time or another and ole John Miller was a well known distributor around the state. It was even rumored that the movie Thunder Road, staring Robert Minchin was based. on his exploits, although that could not be proven.

            "so it was that the son followed his pappi in the trade and right away became addicted to the profit. That is to say, he became a raging drunk!" Jeb spit out, as his hand went to the pickle jar of white lightning, which he and everyone else had beside them. "Now I´m not saying to drink is to bring down the devil on you although I´m sure the devil drinks a lot, but hell even Jesus was said to change water to wine and he was the son of God!" None crossed themselves for they wre all Protestants, but the message wa loud and clear. "Now this irascible varmint continued in his ways. There was not a pretty girl from Huntington to Buckley that he had not ravished, left a kid and went on his way. It was, as the scriptures state: an abomination!"

    When Jeb paused, to take a drink out of the pickle jar, everyone followed. For them making and selling of moonshine was not a sin. Jesus Christ himself might have been more ensured to their hard liquor than the wine he used to drink. That was the way they thought.

            "And then one night he strayed into Mary´s Place on the main street of Buckley. It was a festive occasion because it was Saturday night and all the miners had their pay checks. May knew this and dealt out their drinks with proportions that would leave enough money left over for their wives and children. Of course there was a quick business of under the counter moonshine, but you have to remember that these were worn down miners who deserved a night on the town at Mary' Place, to drown out their woes. All was going all right until the devil himself walked in. Yep, he was the son of ole John Miller and determined to turn night into day! He was fit to be tied and long gone on moonshine.

    Now one cannot be sure, in a cracker barrel store, on top of a mountain, relating to something that happened before, would be the truth, but a hushed silence followed which bore instance, for the moment of truth and justice which they all waited for.

                    "So John Miller´s boy come in and the first thing he does is knock all the bottles off the bar. He demanded moonshine and pretty much terrified everyone there. Everyone cept Mary. She didn´t flinch and as cool as you will pulled out a pistol from under the bar and pointed it right at his forehead. It took one bullet and he was dead on the spot."

                  "I suppose the sheriff came and took Mary away," an old man volunteered.

                   "He came all right but he didn´t do nothing to Mary, cause in the first place nobody liked John Miller´s son and in the second place everybody knows that moonshine and gun powder don´t mix."