Too Young

This weekend we’re asking for 33 of your own words that exorcise a demon.  One of your own, or one from your imagination.  Let it bleed on the page.

This week’s challenge is community-judged.
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This work is fiction written for the challenge above.  Exorcise a demon:
Drunk again.  Yelling. Beating. Pain.  
I have seen it all. 
I’m too young to see this. 
It has to end now. 
I slowly aim
Then pull the trigger. 

Blood and silence. 
Its over.

Our little radio

This post was written for Father Friday.  Click HERE to read about it.

Fall in our house met quite a few things.  The sugar cane fields around us were being harvested.  We didn’t have central heating in our house so we spent lots of time cutting firewood for our wood stove and heater.  And LSU football. 

Looking back I would say listening to LSU football on Saturday evenings was the most memorable thing I did with my father.  Not that we did lots together, but Saturday nights were special for me back then.  Now this is in the early 70’s.  LSU football was never on any of the three channels beamed into our black and white zenith television.  So our Saturday evenings were spent listening to LSU football on a little pocket transistor radio. 

One similar to the radio above.  Except our didn’t have a back.  The batteries were held in play with electrical tape.  It was the same radio that we listened to during hurricanes after we lost electricity.  So my father and I would sit at the table and listen to the LSU football games on this radio.  He’d sit on the end of the table and I sat to his right.  Yes, he would drink.  And curse at the play selection.   But those evenings he generally was on his best behavior.  So I know he was capable.  That radio never let us down, though there were some games it would have been better to not get reception.  Lots of losses to Bear Bryant coached Alabama teams.  What I remember the most though was the times there were thunderstorms either in our area or in Baton Rouge.  The broadcast would crackle with the lightning.  I can hear it clearly.  The voice on the radio frequently interrupted by the crackle sound!   How fun!  He took me to a game in Tiger Stadium against Mississippi State.  We lost.  But it was a wonderful memory in a lifetime of few good memories. 

There is a line in City Slickers when Daniel Stern’s character talks about how when he and his father couldn’t relate to mostly anything, the one thing they could relate to was baseball.  I guess this was the one thing that brought us together.  LSU football on Saturday nights. 

My mother died on a Saturday night.  I got the call while I was watching LSU vs Ole Miss.  I suppose when she met him he griped how she interrupted the LSU game for me.  Kinda makes me smile in an odd way. 

Across the Hall

I am from a small town in south Louisiana.  Everyone knows everyone.  Even though David was 4 years older than me, I knew him my whole life.  Along with being from the same town, we both attended an all boys catholic school in the neighboring town.  When he was in senior I was in the eight grade.  We never really had any in debt conversations but we did talk on occasion and we’d always say hi to one another. 

It was homecoming day 1977.  A Friday afternoon, last period.  I look across the hall and I see David.  He is looking towards the center of the class and I don’t recall him ever looking my way.  I don’t know why I just noticed him there today.  It’s the first week of November so we have been in school for a couple of months.  Maybe he was assigned a different desk, who knows.  I just remember seeing him there.  So clear.  Like a snapshot in my mind.  Still so vivid all these years later. 

That Friday evening David was murdered.  He was with his girlfriend after the homecoming dance when two me approached their car and kidnapped them.  They drove to a rural location and raped the girl then shot them both.  Now that doesn’t happen in a small town in the late 70’s.  To someone I know.  It was shocking to say the least.  All the kids that attended this school from my town were forced to go to the funeral.  It was frightening to be so young and see such a young person dead.  The same person I had seen only a few days before, hours before his death.  To make things worst we were all interviewed by law enforcement at school the following week.  It was a dreadful experience.

If you ever saw the movie Dead Man Walking with Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn you know the story of the man who was convicted of these murders.  I know the young man murdered.  The story is about the friendship between the murderer and a nun from New Orleans who he wrote while on death row.   It is a good movie with great performances by both.  I find the book is much better. 

The reason I told this story is I wonder if it was really that particular day I am remembering.  I have always believed it was that day.  However, does our mind play tricks on us when we think back?  I have always wondered about this memory, this moment in time.  Maybe I saw him a week before and that is when my mind took that picture of him.  Maybe I did indeed see him that day.  I suppose it’s just God’s way of making me remember him.  I see him, so clearly in that desk.  So full of life.  That is my memory of him.

Till we meet again.  Good day.

Mind of Shoo   

Why is there a caboose in your yard?

I am a dreamer.  Always have been.  The amount I dream is probably unhealthy.  There have been many incarnations of me in my lifetime.  The one I dream of the most is to write stories.  To be a storyteller.  It is the one that I have the least training or talent for but I dream it nonetheless.  I always think of the end result before I finish the product.  Case in point.  I have written my Oscar acceptance speech even thought I have only written 84 pages of a script that will gather dust in a closet.  Unfinished I am sure.  But let me get to my point.  If I am going to dream, allow me to dream this.  I want a place to work on my craft.  To write in peace away from the world.  And that place is in a caboose.  In my backyard.   I want a caboose in my backyard that will be my study.  Not a man cave.  A sanctuary for my creative self.  Part study, part studio for my other dream I have no talent for, painting. 

So if you ever drive the countryside and see a caboose in someone’s backyard, it may be mine.  Perhaps with an Oscar on a shelf inside and a closet full of stories untold. 

Till we meet again.  Good day.

Mind of Shoo 

My Scars Have Healed

We find our spot among the crowd on the side the road.  Today is a dream come true.  A dream started on a bicycle a few years before.  Riding a bicycle was another escape for me.  It was a way I released my anger.  I am at peace on my bike, albeit somewhat brief.  Free I suppose.  And today I am here.  On the side the road on L’Alpe d’Huez in the French Alps.  Today I am a spectator of the Tour de France.

“What are you thinking about?” Gina asked.

“Its hard to believe,” I say to her.  “I have dreamed of being here since the I watched this event on television.  I have biked many miles dreaming I was riding these very roads.  Only to be disappointed when I realize my finish line was my home. ”

“Brad don’t just dream, make things happen!”

“We are Gina.”

“We huh,”she says with a smile.

“Yes, we.  Well, you talked me into this trip.  But it has been we ever since.”

“This is the first time you have said we Brad.”

“Is it?” I asked.

“Yes it is.  It warmed my heart.  Thank you.”

I feel free at this moment.

“He threw me through into a door.”  I said matter of factly.


“I was fourteen, he hit my mom.  I went to protect her.  He pushed me backwards.  My body hit the door but my arm went through the window.  I pulled my arm back through and it was covered with blood.”

With tears in her eyes she reached out and grabbed my hand, then ran her fingers along my scars in wonder.

“That’s how I got the scars.  You are the first person other than my parents to know the truth Gina.”

“But the cuts?” she said.

“Those are my scars, self inflicted to ease my pain.  You know them, you said it yourself.”

“Yes I did. I’m so sorry Brad.”

Don’t be.  Today they have fully healed.

This was written for the Trifecta Week Fifty-seven using the third definetion of the word:


a : rapt attention or astonishment at something awesomely mysterious or new to one’s experience

b : a feeling of doubt or uncertainty

This writing is fiction.  Its another story from the  journey of  Gina and Brad which started here: Find A Soul.

Oh how I love my mornings!

I feel defeated.  I never finish.  I always have excuses.  This is my typical morning!

Self:  I need to write this morning.

procrastinating self:  No you don’t.  Look at all the blogs to read.  You can learn.

Self: But my time is limited.  I work today.  The kids will be up soon.  I need to write daily!

procrastinating self:  Don’t you get it fool, if you read more blogs you will learn new styles, learn about humor and you’ll be a better writer!.

Self:  Hmmm.  True.  Did the Sun’s win last night?

procrastinating self:  Go to ESPN dot com.  Do it!

Self:  NO!  I need to write.  But nothing is flowing at the moment. www dot espn. com just to see the score.  That’s it! Click!

procrastinating Self:  Hey, how many points did Michael Bisley score?  Why didn’t he start?  I am sure there is more info on that at AZ Central.

Self:  Yea, why didn’t he start?  www dot AZ Central dot com.  Oh an article on the Cardinals QB situation.  CLICK

procrastinating self:  The sink is full of dishes.

Self:  But this is my writing time.  I wake up at 5am just to write, ME time.  Just one more article!

procrastinating self:  Why did LSU coach Miles suspend a player?  A punter.  Hmmm that’s interesting.  Go there.

Self:  Why did Miles do that?  www theadvocate dot com.  Miles suspends punter for bowl game.  click!

procrastinating self: Things are flowing now!  Wooo Whooo!  Keep it going dude!  You still have plenty of time to write.

Self:  Last article, its short.  Oh I need to make the kids lunch.  I can do it quick!  After I read this article.  Then I’ll write.

procrastinating self:  How many pages have I written on my script?  Lets count again, just to keep track.

Self:  Ok great idea!  Then I will write at least two more pages.  Open word!

procrastinating self:  The kids will be up soon! Make those lunches now so you will have more time to write while they are up!

Self:  Great idea.  Be right back.  Then I’ll count the pages of my script.  Then write.  I have plenty of time!

procrastinating self:  Hey, you haven’t eaten scrambled eggs in a while.  That’s a quick breakfast.

Self:  let’s see, one more article to read….count pages…almost done with lunches…..its only 6 now.  We have eggs!  I am hungry, that’s true!

procrastinating self:  How about some music while you cook and finish those lunches!

Self:  hmmm am I in the mood to rock?  What will help me get into the writing from of mind?  www dot

procrastinating self:  How about watching that Conan commencement speech to the Dartmouth Class of 2011!  You can laugh again!

Self:  I LOVE that speech.  Conan is hilarious!  Ok type that in…..conan darmouth speech.  Ah!  there it is  click!  I love the part…

procrastinating self:  Ok, just watch the first few minutes of it.  Till the part about the oak tree trunk podium!  You have time.

Self:  Yeah, I can do the kids lunch real quick and then put the speech up loud and cook.  That will get me in the writing frame of mine.

procrastinating self:  Yea you do have plenty of time.  Hey, I just heard the paper hit the concrete.  You can get the story about the firing of the high school coach!

Self:  I wonder why they fired him.  Let me get my robe on.  Darn there are a lot of dirty clothes here.  I wonder if the kids have something to wear?

procrastinating self:  You don’t want them going to school in the same old clothes, throw them in the washer real quick.  Just take a second.  You have plenty of time!

Self:  True!  Ok, just separate the kids clothes from mine.  Whites from colors.  Ok  real quick.  I got to get those lunches started.  Cook breakfast for me.

procrastinating self:  Hey you, the Conan speech is done, find something else to listen to while you are cooking, making lunches, doing laundry, reading about the high school coach, reading about LSU’s upcoming bowl, counting your pages of your script.  Are you in the frame of mind to write yet?

Self:  Ok, laundry started.  Lets find something to listen to now that Conan is over.  I wonder if Conan ever did any other speeches.  Let me google that.  www google dot com.  conan commencement speeches. Click.

procrastinating self:  Hey, it’s almost time to wake the kids.  You have to cook them breakfast before school!

Self: Oh that’s true.  I will prep their breakfast while I make mine. Just a minute.  Let’s see Conan’s speaks to Harvard Class.  Wait what is the article?  Conan donates money  click.

procrastinating self:  Son one needs to get up early to read some before school.

Self:  Oh yea, he won’t bother my writing cause he will be reading and I can concentrate.  Ok, where will I start after this article about Conan.

procrastinating self:  I love when the day starts out so wonderfully don’t you!

Self:  Oh man, I have lots to do and only a few more minutes to write!  SHIT.  Almost done with this article!

procrastinating self:  I RULE!

Self:  Damn so much to do before the kids get up!

Putting yourself down self:  Good Morning you fool you did it again.  You missed your writing time.

procrastinating self:  OH shut up putting yourself down self,  he has plenty of time later!

Self:  Damn I SUCK!  I have not time to write today.  How depressing.

depressed self:  Good morning me.  Took some time to get to me today huh!  You don’t need to cook yourself breakfast.  And the kids can eat Cocoa Puffs.

Self:  But I am  of Cocoa Puffs, all I have is Cheerios.  And they hate Cheerios

finance Self:  Damn, you don’t have any money till payday.  You can’t buy any Cocoa Puffs today.  Or pay your gas bill.

procrastinating self:  You can shop Thursday night.  You’ll have plenty of time!

Self:  Time to wake up the kids.  Where did my morning go?  I am in NO mood to write today. UGH!  How depressing.  Let me turn on the TV while the kids get ready!  Then I ‘ll start my day! Maybe then I can get in the frame of mind to write.  Yea that’s it!  It will be a great day!

You get the idea!  Self loses.  The other monsters wake up to battle me!  When can I write?  How do I make time?  I am not in the frame of mind.  I’ll never finish.  I know, its my father’s fault.  I am an adult child of an alcoholic parent and never finishing projects is a major characteristic flaw.  Ugh.  Another excuse. But  I’m off the hook!  I will shoot for tomorrow to write! 

Till we meet again.  Good Day.

Mind of Shoo

Father Friday 12/21/12

My father was a tough man to live with.  I was an only child born out-of-wedlock and more than likely not out of love.  Caring maybe, love I will never believe it.  My father was the oldest of four kids and a mother of gold.  He graduated high school at the age of sixteen and received his degree in forestry from Louisiana State University in 1941.  He was a navigator for the US Army Air Corps during World War II.  He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father and an alcoholic.  He was loved by his friends who did not know the man I knew.  He was well thought of in the community. He was an intelligent man who read constantly.  He died at the age of 64 on April 27, 1982.  That was a little over a week before my high school graduation.  My memories only begin at age 5 for a reason I can’t explain.  Maybe others are like this as well, I don’t know.  We briefly lived in New Iberia, Louisiana before finding a house to rent on a sugar cane farm just outside historic St. Martinville Louisiana.  We resided in this 3 bedroom wooden house with no heating or air conditioning till his death.   All my memories of him are  in this house.  My memory of  him was drinking every day, except for the occasional hospital stay for heart issues.  A few days of peace was interrupted by his return home.   There were lots of yelling at my mother, me, the television or just at nothing at all.  He was occasionally warm and tender then off he went breaking a window or throwing a beer can across the room while my mom and I watched television.  He was Jekyll and Hyde which made it more difficult cause you didn’t know who you were getting each day.  My defense was to just stay away which I did often.  It was only years later that I realized why I was away from home so often.  To my mom, I am sorry for this, it must have hurt her or perhaps she was happy that I wasn’t going through something I should not have at that moment.  She took the brunt of things, often protecting me and I love her dearly for that.

Me in 1976

Me in 1976

 With all this said, I did love him.  And we did lots of things together.  So every Friday (beginning next Friday) will be Father Friday whereabouts I will write some memories I have of my time with him.  For me, its kind of healing process.  A time to filter the bad and find the good.  Amongst all the tirades where moments of instruction, laughter, love and normalcy.  Too few unfortunately.  I will begin each Father Friday with a link to this post so readers will get a brief background of my relationship with my father.  Time is starting to heal my wounds.  I am learning to forgive, slowly.  Perhaps sharing some of the moments of my past me will aid in this healing process.  Time will tell.

Till we meet again.  Good day.

Mind of Shoo

9 Things that bring me Joy.

This post is written for Mama Kat’s promt:

Mama's Losin' It

The Prompts:

1.) Have you made a visit to the North Pole yet? Share your Santa pictures!
2.) Share a favorite Christmas memory.
3.) What cookies are you leaving for the big guy?
4.) Put together and share a fun holiday outfit you’d like to wear if you had somewhere to wear it.
5.) List the top 9 things that bring you joy.

Top 9 Things that bring you joy

1.  Watching Movies:  I love movies and there are certain ones that I will watch when a certain mood strikes. If I am down in the dumps, I throw in Shawshank Redemption.  Nothing like a movie about friendship to make me smile.  If I am in a happy mood than Juno is a must!  Very witty, comical and the dialog is so well written.  If I am sad, Schlinder’s List.  Need I say more.  If I am nostalgic then Saturday Night Fever.  How about remembering how stupid you looked dancing under that disco ball!

2.  Listen to birds singing.  This is particularly beautiful when there is no other sound but theirs. 

3.  Watching a lightning storm in the evening out of a window.  Being originally from Louisiana I unfortunately never viewed a lightning storm as anything joyous to me.  But move away to the desert southwest and you’ll understand what beauty lies watching the sky light up with a storm.  Try it!

4. Being alone.  With my thoughts whether good or bad.  Throw in some mountains or a river and I am in heaven.

 5.  Listening to music.  I love listening to songs and thinking how did the artists come up with that song.  Knowing that song once was just words on a paper (yes I love this phrase).  Written from some meaningful experience.  Some lyrics just amaze me.  How could they write something so beautiful at its core.  Add some nice music to it and I am mesmerized!  In the Living Years….so well written.  Listen to the words.

6.  Reading and understanding US History.  There are so many events and people responsible for our country being where it is presently.  It’s great to understand our history and how things came to be. 

7.  Being moved to tears by stories of hope, heartache or giving.  The list here is endless whether is JJ Watt visiting 3 kids who lost their parents in a car accident or learning of a teacher who died protecting her kids.  Or a scene in a movie like this one in City Slickers.  Listen to Bruno Kirby’s story.  When Gene Hackman talks about his father leaving them on Inside the Actors studio.  So touching.

8. Hiking, running or biking.  Anything to make me sweat and make my body ache.  I don’t do this nearly enough but I love feeling my body ache as sweat drips from my forehead onto the ground below.  Accomplishment!

9.  My kids. 

Till we meet again.  Good Day.

Mind of Shoo.  

Black and White

“Avery, does your dad yell at your mom?” I asked.

“Heck no Johnny, why do you think he would do that?” he replied.

“I was just curious.”

Avery is my best friend.  Has been since first grade.  It’s a Saturday morning.  We are sitting on the bench at the local the high school football field surrounded by empty bleachers.  We come here often, just the two of us.  Usually on mornings during football season, pretending to be members of the senior high football team.  The knees of our jeans are grass stained.  The football is beat up from the few seasons we have played both here and other spots around our south Louisiana town. I slowly stand up take a few steps onto the football field and look up into the sky.

I turn to Avery and ask, “What are you going to be when you grow up?”

A smile comes across his face, his bright smile accented by his black skin.  He nods his head and says “That’s easy man, I am going to play football.  Not just high school man but college football too.  Number twenty-seven Avery Etienne.  Yeah man, that’s me!”

I knew this to be true.  Although we are four years away from high school, Avery has been dreaming of this as long as I have known him.  We are opposites.  He is black, I am white.  He’s athletic, I am not.  He comes from a large family, I am an only child.  He lives on the black side of town while I live on the white side.  I know whats going on around us.  My father doesn’t like my friend Avery because he is black.  He has warned me about inviting him over.  This hurts me.  Avery’s dad likes me.  I have been over to play at their house often.  Avery never questions why I have never invited him over.  Does he know why?  Does he know my father hates black people?  My heart would break if he found out.  We never speak of our color difference, but I think of it often. Some day that talk will come up, I just know it.  What do I say?  Will he still be my friend?  What will he think of my father?  I need to purge this from my mind.  But I can’t!  

“Hey Johnny!  What’s going on man, you are just staring into space?” Avery says to me.  “Wake up dude!  He claps his hands as he stands next to me.  You’re in dreamland man.”

“Sorry Avery, just thinking.”

“Bout what dude?

“I don’t know Avery, I just don’t know.”  

“You don’t know what Johnny?” . 

“Ah, I don’t know how good LSU will be the rest of the season” is all I can stutter. “You know what I mean dude.”

“Naw man, they will be alright.  It’s early in the season man”

Avery is speaking but I don’t hear a word.  My mind is not on football.  My mind is on him.  Our friendship.  Is this the moment I tell him?  I can’t. 

“You get that Johnny!” Avery said with a smile.

He knows I haven’t heard a word.  He’s a great friend.  I have others, all white though.  But there is no doubt he is the one I am closest to.  I only hope he thinks the same.  “Hey man, are we best friends?” I ask him.

“What kind of question is that?” 

“Just wondering.”

“You’re out there today Johnny!” Avery says with that smile.  “To answer your question.  Yes.  Let’s get out of here.  I need to get home before eleven.”

So we walk out the stadium side by side.  We reach our bikes on the concrete path that leads to the street.  We both have banana seat bikes, but his has the cool ram horn-shaped handle bars.  Mine is yellow, his is red.  We ride out, he turns left and I will turn right. 

“Later man'”Avery says as he rides away. ” Give me a call after lunch, ok!”

“Will do man!” I yell back to him. 

This story is fiction.  I cringe to post this..but I have had this story on my mind for a while.  Obviously it’s not finished.  I just wanted to put this out there. 

Feedback is appreciated.

Till we meet again.  Good Day.

Mind of Shoo   

Daily Prompt: Dear Leader

This is for the Daily Prompt for 12/19

If your government (local or national) accomplishes one thing in 2013, what would you like that to be?

Dear Leader

I have one request from you for 2013. Unite.

Why do you have to worry about crossing the aisle? Get rid of the aisle. Why two parties, how about one nation. Instead of listening to the lobbiest, listen to your constituency.  Don’t raise money for your own cause, raise money for a cause of your choice.  Your job is to govern defined as to control and direct the making and administration of policy in.  Govern for the people, not for the powerful. 


One Nation.  Under God. Indivisible. 


Thank You

Concerned American