Factoids from a 5-year-old.

Yesterday I picked Gavin up from school and told him I was going to drive him to a surprise. Gavin loves surprises! I drove him to a toy store and told him I was going to buy him a toy for absolutely no reason other than that I loved him. I gave him a budget and in we went. He picked out Tyro, a blue and stretchy Dino figure.

Just as I was paying for his new toy he decided he had something to say to the friendly cashier.

“Excuse me. Do you see that human right there? That’s my Dad.”

Well, there we have it. My son acknowledged my existence as a human and also as his father. I can rest easy.

-Matt

P.S.,- As some of you know, I’m a very proud father and husband šŸ™‚

Have a great day and buy someone a toy! lol they may just have something to say.

Academy of Trust

I noticed that my toothbrush wasn’t where I had left it.
In fact, for two days in a row, my toothbrush had been moved.
Then I realized that this has been happening for some time now.

I stopped scrubbing my teeth and looked in the mirror to acknowledge
my reality. My five year old son has been using my toothbrush.

Now- I love my son dearly, but I don’t want I to share a toothbrush.

I rinsed my mouth and put my toothbrush where Gavin had left it.
I slowly opened the drawer and spotted a brand new
Captain America toothbrush. Blue. His favorite color.

I’m not going to lecture Gavin. I’m going to roll with this.
Transition and compromise are two skills I’m continually learning.
It’s a little small, but that’s OK, I like Captain America.

-M. Taggart

Dream State

It was dark and raining.
“There’s something outside.”
“Did you see someone?”
“No. It’s not a person.”
I tried peering through the rain soaked window.
“It’s upset with you,
and you’re going to feel it from the inside.”

-M. Taggart

As I turned the corner my body was forced forward.
My mind blurred in a frenzied pace.
I had learned so much.

Walk to work #flash fiction

Walk to Work
Written by -M. Taggart

They said it was going to be grey. They said to wear a coat in the morning. I thought of my coat after not wearing it. A bit like I thought about how my feet moved forward on the concrete. Sometimes a foot would move just over an old piece of something, like gum, and then the other foot would fix the system by stepping on the next one. Of course this would be done in reverse to correct it all. A boy on a bike rode passed me. He didn’t look at me. I tried; maybe it was me. I quickened my step and stopped looking at how my feet made progress on cement, instead I found levity in the bridge ahead. Underneath was a smooth rolling river. If I closed my eyes and listened well enough I could hear the smallest of gurgling. It was nice to hear.

-M. Taggart

photo taken 3/3/21

Books and Brews!

Easily among my favorite days. The book signing was an incredible success. Even though my hands were shaking while signing the first few. 46982E77-AFA4-45BC-9691-E7BEDDCCDAA2

Summarizes my priorities. Me looking at my family.

What a memory! Iā€™m one lucky man.

Cheers everyone!

Matt

Life, Blood & Charles Bukowski

I got the dreaded call from Gavin’s school today. He’s the youngest in the entire school. His teacher told us that he’s very smart, has an incredible vocabulary, and is brave.

“Hello is this, Matt? Gavin has been in the nurses office for about an hour. He’s OK, but he did bite his tongue and it won’t stop bleeding.”

While on the way to the ER, Gavin, fell asleep. I watched him in my rear view mirror knowing blood was filling his mouth. Eventually I could hear the blood interfering with his breathing. I asked him to wake up and swallow. He did, while half asleep, swallow the blood.

I parked outside the ER and grabbed paper towel. I reached back toward Gavin. I woke him up, with the paper towel ready to catch the blood. It took a moment for him to wake, but when he did, he wore a worried look and I could see he was active with his tongue inside his mouth. “It’s OK, just spit it into this.” Gavin opened his mouth and a clot was on top of his tongue. He spit the clot, along with more blood, into the paper towel.

He never once cried.

The ER doctors opted not to cauterize the laceration. They didn’t want to cause Gavin trauma. Megan held ice to his tongue all evening and finally the bleeding stopped.

And for some reason unknown to me, Gavin bounced his way up to ‘Alexa’ our digital-voice friend whom many of you might also have and said, “Alexa, play Charles Bukowski.”

Seems Gavin will be just fine. But I’m not.

-Matt

Flash Fiction – In the darkness of love

Flash Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart
8/6/19

 

In the darkness of love

 

It was dark in their bedroom. He had shut off the light, placed the book on the nightstand, and rested his head against the headboard. Some of the book was still in him. He couldn’t decide if it was more dark with his eyes open, or closed. Soon, he’d be able to see her silhouette. And after a few more minutes he’d be able to view her face and then he would watch her sleep and listen to her breathe. He liked it this way. He loved the ease in which she fell asleep next to him. He would notice her twitching as the initial moments of sleep set in. He’d continue to read until his eyes became heavy. While he watched her sleep he would remember small things like what they did on Sunday, or about how she wasn’t shy when grabbing his hand and not letting go. He liked that about her and he liked it about how she introduced him to her friends as “my” as if she owned him. He wanted to be owned by her. He belonged to her in every way. Even now as he rested beside her, he was hers. She shifted slightly and moaned softly. He stroked her cheek gently and whispered, “I love you.” Knowing she wouldn’t remember, but felt full for having done so.

-M. Taggart

Flash Fiction – Lakeside

Flash Fiction – Lakeside
written by -M. Taggart
7/8/19

The water licked the dock quietly. He liked how the breeze pressed against his body and how it made the hairs on his arms feel. His eyes were closed. The sun was hot but not hot enough to make him uncomfortable. He was content lying here doing nothing. He could remember only a handful of times ever feeling like this. One of those times was while he was with his grandfather on a summer day. He remembered rocking on a wooden outdoor swing in the backyard near the garden. He rocked until he thought of nothing, not even the sun or whether it was hot, or of the carrots that he wanted to pull from the earth, wash off with the garden hose, and eat right away. He rocked with a faint notion of feeling gratitude toward his grandfather for allowing him this moment and trusting he would be safe while alone. Even that faded and he didn’t think of it or about how it made him feel. Now though, the dock was his outdoor swing, sitting just above the lake. In the distance a dog barked and the bark echoed in his mind.

-M. Taggart

Published Work:

https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/my-book/

A Short Story

A Short Story
Written by
-M. Taggart
Non Fiction

A Short Story

 

It was her birthday. She wanted to talk. A lot. I like to listen, but had planned on reading a book. I ordered a Guinness.

She told me she was lucky to make it. She was now 60. She didn’t say the number out-loud, instead she faced me and asked me to count her fingers.

For the next half hour I listened to her story. She had lived in foster care, had been abused, physically and mentally, found herself at 18 with a vicious tongue and lost herself completely in her twenties.

She had attempting suicide multiple times. The last attempt landed her in a coma and in the hospital. During the explanation of her life she bounced from age-to-age and from addiction to health. By her mid-thirties she had once again found herself and had stopped drinking. She also stopped using drugs.

She found both again and lived another round of almost not living. She was homeless for a time. She vomited feces while she was dying. She woke up on a Monday, put her make-up on, and lived.

I didn’t bother trying to read my book. I wanted her to finish her story. This happens to me often when I sit at the bar. I don’t mind. When I don’t want to talk, I stand in the corner, alone, with a book and a beer.

She is very kind. Full of love for life and happy to have not died during her attempts to end hers. She told me this while pouring her new beer into an empty pint glass. Her eyes widened as she started a new chapter of her story.

Slowly, I entered small facts about myself into the conversation. “You lived in Turners Falls, MA?!” she replied? “No, I went to High School in that town. And Turners was a border town to my home town.” “No wonder you had anger! There’s nothing there!”

That wasn’t the reason I had anger. I love that town.

She knew the drug houses, the homeless issue, the violence, the left over edge one has after spending any length of time in that region. And here we sat, in a pub located in Maine.

She asked if I was familiar with Greenfield. “Yes. Greenfield is where I was in one-too-many fights and also where I spent time in jail.”

She told me she lived in the woman’s home in Greenfield and that’s where she got clean. It took over a year, but they were amazing to her and saved her life.

I told her I wrote a short story that had much to do with the small town mindset of that area. And there we sat, enjoying our lives in the now, talking about the past. About the very town where I’ve lost friends due to addiction and violence. The very town where I found love for the first time and where I learned driving alone late at night, with the windows down and radio off, was a form of freedom that I was only just beginning to understand.

 

-M. Taggart

The Motionless Moose – A Short Story

The Motionless Moose
Written by -M. Taggart
Fiction. 4/14/19

The Motionless Moose

 

The lake reflected the moon in shimmering splinters as the wind pushed waves inland and finally to his feet. The wind drove directly at the camp from the Northwest. He couldn’t smell the campfire, although he could hear the flickering of the flames just after one of the men shuffled the burning logs around. They were constantly doing this while complaining about how no one could keep a fire going.

That’s the thing about being at camp, he thought. We are in the middle of no where and the owner insisted that we use the metal fire bin with wildlife depicted on the side. They don’t work. The airflow is stifled toward the bottom. He had mentioned that they should drill holes at the bottom of the fire bin for better airflow and was scoffed at. It was always like this. Or, they would talk around him. He left the fire, and them, and brought a chair to the foot of the lake to watch the wind push the white caps around.

Only two men sat at the fire now. The rest had gone to their bunks. It was late but he didn’t want to be in the bunkhouse. They toss and turn and snore while he lays quietly and doesn’t sleep. No. He’d rather sit here and let a moose walk up to him. The wind felt nice on his face. It wasn’t cold. It felt like a comfortably blanket that moves. The waves licking at the shore landed with a calming rhythm. If he could talk with the lake he would have enough company to last the night. Sometimes he could catch a few words of the conversation at the camp fire, but he didn’t want to know what they were talking about so he tried not to listen. He could see the outline of the mountain range on the far side of the lake. He thought about the Indians who knew those mountains and traversed them hundreds of years ago. They truly knew the mountains and lakes and the game. They were not there to own it, but to be with it. He wanted to talk with them and sit at their camp fires even if he didn’t understand a word they said.

He closed his eyes and inhaled deeply bringing in all of the musty smells of the lake. He wondered if he’d be able to smell a moose or a bear if it were close enough. While his eyes were closed and the wind brushed passed his cheeks he heard a clopping sound coming from the shoreline just north of him. He opened his eyes to see a darkened image of a large moose feeding. The moose raised its long legs out of the water and dropped them back into the lake without taking its head out of the water. Just then he heard the harsh hissing sound of steam as the men were done with their night and putting the failed fire out for good. He didn’t bother calling to them. He liked seeing the moose alone. He liked that he could have this and they will know nothing about it. Even if he did tell them they wouldn’t believe him. They’d say a moose wouldn’t come this close to camp with a fire going. They’d tell him moose don’t feed at this time of night. Then they’d tell their stories about how they have seen moose and about how close they’ve gotten to them and him having seen a moose would have dissapeared all together.

The large head of the moose slowly rose from the water, tested the air, and stood motionless for a moment then again started to feed. He closed his eyes and replayed the motionless moose. He had what he needed and what he came for.

The End.

-M. Taggart