A dirt road, A pub, and Family

I splashed water from the bathroom sink onto my face and looked at my dripping curiosity. This is my third year as a father. Downstairs our son, Gavin, is running the pitter-patter pattern while yelling, ‘Oh No! The Dino’s a comin!’

Today we’ll drive to the White Mountains. We like old dirt roads that wind through the country side and give glimpses of lakes and mountain tops. We like to drive slowly, open the windows, and look for dinosaurs. These old roads are seldom traveled and when you’re on them they feel like they’re yours. Trees tower on both sides and the forest is so deep that it seems like there couldn’t possibly be an end to them; with that feeling comes thoughts that anything is possible, even finding a dinosaur.

We’ll most likely take my truck, where Gavin rides in the middle of the back seat. He sits up high because of his car seat and looks like a child-king. I’m fine with that. He’s the one child we have and we waited a long while to be gifted his presence. I laugh at people who try and determine our parenting style. All they need to do is ask. I’ll tell them, ‘Fucking awesome and nearly perfect.’ With a straight face. Hoping they piss me off.

After driving through the mountains we’ll eventually make our way into a small town and stop at a pub. I’ll order some kind of dark foaming beer, hopefully the foam will spill over the top of the glass and spill down the sides. We’ll order Gavin french fries with vinegar (he loves that stuff) and chicken nuggets and Megan will order anything her heart desires for the rest of her life.

I’ll scan the pub for people of passion. Let there be a few. Silent is the day when eyes cast shadows, drooping and lowering into their drink without thought. That is not the society to be. Have your pints, raise your whiskey, cheers the one next to you and talk about what moves you. Talk about why your day fetched its morning to deliver your afternoon. Hell, talk politics! Do it! Oh, I have…and will continue to. I find airing out differences over a pint of beer at a pub to be aggressively healthy; because how the hell do you find health with laziness? I think we’ve been lied to. Over and over. I see the lies floating out of mouths, especially the talking heads on TV, somehow those same lies find new housing and eventually find their way to me in person, and I put them where they belong, under my boot.

But don’t mind me. I was born with a bit too much energy. A bit too much passion. We’ll see what today brings. If it isn’t much, I’ll make it into something much more.

Matt

Cheers and Happy Father’s day to you all. Even the Mammas because, well without you…

 

white mountains
My cell does OK. White Mountains. 
Advertisements

It’s just a dream

I had a very disturbing dream last night. I was unable to fall back to sleep. Instead I looked at the bedroom door, wondered what might be on the other side, and for the first time that I can remember I thought of Hell as an actual fact.

To the best of my daytime memory it went like this:

I was jogging in the inside of the circumference of a tennis court. The tennis court had a gate made of wood built around the entirety of it. The wood planks stopped roughly two feet from the ground. I noticed two homeless men sleeping under the two foot gap. They both wore blue jeans. Their faces were haggard. The men appeared to be sleeping off a large affliction of some kind.

I jogged to the exit of the tennis court where a third homeless man awoke as I came near. His eyes had dark circles under them. He meant to speak to me, but I jogged passed him and down the hill to the building below. I entered the building. The building resembled an old YMCA and was empty. I stood near the entrance desk. The form of a man I knew appeared, squatting, with his back against the wall on the other side of the desk.

“Hello, Matt.”

He looked healthy. He looked good.

I don’t remember everything he said. I wish I did. I asked him about the three homeless men. He told me they are stuck in a cycle and that they will be stuck. The three men were him, but not him. This was a healthy him.

The dream fluttered and I found myself outside of the YMCA look-a-like building with the man’s son. My best friend.

“I just saw your father.”

“What?”

“I saw your father’s ghost.”

His smiled. “Show me where.”

I took him into the building and showed him exactly where his father had been squatting against the wall. The dream developed into the oddity of being that it is, his father reappeared with a bit of a halo. Now though, he was standing, and his eyes shown a deep imprinted knowing.

“There he is.” I nodded my head toward his father’s ghost.

“Where? I don’t see him?”

“He’s standing right there looking at you.”

Scott was speaking, I can’t recall what he was saying.

“Why can’t I see him?”

Scott replied to both of us, “Because he’s still dead.” Only I heard.

“What did you say, Scott?” He replied. I can’t remember what he said. I wanted to know how I was dead. Scott then shook my hand and said something similar to, “I’m going now.” He then turned toward the wall and opened an unseen door. As though it was a portion of time, or fabric of time, itself.

I thought I might see the entrance to heaven. Scott stepped inside the most pitch black tunnel heading steeply downward that I’ve ever seen, dream or otherwise. He was gone.

 

-M. Taggart

 

 

 

Never Give Up

I believe there is great strength in the ones who fight to not abandon. I think we all carry levels of pain. Some scars we can all easily see and help to care for and caress back to a version of functional health. Others are buried so deeply they’ll never be seen or fully understood. I find weakness in the ones that abandon. A selfishness that destroys itself in final completeness.

Are you sure you locked the door?

I’m doing laundry and don’t remember what I found
while checking the pockets of my jeans
I checked again and this time I found nothing
I’m thinking I may have found nothing the first time
But, being unable to trust my first time checking
I can’t fully trust my second time knowing that I didn’t
know much about the first, So hell with it
I check a third time and now I’m confident that the second
time was spot on. Nothing in the pockets.
I think.

-M. Taggart

Writing On WordPress

I’m not sure I’d know how to not write. Not any more. My personal Pandora’s box has been opened into the matrix of sharing for better or worse. I’ll continue to plant these words, hoping they might grow.

I don’t know why it took so long to realize how important WordPress is to me. Or why it took so long for me to take it more seriously.

Thank you for reading. I don’t consider any of you followers. Certainly not My followers. Rather, my peers.

Let’s see what this will be in ten years.

Matt

To new writers- If you don’t do it, It won’t do it. Your blog won’t grow itself. Think of the Great Hank Aaron and play on.

Black Cat Syndrome – A Short Story

Black Cat Syndrome
Fiction
Written by Matt Taggart

Black Cat Syndrome

 

It was late afternoon. The pub was busy. They had taken the last two seats. He sat with his elbow touching the wall. Pete was being crowded by an overweight man.

“Ever heard of the black cat syndrome?”

“No.”

“I was walking with Erin. Remember her? She was a good person. I wasn’t ready. Anyway, we were walking on the dirt road that splits the cornfield.”

Pete leaned closer to Eric. Not to hear him better, but because the overweight man laughed heavily and rolled his head back and crowded Pete even more.

The pub burst with noise as a new group of happy hour sympathizers opened the door and searched for their area of comfort. Eric noticed how everyone’s body language changed the moment new arrivals entered their space. He pressed closer to the wall. The wall wouldn’t change.

“Go on. I’m listening.” Pete said.

“We were walking toward the river. You could just make out the cliff face of Sugarloaf. I remember wanting to see how high the river was. As I looked toward the river a black cat walked out from the corn. It crossed the dirt road in front of us, and went back into the corn on the other side. I said to Erin, ‘You see the black cat?’ She smiled and nodded her head.”

Pete lurched in his chair. A portion of beer leaped from his pint glass and landed on his boots. Pete’s lips thinned as his head tilted. “Mother fucker” Pete murmured. The overweight man’s forearm had over taken Pete’s bar space.

“I’m sorry about that. I saw. I’ll get you another beer.” The bartender said.

“I’m fine. I have half left.”

“I’m still going to get you another beer. Be as fine as you want.” She smiled while walking back toward the taps.

“You’re always doing that. I see what you’re doing. You’re studying everyone.” Pete said.

“I don’t mean to. It just happens.” Even now Eric was looking passed Pete. The bar was dark oak. Half the patrons had food. Everyone had beer. Not one person had a whiskey. Someone needed to order a whiskey. It wasn’t right to not have a whiskey on this bar. A pub employee placed a hot plate of onion rings in front of a man. He could barely make out the scent of a woman’s perfume as the smell of onion rings filled the crowded air. And now the bartender was coming back with Pete’s beer, already smiling. The conversations filling the bar room were constant. Creating a noise with peaks and valleys, but it wasn’t random. It had somehow been designed with purpose.

“What the hell do you see?”

“I don’t know. Nothing really.”

“Here’s your beer, hun.” She smiled not the kind of smile demanding a good tip. And she lingered. Pete wasn’t very handsome. He was rugged, beautifully rustic, and sincere.

“Can I have a whiskey? Actually, a Manhattan. Not in a foo-foo glass either. I want it in a rocks glass. And I want the dirty rocks in another rocks glass, please.” Eric asked the bartender.

“You can, and will.” She didn’t look at him. She was watching Pete. Pete hadn’t noticed.

“Are you lost in the story?” asked Pete.

“Nope. So, we walked through the corn field, through the cemetery, and then to the river bank. The river wasn’t high. I thought it would be, but the storm didn’t bring it up hardly at all. I’m standing on the river bank, with Erin, and we’re taking in the view of the cliff face. For some reason I think of that damn black cat. I ask Erin, ‘Wasn’t it odd to see that cat walk out of the corn?’ I had thought it was odd because of its age. It was a young cat. Not a kitten, but not much older than one. And the farm was a long way off.” Eric said while watching the bartender make his drink. He wanted to see if she would spin the long spoon in the alcohol or shake it in a shaker. If she shook it, the drink would be spoiled. If it was spoiled he’d need to order a second Manhattan or else he wouldn’t let himself be comfortable. And the oak bar still wouldn’t be right.

“So that’s it. You saw a black cat on a walk?”

“No. It wasn’t that. It was Erin’s answer. She said, “What black cat? There wasn’t any black cat.”

“Why the hell would she say that? She just saw it with you. You said she nodded her head.”

“I don’t know. That’s why it’s the black cat syndrome. I’ve seen it everywhere since that moment. People have their eyes open and see about a third of what’s happening around them. Maybe less. I said to Erin, ‘You’re joking. You just saw the cat minutes ago. It crossed the road in front of us.’ But my flaw was that I was now talking with passion. Erin says, ‘Why are you yelling at me. There was no cat. Who cares anyways? Why do you always have to be like this?’ and now Erin’s upset and we’re on a brink of an argument and I can’t let it go because there WAS a black cat. If there weren’t a black cat I wouldn’t be passionate and it’s not even about the damn cat. It’s about her having seen it without locking it away as fact. And now I’m passionately digging through her mind to uncover this for her and it never works. It just never works.”

The bartender placed his Manhattan on the oak bar. He was afraid to taste it. “Why are you so fired up? You’re yelling.” she asked.

He wasn’t yelling, but that hardly mattered. “You’re right. I was remembering a time when someone wasn’t able to handle truth. And that pisses me off.”

“He’s not normal. He’ll talk to you, but he’s here and somewhere else too. Don’t mind him.” Pete said to the bartender.

Eric nodded in agreement. He slowly lifted the rocks glass filled with Manhattan. He brought the drink to his nose, smelled the tempting aroma of whiskey mixed with sweet vermouth, and tilted the glass. He wouldn’t need to order another. Unless he wanted to.

“You make a good drink. It’s exacting.” Eric said to the bartender. “Pete, take out your cell phone. You’re going to have her number.”

Pete had known Eric since childhood. He opened his new-contact screen in his cell and placed it on the bar.

She took Pete’s phone, entered her name, then number. She said nothing. She attempted a smile. She looked at Eric with something resembling anger. Beneath that was truth and that was all that mattered.

 

About
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/m-taggart/

Contact
https://mtaggartwriter.wordpress.com/contact/

The Good Life

I just bit my tongue
hard while sneezing
In the background I hear
“There goes Daddy!”
I was washing bottles
Now I have blood filling
my mouth with soap suds
dripping from my hands
I can feel another coming
I smile as it loads

-M. Taggart