Musings – Thanks to Steinbeck. He’s fucking good.

Time doesn’t exist. Thoughts do. In Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath I’m reminded of my opinion of Time.

Walk in my mental hallway a moment. Below is an excerpt from The Grapes of Wrath published in 1939.

“For a moment she hesitated uncertainly. “Well,” she said quickly, “why ain’t you prayin”? You’re a preacher, ain’t you?”

Casy’s strong fingers blundered over to Grandpa’s wrist and closed around it. “I tol’ you, Granma. I ain’t a preacher no more.”

“Pray anyway,” she ordered. “You know all the stuff by heart.”

“I can’t” said Casy. “I don’t know what to pray for or who to pray to.”

This is significant to me. This book was published in 1939. The great depression had destroyed family bonds attached to land that never ought to have been taken from them. What stands out the most within this small sample is Casy’s struggle with his faith. In this book, Casy, had been a preacher. His line, ‘I don’t know what to pray for or who to pray to.’ Rings as loudly now as it did then. And, I’m sure, was among the reasons this book was banned at one time.

I’m not done.

Man-vs-Man. We all know this, along with Man-vs-Nature, etc within writing. Not two pages later Steinbeck put this thought to paper helping it to live on forever.

“Pa said softly, “Grampa buried his pa with his own hand, done it in dignity, an’ shaped the grave nice with his own shovel. That was a time when a man had the right to be buried by his son an’ a son had the right to bury his own father.”

“The law says different now,” said Uncle John.”

Again, published in 1939. Do you see? Here’s what I see. Forget the man-vs-man shit, I’m seeing humans. I’m seeing people having the same thoughts over and over and over. A friend of mine might say, “What’s the country coming to? When I was a kid I…things aren’t like they use to be…The Laws Are Different Now.”

Really? Are you sure? Let’s play pretend. Let’s say that my friend who complained about the country was 38. Let’s say my friend stopped their education at 18 and seldom read. Let’s pretend that my friend didn’t start to have an awakening of the mind until 26 which helped them to actually see the world around them for what it truly is. In this theory, my friend has been an individual thinker for twelve years.

Steinbeck has given us a glimpse into the past with his thoughts. Some of his thoughts are the same thoughts many of us have now. It’s possible another fifty years will pass and I’ll be saying thing’s like the characters in Steinbeck’s book. I doubt it. I think I’d rather prompt the individual probing my mental hallway to read a fucking book.

Bar Stool Happenings

I sat at the bar. My mug was full of beer. The man to my left talked of politics and the three men to my right talk of the bartender. When she turned to pour a beer they said, under their breath, that she had a nice ass and her chest was large. My beer was good. The man to my left wanted to tell me about the kids in school. He said that kids no longer received the education he did and that the country would die. The three men to my right talked of her tits. My beer was in front of me. Then, the man to my left told me about his father. His father was there, on D-Day, and he knew. The men on my right wanted to know if the bartender realized her chest was large. My beer was empty.

Early Morning

Great ideas come and go, execution hardly happens.  -M. Taggart.

I wrote that years ago before taking on a massive, multiple year, charity project. I scratched the thought down on a small piece of paper and tapped it to my monitor and refrigerator door. I read it constantly until the project was complete.  Pen to paper. Executing thoughts, even when jumbled and incorrect in grammar, are far more important than doing nothing.

In Which We Are Amused – A Short Story. Cheers.

Written by M. Taggart-  Fiction.

Standing over the toilet, he held onto himself and wondered, “Why?”   It was just last night he had told himself, no more. The bubbles grew and he hit them with a part of himself.

She was laying in the other room, in his bed.  Thinking she was asleep, he opened the fridge door and pulled out a can of beer.  The can echoed as he opened it and that was fine with him.  He placed the beer down, empty.

He looked at his kitchen and thought, “I’m a failure.  Look at this.”

The room was trying to spin, but he held on, settled it down and looked in the direction of his bedroom door.  It was open.  It looked dark, too dark for comfort.

She heard him relieving himself, with the door open.  She listened as it went on for at least three minutes, but “How was that possible?” she thought.

She’d met him that night.  He was very handsome and they’d had dinner, he paid, and now she was here.  Naked and smelling his sheets.  They smelled like him and she didn’t know why, but she wanted to keep smelling them.  She heard another can of beer being opened and wondered why he wanted to do that.

He stepped past the kitchen counter, which caught his hip, and fell.  The wood floor helped to slow his fall.

“Are you alright?” she asked.  She’d gotten up from his bed and was now viewing him.

Smiling, wild eyed, and naked, he replied “I’m good.”

“Do you think they’ll be upset?”

“Downstairs?  I don’t much care if they are.”

“That’s not very nice.”

“Neither is the counter, but who cares.”

“I care,” she said with a serious look.

“Really?  Why’s that?”  Shifting and lifting himself up, watching her, watch him.

“I care because it was loud.”

“And did you care when you were loud?”

She covered herself with her hands.  “I don’t remember.”

“Let’s not bother with this.  Want a beer?”

“I’d rather a water.”

“A water with Whiskey?” He asked.

“No, I’d like a water.  No whiskey.  Do you drink often?” she asked.

He walked slowly to the sink and reached into his cupboard for a glass.  He filled the glass with water and turned to her, “I drink when I’m drinking,” and held the glass out for her.

“That’s lovely,” she replied and tried to be upset.  He was smiling at her and his arm was reaching toward her.  “He had a nice smile,” she thought.

“I’m not going to stand, and hold this all night.  I think you ought to come get it.”

“Who talks like that?” she asked.

He looked down, at his floor, then at his counter.  It was rustic.  There was a coffee maker and a dish dryer on top of the counter.  At the back of his kitchen there was a towel for drying dishes.  He looked at the towel.  Nothing was to see.

She watched him, “He’s not like anyone I know.  He’s handing me a glass of water, but, I see a life,” she thought.  She stepped closer, closing in and reaching.

She was naked and reaching, and he watched her, “Is this a first?” He wondered.  She’d seen his kitchen and his kitchen sink towel.  She asked, “Who talks like that?” and he looked again at the towel.

She stood, just behind the counter, enough for him to see what he liked.  “He looked sad,” she thought.  She wanted to smell him, his shoulders, and his cheeks.

“What are you doing?” he asked.

“Watching.  I’m watching and thinking,” She replied.


Ahhh, more to come on this one.  I think. –M. Taggart.


Note: If you enjoyed this story, you might also like my self published story, Don’t Be A Sally- Based on True Events- Which you can find on amazon and in your iBook store.