To be happy

I can’t write with a cat in the room. I don’t know how Hemingway did. I like knowing that I don’t need to know everything. I’m not the man who implies to know something when I don’t. I’d much rather say, “I don’t know.” I don’t see the point of lying in the field of knowing. Either I know, or I don’t, the rest is a game. I don’t play those types of games. And, my son just woke up. I can hear him playing in his room. He’s talking to a stuffed animal. Writing time is up! I have a present for him downstairs and I want to watch him open it. Seeing my son and wife happy makes me happy and I know how to do that.

Cheers everyone,

Matt

How’s Your Wife

A few months back I was having a beer at the pub
The bartender always spoke highly of her husband
It’s nice to hear
I was reading short stories written by Hemingway
people asked what I was reading
I answered, “Hemingway”
She asked me, “What is it this time”
I said, “Hem”
She rattled off a number of stories written by a number of authors
I told her how good it was to hear how she loved her husband

A few weeks back I stopped at the brew store to buy good beer
A man was standing near the cash register talking
He’d already paid for his beer
he talked a lot
“When I go to a concert the girls love me. Last year this girl asked
if I wanted in on her and her friend.”
I asked, “How’s your wife?”
He told me a few more interesting things about the concert
and how amazing he was with women
“You know what I mean?” he asked..
I replied, “I actually like my wife.”

A few days ago I was having a beer at the pub
I was reading Bukowski
A few people asked what I was reading
I said, “Buk”
The bartender said, “I love his writing.”
I asked how she was and how her husband was

Today I stopped at the brew store for good beer
A man stood next to the cash register not talking
He shook hands with the owner of the brew store
“I’m sorry” the owner said
then the man hugged him
alone and alone and alone

I didn’t ask how his wife was

-M. Taggart

Don’t Go

The thinker is often punished for thinking.

Anxiety had me up early this morning. Megan took the day off. I went downstairs, made coffee, ignored my chest, thought about my chest, picked up the living room where Gavin stores all of his toys, vacuumed, started the dish washer, did 131 jumping jacks, stretched, and indoor walked for 30 fucking minutes.

Anxiety has no schedule. I try and manage it by putting it back into its place by staying busy and thinking. I try not to think because that’s the problem. So half my plan is solid nearly all the time. All joking aside, I haven’t dealt with this serious of an anxiety attack in a long, long while. Megan took the day off for a follow up appointment with the doctor. When I found Megan bleeding to death on the bathroom floor I was flat lined emotionally. I have been for weeks. Unfortunately emotion has a way of unfolding itself if you’ve kept it hidden.

So I’m vacuuming this morning and I’m indoor walking and I’m drinking my coffee and I’m thinking when I realized what’s really the root of this particular anxiety attack. I’m going to miss Megan. She leaves on Sunday morning. Super Bowl Sunday Morning. We are both football fans. Football Sunday is a big family day for us. She’s leaving in the morning and will be gone until the following Sunday. Megan works her ass off and has created an amazing career and at times, needs to be gone. Gavin sometimes walks to the door and tries to open the door asking for Mommy. Try that one on for size knowing he nearly lost her for ever.

 

Matt

work in progress – home

A man sits on a wooden bench
unable to know home
and with all of his knowledge
He is dead
He sits alone

The bench, surrounded by forest-
Listens for him
as the wind rushes along the tops of the trees
while the man rests his palms on his knees-
His dried knuckles have cracked and wrinkled
for the man lived lived and lived-

They had begun on the coast
wearing large smiles
eventually finding this forest
where a bench begged to be built
along the edge of a soon to be
orchard

She had picked their bench
a nicely fallen oak
and asked for it to point
here, toward the slope,
where they could sit hand in hand
and listen to the wind
as it passed along the tops of the trees
bringing sounds of the ocean again

Now she was gone
and he sits all alone
looking at the forest
knowing he’d never
be home

 

 

An Uneven Unity – A Short Story

An Uneven Unity: Fiction

Written by -M. Taggart copyright 2016

 

‘Hun, why are you stomping?’

‘I’m not stomping. I’m trying to put things away.’ She said with a tone.

His wife generally stomped when she was busy. She also seemed upset and almost angry. Her eyes were tense and she gave one word answers. A few minutes earlier he had heard her car door close. He was excited she was home. He’d put his boots on and opened the door. She had an arm load of groceries. He smiled wide and asked how her day was. She pushed through the door and passed him. ‘Good.’ She had rushed into the kitchen and put the bags on the counter and immediately went into the bathroom. He thought about asking her if she was alright through the door, but knew it wouldn’t go well. Instead, he brought in the rest of the groceries.

Now, as he read at the table, he watched her stomp. ‘How was your day Hun?’

‘I told you. Good.’ And again she rushed passed him stomping as she went.

He felt the familiar twinge of disappointment spreading. ‘Well, did anything exciting happen?”

‘No. It was work. And why do you always start a conversation with me by saying something like I’m stomping. That puts me in a bad mood. You know it does. You’re like the men I work with. I’m sorry to tell you, but not all women walk lightly. That’s sexist. I walk how I walk and it’s not stomping. I’m busy and getting things done so I can relax like you.’

‘It wasn’t sexist. Calm down. From my point of view, it was a fact. You seem to be stomping. And you seem unhappy. I want you not to be unhappy and I want to help, but I don’t know how.’ Now his body was fully and completely disappointed. He’d gone too far and now it was his fault. He could have let her finish with her mood on her own, but instead he needled because he was not a sexist and he felt he needed to defend himself. But, to what end, he thought.

‘Don’t tell me to calm down!’ She snapped. ‘Now I am unhappy and it’s because of you.’ Her eyes were full of anger. She seemed to look at him as though she didn’t enjoy him and wished he were gone.

He tried to find his piece within his book. He knew to not reply. To leave her alone. He’d apologize later.

‘You know what?’ she said, ‘It would be nice if you’d have a conversation with me instead of reading all the time. I get home and your face is stuck in a book. You don’t talk to me. It’s as if you don’t even know me.’

The light was fading, the day was nearing to an end. Soon it would be dusk and then dark. Eventually he would walk upstairs to their bedroom. His wife would already be asleep. He’d slide his jeans off as quietly as he could and slowly get into bed. He’d think about putting his arm over his wife and pulling her close and whispering he loved her and kissing the back of her head. He wouldn’t do this for fear of waking her and becoming angry with him.