Short – Last Night is Today?

I like life. I had beers while moving all of the storage unit items from the garage to the basement and bonus room above the garage. I’ve never had a garage. Not one of my own. It’s going to snow tomorrow and I think my truck wants to be inside. I’m not positive because the truck doesn’t actually speak, or think, but I do think it’s possible it would rather be inside.

I enjoyed standing in our garage while listening to the plow truck last night. I think he was drinking beer too. Now though, this very moment, I’m sitting in my office looking out of the window at a very grey-dusty looking morning sky. The storm has yet to start. I still don’t know what the plow truck was plowing.

My coffee is hot and smells exactly how I had hoped it would. All I will do now is finish typing these last few words and settle into the rest of something.

I hope your day treats you well,

-Matt

My Life

The rain was pounding down while I was driving back to Western, MA.
Easily a place to be considered as a non-destination within the construct
of my current mindset. I’d rather not drive in the pouring rain; to a town
I dislike to visit, to then park on the street, within feet of the very courthouse
that put me in jail twenty years ago. I’m a realist however. I was in a fist fight.
I won. He lost. He got what he deserved. I got what I deserved. End of story.

It’s simple really. I applied for an electricians helper license in the state of Maine.
One of the online questions was this, “Have you ever been convicted of anything
in any court of law.” I have. I was, and I wasn’t about to lie. Lying is the weakness
laying in the corners of every mind and only the simplest of people lean in that direction
on purpose or very often as to prove to themselves that only fake can control their outcome.

I answered, “Yes.”

Next page please. However, instead of a new set of questions,
I read a pop-up informing me that the state of Maine Electricians Board will need documentation from the court concerning the conviction. along with a letter written by
me explaining the circumstances. Oh, how I enjoyed the writing of that letter! I may have mentioned that the judge who sentenced me can be found on YouTube slapping a police officer while intoxicated in the town of Northampton, MA, and has since been removed of duty. Funny how things like that happen. Funny too, that as part of my sentence handed down by this incredible being of life, was that I was to NEVER step foot in the premises of said ‘Burger King’ again. And, funny too, that I decided to drive to this fine establishment after having visited the courthouse, documents in hand, to find that this particular Burger King has failed. The windows are boarded up and the Burger King sign is dismantled/falling down. The building is in decay. Apparently I won this one, too.

I’ve never been ashamed of my jail sentence. I believe my time there was important, and is as important to me as having put myself through college and graduating with a BA from the Isenberg School of Management, UMASS, Amherst.

My helpers license is in my wallet. Let’s see what else I can do.

Work for it

Tomorrow I’ll work twelve hours. Maybe more. I took a second job. We need money. The build is going over budget. As they do, and I am happy to do what I need to do. Pulling wire isn’t what some wish to do, but I am among the few that will know how to do it. My company is functioning, too. Always. It’s been fifteen years of slathering my mind all over what to make it. I’ve made it tick long enough. If it can’t continue without me holding its hand I’ll see it when it wakes up, dust out its corners and revive what’s worth caring for. So here I sit, yet again with a beer, looking out our condo window thinking of the build. The great build. Or, so it is for us. Our tiny family- our house on the hill. Our second story windows face north and happens to be where my office is going to be. I’ll watch blizzards from my office window while reading a good book. It’s worth the hours of work. Twelve hour days with sweat running down my back is a gift to feel while knowing we’ll have what we’ve always wanted after the sweat has dried; receding into the same stillness that helped create it.

-M. Taggart

Slippers

“Come on bud, it’s time for your nap.”
I trudged toward the stairway, he followed.
I kicked my L.L. Bean slippers off .
“Take your slippers off. You don’t need them.”
Gavin took his slippers off and placed them in mine. Left in left. Right in right. The baseball watched it happen.

After I rocked Gavin to sleep I walked back down the stairs. I felt as though I was dreaming. I have a son who wanted his slippers inside my own who had just fallen asleep on my chest listening to my heartbeat after I had sung him to sleep.

The baseball was still there. My memories were too. Coaching baseball saved my life. And now I have another life far more important than mine to care for. I’m not going anywhere and I can’t wait for tomorrow and the next day. And the day after that.

 

-M. Taggart

slippers
truth

 

poem-

Yesterday evening I taped trees
The cement footings are poured and the build is very much under way
Our contractor left tape for us to use for wrapping around trees
to indicate to the excavation crew which to remove
I used the entire roll
In all 39 trees will be gone
And as soon as I have more tape
More trees will be gone
Some might become angry reading this
I’m fine with that
The entire region was once completely cleared
Every Single Tree
Now the forest is thick and clustered
It needs to be thinned
So, I’ll drag my beer along
Tape a few more treees
And continue being me-
While on the land I listened
to the birds play and the insects buzz
The wind picked up slightly
I leaned against my truck
opened a beer
and watched the clouds move

Build

Yes. This is our build.

A Short Story – No Thanks, Lady

Short Story
Non Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart
7/8/18

 

No Thanks, Lady

 

Yesterday evening I went to the pub to have a beer, relax, and read Hemingway. Kim, the bartender, asked how Megan and Gavin were doing. I told her they are good and happy. After she brought the beer I dove into my book.

I needed a moment to clear my head.

A woman zeroed in on me. She sat on the stool next to me. She put her hand on my back and called me baby. I tried to ignore her.

Kim saw that I was annoyed. She came over and asked what I was reading. I told her which short story and that it was Hemingway. I told her that his sentence structure and delivery of words seems to calm me.

The woman sitting next to me told me I was a man of depth. She put her hand on my left arm, near the bend in my elbow and squeezed while leaning closer to me. She told me she would know because she’s a therapist.

Kim looked concerned for me and again asked how Megan and Gavin were doing. I quickly replied they were doing good while flashing my ring in the woman’s face. I told Kim that the building of our house was in full motion.

My thoughts raced. I wanted to scream at this disgusting being. I wanted to tell her to get her fucking hands off of me. I’m not a piece of meat. I would never do this to another person. But I didn’t. I had fought enough earlier in the day. I didn’t want to again.

I had purposefully chosen the bar stool closest to the wall. Hell, I had waited for it to open while standing in the corner. I wanted to be alone, with my book, around people without being touched. I dislike being touched. But I calmed myself and listened to her tell me about addiction. About how bad the town was suffering. She told me about all of this while licking her lips constantly. She even removed her glasses and tried her best attempt to show me her younger self.

She droned on and on and said, “I don’t fucking know, there’s the f word, I never say fuck, I don’t fucking know how to fix these addicts. I don’t know what to do.” All while finding any possible avenue to touch my shoulder, arm, back, and even reaching for my hand, the one with the wedding ring. “Do you know what I’m saying, baby, don’t you feel their pain. I pulled away, pushing myself into the wall the best I could. Then she made the mistake of calling me brilliant. She doesn’t know me. I’ve hardly spoken and now I’m brilliant? More like now I’m the therapist. This is nothing new to me. People latch on to me and vomit. I sit and I listen and I smile and I think. This person is a dime a dozen and when I was done listening to what I could gather for writing material I told her ever so nicely, “It’s time for me to read my book.” And I let her fade away into realizing how little I cared for her attempt at knowing me.

I ignored her when she tried to engage me again. She paid, quickly finished her drink, and left the pub.

I did want to ask her a few questions. Such as, “What are you views on sexism?” But I didn’t. I did tell her that I was a writer. She didn’t listen. But I did. I learned she isn’t capable enough to help her addicted clients to the level she wishes and she wasn’t aware enough to know I was going to use her possible sex addiction in a short story. That’s what happens when people talk too much and don’t listen.

 

-M. Taggart

 

I close my curtain

You can learn from a curtain
Some demand to stay closed
I’m drinking a new beer
made in Massachusetts
I try not to think about that
The beer is good, not great
But I like it so I’m drinking more
Sometimes a definition of a word
sticks to my brain, but when I speak it
It sounds all wrong
It reminds me of when I speak truth
while no one sees
So I slowly peer out my window
And close the curtain

-M. Taggart

A Child Hopes

A Child Hopes

Fiction
Written by -M. Taggart

 

A child too young to crawl had no parents. A man placed the child in a crib and walked away while listening to its suffering cries. The infant had no understanding of the fading footsteps, but fully felt the abandonment.

Near the crib, carved into the cold stone wall, was the saying, ‘These stones wash my mind.’ A smiling face was left as a signature.

A nine-year-old had created the message.

Etched into the wood floor beneath the infant’s crib was another, ‘My thoughts are new this morning having never been thought before.’  Another smiling face was left as a signature.

**

‘What are you doing?’ Nick’s grandfather asked.

‘Reading.’ Nick replied. He held onto a nail. He was helping his grandfather in the garage.

‘Oddly, I never read much. But, when I did, it changed me.’

Nick’s grandfather was a large man. He wore grey work pants and a white t-shirt with suspenders.

‘Grandpa, what does this means? “These stones wash my mind.” That’s what it says in the book.’

Nick’s grandfather stopped fidgeting with the bird feeder he was building. Looking at the rafters, then his boots, he shook his head, ‘You might want to find another book.’ He reached a window with his eyes, and noticed how the sunlight spilled around the clouds.

Nick didn’t want to find another book. This book was too important. And he didn’t miss his grandfather’s face when he’d asked. He saw. He saw fully. Nick looked at the nail in his hand. It was metal. It smelled like metal. It looked like metal. It tasted like metal. But these words didn’t taste, or look like anything, but words. Though, he felt them.

‘Why didn’t you read much? That doesn’t make sense. If it changed you, was it for the better, or worse.’ Nick asked.

‘They were fluff. So much fluff. And the eyes reading them never cared. They read because they read. But, a few, changed me because they were meant to be written. And when I read them they made me to see.’

‘To see what?’

‘That’s not really the question. ‘These stones wash my mind.’ That’s the question. Be careful to not lose focus. If you want an answer to a question, truly want it, never stop until that one question is fully answered. Then, move to the next.’

Nick felt shamed. His cheeks filled red with emotion. He stood to walk from the garage and let the nail drop to the cement floor. It wasn’t that he couldn’t focus.

‘If you had answered my question the first time I asked it, I wouldn’t have had to rework new questions to again come to the first. And if it’s too hard for you to talk about, why’d you write the book?’

Nick walked out of the garage. Sunlight lit his young shoulders.

 

***

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First Light

If you can’t admire the brilliance of first light
I suggest looking in the mirror and telling yourself you’re worth it
Trust yourself a bit more, Love yourself deeper
Because you can’t admire the light if you’ve
Never truly seen it

-M. Taggart

I can be simple if you let it be

The Old Dam – 1912

I remember the cement stairs leading down to the tunnel
I remember the dampness of the walls, the deepening darkness
It was after midnight-
I stood at bottom of the stairwell and at the beginning of the tunnel
I couldn’t see to the other side
I felt the strength of the entire river above me
along with the loneliness of the ghosts
I wondered if they were here
I wanted to believe the stories
The old dam had taken more than one-
The tunnel was built under the dam to house the pumps
which opened and closed the flood gates
I needed to walk the entire length of the tunnel
to open a valve on the very last pump
The hanging lights flickered as I waked underneath them
A few had burned out-
Water trickled down the walls
I could smell and even taste the mustiness
I was forcing myself to feel comfortable
My safety goggles had collected moisture
My ear plugs were irritating me.
I felt agitated. But mostly
I didn’t feel I was alone
I forced myself to look back toward the stairwell
What did I see?
Who knows. Maybe all of these words are fictitious
Or, maybe this is written it exactly as it was

-M. Taggart