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.

A Short Story-

In a Face
Short Story- Nonfiction
Written by -M. Taggart

In a Face

 

You can see intelligence in a face.

In college I was told by one of my English professors to not bother writing a book.
Actually, he told me that I wouldn’t. And to not bother.

I asked him why. He said, “It takes a lot of work to write a book. And so many students say they will, but they don’t. Or, a book is started and not finished.”

He was bald. He was having a hard time pushing his material into his carry bag. Which,
For some reason was already slung over his shoulder.

I’m bald. I was going bald while in college. I don’t care who’s bald.
He was bald.

So there he was, this man-thing, telling me to not bother writing a book.

I don’t want to be a writer
I am a writer.

But, he didn’t know this, he wouldn’t understand even if he did.
My professor had just told me his struggles to write a book were my own.

Another thing he didn’t know was that I had already written. A lot. And I wasn’t an English major. I took English classes because they were my young-adult recess.

When I read Kafka’s Metamorphosis we dissected it with a professor’s assistant.
She was Russian and spoke broken English. Our class of over 400 was broken down into small segments. My group was roughly 15.

We met with her every Tuesday at 4pm.
She would constantly ask for my interpretation of Kafka’s work.
I wondered if she asked for my opinion so often because I wasn’t afraid to speak in front of others. But, that was a lie. I knew why she asked. I just didn’t allow myself to accept it, not just yet. Isn’t it funny how we do this to ourselves.

She was driven by literature. She listened, and thought about her responses
before delivering. She would ask us what authors we enjoyed. Then she’d write the names of the authors in her notebook.

She was beautiful. Her mind. Her broken English.
Her struggle to express.
She seldom made facial expressions. Her eyes danced while listening.

You can see intelligence in a face.

A Simple Kiss

I used to read books
While walking the UMASS campus
in Amherst, Massachusetts
I’d walk and read
and maneuver through crowds
Going from class to class
then back to the parking lot
Sometimes it was so windy
I couldn’t hold the book open
And one time
a tall, beautiful girl, kissed me
Flat out kissed me because I was reading a book
I guess
I’m not entirely sure
I didn’t ask her
I kept walking
It was a simple thing
I suppose it was an odd thing
but it was a nice thing

-M. Taggart