Category Archives: Insta-Piece

Insta-Piece – When The Weird Wind Whistles, You Listen

Where: Work, 20 minutes before I have to leave early for a 5:30 therapy session


When the weird wind whistles through the graveyard, you listen.  Doberman ears pinned back to the base of your scalp, the short hairs on the back of your neck pricked to attention.  Any disturbance could be a thousand possibilities, each more interesting than the last.  The scrape of a dead leaf on a granite slab.  Far off tires on a country road.  The clicking of bony fingers on the base of a gravestone.

It’s hard to tell exactly what’s what when the weird wind whistles.  When you live a life of noisy twaddle, you become bad at quiet.  Ringtones and message alerts all put to silent.  The stillness tastes like sawdust.  Dry.  Crusty.  In the midst of the cemetery, surrounded by markers, grave blankets and dime store bouquets, it’s hard to tell what’s lurking, what caused the swoosh to your back.  If the howl in the distance was man-made or monster.

It’s mesmerizing.  Caught in the stillness, it’s impossible to distinguish click from clack.  You get wrapped up in the solitude, secure you’re alone when in reality, you’re not.  Always something in the darkness, crawling along on all fours with tatters of old suits hanging from dirty ribs.  A ragged creature with an always open eyeball, looking for a friend to drag into the darkness.  That chomp.  Was that an ancient bear trap snaring a rabbit or the jaws of a once dead clamping open and shut.  Teeth ground to dagger points.  Ready to rip think thigh meat from your femur.

The next time the weird wind whistles, be sure to listen.  Listen well.

Insta-Piece – Gliding Towards Mystery

Where – Walking home with a sickly stomach, playground outside the school on 60-something and 1st, 7:00 in the evening.
The green painted concrete rolled slow below him. Grey sweatshirt, held tight to his elbows by protective gear. Dark grey sweatpants secured to his legs by matching knee pads. Each stumbling kick pushes him forward, his rollerblades making the sound of crumbling gravel as he goes back and forth. His voice is low amongst the kick flip skaters and bored teenagers.

“Looks so easy when she does it.”

His torso wobbles and pitches as he tries to pick up speed. The sound of wind blows past his ear and for a moment he feels right. Focused.  In control. Thoughts of Mystery run through his mind and he dares a big stride. The coming twilight is his motivation. Now or never.

As his foot hits pavement, he hears a high sweep as the front wheel slips. His frictionless foot slides up in a Rockettes kick, gravity grabs and tosses him down in violent pull. The second his rear hits the ground, his lower back yelps and seizes. Off to the left, he can hear the sound of young chuckling.

Without a pause, he hoists himself back to his bladed feet. As he regains balance, a young woman speeds towards him from the group of teenage skaters. The wheels on her feet dance towards him as she skids to a stop.

“Dad! You OK?”

He looks at her, full of youth and power. She could fall a thousand times and continue to get back up. Would fall a thousand times. Would have to.

“Fine? I’m great, Mys. First fall of the day. See you next week?”

The wind from the approaching night blew frosty, Winter and Spring battling it out for March’s weather forecast. The sound of the 7:00 traffic ebbed away as Mystery took his hand. It felt like sandpaper, rough and gritty from weekends of fall, scrapes and near misses.

“Next week we’ll try the park, Dad. I think you’re ready.”

Insta-Piece – Smoke Curls Up From The Manhole

Where – Waiting For Jamie Outside 1411 Broadway

Drip drop rain-plops spit from the grey sky, 6:46 PM on a gloomy Tuesday. The world buzzes out and around like ants from a colony, all with purpose, whether they know it or not. A series of ones and zeroes all connected yet independent in the great program of right now.

Smoke pours from the manhole cover on 41st and Broadway. The mist filters out the neon blare of Times Square billboards and tourist-centric distraction. The smoke is a friend, a reminder of Scorcese’s NYC: Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, After Hours. 1970’s sex, drugs and decadence. The time of Cesear with more trannies.

The smoke has left and the glare pushes through but I wish that mist would return, the movie in my head playing over and over with a Miles Davis song cooing on the soundtrack. Wet sound of cabs screaming southbound, the damp footfalls of shoes on pavement, the smell of food truck meat simmering on open griddles. The scene is set as the colony slithers and stretches into the foggy night. And my minds wanders off to scenes yet filmed.