A Walk in the Park

Yesterday was Memorial Day. It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, the temperature perfect. So, I decided to take a walk in the park.

It being a holiday, I knew it would be crowded. I prefer to have the place to myself, so I usually go on the weekdays. But I figured what the hell? I could put up with people for a short while; it was just too sensational a day to stay indoors. Besides, if I stayed home, I’d be chained to the computer marketing my new book. So I ran … I mean I walked to the park.

Now let me tell you about our park. It juts out into Gloucester Harbor. On one side you can look out to the Atlantic Ocean—on the other, the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, with its quaint New England houses lining the shoreline.

I walked in along the beach where the water’s edge gently lapped at the white sand. The smell of seaweed filled the air; the bright sunlight sparkled on the blue water. All was well. God was in His heaven looking down at what He had wrought, and smiling. His angels, the seraphim and cherubim, sang to the glory of the day. And me, I was happy to be alive.

Up ahead, I spied a family swarming around a picnic table. I say “swarming” because it was a large family—from small children to aged grandparents. The grill was going full blast with a beautiful young woman doing the honors. I saw a cute little girl wandering up from the beach. One of the women approached her, and in a soft, melodious voice spoke a few words in a strange dialect, one I could not place. But it was definitely Asian. That’s when I noticed the family was Asian. That’s when the smile I’d been wearing since leaving the house broadened into a wide grin.

Here was an Asian family—on Memorial Day—grilling and picnicking and looking more American than apple pie and baseball combined! Being a writer (at least that’s my excuse for being nosy), I had to know where they were from. And what was that euphonious language they spoke?

I realized it was presumptuous and arrogant on my part to think they were from anywhere other than the Good Ol’ U.S. of A. They probably had lived in Gloucester longer than I have. Without an invitation to join them, I approached a man wearing a cowboy hat and dark shades. So as to not come off as a complete a-hole, I asked, “Where are you all from … I mean originally?” And he said, “I’m from Puerto Rico. I’m the black sheep of the family.”

Okay, I wasn’t ready for that. But I quickly regrouped and said, “How about the rest of the family?” He answered, “Cambodia.”

He introduced me to his lovely wife, Sovanmuny—Muny for short. She was the woman who had been tending the grill. His name was Julio. They were very nice people and invited me to join them in their Memorial Day celebration. I politely declined their kind offer because I had smuggled a couple beers into the park and I was more thirsty than hungry.

Down the ways a bit, my usual table was taken up by another large family. And by large, I mean large. There had to be twenty of ’em. They, too, had the prerequisite grill fired up and were going to town cooking hotdogs and hamburgers—real Memorial Day food. I’m sure they had some potato salad lurking somewhere.

I took a nearby table and popped a Heineken. I had my back to the family because I didn’t want them to see me pour my beer into a Dunkin Donuts coffee cup. (I’m such a sneaky bastard!) Anyway, I got settled and started to enjoy the day more fully, now that I wasn’t exerting myself by walking.

There was a light breeze coming in off the ocean and it felt good as I sat in the warm sunshine, drinking my Heineken from a paper cup. I was thinking how lucky I was to live in such a nice town in such a great country.

It wasn’t long before I noticed the people in the large family behind me were speaking to each other in a foreign tongue. But this one I knew. It was Spanish. They were probably talking about me and didn’t want me to know what they were saying. I’m sure the women were saying what a fine, handsome specimen of manhood I was. And the men were envying my strong, masculine physique.

I paid them no mind and resumed my contemplations. Then a third family came and took the last remaining table in our little section. I could tell by looking at them, they were from India. They had brought all the accoutrements for a day at the park. And it wasn’t long before the grill was up and running and soda cans popped. They, too, spoke their own language.

I finished my first beer and started in on my second. I don’t know if it was the beer or what, but the day seemed to be getting even better. Suddenly, the idea to write this story came to me. Here I am, sitting in the middle of a quintessential small American town surrounded by people speaking everything but English. I had to write about it, but before I did, I needed a few facts.

I approached the Hispanic family and asked them where they were from. At first they looked a little fearful. Who was this interloper? How dare he ask us where we’re from? He looks kinda pasty. Where is he from? When I explained I was a writer and that writers are just naturally inquisitive and I meant them no harm, one of the women said, “We’re from Guatemala.”

I said in a loud voice so they all could hear me, “That’s wonderful! It’s people like you who make this country great. Me not so much, but definitely you folks.” That broke the ice. Everyone broke out in big smiles and I was invited to stay for dinner or lunch or whatever it’s called when your barbequing in a park on a beautiful day. Once again, I declined. I was running low on beer and would have to resupply before too long. I left them with the only Spanish phrase that I know, “Que tengas un buen dia.” (Have a nice day.) They all laughed at my pronunciation, but appreciated the effort.

As long as I was making the circuit, I hit the table with the Indian family. I asked what language they were speaking and was told Bengali. They were very nice and put up with me and my questions. After a few minutes, I wished them well and returned to my table to finish my beer.

As I sat there listening to Khmer, Spanish, and Bengali spoken all around me, I once again thought, “What a great country I live in.” And just for the record, everyone I talked to that day spoke English better than me (or is it I?).

A Conversation with a Friend

Jesus

I was hanging out the other night at the Tiki Hut, minding my own business, when a voice behind me said, “Hey man, what’s up?”

I should first explain that the Tiki Hut is an edifice here at the marina where I live. The denizens of said marina congregate there on occasion to commune with one another. I, on the other hand, avoid it like the plague. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like being around people, but that particular evening I had the place to myself.

I turned around, and standing there was this dude I had never seen before, although he did look kind of familiar.

“Hello,” I said in response. I was a little perturbed at having my solitude interrupted, but decided not to be rude. “Are you new here?” I asked in a friendly manner.

“Somewhat.”

I mentally shrugged. I didn’t care one way or the other, I was being polite. Well, I had done my part and started to head back to my boat. I had a six-pack of cold beers waiting for me and I thought it about time I paid it some attention.

“Want a beer?”

It was the dude. He was holding a plastic grocery bag that I had not noticed before. It definitely had the outline of a six-pack. Figuring the guy might be lonely, and thinking I might as well do my Christian duty, I said, “Sure, why not?” I would have a beer and we’d shoot the shit and then I’d get the hell out of there. I reckoned I could put up with him for the time it would take to drink one beer.

He reached into the bag and came out with two bottles of my favorite beer. Things were looking up. He did the honors of popping the caps and we both took a long pull of that cold, good-tasting beverage.

“So,” I said, “you moving in?”

“I’m thinking about it. I wanted to get a feel for the place first. Do you like living here?”

“It’s okay. As long as you pay your rent on time, they leave you alone.”

I’ll not bore you with the rest of the mundane conversation. That first beer led to a second and then a third. I was starting to warm up to the guy by the fourth. Then it dawned on me. We both had had four beers, but we started out with only one six-pack. When I mentioned that fact, he said, “No, you must be mistaken. There were two six-packs in the bag.”

Another mental shrug on my part.

As I popped the cap on my fifth beer, he asked me, “So, what do you think of the state the world is in?”

If I had been asked that question on the first or second or even the third beer, I would have bolted. I don’t get into conversations like that. Truth be known, I generally don’t get into conversations at all. I live alone and I like it that way. I don’t have to please anyone and I sure as hell don’t have to answer stupid questions. But . . . I was on my fifth beer and the guy was buying. So, what the hell?

“It depends on what world you are talking about. My little world is doing just fine. I eat every day. And when it rains, I’m dry. What more could a man ask for?”

He nodded, but said nothing. Fueled by Guinness Stout, I went on.

“Now, if you’re asking about the world in general, I would have to say that for the majority of the people in it, the place is a shit-hole. Wouldn’t you say so?”

“I would say that the vast majority of the people on this planet are living the lives that they want to live.”

Now the guy was pissing me off. Being of Irish descent and having four and a half Guinnesses in me got me up on my soap box.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked with a drunken sneer.

“I have heard of Him, but I don’t know if I believe in Him.”

“Well, if God is real, how can he let the suffering go on? How can he allow a baby to get cancer? How can the son-of-a-bitch let the world get into the mess that it is in today?”

“Good questions, my friend. Very good questions.”

“Don’t patronize me, and hand me another of those goddamn beers.”

I was in rare form.

When I had been placated with my sixth beer (but who’s counting?), my new-found friend went on.

“Many people feel as you do. They use the same argument. ‘If there is a God, how can He allow the suffering?’ I think the answer is that there is no God. There is only the Oneness. There is only us. Perhaps we are all God. And if we are God, how could we allow ourselves to suffer?”

That was it for me. Free beer or not, I was out of there. The guy was crazy. But first I would finish my beer . . . just to be polite.

Then he went on.

“It’s a shame that we don’t believe in reincarnation because that would explain many things. If reincarnation was for real that would mean souls exist before birth. It might even mean that we choose our lives. That life is not a crap shoot.”

I was thinking, “You’re a crap shoot!”

“Do you know that physicists have proven, mathematically at least, that there is no such thing as time and that we are living in a hologram? And if that is so, then what does anything matter? Look at it this way. We live in a dimension known as space-time. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have time without space and you cannot have space without time. Right?”

“If you say so. How about another beer?” We were now into the third six-pack that wasn’t there. But what the fuck?

“Think of it this way. Space-time is a manifestation only of the physical plane. Off the physical plane, there is no space-time by definition. Correct?”

“Please stop asking me to confirm what you are saying. I’ll admit it makes sense . . . so far. So, I’ll sit here and listen to you as long as that magic bag keeps popping out Guinnesses.”

“Okay. Now visualize this. If you were to look into a dimension of time-space from a dimension of non-time-space, meaning a non-physical universe, what would you see?”

“Your momma!”

He smiled at me with such forbearance that I felt ashamed at having made such a flippant remark. And I sobered up instantly. “I’m sorry I said that. Please go on.”

“I take no offense and I assure you, ‘my momma’ takes no offense.”

I pushed my half-finished beer aside and waited. He didn’t seem drunk, yet he had had as many beers as I had. He took another deep swallow of his Guinness and continued.

“What you would see is all time happening at once. That is what you would see. Now, here’s my point. If all time happens at once and we are living in a hologram—a false reality if you will. And if we pre-exist before we are born, and if we know the lives we are going to live, and if there is no time, which means the duration of our lives are as one-millionth of the time it takes to blink an eye, then how are we harmed?”

A good question to which I had no answer. But I had to ask, “Who the hell are you?”

“I’ve been known by many names over many lives. My time on the space-time plane is over. I just come to visit once in a while because that’s what I do. I am a teacher. Sometimes to the multitudes, sometimes to just one lonely man thinking of drinking a beer by himself. In my last incarnation, I was known as Jesus Bar Joseph, or Jesus, Son of Joseph. In parting, let me say this. There is no God. There is only the Oneness and we are all fragments of that Oneness, playing out our existence. Working our way back to the Oneness where we will be reunited. There is no hell and there is no heaven. There is no loss, there is only us. Peace be with you, my friend.”

Then he glowed with such intensity that I had to cover my eyes. The brilliance was filled with love. I have never felt such love. I have never been so loved. It was all I could do not break down and cry right there on the spot.

Then he was gone.

Now I sit here pondering his words. If we are all One, then hiding from my neighbors might not be such a smart thing. I think I’ll invite that nice young couple who live a few boats over for a Sunday brunch. If I can make it through that, perhaps I’ll visit the Tiki Hut a little more often.

You never know who you might meet there.

A Conversation with a Friend

IMG_3239

I was hanging out the other night at the Tiki Hut, minding my own business, when a voice behind me said, “Hey man, what’s up?”

I should first explain that the Tiki Hut is an edifice here at the marina where I live. The denizens of said marina congregate there on occasion to commune with one another. I, on the other hand, avoid it like the plague. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like being around people, but that particular evening I had the place to myself.

I turned around, and standing there was this dude I had never seen before, although he did look kind of familiar.

“Hello,” I said in response. I was a little perturbed at having my solitude interrupted, but decided not to be rude. “Are you new here?” I asked in a friendly manner.

“Somewhat.”

I mentally shrugged. I didn’t care one way or the other, I was being polite. Well, I had done my part and started to head back to my boat. I had a six-pack of cold beers waiting for me and I thought it about time I paid it some attention.

“Want a beer?”

It was the dude. He was holding a plastic grocery bag that I had not noticed before. It definitely had the outline of a six-pack. Figuring the guy might be lonely, and thinking I might as well do my Christian duty, I said, “Sure, why not?” I would have a beer and we’d shoot the shit and then I’d get the hell out of there. I reckoned I could put up with him for the time it would take to drink one beer.

He reached into the bag and came out with two bottles of my favorite beer. Things were looking up. He did the honors of popping the caps and we both took a long pull of that cold, good-tasting beverage.

“So,” I said, “you moving in?”

“I’m thinking about it. I wanted to get a feel for the place first. Do you like living here?”

“It’s okay. As long as you pay your rent on time, they leave you alone.”

I’ll not bore you with the rest of the mundane conversation. That first beer led to a second and then a third. I was starting to warm up to the guy by the fourth. Then it dawned on me. We both had had four beers, but we started out with only one six-pack. When I mentioned that fact, he said, “No, you must be mistaken. There were two six-packs in the bag.”

Another mental shrug on my part.

As I popped the cap on my fifth beer, he asked me, “So, what do you think of the state the world is in?”

If I had been asked that question on the first or second or even the third beer, I would have bolted. I don’t get into conversations like that. Truth be known, I generally don’t get into conversations at all. I live alone and I like it that way. I don’t have to please anyone and I sure as hell don’t have to answer stupid questions. But . . . I was on my fifth beer and the guy was buying. So, what the hell?

“It depends on what world you are talking about. My little world is doing just fine. I eat every day. And when it rains, I’m dry. What more could a man ask for?”

He nodded, but said nothing. Fueled by Guinness Stout, I went on.

“Now, if you’re asking about the world in general, I would have to say that for the majority of the people in it, the place is a shit-hole. Wouldn’t you say so?”

“I would say that the vast majority of the people on this planet are living the lives that they want to live.”

Now the guy was pissing me off. Being of Irish descent and having four and a half Guinnesses in me got me up on my soap box.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked with a drunken sneer.

“I have heard of Him, but I don’t know if I believe in Him.”

“Well, if God is real, how can he let the suffering go on? How can he allow a baby to get cancer? How can the son-of-a-bitch let the world get into the mess that it is in today?”

“Good questions, my friend. Very good questions.”

“Don’t patronize me, and hand me another goddamn beer.”

I was in rare form.

When I had been placated with my sixth beer (but who’s counting?), my new-found friend went on.

“Many people feel as you do. They use the same argument. ‘If there is a God, how can He allow the suffering?’ I think the answer is that there is no God. There is only the Oneness. There is only us. Perhaps we are God. And if we are God, how could we allow ourselves to suffer?”

That was it for me. Free beer or not, I was out of there. The guy was crazy. But first I would finish my beer . . . just to be polite.

Then he went on.

“It’s a shame that we don’t believe in reincarnation because that would explain many things. If reincarnation was for real that would mean souls exist before birth. It might even mean that we choose our lives. That life is not a crap shoot.”

I was thinking, “You’re a crap shoot!”

“Do you know that physicists have proven, mathematically at least, that there is no such thing as time and that we are living in a hologram? And if that is so, then what does anything matter? Look at it this way. We live in a dimension known as space-time. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have time without space and you cannot have space without time. Right?”

“If you say so. How about another beer?” We were now into the third six-pack that wasn’t there. But what the fuck?

“Think of it this way. Space-time is a manifestation only of the physical plane. Off the physical plane, there is no space-time by definition. Correct?”

“Please stop asking me to confirm what you are saying. I’ll admit it makes sense . . . so far. So, I’ll sit here and listen to you as long as that magic bag keeps popping out Guinnesses.”

“Okay. Now visualize this. If you were to look into a dimension of time-space from a dimension of non-time-space, meaning a non-physical universe, what would you see?”

“Your momma!”

He smiled at me with such forbearance that I felt ashamed at having made such a flippant remark. And I sobered up instantly. “I’m sorry I said that. Please go on.”

“I take no offense and I assure you, ‘my momma’ takes no offense.”

I pushed my half-finished beer aside and waited. He didn’t seem drunk, yet he had had as many beers as I. He took another deep swallow of his Guinness and continued.

“What you would see is all time happening at once. That is what you would see. Now, here’s my point. If all time happens at once and we are living in a hologram—a false reality if you will. And if we pre-exist before we are born, and if we know the lives we are going to live, and if there is no time, which means the duration of our lives are as one-millionth of the time it takes to blink an eye, then how are we harmed?”

A good question to which I had no answer. But I had to ask, “Who the hell are you?”

“I’ve been known by many names over many lives. My time on the space-time plane is over. I just come to visit once in a while because that’s what I do. I am a teacher. Sometimes to the multitudes, sometimes to just one lonely man thinking of drinking a beer by himself. In my last incarnation, I was known as Jesus Bar Joseph, or Jesus, Son of Joseph. In parting, let me say this. There is no God. There is only the Oneness and we are all fragments of that Oneness, playing out our existence. Working our way back to the Oneness where we will be reunited. There is no hell and there is no heaven. There is no loss, there is only us. Peace be with you, my friend.”

Then he glowed with such intensity that I had to cover my eyes. The brilliance was filled with love. I have never felt such love. I have never been so loved. It was all I could do not break down and cry right there on the spot.

Then he was gone.

Now I sit here pondering his words. If we are all One, then hiding from my neighbors might not be such a smart thing. I think I’ll invite that nice young couple who live a few boats over for a Sunday brunch. If I can make it through that, perhaps I’ll visit the Tiki Hut a little more often.

You never know who you might meet there.

Andrew Joyce’s Molly Lee

A Conversation with Jesus

Old Man

I was hanging out the other night at the Tiki Hut, minding my own business, when a voice behind me said, “Hey man, what’s up?”

I should first explain that the Tiki Hut is an edifice here at the marina where I live. The denizens of the marina congregate there on occasion to commune with one another. I, on the other hand, avoid it like the plague. It’s not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like being around people, but that evening I had the place to myself.

I turned around, and standing there was this dude I had never seen before, although he did look kind of familiar.

“Hello,” I said in response. I was a little perturbed at having my solitude interrupted, but decided not to be rude. “Are you new here?” I asked in a friendly manner.

“Somewhat.”

I mentally shrugged. I didn’t care one way or the other, I was being polite. Well, I had done my part and started to head back to my boat. I had a six-pack of cold beers waiting for me and I thought it about time I paid it some attention.

“Want a beer?”

It was the dude. He was holding a plastic grocery bag that I had not noticed before. It definitely had the outline of a six-pack in it. Figuring the guy might be lonely and thinking I might as well do my Christian duty, I said, “Sure, why not?” I would have a beer and we’d shoot the shit and then I’d get the hell out of there. I reckoned I could put up with him for the time it would take to drink one beer.

He reached into the bag and came out with two bottles of my favorite beer. Things were looking up. He did the honors of popping the caps and we both took a long pull of that cold, good-tasting beverage.

“So,” I said, “you moving in?”

“I’m thinking about it. I wanted to get a feel for the place first. Do you like living here?”

“It’s okay. As long as you pay your rent on time they leave you alone.”

I’ll not bore you with the rest of the mundane conversation. That first beer led to a second and then a third. I was starting to warm up to the guy by the fourth. Then it dawned on me. We both had had four beers, but we started out with only a six-pack. When I mentioned that fact, I was told, “No, you must be mistaken. There were two in the bag.”

Another mental shrug on my part.

As I popped the cap on my fifth beer, he asked me, “So, what do you think of the state the world is in?”

If I had been asked that question on the first or second or even the third beer, I would have bolted. I don’t get into conversations like that. Truth be known, I generally don’t get into conversations at all. I live alone and I like it that way. I don’t have to please anyone and I sure as hell don’t have to answer stupid questions. But . . . I was on my fifth beer and the guy was buying. So, what the hell?

“It depends on what world you are talking about. My little world is doing just fine. I eat every day. And when it rains, I’m dry. What more could a man ask for?”

He nodded, but said nothing. So fueled by Guinness Stout, I went on.

“Now, if you’re asking about the world in general, I would have to say that for the majority of the people in it, the place is a shit-hole. Wouldn’t you say so?”

“I would say that the vast majority of the people on this planet are living the lives that they want to live.”

Now the guy was pissing me off. Being of Irish descent and having four and a half Guinnesses in me got me on my soap box.

“Do you believe in God?” I asked with a drunken sneer.

“I have heard of Him, but I don’t know if I believe in Him.”

“Well, if God is real how can he let the suffering go on? How can he allow a baby to get cancer? How can the son-of-a-bitch let the world get into the mess that it is in today?”

“Good questions, my friend. Very good questions.”

“Don’t patronize me, and hand me another goddamn beer.” I was in rare form.

When I had been placated with my sixth beer (who’s counting?), my new-found friend went on.

“Many people feel as you do. They use the same argument. ‘If there is a God, how can He allow the suffering?’ I think the answer is that there is no God. There is only the Oneness. There is only us. Perhaps we are God. And if we are God, how could we allow ourselves to suffer?”

That was it for me. Free beer or not, I was out of there. The guy was crazy. But first I would finish my beer . . . just to be polite.

Then he went on.

“It’s a shame that we don’t believe in reincarnation because that would explain many things. If reincarnation was for real that would mean souls exist before birth. It might even mean that we choose our lives. That life is not a crap shoot.”

I was thinking, “You’re a crap shoot!”

“Do you know that physicists have proven, mathematically at least, that there is no such thing as time and that we are living in a hologram? And if so, then what does anything matter? Look at it this way. We live in a dimension known as time-space. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have time without space and you cannot have space without time. Right?”

“If you say so. How about another beer?” We were now into the third six-pack that wasn’t there. But what the fuck?

“Think of it this way. Time-space is a manifestation of the physical plane. Off the physical plane, there is no time-space by definition. Correct?”

“Please stop asking me to confirm what you are saying. I’ll admit it makes sense . . . so far. So, I’ll sit here and listen to you as long as that magic bag keeps popping out Guinnesses.”

“Okay. Now visualize this. If you were to look into a dimension of time-space from a dimension of non-time-space, meaning a non-physical universe, what would you see?”

“Your momma!”

He smiled at me with such forbearance that I felt ashamed at having made such a flippant remark. And I sobered up instantly. “I’m sorry I said that. Please go on.”

“I take no offense and I assure you, ‘my momma’ takes no offense.”

I pushed my half-finished beer aside and waited. He didn’t seem drunk, yet he had had as many beers as me. He took another deep swallow of his Guinness and continued.

“What you would see is all time happening at once. That is what you would see. Now, here’s my point. If all time happens at once and we are living in a hologram—a false reality if you will. And if we pre-exist before we are born, and if we know the lives we are going to live, and if there is no time, which means the duration of our lives are as one-millionth of the time it takes to blink an eye, then how are we harmed?”

A good question to which I had no answer. But I had to ask, “Who the hell are you?”

“I’ve been known by many names over many lives. My time on the time-space plane is over. I just come to visit once in a while because that’s what I do. I am a teacher. Sometimes to the multitudes, sometimes to just one lonely man thinking of drinking a beer. In my last incarnation, I was known as Jesus Bar Joseph, or Jesus, Son of Joseph. In parting, let me say this. There is no God. There is only the Oneness and we are all fragments of that Oneness, playing out our existence. Working our way back to the Oneness where we will be reunited. There is no hell and there is no heaven. There is no loss, there is only us. Peace be with you, my friend.”

Then he glowed with such brilliance, and the brilliance was filled with love. So much love that I cried.

Then he was gone. He had disappeared into thin air right in front of me!

Now I sit here pondering his words. If we are all One, then hiding from my neighbors might not be such a smart thing. I think I’ll invite that nice young couple who live a few boats over for a Sunday brunch. If I can make it through that, perhaps I’ll visit the Tiki Hut a little more often. You never know who you might meet there.

http://andrewjoyce76.com

Josie

fashion-model-young-woman-country-style-18735119

I have  no alibi, not that I need one.

They were three men, three men who did not matter.

It was late last night and I had a thirst. I was out for beer.

All I wanted was to slake my thirst. Instead, I took three lives.

Do you think I set out to kill?

As I came out of the store, they surrounded me. One had a knife . . . one told me to empty my pockets.

Sometimes I get weary . . .  and last night I got very weary.

Someone was going to die in the next few minutes. And I didn’t care if it was me.

All I wanted was some fucking beer. But death might be just as sweet. I am tired . . . tired of living.

Her name was Josie … it’s been a while. She visits me in the night. I cannot live with her specter no more. I loved her so much.

The big one made a move. Then I made a move. Before he knew it, I had the knife out of his hand and into his throat. Then I got pissed off. The other two died quickly.

No beer for me this night.

The cops are coming.

Josie, open the gates for me. I miss you so much.

The first cop car arrives. I stand and point my hand at him.

The bullets he gives me are warm.

Josie I am coming to you.

I love you so much.

Danny and the Crab

Danny

Howdy folks, it’s been a while since we’ve talked and I have a lot to tell you. My human and I have been having some fine ‘ol adventures. Well, maybe fine is not the exact word I’m looking for. But we have been keeping busy. I’m Danny the Dog and my human is called Andrew. A silly name I know, not as cool as Danny, but he’s okay for a human.

I’ll start with the light stuff first. As I said, Andrew is okay for a human, but he does leave a lot to be desired. Do you know he hasn’t bought me a chew toy in years? I’m talking about those rawhide things. Yummy! Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a toy type of dog, but I do like a good chew just like everyone else.

Anyway, we were out walking around the marina about a week and a half ago when we happened upon Chloe. She’s my friend, a chocolate lab. She’s only a year old and very playful. Sometimes I will deign to acknowledge her existence, but most of the time I just ignore her. She’s a mite too rambunctious for me, like most females of my acquaintance.

So while she’s bouncing around me and nudging me with her snoot, trying to get me to play with her, I noticed a piece of rawhide lying on the dock. It was half chewed and it was oh so inviting. Of course, I went over and started to sniff it. Chloe followed me over and put her snoot down to it also. That’s when I had to assert myself. I gave a short bark and little growl to tell her it was now my chew thing. Then I grabbed it with my mouth and it was officially mine. But I guess Andrew didn’t get the memo. He tried to take it from me while telling me stealing was not a good thing. Lucky for Andrew that Chloe’s human was there or he would have lost a finger or two. Chloe’s human, whose name is Jeff, told Andrew that it was all right for me to have the treasure. We went home and I sat out on the dock and chewed the thing until it was no more. All in all, it was a very good day. However, the next day, as you shall soon see, was a day that will live in infamy.

At the moment, I’m torn between telling you of my harrowing escape from the jaws of death or to tell you about Andrew’s slight little run in with mortality. I guess I’ll save the best for last. Here’s what happened to Andrew.

I was out walking him a few evenings ago and I was doing my usual sniffing. I caught the scent of a chicken bone or two in the vicinity and went on alert. Unfortunately, Andrew did also. The place we were walking is infamous for chicken bones, so Andrew was watching me quite closely. And because he was looking at me, and not where he was walking, he slipped on an exposed root. His foot went into a small depression and we both heard a loud SNAP! His only comment was, “Let’s go home while I can still walk.” He knew the pain and the swelling would soon set in and he wanted to be on the boat when that happened. He wanted to be near his pain medicine … I think humans call it Vodka. Well long story short, Andrew broke something in his ankle, but we don’t know what. He has a doctor friend, who offered to x-ray it for him, but the idiot said, and I quote, “We know something is broken, so the x-ray will only tell us what we already know.” I reckon I can’t argue with that.

Now to the important news, me, and what happened to me last Saturday. Andrew is not the only wounded member of this household.

As I’ve told you all before, Saturday is the day the male humans escape their females and come to the Tiki hut to drink beer and talk of manly things. Andrew is not a guy type of guy; he’s kind of a sissy, so he doesn’t hang out with the other males. Me, I like them and I am always happy to spend some time with them. But this Saturday Andrew had some business to discuss with his friend Don. I like Don a lot, he’s the nicest human I know, much nicer than Andrew is.

Andrew, for some reason, doesn’t trust me, so I’m always on the damn leash. After Don and the other males made a big show of welcoming me, Andrew tied me to a tree and then forgot all about me. But I didn’t mind, there was a new scent on the ground and I was in heaven.

I followed the scent over to a log. The scent was getting stronger … oh joy! There was a crevasse at the middle of the log and I poked my snoot into it. That’s when I got the surprise of my life. Out came a crab. But I was undaunted … his pincher claw did not faze me at all, no sir re bob it did not!

This was going to be fun. I barked at him and backed him up a bit. Then he raised his claw over his head in a defensive position. That is when my world was turned upside down. He clamped his big ‘ol claw right on my beautiful nose! Yeow and double yeow. I let out with a cry that sent Andrew scurrying over, bad foot and all. When he saw what had happened he had the temerity to laugh at me.

Now we sit on the boat. Andrew has ice on his ankle and I have ice on my nose. We are just two old males wishing for better times. And I’m not about to forget his laughter during my darkest moment. As I write this, I am plotting my revenge.

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