Insomnia

My old enemy is back. He is like a relative, the one who is “between jobs,” the one having a problem at home with the little woman, and he just needs somewhere to stay a little while to get his head together. His last visit lasted several months until he finally moved on. That was ten years ago, and he left me hollowed-eyed and half crazy. I don’t know what his intentions are on this visit.

He comes into my room like a mother on a school day.

“Wake up, little buddy. Time to get ready for school.”

“But it’s not time to get up” I protest. “It’s the middle of the night, there is nothing to do at this hour, and I have to work tomorrow. I need to sleep”

“No, old buddy. I insist. There are things to think about. I’ve got some ideas you need to mull over. Sleep is over-rated anyway. Let’s talk about you. How are things going? What you gonna do tomorrow? How are things going? Oh, sorry, I already asked that. Maybe there’s a good B movie or an infomercial on T.V. Hey, you got anything to eat around here?”

We will repeat this scene night after long night. Sometimes there is a lull in the conversation and he grows quiet, as if planning the next night’s strategy. On these occasions, I may slip away for a restless hour or two, a little nap before the real day begins. Other times he is more persistent, and we will watch the sunrise together.

Either way, he will call me tomorrow. “Hey buddy, how you holding up? You look a little tired. How’s that project going you are working on? Have a cup of coffee. You’ve got lots to do. Remember, you’ve got the drive after while. Look sharp now. We wouldn’t want you to drift off to sleep on the way home. You might just kill somebody. That would be a shame. Have a good day, and remember, I’ll see you tonight about two or three. We’ll have a nice visit. Maybe there’s a good one on A.M.C. that we haven’t seen yet.”

I will push on with life–try to ignore him until he gets tired of the game. The last time he finally packed up and moved on after about six months.

Maybe he intends to move on quickly this time. Or maybe he intends to stay until the job is finished.

One of us will have to go. That much is certain.

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The Blank Page

A blank sheet of paper is an infinite possibility.

There are innumerable stories that can be written here: romance, high sea adventure, intrigue, espionage. Something to lift the spirit or move to tears. A call to action or a nudge toward the cliff of despair. Boy meets girl, girl meets other boy–and the rest, as they say, is history.

Oh yes. Novels, short stories, poems, and essays, waiting to be plucked from the ether and committed to finite space. Infinite possibilities.

Or perhaps not.

Infinite possibility is not quite true. These words are limited as they creep across the emptiness of the page. They are limited by the writer: vocabulary, experience, knowledge of the subject, imagination. Choices have been made that have led to this point–choices that, in essence, control the very keystrokes. High sea adventure is out; romance, questionable at best. Dog stories and snippets of Southern life the norm. Nothing profound for the ages. A blog about nothing at its very best.

Doors have been opened and others have closed. Once passed through, there is no realistic possibility of return. Sometimes we are aware that we have passed through the door, sometimes not. But one thing is for certain: there are no “do-overs.” The path continues until the final door is opened and then is slammed shut.

So what shall we write?

We write what we know, or at least what we think we know.

It is the best we can do with our limitations, and we hope someone will enjoy reading the words every once in a while.

We will write regardless. It’s the activity of choice when we have the choice. Write and rewrite–and rewrite and rewrite and rewrite.

And every now and then, we get one right.

U.G.L.Y., You ain’t got no alibi



College football is fairly important in the South.

The first line of an essay is supposed to grab the reader’s attention. I thought I’d lead with one that is so ridiculously understated that it is laughable.

College football is life to many in the South. It’s what they eat, drink, and sleep 365 days a year. It’s our pride–it’s what we do better than anyone else. We are consistent in our passion and our excellence. It is our heritage, our tradition, and it’s under attack.

First it was last year’s news that the University of Mississippi had changed their mascot. I won’t preach on that again, you can read it here. Rebel black bears–puh-leeze.

Now we have been subjected to the University of Georgia appearing last night in one of the most hideously ugly uniforms ever to be worn. I don’t know how much NIKE paid them to wear that atrocity, but it wasn’t enough. Thank God they weren’t playing Boise in their all blue uniforms on the blue field–the entire state of Georgia would have been lined-up in emergency rooms getting I.V.’s. Projectile vomiting is no laughing matter.

This is the way it’s supposed to be: the red and silver at Georgia; the crimson tide in Tuscaloosa; the navy blue on the “Loveliest Village on the Plains;” yellow, purple and white on the bayou; an orange like no other on Rocky Top; orange and blue in the Swamp.

Even lowly Vanderbilt, who has never really figured out how to play the game, has a tasteful distinctiveness in their dress.

Repent, Georgia. If you can’t win, at least look good getting whipped.