Thick bulbous skin compressed by pressure and time moving in a linear, forward fashion. Abrasive attitude with upturned nose and scoff. Non-emotional, not compassionate. Hard. Five fingers on my left hand learning guitar, least of effected my thumb. Years down the line, follows my right hand when I start to learn fingerpicking, particularly, “Blackbird”. At that time, perhaps just my thumb and pointer. Later on, the other fingers followed – but not my pinky. Still haven’t learned to acquaint that one yet.

I remember my crew friends in high school having callouses on their hands. Destroyed by rope, the oars. Utterly destroyed. Shredded, painful red blisters. That’s the thing about callouses. They can blister bad at first. I remember being 14 or 15 at band practice, I didn’t have a pick and couldn’t find one and had to use a nickel, but it barely worked and I tried to opt for my thumb instead; Playing punk music on bass with just a thumb – The blister that formed was so large and burst twice, if memory serves. I remember the pain that brought. I remember looking at Tom at his drum set. Feels like someone else’s life that somehow just got linked to my own. I play 12s now. Play guitar still.


Taut when pulled in two opposing directions. Thick, sturdy. This black cord is looped through the space created by bottom of my guitar strap and the side of my guitar. I thread that black cord through and into the input jack. It buzzes lightly before plugging in, and buzzes a little more aggressively on impact. Like angry bees. The other end has been already plugged into my amplifier. And the sound comes to life. Responds to my movements, when on purpose or accidental.

Toaster over cord that keeps falling out of its socket. Bad socket, loose wire? Toast stays bread for way too long. Time to take it to the bath and destroy it. The only sure way to summon Zeus…and a trip to Mount Olympus. Or…what am I saying? One way ticket to Hades for sure. Down the river Styx. To whatever semblance of an afterlife you imagine.

On the telephone in 1970 with a curly cord extending from the receiver to the rotary phone. The kind you have to stick your finger in and turn to dial. Something rhythmic about it. Something also magical. The phone is in between lime and forest green. Smells a little funny at the speaking end. High quality grade plastic. I can hear the dial tone, which I just recently found out is allegedly 440 hZ (which is the pitch of A above middle C – I think). Everything now is cordless. It’s so ubiquitous, it doesn’t even need to be advertised as such.

Guitars, toasters, and phones. These things have been around for years and years. Commonplace items to be expected in a common, shared human existence. Art, food, and socialization. These connectors, these cords have enabled us to express, eat, and communicate. That new guitar smell, fresh out of the case. The smell of burnt toast. The smell of a used phone.


If we were parting on better terms, than we would have no use for a goodbye. Unless of course, we’re parting company on amicable terms. After a dinner party, say. Or leaving a bar. I hug you close, heart over heart and wrap your arms around you tight so I may remember the physical impression your body made on mine when I think back at this moment in time, and when you are no longer with me, perhaps I can still conjure the feeling of you somehow; Will you to this room even if you are 3,000 miles away. But memories fade over time. And so does the recollection of physical impressions. It is a “good” “bye”. Good bi. Ha!

Kisses on the cheek, or a firm handshake. Such a masculine action. Wonder how that tradition started. I see a party parting ways, the clearing of the table. Holding someone’s hand in hospice. They say they can still hear you, but I could never believe that. Even if they can, do they even have the cognitive ability to process what they’re hearing? Goodbye to death, or life. When souls depart. That is a big goodbye. Also great TNG episode. Jean Luc Picard in fitted uniform.


First it’s a seed. Buried beneath damp earth. Encased in dirt. Secure. As it absorbs the moisture, it starts to grow out in all directions as if it just can’t contain it’s excitement anymore. Nature’s sexual energy in slow motion. The roots, though light and soft like doily cut in half, down the middle, so, so thin and fragile – They take hold and grip the earth tight. As tight as they can.  Days pass. Rain comes and goes. Perhaps a cold spell. And now, it begins its ascent. Trepidatiously creeping higher and higher until it has broken the dirt. Nature’s periscope. This baby stem looks around and takes a deep breath of country air. Middle America spaciousness. The roar of silence under a big overcast country sky. Suddenly, a cloud begins to shift and a star is born as the Sun for the first time in this flower’s life and it is overwhelming ecstasy. If Baby Stem had eyes, they would have closed, basking in it. Warmth and like, time stops. Reaching up with it’s top, if it had arms they would be reaching backwards, as to further propel its face and front to this golden ball of buttery bliss. In days to come, a leaf will sprout at each end. The stem will grow a little taller. Reaching, reaching, reaching. If it had arms they would be up and outstretched, so jealous Little Stem would be if he knew of the trees in the forest. A bud forms at the top. A little nugget of floral promise. Beginning to smell sweet. Even the bees have started buzzing about, checking on its progress. Playing a waiting game, though impatient they are. When the sun goes down and the moon shines over Stem and Bud, it takes a breath.


Newborn baby sleeps swaddled in his bassinet that has never been slept in. A blue and white striped cap hugs his fragile head. He yawns toothlessly and gently rocks from side to side. Closed eyes, two slits like he’s still in the womb and forgot about the grand ordeal recently went through. What does he dream about? As he suddenly offers a light smile, two dimples appear in indentations on his cheeks. Mother kisses each one lightly, not wanting to wake up her sleeping babe. It is early morning and the grey sky gives way to a promising streak of sun. Little nose wiggles. Tired mother returns back to her bed and immediately loses consciousness when her head hits the pillow. Baby starts to fuss, as if he knows she’s stopped looking at him.