George Mowgli – 8

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

His palms are slippery.  He turns his right hand over, barely recognizing the mottled exterior, the soft-skinned canvas of his lifelines loosely draped around the bones and swollen joints.  Like ghosts in his mind, a false duet of memories and the present, he can still make out the muscles of his youth as he twitches his thumb.  Days were when his calloused hands put in time at the lumber mill, returning home with nubby, dirt encrusted nails as evidence, scrapes and bruises the “war wounds” of their service.

A bar of Lava soap, wrapped in the dirty imprint of this or the other hand from those days, still convalesced on the shelf in the mudroom.  He thinks about tossing it once in awhile.  Recollections of the texture, the solace of that gritty lather under soothing warm water, prevent  further consideration.  Comforts of the past.  He splays his fingers and turns…

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George Mowgli – 7

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

He’d wanted to name the baby, “George, Jr.” but Sarah whined it wouldn’t do.  Not poetic enough.  Not ear catching.  What would the girls at work think?  Looking back, he was certain she’d only agreed to have a baby because she wanted an excuse to stop working and stay at home.  It was clear, once the mission was accomplished, she was ill-prepared and had as much motherly instincts as a harp seal.  He’d watched one of those television documentaries on the creatures and experienced deja vu when he discovered the mothers abandon their defenseless babies vulnerable to predators, alone on the ice after only twelve days.

Now he knows what that must feel like.  Hadn’t put two and two together back when she forgot Micah was playing on the sun porch and locked the door.  Poor kid had nearly fainted of dehydration by the time she realized.  From all accounts…

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George Mowgli – 6

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

It would never be said of his son – Micah, “A chip off the old block.”  A  middle-aged man of pale complexion and reddish brown hair – these and his glasses were the only traits that could be claimed as ever being shared between the men.  His son’s exterior was a contradiction.  One could easily make out his hefty midsection, still within the socially accepted picture of “average,” but gaining.  His choice in the latest alternative band t-shirts attempted a distraction to the mismatched area in contrast to his spindly legs and scrawny neck.  Lanky but graceful – his straight, wiry hair sat atop his globe as a wig might.

It was clearly his own hair; its roots visibly clawed into his head nearly a full inch behind where his forehead should have ended.  It seemed to follow a set of standing orders as it cascaded back and then, in…

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George Mowgli – 5

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

George reaches up and pulls himself up again.  Amazing what energy can be found in those “cringing moments.”  His left toe catches the ledge as he brings it up and his right arm swings itself forward on its own volition to counterbalance his imminent demise.

Sarah had a mole that could be mistaken for a cold-sore.  She tried to apply her makeup to under accentuate its redness.  Lingering just above her lip and southwest of her right nostril, it could have become her trademark.  Entering her 40s  she should have accepted the “opinions and rumor mill be damned” attitude that is a right of passage most other older women enjoy.  Instead, her collaboration with her flamboyant beautician produced a pair of eyebrows – reminiscent of the golden arches – relegating her mole to a sideshow in the vaudeville that was her presence.


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George Mowgli – 4

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

He parked himself in denial years ago.  A stereotype behind the wheel, he refused to ask directions and insisted on reading his map any damn way he wanted.  It was upside down.  He smoked his smokes and drank his drinks and chuckled at the naysayers who warned him of death.  Now he smirks, and thinks, “They were still wrong.  Its not the death that means anything.  Its the landscape.”  His lungs confirm this assessment.  Bristles of perspiration tingle him all over, under his tummy rolls, beneath his unmentionables.

His real name is George, but today he thinks of himself as the boy raised in the rainforest (or was it a jungle), surrounded by pitiless wild animals with only the thought to devour him, or ignore him if a better meal is in view. It fits rather well given the selfish, oblivious nature of his son and ex-wife. These stairs are…

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George Mowgli – 3

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Regrouping, he lifts his chin and peers into the void again.  “Not today.  They cannot win today.”  This silent affirmation does nothing for his motivation.  It summons several questions, and they roll around in his skull like mismatched cufflinks in a dead man’s shave kit.  “Will they even know of their victory?  Do they even know I’m fighting them?  How long will it actually take them to realize I’m gone?”  They had lived in his peripheral (or he in theirs) all these many years, yet had managed to miss every detail of his heart, his longings, his needs, his pain.

What is that poem?  He can’t recall.  Something about how people will laugh when you are up and leave you in the dust when you cry?  He remembers that paperback book of 101 poems he used to carry in his pocket as a young man.  His grandmother had given it…

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George Mowgli – 2


Go George!!

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

His lungs still struggle with each inhale, but the pace slows and he grabs the limb with his right hand, wiping the sweat from his left palm and repositioning.  He shifts his weight and raises his right knee just high enough to shove his foot onto the next ledge.  Leaning forward, his muscles strain and quiver as he brings his other foot up to stand nearly upright.  He is keenly aware of his bladder starting its familiar press, notifying him of a most basic human need.  He takes the next climb with similar awkwardness, but has to stop again for fear of falling.

Dizziness pervades his head and chest.  He can feel a cold sweat break out around his ribcage, and he is wheezing again.  He is only halfway there and doubt creeps into his mind, seeps into  little cracks in his soul, and darkens his outlook in billows like …

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George Mowgli – 1


This past weekend I did much heavy lifting. It has left temporary reminders that George Mowgli’s adventures are not far from my own.

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Yet another series.  If you haven’t discovered yet, I’m a bit fragmented and prefer to work in a million different directions.  So please enjoy what I believe to be the best I have so far … in little paragraph installments over the next few days.  … Unless I get bored and do something else again.    I’ll get wise soon and create a page to list all my series so you, Dear Reader, can follow those that tickle you.

George Mowgli

Mowgli squints into the dark jungle ceiling.  He grips the limb in his left hand and pauses to listen to his surroundings.  A low, mechanical hum emanates up from below.  A rhythmic ticking noise stalks him from behind.  His breathing heavy, he waits, and feels the slithering beads of sweat roll down this lower back.  Up overhead he can see nothing – no light spears through to help make out…

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Choosing Sides


This piece seems apropos given all the political punditry slinging going on lately.

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Unless you order the “Gut Buster Special” which comes with a premeditated calorie delivery system, there are usually choices for additional sides in any dining out experience. In most cases, even the “Gut Buster” has allowable customization: “Would you like tots or fries with that?” What I’d like to explore briefly is how the server promotes these sides when taking your order.

NCI_Visuals_Food_HamburgerDoes your server explain the ideology behind each choice, flinging punditry and and leaning more in favor of baked tots over fries? Perhaps your wait staff is passionate about the health benefits of the baked tots over the more artery clogging fries. Liberty fries, of course … but still. Do you study the menu before the notepad carrying fount of opinion arrives to query you, pondering the nutrient content and trans fat risks? That way you are an educated side picker. Of course, it’s always important to educate…

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The AntiWorld

Originally posted on interruptingcow:


We got it wrong.  Years we said its possible that an entire other world exists, an antimatter world, maybe even on a parallel course in the universe in the time/space continuum.  We spouted that and more like we’d been there.  But we hadn’t been there.  Like so many spiritual believers we waved our scientific journals, thumped our Einsteins and Hawkings and preached the Schrodinger’s cat box.  Then in the quite of our cubicles, we entertained doubt, wondered what if it would ever be revealed to our senses and not just our hearts and minds.

It does exist, or rather they do.  How could we have been so far off the mark?  A new-age “Brigadoon,” they appeared visible, one day through the “mist.”  I touched.  I watched and listened.  And when it came time to make my decision, stay and be lost to all I’ve known forever, or return and remember…

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I AM Writing … Really!

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Haven’t posted.  I know – boring.  Didn’t succeed at NaNoWriMo.  Pathetic.  I’m too much of a perfectionist.  That book would have been crap.  Finished perhaps.  But no doubt – crap.  But I have been writing.  I am taking a little trinket of an online class to keep me motivated.  At least that was my intent.   On the one hand I’m glad it’s not too tough since that would only lead to more whining about having to work for a living and time … energy … blah blah blah.   The other arthritic hand slaps me in the face and says, “Tense and viewpoint exercises?!  Are you kidding me?!  Has someone changed your diaper lately?”

I guess that last one could be accurate in another twenty or thirty years.  I better not press my luck.  Anyway, there’s no shame in revisiting elements I haven’t given more than a subconscious thought to in…

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I’m taking the MOOC on “How Writers Write Fiction,” over at and having fun.  Last week’s class was on opening lines and I discovered two wonderful methods that I used to create the following one liners.  Would you keep reading after these?

She died.   

Once when they were young, upon a ragged, makeshift boat, time was thin and they knew their childhood was drowning.

Someone obviously failed to take their medicine this morning.

Glass jars lined the shelf, their dead fruits preserved for posterity.

Papered plants, in a little plastic wrapped box, ignored the tiny inked warning; their unbroken seal read, “Nothing about this cigarette, packaging, or color should be interpreted to mean safer.”

The flashing clock lied its message into the cold grooves of my tiled soul; the window poured grief out of rhythm.

The wet metal railing above the whirring pavement below left a water line on my jeans.

Pondering Tiny

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Screen from "The Incredible Shrinking Wom...

Screen from “The Incredible Shrinking Woman” (Photo credit: Scurzuzu)

Anyone remember that movie with Lily Tomlin, “The Incredible Shrinking Woman?”  I remember watching that movie as a kid and wishing I could actually recreate the chemical reactions for myself that had led to her shrinkage into tinydom.  What is it about tiny that appeals to us so much?
Did I really want to be little, or just live in an alternate reality or dimension.  Most likely the latter since, I can’t imagine the idea of large hands accosting me and bigger people controlling me sounding all that appealing.  Of course, as an adult, I think about all those times when I’ve felt like I didn’t fit in this world.  I imagine that would be a huge majority of my feelings as a tiny person.  I think about “The Borrowers” whose appeal was not lost on me…

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Originally posted on interruptingcow:

blank pages

Nothing more depressing than a blank page.  Nothing more bothersome than a quiet room with no story or voices in my head.  Darkness pours in through the patio door window and I am too lazy to get up and go close the blinds.  It was a sunny day today.

One would think my description would be that of, “glimmering rays of warmth embracing my arms and neck … soothing away the recent snowfall debacle, and ushering me into a few spare moments of joy before the real winter hits.”  Not so.  Instead, my inner self forced the following into my head, as I scanned the scenery and looked for another angle that would push my story along:

The fickle sun’s rays teased me into seeing what the world had turned into these past few days.  I had not been tempted at all to open the curtains or draw the blinds…

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I Do


Fan yourself. Stay calm. It’s about the page, the words.

Originally posted on interruptingcow:

Amor de Palabra Word Love

You touch me like none other.  You share the deepest secrets and engage me – draw me in and wrap around me.  I am swallowed and willingly, I submit.  You make me strive for a stronger, wiser me and, as you speak luxurious language into my soul, I want to kiss you.  I touch your pages with my lips, and swirl my tongue in your cavernous complexities.  You sip my insecurities and I am fool enough to trust your power.  My eyes trace your outlines as your stories tickle my mind.  Laughter.  My skin tingles.  You whisper mysteries down my spine.  Together we probe the meaning of life and love.  Our shared experiences laid bare, you crack me open more fully and pull mysteries from that place I never knew existed.    I let you reach that question inside of me; we dive into the unknown and surface over and over…

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