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As part of the research for writing October's "Halloween Rock N Roll Burlesque Show" I've been re-immersing myself in the works of Slayer, Venom, and vintage Black Sabbath. Personally I've always been more of a Big Black and Misfits kind of guy as far as getting my bombastic audio kicks go (though I really enjoy Liturgy's 'Aesthetica' of late and it served as my soundtrack to writing the first draft of the 'Guns of Innsmouth').
Still, upon the third listening of Slayer's Reign of Blood, in an attempt to tie thrash metal mayhem with potential acts of pastie jiggling for the show, I seem to have unlocked a whole store of memories from my days as a lone punk-rocker hanging with the only other kids in my school who cut class to get stoned - the metal heads.

I remember always trying to get them into the DK's 'Bedtime for Democracy' or GBH's 'City Babies Attacked by Rats' only to have my metal buddies tell me - "They got the anger right, but where's the guitar virtuosity, where's the rock star pageantry?"

Then they'd put on the 'Crooked Cross' or 'South of Heaven' before forming a pit in the parking lot of the Circle K before the school's truant officer would pull up and we'd all make a run for it (my attempts to hide from school and law enforcement authorities while being the only teenager in suburban Fort Liquor with a mohawk taught me many a lesson in the valiant art of futile rebellion).

They were good times with good people though, and as such I really hope I can capture the 'brutal' and 'epic' majesty of the music (the audio equivalent of a Frank Frazetta painting).

If not then at least I can say it's been interesting teaching my ears to bleed again.

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Early day at the office tomorrow, big night after that. Time enough for one last, quick dispatch before hitting my bed.

It was three years ago today, well yesterday now, that my father passed away. I had forgotten really, my head up my ass with stage jitters and a long work day's toll. Mom reminded me before bed. Spoke to my nan, his mom, about it on the phone today. She sends her love, she wishes me luck with my 'show' tomorrow.

Yet, I've been sitting here for the last twenty minutes or so, just absorbing it all and looking back to that morning. Helpless. Terrified. Unable to get a cab to get to the hospital. You know this story well by now.

But the truth is I think he'd be proud of me for doing the read tomorrow. He always thought I should have done more stuff like it. He knew it scared me and thought that would only make me try harder, he knew I didn't think I was good enough to hold a crowd's attention and my saying so disappointed him more than getting kicked out of the Navy or losing my GI Bill or getting arrested shortly after that.

Here's another truth, since as a teller of tall tales I offer them rarely, I'm tired of carrying his absence like a burden instead of the inspiration he was when he was alive.

I don't know how it is with the sons and daughters of other fathers, but I spent a good chunk of my life refusing to be anything like mine, then another chunk trying to be the man he couldn't and now I just want to move forward.

I have so much more to my song than just my grief at what is not, for I have what was and it is in me now waiting to be roared.

Alright, sleeping pills and a book please.

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After getting to dance in Vampire Country with my favorite sexy satanist, after getting chased out of the Star Bar for smoking a joint with no apology, after the Cafe Perilous kicked us to the curb for drinking after hours, after a surprise NYE kiss from a tres horny red-head, after pulling my boy out of a fight at the Yacht, your humble correspondent - at long last - gets to crash with comic book gifts from the Magpie.

So now, the weakest link in a chain of super-freaks, packs his bowl, fires up the Wu-Tang (miss you Bud 24-7-365), and crashes into a world of four color action and Never-Never Land fantasies.

2014,know that I did my best and count myself amongst a whole shit load of better angels who did the same.

10-4, over and out.

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At 2:15 AM EST, I have given birth to a screaming, squid-headed and completed first draft of 'The Guns of Innsmouth'. She weighs in at 86 pages and just a hair over 40,000 words.
I'll need to step away from it for a week maybe and try to find some second pair of eyes to go over this roughest of drafts. Hopefully I can get her polished up soon, tack on a dedication to the man who introduced me to Lovecraft horrors and Hammett tough guys, my father. Maybe sell the final product for a buck online and use whatever I make to give to mom to help her with the bills or get her something nice for her birthday early next year.

I think that'd make him proud.

Alright, pork-chops and masturbation for everyone and then some sleep before work tomorrow morning.
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Dropped down into Vampire Country, L5P for a cup of black metal coffee at the world infamous Cafe Perilous. While I was there I ran into Katana Fatale who wore the universal mask of exhaustion and enthusiasm that stage managers get when it's T-Minus two weeks until opening night. Graciously, she agreed to let me pop next door for a visit at Grief Theatre (of which as we all know, there are 7 stages) to get a peek at the universe they were building back stage for their next show.

While there I was pleasantly surprised to run into the Contact and my old drinking buddy/Collective Collaborator Jacques Cuse along with a few friendly faces from back in the day. Stepping around the boxes of time machine engine parts, sonic screwdriver schematics and the chalk drawn sigils to summon the Lord of All Dark... I got to see the murder of Weeping Angels they had penned up in the make-up room.

Of course I was warned not to touch them as doing so would send me hurtling back through the time-space continuum to a time before I was born. But they were, wow, just... wow... I could barely take my eyes off them and not just because doing so was their primary form of transportation. Haunting and beautiful as that first high school goth crush whose kisses tasted like cloves.

I could've stayed there all day asking inane questions... but by then some of the loyal staff Perilous were escorting a goat backstage and whatever was going to happen next was way above even my occult rank. Besides the angels were getting restless and my buddies had to get back to work.

Outside back in the sunlight, where a cop ignored the chubby raver girl peeing on the sidewalk even as the tourists snapped cell phone shots... I knew I had been given a brief premonition of something magical to come.
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So at the gym I was asked by a young lady with a Justin Bieber haircut - "What are you looking at?" - with much hostility and folding of arms.

"Myself." I answered honestly with a shrug, "You just happen to be standing between me and the mirror."

Sorry lady, I know you wanted to speak truth to what you perceived as power, but in reality I'm just as self-absorbed as everyone else here who's trying to stave of their sense of impending mortality or hoping to look good enough not to die alone.
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I've always loved my horror with a kick of action to it. Romero's 'Dawn of the Dead', Carpenter's 'The Thing' and 'Phantasm II' come to mind. So naturally I had a blast running all over the end of creation with my buddy Elvis at the Atlanta Zombie Apocalypse this evening. While I did enjoy their "Curse of the Undead" sequel immensely, I found the attraction designated with only a simple "?" to be one of the most ingenious takes on a haunted house I've ever experienced. Wicked fun... but man I gotta cut down on those Camel's if I ever expect to last longer than a mile when our undead overlords rise.

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Rush hour down Memorial is no joke. Everybody's racing to get in front of me and those that do immediately decelerate from warp speed to leisurely cruise. Nobody's got time to signal a turn because there's no app for doing so on their phones yet. Roads pockmarked with craters or slabs of tire-puncturing steel toupees slapped over them ahead. MARTA buses lumber down the right hand lane, grazing passengers at each stop. Behind them school buses deploy screaming daredevil children in random intervals while pedestrians zombie stroll across the open lanes.

And in that moment I know why some people drink and drive. The same reason soldiers hit the flask before bolting out of the trench or into the charge. The same reason we drink before fighting someone bigger or fucking someone who's crazier than us. At some point you just have to say enough. The spectacle's out of hand and the social contract has become toilet paper for the collective masses to wipe their asses on. Next liquor store or bar - titty or otherwise - and you're going in.

I can sympathize, but a last second dodge of a yuppy tank bursting out of a gas station parking lot reminded me why that wasn't an option for me.

In fact, despite the Mad Max commute, I found that I was enjoying myself. Weaving confidently through charging herds of Mustangs and the frantic scurrying of commuter Bugs with ease. I zipped, soared, glided and flowed around the madness while adding not a drop of drama to the commute behind me. When I finally cut down US-23 towards L5P the radio blasted Cohen's "Ain't No Cure For Love". I sang along with a fresh cigarette and my left arm soaking up the sun.

Sitting here now, still soaked in sweat in some spots and forearms flecked with grass, I find it hard to believe. Somehow its only been a little over a year since abandoning my excuses, I finally learned how to enjoy something as simple as that moment.

Alright time for a swim.

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280 Elizabeth Street on the eve of destruction. Last night of Dad's Garage Theatre before it gets razed to make way for another slab of highrise hive complete with a Fro-Yo and a restaurant serving appetizers for a main course. Crashed the scene with Teddy Bear through the backdoor, where we drifted through the ghosts of a 1,000 stories slugging back shots of Irish Whiskey unchallenged. Danced for the first time in ages, listened to traveler's tales along strange stages and smoked endless bowls with old friends in between. Tears and dreams and a wake for a shack that served as home port to so many of my friends' careers.

Yet, somewhere out there far from the lugubrious vows and drunken festivities, there's some angry and talented kids ready to do the next 'Zurich Plays' or 'Clockwork'. They're not old enough to drink yet, they're still writing Kafkaesque poetry or making bootcamp mistakes with earnest hearts. And they'll find a stage one day or build one from the dust of this scene and something dangerous and beautiful will rise again to take the place of what was lost tonight.

Still, what do I know? If it was up to me we would've set the place on fire and hot-wired the bulldozers parked out front, riding them around as we terrorized trustafarian nouveau-highlanders with abandon.

Ah, but no one ever listens to the token novelist in the crowd.

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Not sure which Apiary God or Goddess I've managed to piss off, but yet again I find myself stung by a yellow-jacket (or wasp or hornet). It happened once again doing yard work OTP in Doraville. This time however one of the lil' fuckers managed to score a direct hit under the left brow. Which has left me with an eye so badly swollen I can't even open it. Spent the whole MARTA ride back getting giggles or disgusted looks from the southbound commuters. Even had one woman sit down next to me, look at me, nod, and then get back up to stand as far as she could squeeze. In a lot of pain, half-blind and my muscles sore working a chainsaw, an ax, a saw and brute strength on a few fallen trees.

You know when a man's been stung by wasps more often than he's gotten laid in a two month period... he starts to really rethink his life.

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I guess I could write about the awesome time I had at Write Club Terminus tonight and all the great pieces I was privileged to be an audience to... but instead, let me tell you about the very end of the night (real quick while I got you here).

Okay, so the last of us revelers had finally been kicked out of Mannies long after last call and we stumble across the street to Buddy's, collectively trying to flag a cab down for an inebriated damsel in distress, when we run into... the Doctor. No, seriously, this mother fucker had the whole Matt Smith routine nailed down flat - the outfit, the physique, the hair and even the accent. Poor guy must've been coming back from some sort of time-travel con or something and just trying to put a little gas in his car when we descended upon him in all our drunken geek glory to make him pose for impromptu snap shots off the phone. Now, for as long as I live, I will be convinced that the TARDIS made a pit stop in a parallel universe where the Doctor is only a sci-fi TV show character and he inexplicably had to deal with a bunch of lit geeks who wanted to pose with him at two something in the morning on a Wednesday night (Thursday morning) before rescuing us all from the latest Cyberman plot or what not.

And I was there for it. Yay!

Have I mentioned lately how much I love living in Terminus lately.
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The ghost of a Winter that never was stumbles across a rain soaked weekend in mid-April. Pink and white as dreams of geishas dancing, dogwood petals flow steadily down the pollen green currents of the gutter. Cold dreary rain falling on a lazy Sunday Terminus afternoon and I'm sitting in my first office meeting in over five years.

The location's a brick warehouse partitioned into three complexes retrofitted for business. It's tucked down a side street no wider than an uphill alleyway and of three doors offered it is the only one painted blue. Inside a multilevel suite with the walls gutted out so that everything resembles the jet set Mid-Century chic of a Shag painting or Johnny Quest lair come to life. Still it's the end of the weekend, so there's no one there but us. Us being myself and the two executives who summoned me here. We're seated at a long beige table in a meeting room on the lower level. The meeting room is a single cube carved out of a three dimensional Abstract Expressionist splotch. Its walls are covered in broad sheets of paper. Each thumb-tacked or taped to one another. Each filled with rows of ideas and words stacked and numbered and underlined and each cascading into one another with some frantically circled or connected to each other by serpentine arrows . Terms like "Immediate Focus" and "Intended Now" and "Maximized Contrast" glared wherever the eye should fall. A grimorie hieroglyph scrawled in every available shade of magic marker.

And it's no different really than any of the dozens of meeting-rooms I've manned over my many decades of intermittent employability in the Cube Farms of Corporate American. The one's I've interviewed in, got hired, reviewed, promoted, downsized, laid off and fired in. The ones I fugue stated into daydream escapes that involved ninjas rappelling through the windows, bears bursting through screens lit up with the soul-draining light of Power Point presentations, spontaneous orgies induced by nanobots laced in the break-room coffee pots, fireworks bursting out of the fluorescent bulbs above and what did it matter so long as I performed wholeheartedly those tasks I was monstrously underpaid to perform?

But this time it's different.

I'm there to tell a story.

They're right there. Laptops open. Pen and paper at hand. Sincerely eager to hear why we're here on a Sunday. Above us rain patters on a wide glass skylight casting a soft ripple of shadows over the room. This is it. A moment I've waited, since, fuck, I don't know, how do you time a question you've been afraid to ask?

So here's what you need to know about me in that frozen, shit your pants and smile moment before I say word one. I am not stoned. I am not drunk. I am not there with a friend to ontologically hold my hand and do my talking for me. Know that it's been a tough year, know that I've got a dozen rejections from various publishers since Winter under my belt. Know I've gotten the last one this time last week.

Know that none of it matters because for the first time in a long time, I am not scared.

In fact I am filled with exuberance, ideas and considerations.

I am a man who is exactly where he needs to be.

One who knows this is not just a 'story' behind the pitch, but the fact beyond the Jack.

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This afternoon, with my internal clock still fucked up from Daylight Savings Time, I rode down to the E.A.Y.C. to check out a satanic bake sale that was going on (an ancient D.S.T.-Pagan tradition here in Terminus since 2013 I'm told). This was Terminus' own Baphomette's to be exact, who were offering a wide range of treats as infernal as they were delectable. Dark chocolate with red pentagram marshamallow pops and fallen angel food cake all offered up by goat-horned ladies of heathen charm. Though I'm not sure what charity the proceeds of the bake sale were going to, I can only hope that it was to help needy children receive vital black metal LPs or Advanced Dungeons & Dragons modules to help them find their way to the Good Lord Below.

Well now I'm loaded with literal devil cake for the Walking Dead I've got DVRing right now. Who can ask for more?

Baphomette 2

Fallen Angel Food Cake

Baphomette 1
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So a short story piece (under a 1000 words) got accepted and posted by Write Club Atlanta's local voice's page. Yay! You can read the piece here. Check it out please and leave a comment or a like if you're inclined to see more. Thanks.
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Hung out with a buddy I haven't seen in quite a spell. Under a Blue Moon we caught up over drinks. At one point we were approached by a delightfully drunk young lady who was part of a massive bachorelette party a table over. She told us that she convinced her gal pals that she could get one of us to seranade her right there at the bar and would we be so kind as to oblige her. Well my buddy faltered at first but I soon convinced him that we could both do 'You Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by reading the lyrics off his smartphone... and that's just what we did. At the top of our lungs while the young lady blushed and her gal pals applauded raucously. We paid our tab shortly after and made an early evening of it as I have an early day tomorrow beginning at 7 or so to pick up my badge for Dragon*Con. Can't wait - I'll be in my black hoodie and Flash t-shirt looking like an aging version of a Teen Titan. Be sure to say - 'Hi!'

I would also like to mention that one of the best ways I've ever watched Empire Strikes Back was on the bar TV tonight, with the sound muted and the jukebox playing 'Uprising' by Muse during the whole Battle for Hoth sequence.
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Most amazing night I've had in ages! The Sexual Side Effects was an amazing show. It was great hanging with the Magpie, great talking True Blood outside the club with trekkie lesbians and random passerbys. But when I danced with the prettiest gal in the bar and she leaned over to whisper in my ear to say how I reminded her of Spider Jerusalem I just about thought I found what you religious folks call heaven. Baby, if you can read this, know I'm on fire for you right now:)

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Earlier this evening, out of some combination of vanity and boredom, I typed my real name into Youtube's search engine, curious to see what results might come up. I'm not sure what I expected. An old short film I might've been an extra in during my time in Collective Works or something along those lines maybe. What I found instead completely changed my day. Right there within the first few videos I saw my father's face. Suddenly I remembered: ages ago my cousin the burdgeoning director made a short-film for my father while he was down there visiting my parents in Orlando. The point of the film was to highlight my father's experience as a copywriter in the travel and real estate markets to prospective clients. I opened the link and clicked play. I watched him come back to 'life', I watched him back in his old apartment complex down in Orlando. He was talking again and it hit me that this was now the longest amount of time I've spent without hearing his voice. Even in the Navy I would call home every port I hit and when I moved up here to Terminus we made sure to stay in touch at least once a week. It was really I don't know - sad, strange, scary - hearing his voice again after so long. I didn't remember him ever having an accent but for some reason I can 'hear' it now. However unsettling it was to see my father's 'ghost' it also reminded me of what he was like before the tumor. Funny, clever and imaginative. It was good seeing him but... I can't lie it really hurt at the same time.

This is it right here:

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Jack Babalon reading at Naked City


From my reading at Naked City back on Monday (July 2nd).

Flash Fact!

Jul. 1st, 2012 04:07 pm
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So was down at the 'Murder Kroger' earlier, helping Mom run some chores and such. Was down in the bread aisle, when this lady comes around the corner pushing her cart along with her two little boys strapped into its fold down tray. At the sight of me one of the boy's eyes went as he started frantically pointing at my t-shirt - the red one with the familiar yellow lightning bolt.

"It's the Flash!" he shouts excitedly.

His brother's eyes bulged as he gasped: "Oooohhhh".

Their mother just simply laughed and smiled at me with this helpless but playful shrug.

Boy: "Wha'chu doin', Flash?"

Me: "Well, young man, even us superheroes need to help their mothers out from time to time."

Other Boy: "Why aren't you runnin', Flash?"

Me: "Sorry, but I can only tap into the Speed Force for special emergencies."

Both boys nodded sagely at this, as if it made perfect sense to them. The mom told them to let the 'Flash' do his 'shopping' and both boys waved goodbye at me. I saluted back with a 'Justice League' sized wink.

And that was the one minute I got to spend as a superhero this week.

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Forgive me a brief moment of candidness,.... I promise I'll do my best to make it brief. The last few days have been rough. My first Father's Day without a father approaches. Every time I try to watch something on TV I'm bombarded with messages, images, pitches and pleas often with a theme of - "Don't forget, your dear old dad this Sunday", and quick clips of happy sons dutifully attending their father's satisfaction ensue. Not just on TV either, but even here in Internet-land I'm betrayed by pop up ads that blink desperately to remind me of last minute gift ideas for a man exactly one grave away from my life. The process has soured my vision to be honest, haunted my moods and nagged at my thoughts. I fear I do not meet the measure of his approval still, even being 40 years now into the game. What would he say to this man I've become I wonder, what words would he comfort or scold me with towards his vision of perfect-me.

And yet, tonight, well this morning really, I stand on the precipice of seeing something I've long dreamed of come true. Tomorrow - after a thousand delays, doubts and obstacles - the movie is being made. A short film, a sketch piece really, but one based on one of my short stories. My friends, one by one, have fallen into place to be there when I needed them. Princess, Magpie, Teddy Bear and so many others have pulled strings, called in favors, squeezed in time, laid down cash or sacrificed time just to come make a silly little narrative that crawled out of my mind's eye onto a page into an actual, well, thing.

Something funny, scary and sad. Something fantastically absurd and absolutely true. Something that will bring me a step closer to the place I've always wanted to be.

So that's me of late I guess. I'm giddy and guilt ridden. I'm ecstatic and tragic. I'm on the cusp of finally proving myself to a ghost.

I just wish he could see me now. Not just me but us. All of us. To see what I'm a part of and what we we're going to do tomorrow is just going to be the start of something magnificent.

Fuck it, maybe it's just the pre-tomorrow drinks I had maybe just one too many of. Maybe I'm drunk and seeking solace in the pipe's numb comfort. Alright, I said I'd be brief and really what else can I say but thank you.
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The final hours before dusk. Pedaling my 'Baby' through 'the City in a Forest'. For the last few days here in Terminus the air has been suffused with the pungent musk of flowers. Vague memories of weddings, funerals, and the intimate bloom of distant lovers stirred. Crisp golden light descends down quiet streets canopied under arcades of white and pink dogwood petals. The surfaces of cars, banisters, and rails dusted in a fine blanket of pea soup green pollen. Gliding down the winding bike trail parallel to Freedom Parkway, a strong wind heralding an approaching storm sweeps through the trees and plucks a soft rain of violet confetti to cascade over me. I hit the brakes, slide to a stop and dissolve into the fleeting awe of this moment in this place in the world. Baptized under the depths of an immense silence within, a grace without holiness and a gratitude without supplication.

But then the gust passes and in its place, an awareness of awareness takes over. I shake off the Satori head buzz, kick off the ground littered with tiny violet petals and pedal my way further into the city.

I don't know what it is but I haven't been myself lately... and it turns out that that's a good thing. The anger is down to the occasional spark of frustration rather than the perpetual blaze that guided me through the shadows of my dissatisfaction. The mirror of my thoughts, no longer polished with a fresh spit shine of self loathing, reflect back instead the reluctant heroes of my childhood. Though it's been months since I've known the bliss of consummation, the hunger-fever that clawed so awkwardly at the back of my head has burnt itself out, leaving me cool as ashes swallowed in the snow. Life without love no longer reduces me to being a prisoner in my own flesh, but rather has made of me both a wandering ronin and a humble pilgrim. The truth though is, since my father's memorial earlier this month, I've found myself overcome with the gentle wonder of a plane crash survivor. The world seems illuminated with quirky miracles all around me and every second seems a second chance to get it right.

But much like the blooms that garnish my adopted hometown these last few weeks, I fear this mood might wither and I'll soon find myself desperately trying to cling to a fake smile again the way the drunks cling to their glasses after last call. Still, for however long I've been granted this reprieve from myself, I'll make the best of my time in the hopes of making a better man to guide through it.
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Robert Charles Mosca sometimes was a quiet man, but never a timid one.

In my father's heart beat an adventurer's soul, with his earliest recollections that of arriving as a child to our country and no memory did he prize higher than his travels across the globe with my mother by his side. In his mind laid the raw imagination of a little boy. An imagination fed by a passionate awe for the world around him, one that coupled the vast depths of a scholar's wisdom to a poet's epic love of the word. But it was his smile that I remember best, for seeing it made it hard not to offer one of your own. And though I do remember his laugh, mainly I just recall my own and the gift he had for drawing it out on even the worst of days.

My father made me laugh, but he also taught me patience. I would often sit by his side as a little boy watching him perched over his desk for hours on end, steadily bringing his miniature armies to life with a meticulous eye for detail. A literal alchemy before my eyes, as with paint brush wielded with wand's grace he changed cast lead figurines into living battalions that marched boldly out of the history books he so cherished.

My father taught me patience, but also to never to squander my life in front of a TV or submerged within a hobby. He encouraged me to get out and explore, and our long walks together were some of the finest moments I ever shared with him. We would often follow the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail on those long Sunday afternoons, as it winded through Yonkers and spilled out into Van Cortlandt Park. As we traveled he would share with me the most fantastic stories, from the Siege of Khartoum to the exploits of the Legion of Super Heroes, from Napoleon's retreat from Russia to the nightmare visions of H P Lovecraft. Along the way he would pause to identify a bird singing in the canopy of trees above or suddenly bend down to point out a stone arrowhead hiding amongst the pebbles. There was too much to see and so little time to see it, he would frequently remind me and it was that attitude I carried with me as I left for the Navy.

My father taught me to explore, but also that love was the greatest journey a man could ever hope to undertake. My mother and the love they shared was the most remarkable adventure he ever experienced. In that love they grew from wild flower children into the Man and Woman I was blessed to receive as parents. In that love my father found solace, strength and courage. Even in the twilight of his life, my mother's presence delivered upon him a peace that surpassed even those final trials he suffered.

My father taught me all those things, but mainly he taught me to know when to get off the stage. So with that I will ask only that you pause to reflect for a moment, not on the loss of the man we knew... but rather to rejoice in the wit, compassion and love he shared so boldly with us.

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My father only has a few more days to live. He's stopped eating. Blood pressure dropping rapidly. Oxygen mask breaths. The tumor makes him fidget, he keeps trying to peel out of his gown, so they've up-ed the morphine. Tag-teaming with mom, one night she stands vigil and then I take the next. Stayed last night. Couldn't sleep in the chair, crashed on the floor instead - on a mat they stretched out for back when he was falling out of bed. But dad needs constant care so that means every ten minutes there's someone walking through the door. An endless barrage of nurses, grief councilors, chaplins, assistants of every rank and each one has a machine, a test, a question, a job to do so you sleep in snatches of minutes instead of hours.

So mainly I just stare at him. Before he looked like a scared little boy, now he resembles his father only without the snow white beard. Sleeping the way he would on the couch the way he would after a big meal and when the hour was late and the movie on the television slow. But occasionally he pops his eyes open and stares at me and when he does I'm scared. Because in those eyes wide with horror and confusion, I see the man I remember, the man I love, my father, my fucking father trapped in there and I don't know how to pull him out. I want to reach in somehow and save him but I can't.

None of us can.

So I sit there and I force myself to look into those eyes. I tell him I love him. I hold his hand, mainly because he keeps trying to pull off the mask, and I squeeze it tight in mine as if I could transfer the strength into him.

And suddenly I remember when I was a little, little kid in Brooklyn and I had this bad stomach virus. The folks had me crash on the couch so they could keep an eye on me. It was bad. I couldn't hold anything down, not even soup, not without vomiting. A terrible fever whracked me and through the nausea a terrible delirium. I kept passing in and out of sleep. At one point I came to and he was kneeling by me... the way I am now by his side... and I looked down on my lap and he had laid this great big book on the history of science fiction on my lap and my eyes lit up. I looked over and he was smiling and I felt instantly better. I was sipping spoonfuls of chicken noodle soup mom made me and flipping through the pages of the book, scouring over the hundreds of illustrations.

But dad can't read and to be honest I'm not even sure if he can hear me. In those eyes I see no sign of recognition from him. Just my mother. That's the only time he regains a semblance of coherence. Deep down I wonder if I've let him down. All I can do though is focus on the details. I hold his hand in mine anyway. I readust the mask when he wiggles out of it. I wet his lips with ice cubes and a moist hand towel. I whisper that I love him. I remind him of the good times. I play Yo-Yo Ma videos off Youtube for him. Read Murakami in the world's most uncomfortable chair, step out for a smoke every hour and dick around on the internet in between.

While my poor mother is in Hell, it would seem I'm doing my time in Purgatory.
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I want to focus, at least for a few moments, on the few days I spent recently with my 'brother from another mother' down in Jacksonville, Florida.

On the 28th of November, a very rainy day here in Terminus, I braved the wino-ghouls to make my way to the Greyhound station. One broken down bus, two missed connections in Savannah and a 16 hour trip total later I arrived in downtown, Jax.

The next two days would prove well worth the trip and then some. I stayed in a swank pool house the size of my old apartment (aka 'the Witch House'), visited a 17th century French fort along St.John's River, was given a tour of the Masonic 'Hall of Justice' and best of all got some much needed quality time with the nephew.

On the trip back of course I got a call from mom telling me the bad news about dad's seizure. But this is the calm before the storm. My best friend, whom I miss very much, delivered upon me a brief visit to Arcadia that gave me the strength needed to navigate the coming weeks' perils.

Saint John's River - Jax

Spanish Moss covered tree

Down the barrel

Bill C.

Led into the shadows by a hawk headed god


The Guardian at the Gate of the East

The Hall of Justice

French Fort

A Templar's Tale

The Weighing of the Heart against the Feather of Truth

Instruments of Navigation

Trees Weeping Ghosts... or at least so it seems to me

Secret Society Parking Only

Christmas with the Crime's


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September 2016

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