A Night at the Opera . . .

Phantom mask with booksDasad arrived ten minutes before the curtain rose.  Luckily I had anticipated my friend’s dragonboat practice and emailed his ticket earlier.  Nearly all seats had filled by then, stuffed with men and women in varied degrees of pain.  I remained seated as we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries.

“Sorry dude, but this is the least uncomfortable contortion I managed in the last half-hour.  If I lose it, I might begin to cry,” I said pointed to my knees tightly wedged under my chin.  Behind my ear, my left toe twitched miserably.

“Seriously, I’m this close,” I said pressing my thumb and index finger together, “to sawing off my feet until this thing is over.  If you think I’m kidding hand me a pen-knife.” Continue reading

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Citizens of the World

The cards were inconspicuous enough.  Several small slips of yellow cardboard piled neatly at the end of our pew, silently asking for information.  “What are the respective ages of you and those family members attending this mass?” it read.   Behind us, Ms. Pat, our next-door neighbor whispers while the collection baskets circulate among the congregation.

“Better fill this thing out guys.  I usually forget this nonsense, but if they don’t meet their quota, they’ll cancel 7:30 mass.  You know what that means . . .” Continue reading

Shattered Pride

Shannon sat in the back seat grumbling under his breath, indignant for this latest round of family-sponsored molly-coddling.  His leg, swollen and bruised rested uncomfortably on the backseat.  Each bump along the roadside — already mottled with winter-forced cracks and potholes — triggered another painful diatribe on why doctors suck and how his body is in fact invulnerable.  I smiled.  Mom simply tutted at each whispered curse, replenishing her rebuttals for the next explosion of rhetoric . . .

“I haven’t broken anything!  It’s just a sprain.  Throw a little ice on it and it’ll be fine in a day or two.  Drown out the pain with work and alcohol.  A doctor’s office and a sober mind . . . just like health insurance: ain’t worth a damn thing.” Continue reading