#LiverpoolFC

You Will Never Walk Alone

I am still processing that something amazing has finally happened amid all the darkness. Liverpool FC are Premier League Champions. It is their first time winning the English league in thirty years, first time in the Premier League era.

Let me explain. I left the UK in 1987. Liverpool were always the top of the league. I would go through Liverpool to take ship to Ireland to visit my cousins. I was meant to be either Man United or a Chelsea supporter. Long story that. But first time I heard the voices of Liverpool supporters lifted up together singing “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, I had to be part of that.

It has been a long, dreary three decades. We had close moments in those years, but the moment Jurgen Klopp appeared, I knew something special was happening. That man will surpass old Bill Shankly in his influence.

I had been so depressed with all the ugliness in the world these days. Thursday was a nice bit of light. I know most won’t understand. There’s just something so beautiful in watching a group of players from every possible background working together at a common goal and playing with such passion and joy. And clearly playing for us fans, for the people of Liverpool, to give them that spark, that hope in all this darkness. You will never walk alone.

Pandemic · Prophecy · Pugs

The Plague

On November 2, 2015, I wrote this fast fiction entry for a contest sponsored by Janet Reid, agent extraordinaire and Queen of the Known Universe. Ever since I can remember, starting with my earliest memories of childhood, the coming of plague has been on my mind.

They have happened always. I remember a teacher telling me that nature was a big, bad bitch and took care of culling the human population when it got out of hand by three measures: war, famine, and plague. There was nothing we could do about it but try and survive.

My flash fiction entry – Nov 2, 2015

The morning news is plague in Middle East.
“Take out the garbage,” I tell my son.
“Yes, father.”
“Did you do your lessons?”
“Yes, dad.”
Exit is backed up. We’re late.
By lunch plague creeps into Europe.
“Want to give blood for plague victims?” I ask.
“Sure, dad. Whatever you want.”
My son smiles at needle and nurse. 
He shares his snack.
Night falls. Plague is everywhere.
“His blood is the cure,” the doctor claims.
Relief.
“We need all of it.”
My son or the world? Oblivious, the world rejoices.
All that remains is a cross marking my son’s sacrifice.

We all die. We would all rather it not be today. In the end, that is not something any of us get much of a say in. Mortality, at least embedded in this particular flesh, is an absolute.

If a savior arises, we will have no idea. It’s not like in books and fairy tales. Humanity is not a wise creature in the collective. We murder our saviors. And before that, we hate on them. A lot. While praising those who shackle us.

Anyhow, I knew the plague was coming.

And so did you.

And now it is time for another nap.

If I die before I wake, somebody please take care of my dog.

Frankie, unimpressed by the Plague

dogs · life · Pandemic · Pets · Writing

Pug Corner – Frankie and Social Distancing

FAA406AB-4FEB-411B-B0D4-795B80C80813Frankie is confused. Pleased but really confused. Her daily routine is turned upside down and now she has to think of other activities to bark about.

The human is home ALL the time. That never happens. Frankie cannot properly nap in the morning after walk and breakfast. The human is there, chattering in ways that have nothing to do with treats and tummy rubs.

Walks. They are strange. Frankie loves visiting the dog 2D1097A5-80DA-4969-BA35-EAAE2CD6AFBEpark and getting pets and love from all the people there. And now the human will not go to the dog park. When we see Jaspar, the world’s greatest French Bulldog, Frankie cannot go near him. Why?

The human says social distancing. Germs are about. What in the world is a germ? Is it like a cat? Whatever it is, it makes the human sad. She cries sometimes for no reason at all. She does not watch her favorite game with the Liverpool thing that makes her dance and sing. Frankie never thought to miss that.

Frankie does not know what social distancing means and does not, will never believe that being alone all the time can be good for dogs or bipeds. Germs be damned.

1942B05B-8264-4EBC-8935-F5F2EA23F5AEEspecially Frankie’s human who does not get enough love and play as it is.

How is Frankie going to teach the human how to interact with other dogs and humans, teach it the value of the pack if the human refuses all pack behavior? Just a little longer, the human says. It is not forever. The only time a pug understands is forever so what is happening?

It is a mystery. At least the human is here and feeding Frankie every day. There is still an eternity to save my human.

Angels and Demons · Books · Villains · Writing

An Ancient Tome

I wrote a paper on JRR Tolkien for an independent study while in school in London thirty years ago. Time is beating the crap out of me, no doubt. So I wanted to travel to Oxford to have look at a few original sources kept in the University libraries.

One of my professors proudly supplied me with a pass. However, I did not realize there were limitations to the pass. Much to the horror of the librarians, I was drawn to a restricted section full of ancient tomes. Most were locked behind glass. That should have been a hint.

There was, among those moldy old books, one left unintended written in a script and language I could not decipher. On impulse, I picked it up thus earning my lifetime banishment from that library.

It was totally worth it, despite the possible apocalyptic horror it might have unleashed. Oopsie.

In the  moment I touched that book, I felt a surge of energy pulse through me. Possibly  brought on by the horror of the ruddy security guard sputtering at me. I prefer to believe that electrified pulse came from the book itself, the book wanting to impart its contents to someone, anyone.

All books are magic. I have no clue what was in the book I came across, be it spells of a lost power or possibly a transcription of some church records. I never could find out. My escort, the one that unceremoniously threw me out of the library into the rain, only lectured me on how rude Americans could be and would hear no excuses from me.

I only had my imagination to go by. I think the script was Gaelic of some kind. It possibly came from a monastary but I don’t even know how old the book might have been. I did not have enough time to examine the vellum. Might it have been crafted of human skin? There was a time… but such parchment would not hold ink for so long. Well, unless there was some evil enchantment at work. Definitely a possibility.

My imagination crafted that old restricted book into a grimoire, a spell book for the darkest of sorcerers. And so filled my nights with horrors for years after, some demon force chasing me across time and space.

Now, I seek a way to defeat the dark magic unleashed on me by that ancient tome, to tame or banish the demons that rose with its powers. Sadly, books of miracles, are so rare. Well, I never could find one equal to the demons that haunt me so I decided I would write one, an Idyll. I am running out of time. I can’t hold off those demons  much longer.

I do apologize if my jaunt into the restricted section of the library ultimately leads to a zombie apocalypse. Awkward.

Dreams · Prophecy · Writing

Mind the Gap

London 057Last night I dreamed I returned to the United Kingdom. I always meant to go back there, to live there for a time once more as I did when I was at University.

The last time I visited, I took my  fourteen year old daughter. That was thirteen years ago. We enjoyed such an adventure. There was no plan. We traipsed around England, mostly staying in London, exploring freely.

London had changed a bit since my school days, but not so much as to lose that ambience of long endurance and that incredible air of fable. Time still seemed in long supply, and I believed I would return again. I did not factor in the world going quite so utterly mad.

london night lights bridge

My dream revealed a withered and dying United Kingdom, a divided and broken land, its culture and people utterly vanquished.  South Kensington, the place I had lived as a student, was lined with crucified bodies, heads on spikes. Masked men wearing  black robes patrolled the streets, heavily armed. In my dream, they turned to carrion birds to feed on the ashes of the land they conquered. It was horrifying. Perhaps, a symptom of playing too many video games and reading too much dystopian fantasy.

I woke up weeping for its demise more than I would for my country of birth. I rolled out of bed in the night’s darkest hours before dawn and immediately took to my computer to seek plane reservations that I might return there before my visions could come to fruition.

I believed I was awake in a bright morning to find my reservations well in place. I packed and gathered my passport and arrived in London. No, I had not awaken from my nightmare. The UK was still there, but it felt dead, like a movie set more than the real place.  I told myself it was the hour of the day, and entered the tube station at Piccadilly Circus.

People packed into the platform and that gave me comfort. Here they all were, citizens of London, waiting for their train. The train came and true to nature, the people queued up to enter as a mechanized and polite voice reminded them.

“Mind the gap.”

No one did. By the time I boarded the train, all of those people disappeared into the gap which for me was a simple step and for them, an unscalable chasm. Then I awoke to my life once more, and I wrote this blog post. Let this only be a nightmare. Please, world, mind the gap.