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Me, Winter and Acts of Kindness

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Walking around this winter in the snow has been a bit tricky at times. With that nerve damage in my feet, I can’t feel the snow on the ground or on the sidewalks where I travel. It can be very scary, but during these winter months I’ve noticed something: There are people out there who have my back.  

The Wild Inside

0 Comments · Tuesday, February 1, 2011
At the core, I long for both sides — the practical and the soulful connection. No, I don’t expect this all of the time. I am realistic as well. The mountain woman, sure, she saw other people, and I was a mess, but how she often brought out the joy in me. The driveway man, sure, it was a one night stand. I guess I could see it like that. But he shook me up, pushing me to write, and I’m still at it.  

Goodie — 1971

0 Comments · Monday, January 24, 2011
I don’t know for sure of Goodie’s sexual orientation — don’t know if he was gay, straight, bisexual or something else. What I do know is that 40 years ago, southern Indiana wasn’t exactly a hotbed of sexual freedom.  

Wait For the Footsteps

0 Comments · Friday, January 14, 2011
I wondered how long she had waited until she didn’t hear any more footsteps. I wondered why she was the one they had robbed. I wondered if it could have been as scary as she made it seem, and I also wondered why I didn’t care.  

Life Isn’t a Sitcom

0 Comments · Tuesday, January 11, 2011
I was doing some Internet surfing the other day and came across a Web-based talk show called Wake Up and Get Real. It features Kelly Cutrone, a fashion publicist, and actress Justine Bateman. The show is kind of like The View with the lid off. I don’t know much about Cutrone. Apparently she’s also on a television show called The Hills, which I know nothing about, but I’m very familiar with Bateman. She played Mallory Keaton on Family Ties.  

Hard Miles

0 Comments · Wednesday, January 5, 2011
I’m up shit creek with a full complement of paddles, but only one arm with which to row: two days before deadline, three days removed from shoulder surgery, lost in a haze of Oxycodone while wearing a space-age sling and stockings sans garters for anti-embolism purposes.  

Living It in 2010

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Last month, the Living Out Loud column started its eighth year in CityBeat. That’s a little amazing to me, but maybe it shouldn’t be. Those who write here are observers of everyday life. If you’re paying attention to that life, you’re always going to find something to write about.  

Never Knowing My Father

1 Comment · Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Sometimes I believe a person can't control his or her own thoughts. As Christmas approaches this year, my mind is on my father and our relationship. It's much too late to change anything now. My father is dead. I'm going to take you back to a Christmas that happened close to 20 years ago. This is what I remember. This was on a Christmas afternoon eight months after my divorce.  

A Gentle Giant

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Mom called to tell me Uncle Roger had died. When someone says a person’s death is a blessing, they had people like my Uncle Roger in mind. He was diagnosed with Huntington’s chorea shortly after his retirement. It is a slowly progressive genetic disorder that affects coordination and leads to mental decline and dementia.  

Questions I’ll Never Ask

0 Comments · Tuesday, December 7, 2010
I consider myself a pretty decent guy. With people that I see and meet, I try to be nice and polite. I make the attempt to treat other people the way I want to be treated. But let me be honest here. Maybe I am a horrible person. When I pay attention to the people around me, so often it leads to questions I want to ask but don’t dare.  

Leaves Off the Trees

0 Comments · Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Most of the leaves are off the trees now. In walks that I take in my neighborhood, I watch neighbors rake up those leaves — a job I haven’t done in years. However, I remember the last time I did, and it always brings back memories of an old friend. In the early 1980s, my then wife and I decided we wanted a puppy.  

Unsuccessful Serenade

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 24, 2010
I had just sat down for Thanksgiving dinner when my phone rang. It was my sister, but I couldn't understand her. "Take a breath," I implored. After doing so, she cried, "Mark, Mom's dead! She didn't come out of her room this afternoon and Arlene broke down her door and found her face down on the floor! Oh God, Mark..."  

Sit or Spin vs. Everything Melting

0 Comments · Wednesday, November 17, 2010
I'm set, focused on my plan. At home, dressed in all blue, I'm ready to do laundry, then kick back and watch some artsy love flick about two handsome people. Restless, I need an imagination fix. Restlessness. Lately it swallows me up, coming at me like the leaf-blowing men outside — a daily, relentless explosion.  

Rubber Balls

3 Comments · Tuesday, November 9, 2010
This story is basically true, but I'll be changing a few facts around. I don't want Mary — that's the name I'm going to give her — to recognize herself. The reality is she probably won't be reading this anyway, as she doesn’t like alternative newspapers. The Wall Street Journal is more her thing. She’s a businesswoman who works downtown.  

Eternal Flame

0 Comments · Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I wasn’t supposed to be kissing my stepsister. No, it was supposed to be one of her friends, The Twins. Which one I wasn’t sure, but, no matter, she chickened out and my stepsister suggested herself as a replacement. Thus, we lay in the basement making out, my head swimming with the absurdity of it all.