Tag Archives: Writing

When I’m Injured

So, I am injured. I think it’s a stress fracture. In my head. Okay, that’s not true. It’s in my foot. My running foot. Well, I actually run with two feet. That is to say, both of my feet. Needless to say, I am going crazy. It’s not fun. I love to run. It makes me happy. And while I am living, I aim to maximize my happiness.

Injuries are like happiness assassins. They’re like “oh, you like to run? Yeah, well, take that!” POW! BOOF! SPLAT!

And then I’m injured.

And no, I am still young. Don’t you dare.

And no, I don’t do too much. That’s plain ol’ poppycock.

Right now, I am running in my mind. It’s soooo nice in here.


Jessica says that I should lay on the bed, on my back, and rotate my legs and arms so it “feels” like I’m running.

I told her to stuff it.

Because, you know, we love each other.

A sampling of that love:

Facebook back and forth

Happy running, idiots.

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Creating The Villain

They tell me I simply need to let it be; to pay no mind. But how is such a thing possible? The anguish that was caused; the heartache; the grief; these are attributes of my character, in the sense that they have shaped my emotional, intellectual and mental understanding of the world, of people, and the way in which these things interact with one another.

Wait, scratch that. I know it’s possible to let it be. After all, if I don’t, then he’s winning.

But, what if I don’t want to? What if I need him to play the role of the tormentor? What if I need to relegate him to evil, dictatorial villain?

What if I need to know that a person like that will struggle, experience hardship?

Don’t I have some say as to how he does this? Am I not part of the social barometer that demonizes infidelity, abuse, hypocrisy? If not, then who? Not, quite assuredly, god; the latter of which I find to be especially frustrating. To live forever, after this? Really?

Presumably psychologists would say that I was losing it; that I, to some degree, am failing to see the picture. I beg to differ. It’s really quite simple.

A is evil.

A causes B pain.

B’s pain surfaces when A’s damaging effects are witnessed within context of familial structure.

In order to absolve pain, B must do one of two things:

B can steer clear of the rest of family.

B can implement the “A as villain” approach.

If option 1 occurs, B suffers.

If option 2 occurs, B finds solace.

Or perhaps B needs to get over it.


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Blood is Blood

“Well, they are blood, so you got to love them.”

I heard someone say this the other day. They were speaking to the concept that if one is related to you by blood, then you must share with that person a certain level of love, care and respect. I think this argument is somewhat irrational. For instance, I love my brothers. They are related, by blood. But it isn’t their blood which keeps me close, or inspires me to express gratitude or care or respect or love. It is their actions, their intents. Not the fact that we are related by blood. That doesn’t mean anything.

If, for example, a brother of mine chose to act in a way that was expressive of disrespect, lack of care or concern in keeping in touch, I wouldn’t be obligated to mend such a relationship by the simple fact that we are related. I could, however, choose to mend to discover if the lack of care was disingenuous, or shadowed by some protective facade. If I found out it was genuine, I’d surely be upset, but I wouldn’t be moved or persuaded by their relation.

You have to give me a reason to care for you, to love you. Blood, by itself, is not enough. Or, more accurately put, blood doesn’t amount to much at all, if anything.

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Crusty Ovals of Cough Syrup-y Goodness

I have a fondness for jelly beans. But not the Jelly Belly brand jelly beans. I like the ones that are about three times the size of those. The ones with the mildly crusty shell that may or may not be the result of old age, having sat on the store shelf for Easters past. The ones with the purples that taste of cough syrup and the white ones that taste of a mix between the “mystery” AirHead flavor and coconut.

You see, I have what one could claim as an old-fashioned sense of taste in sweets. I adore black licorice. Hard candies. Peppermints. Horehound. And I often joke that I pay young neighborhood kids in lemon drops for mowing the lawn and pulling weeds in the yard.

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The Pharmacist and His Gun

I am a pharmacist. My pharmacy sits in a precarious spot, far from the casual meander’s eye. As such, I don’t get much business. I thought about moving, but my wife says she could care less about the money it makes, just as long as I can support her codeine addiction.  So it stays in the precarious spot down the alleyway, behind the suspect Arby’s, where they make those agitated roast beef sandwiches.

Often, my pharmacy gets robbed. 37 times, to be precise. Most of the time the purloining fuckheads want drugs. In fact, 99.9 percent want drugs. Oxycontin, methamphetamine, adderall, anabolic steroids, barbiturates. The other .1 percent, believe it or not, find solace in the cool comfort of maxi-pads pressed to their faces. Like dandelions. The next morning they are usually too delirious to make much sense, the chlorine having messed up their brains.

I’ve never been a gun guy before, but I was sick of these pinheads and their pointy handguns. So I went out and bought a 357 Magnum. My brother, the sheriff of Concord, told me it was a good one, and I trust my brother. The night of the 38th break-in started out the same as the others. But as the pencil dick pointed his gun, I responded with my own.

I’ll never forget that feeling. Watching the robber freeze up, caught off guard, turn heel and run out. I chased him, you know. And then I shot at him. But I missed, as pharmacists tend to do with guns. They miss. And the fuckers get away. But I think just maybe he’ll tell his friends that the old man at the pharmacy down the road has had enough. That he can’t shoot for shit, but he’ll sure as hell try.

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Subject + Verb Writing Company is Here!

As most of you know, I’ve wanted to start my own creative services company for quite some time. I mean, heck, I am in love with the written word. And, frankly, it loves me. So I thought, I have the experience, I have the talent, I yearn to break away from the mold of corporatism – why shouldn’t I? Consequently, Subject + Verb Writing Company was born!

It’s only been a few days up and running, but I have built a website (which I am still in the process of tinkering with), created a Facebook page, started a Twitter account and signed up on LinkedIn.

So if you’re in need of writing, editing or proofreading services – or if you know someone who would benefit from  these services- please contact me at nwels@SubjectPlusVerbWriting.com. Or you can contact us on our website. Click here! If you’re on Twitter, follow us. If you’re on Facebook, like us. If you’re on LinkedIn, follow the company.


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Giddiness in the Stillness Before the Journey

She sits on the vinyl UFO stool, casually twisting back and forth, with her too-long legs swaying below the foot rest.

Before her, a plate of what appears to be some type of chocolate mousse, and a ceramic mug of coffee. On the stool next to her rests a backpacker’s pack – a long journey of a pack, meant for treks into the wilderness, into the great beyond, into the starry night skies of worlds unseen.

She’s alone, a traveler, but she seems to be fine with this. Content. Giddy almost. With the to and fro of her legs revealing this particular bit about her. The coffee mug at her lips is still. She contemplates its warmth. Her breath exaggerating the steam that tenderly licks her face.

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The Day I Stopped Eating – Volume Two

It was then, on that day, I had stopped eating.

Some time before that, it was a series of father-acts-like-father, mother-cries-on-shoulder, father-berates-mother, mother-bad mouths-father, father-reacts-in-violence sort of episodes. And a little while before that it was mostly silence, and pondering. Silence and pondering and worrying. Then, sometime later, it was the control.

Losing control in the marriage I could not fix. In the relationship I could not mediate. In the anguish I could not subdue.

Fighting to hold onto some semblance of hope, happiness.

And yet I lost it all. All but one.

The control I had over my physical self. The frame of which melted to a paltry skin and bones, a pallid palate of sharp angles and sunken atrophies and aches that went on for days.

Slowly, and surely, I stopped eating.

I couldn’t bring myself to do much of it. Didn’t pay much mind to it.

Eating, then, had become a useless activity, a waste of time, of energy.

And so I gave it up in pursuit of melancholy dreams, and the hair that fell out in clumps while I slept, and the bones that rattled to and fro, and the ache in my heart that I just, quite simply, decided to exacerbate.

More to come your way in Volume Three (you can read Volume One here)

*Note: the impetus for these recent outpourings are nothing to do with the eating. I am a healthy eater. Don’t fret about that. The impetus, rather, is of a familial nature. A parental nature. To do with the father, specifically; and to this man I say, no more, sir. I am done.

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To Find Comfort

I once found comfort in the known quantities.

At least I thought I knew.

That is, until I decided to know.

Or to glean.

To challenge.

And pursue.

But now, the quantities are less familiar.

Less known.

And yet, so very exciting.

Valued. Worthy.


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And Alasdair Emerges Once Again!

Alasdair Galloway, the young protagonist, and his traveling companion, the magician Shamus, are on the road once again!

The pair just took part in a magic show given at the retirement home in Flagstaff. Below is an excerpt from the night before the event.

Some twenty minutes later, we arrive in Flagstaff. Deciding together we’d find a hotel first, Shamus guides Magdalena into the parking lot of a Holiday Inn Express in the center of town. Stepping out of the trolley, I notice that the town doesn’t resemble the other places we’ve seen along the way. Not entirely, at least. Before, in the towns where there were mountains, they seemed too far away, too distant and simply part of the vacant landscape. Here, the range is a part of this town, part of the population, praised and admired. And I can see why. It’s beautiful. In the dark, I can just make out the outline, as the remnants of a setting sun illumine its snow-capped edges- a distinct silhouette carved into the fading late afternoon sky.

After checking in, and throwing our luggage into the hotel room, Shamus and I decide to stretch our legs. A night on the town, I think. Shamus, the magician, and I, the lonesome wanderer. It’s chilly outside, so I take the hoodie that’s wrapped around my waist and put it on. Being of entirely too-worn cotton, it doesn’t protective me well against the night’s brisk air. And so, almost involuntarily, I do a quick one two, to my left and then to my right, like Dorothy and Gang atop that yellow brick road. I tell myself it’s a good way to keep warm, that it’s merely an instinctual response to the briskness of the air. I look over at Shamus who appears to be eyeing a rather colorful candy shop across the street. He hadn’t noticed anyhow.

So I do it again. This time, with a bit more pep. I’m in front of Shamus now, walking just a few yards ahead, and I know he must have seen. But I don’t mind- and perhaps that’s indicative of my moment of clarity in the tree, clutching the fading remnants of a once prideful courage; a courage to be seen, to run, to dance.

It was that way once. Long ago. Lampposts, then, were not just the large candy cane flashlights they appear to be. Then, so very long ago, with a smile on my face and my cheeks as the rosy red warriors they so often seem to be, I swung from those metal cylinders, like Gene Kelly in Singin’ In the Rain. And I reckon, the response is in fact instinctual; or rather, to be more specific, it’s genetic.

I can thank my mother for that. She had a penchant for Mr. Kelly. He danced like one should dance, she had always said. And I agreed. But that’s the small picture. In whole, it was my mom’s love for musicals, for dance, and for singing. To glean a clearer picture of the genetic correlation, I need only point to the a capella renditions of any number of Julie Andrews, Doris Day, or Bing Crosby songs she liked to belt out on our way to school; the wild woman dancing in the kitchen, paying no mind to the kids that roll their eyes and the husband that tells people he doesn’t know her; or by the simple fact that she had owned every musical under the sun, in both DVD and VHS format, and could probably recite, word for word, every song in each of them.

So as I saunter back and forth in genetic predisposition, I thank my mother for the time we had, and the lighter memories that break through this revelatory peregrination.

Here goes.

On My Way to Somewhere

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