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Fragments Of Time


The odor of booze sits heavy in the air, a ribbon of light streaks across the dusty barroom floor.  An antique jukebox plays "Am I Blue?"  A woman sets aside her shot, spins on the bar stool, and saunters toward a darkened corner where a young man, gulping a beer, sits alone at a table.

She leans over his table, her less than ample cleavage in sight, and purrs, “Wanna’ dance?” 

He rivets her with weary eyes, “Love to, but I can’t.” 

“Aw, come on,” she pleads. “Anybody can dance.” 

“Not me, pretty lady,” he answers with a half-smile.

“Left my legs in Iraq.”                


Wartime!  She ran as fast as her thirteen-year-old legs could carry her.  As she tripped around the corner of her familiar street, the deafening buzz of death seemed as close to her as her London school uniform clinging to her sweat-soaked back.  She knew if the ominous sputtering sound of the V1 bomb suddenly stopped, it will have found its’ target.  

As she thrust her key into the door lock of her home, the petrified silence hit.  Fear burned through the tissues of her brain.  She turned the sturdy metal key with such force it snapped in two.  Her legs buckled.  She cowered in the corner of the doorway.  
The bomb exploded.

The door, including its frame, was the only one left 
standing on the block of homes, and she was safe.

My English landlady told me this true story. opened.  


They come at night with fairy wings and sugar breath.  They caress my cheek and mesmerize my brain.  They drain my essence and insert their own.  Worried friends say I’ve changed, but I know different.  This is who I have always been.  My body is strong as steel, my mind is sharp as diamond gloss.  I am free from the mundane, the pack, the politics and wars.  Everyone insists on my seeing a psychiatrist.   I do.  As I gently hold his hand, he dissolves like spit on cotton candy. 

By the way, what was YOUR address again?