Archive | April, 2016

I was too shy to have a friend

27 Apr

I was always afraid I would say something
that would make you turn away
and not be my friend

Looking back I was insecure
not sure if I was the kind of guy
worthy of being your friend
or anyone’s friend

A boy offered me cookies during class
(vanilla wafers)
it seemed like yesterday
but it was in the first grade
and I was happy he wanted
to be nice to me

I was shy and always have been shy
(they call it being an introvert)
I have never been certain
of what to say
to make friends

this continued through high school
I was not one who knew how to talk about
fancy clothing with certain clothing labels
my parents took me to sears
to buy slacks and shirts once a year
usually just before school began

I admired the guys who dated
and had cars
and were on the sports teams
I did not have that going for me
I sat by myself at tables
in the school café
I feared if I sat down with the
popular kids
they would ask me to get up and leave

often I
ate alone
at a lonely table

I wanted to ask girls for dates
at my own high school
instead I went to dances and mixers
at other high schools
and met girls who did not know how
shy I was
many times we had fun
but the relationships did not last

those were my high school years
I thought this was a good night
to share them with you

thanks for listening

the greenwich village singer with the box of kittens who became famous

26 Apr

every day he was

strumming his guitar

singing his own made up songs

 

 

he kept a box nearby

with kittens in the box

(with water and kitty food)

children laughed and played

with the kittens

 

 

I watched

youngsters stop and listen

and people of all ages stopped

and were captivated by

the singer’s songs

 

 

they called him “the singer”

he lived and slept in central park

he  began strumming and singing

when the sun came up

hoping to be discovered

 

 

he sang

seven days a week

everyone called him

“the singer”

 

 

he was hopeful

and he was

living on a dream

his friends said his dream

would never come true

 

 

with only discouragement

coming from his friends

they all said

there are thousands just like you

strumming their guitars

and singing their songs

believing luck will some day

find them, but

“the singer” never gave up

 

 

seven years later

on another trip to Greenwich Village

I checked to see what happened to

“the singer”

he was no longer singing in the park

 

 

I asked those who knew him

has anyone seen

or heard from the singer?

 

 

I don’t know why I had to

hold

back

the tears

 

 

they were tears

of

happiness

 

 

I was told

he was offered a record contract

and several albums later

all his dreams

finally came true

 

 

I am glad he touched my life

with his songs

his hope

his joy

and with his dreams

 

 

dear  singer

I hope I get to hear you sing

in concert

will you come to Louisville

or Cincinnati or Indianapolis

near where I live

and will you smile and laugh

and say hi to me again

like you did in the park?

waking up with the blues

21 Apr

we all have mornings like this

don’t we?

for no reason we have  sleepless nights

our minds are invaded with problems

about  tasks  never completed

we think of things we said and wished

we had remained silent

we think of  things we wished we said

but did not

 

 

we just want to roll over in bed

and go back to sleep

for several more hours

or maybe the rest of the day

but we can’t

 

 

okay we say let’s get up

we drink three large

cups of coffee while staring

at the TV

(it does not matter what we are watching)

 

 

we ask ourselves one question:

“are we really going to

make it through the day” and

are we too tired to matter to anyone

or to accomplish anything of importance?

 

 

we drink our coffee, we put one foot

in front of the other

and do the first item on the list

and we go to the second item on the  list

and we start feeling good

 

 

and before we know it

we got a few things finished

we make the phone calls we dreaded,

 

 

finally

we are proud of ourselves and

will call our best friend

and say “met me for food and drinks

at the sports bar”

 

 

and now we fill like  winners

and maybe we are winners

after all

we made it through another day

why I wear salvation army clothes

17 Apr

I was tired of dressing up

to look “professional”

I had a job as a counselor

helping both the wealthy

and homeless

 

 

I was a counselor

helping people through tough times

pulling teens and adults

off drugs

 

wearing a tie and expensive clothing

was not my style

I felt it was a barrier with the poor

I went to the local salvation army store

I bought clothes for a dollar or two

things like well worn but colorful shirts

and  jeans that have been around awhile

I found hats that were fun to wear

(50 cents each on sale)

 

 

what happened surprised me

those who met with me for counseling

told me for the first time

after seeing many counselors

they felt they could be honest

and tell me everything —

they said they felt I really

understood how they felt

 

 

they told  friends

to come see me

and insist on seeing no other counselor

 

 

it appeared they wanted a counselor

who wore worn out clothes

who had been down and out

(and I really have had my share

of failures)

they felt I would not judge them

 

 

it’s funny how  other counselors

asked me if I was embarrassed

dressing as I did

some counselors offered

me money to buy better clothing

thinking I did not earn enough money  . . .

they   knew I saw people who were

not able to pay anything for services

 

 

more people, all races, all genders

came to me for counseling

other counselors I worked with

in my building could not understand

why  people wanted to see me

when, after all,

I looked like a poor loser

 

 

my  counseling friends

thought I was not being professional

I held my ground and told them

go to a salvation army store

and buy clothes and see how

comfortable others feel

 

 

but they walked away

shaking their head

feeling sorry for me

 

 

I still wear  salvation army clothes

my phone keeps ringing

now that I am retired without an office

I  use White Castle, Wendys

or McDonalds as offices to meet people

who call for help

and can’t find anyone else they can trust

 

 

 

 

 

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