Random Distinction

           

I’m sitting at the computer waiting for the time to pass until I will leave to drive to pick up my sweetheart and head to Louisville, KY for the 2021 USA Volleyball National Championships, held over Memorial Day weekend. I’m playing in the 70+ division and can’t believe I’m actually that old. Does my disbelief make it true? Some would believe it might. So, as I was thus sitting, I was browsing some of my older writings and I came across this tidbit that I decided to share with you (if it is indeed you reading this, of course.) One of my random offerings of stream of (sub)consciousness inspiration that find their way out of my jumbled thought processes and onto the page of the computer screen. A typically strange flow of imagery and word plays that amuse me and confuse you (you’re still there, right?) and feed my creative urgings. They are hungry.

I haven’t posted here (on one of my blogs on WordPress) for quite some time, and the system has been altered such that I am not sure what I’m doing, thus much nothing is changed and all is well.

So sit back (or sit up, I’m not terribly particular on that), read the words, reread some of them (it takes two to tangle) and then continue on with your day. And I wish you a most pleasant day, as it may, as I spike this literary ball from the past (as is the accompanying photo) at you:

Contrastic perpitude devolves ambient ambivalence in both directions toward the middle. I clutter and quake in steady flux. Substantial eyes drift aground and hold fast to the slow pace. The numbers add up to a disparate loss to gain a different view of intent, all things passing on the whims of rationalization. Look again, see yourself. Fascinating boredom, I’m sure… it works for me, at least. A chair curves above the folding floor, all hands wringing hard and sharp. The end result held forth and dropped like a hint of satisfaction. Initiates start to function as fall back alternatives to comprehension in moot points, letting the entire scheme idle like a rock. Wow… that’s serious finagling. Risk is a committee activity, (with or without someone else,) so let’s all have fun! I am pleasantly distracted and let the explanations speak for themselves for the moment, giving my alert numbness a wrest for the better. Intellectual emotion tickles my fancy and places me in a clear fog from which to function. Why create new problems when the ones we face are so clearly misunderstood?

            The environment of change is giving rise to the horizon of perceptions found in our hopes and fears, caught in the various dreams we have not yet felt but still strive to change to meet our thus anticipated needs, showing that what we see is not only in front of us (within this eternal moment,) but keeps peripheral activity floundering to maintain. The eyes have it lost on track. Stayed tuned for the continuing stagnation and put your best foot in its proper mouth. Well spoken, even through the mumbling.

Transloquate.

Initiation does not preclude residual pain. This leads us up to today’s Pop Quiz Question (ready, Father Time?): Which came first, the chicken or the duck?

The wind rustles the leaves of my memories, bringing some to conscious sunlight and leaving others in forgotten shade, yet restless still. Emotions are splayed fast and furious, confounded aspirations see the blind vision, hear the voiceless sorrow, touch the ephemeral substance of acknowledgement and hit the nail on my head. The truth rings out. In a perfect world we wouldn’t be here.

Impetuous ambiguities hold firm my daily stress and keep me guessing as to which source of pain and/or frustration I will experience at any given moment.

            So: it goes, around a standstill perception, giving cause to wonder at the ever centripetal view. My ear hurts, but that’s just from being spiked with a volleyball. Soon, the world will spin us off into the void. Ice cradles my dreams and darkness holds comfort just beyond awareness… the time trips, stumbles and calls us on.

Time for Volleyball

01212021 Spontaneity Flames

Start writing it says. But what if I started reading first and then wrote later to catch up more easily on what I’d like to say? Make a note of that. Be sharp. On with the show. See. The light. Shine on you crazy zirconia.

(There’s a photo of artwork that goes here, but the powers that unveil haven’t written how to read into the visibility feasibility for such attentions and are obscure in altered substant parameter controls toward the yield of said labored action. I’ve got half a mind to just tell you off to one side or the other, but I’m too busy wondering which half a mind I don’t have, and let it all pass like the wind at your heels. Better than failing. Read into it as you will, but no peeking at the art that isn’t there without permission.)

The End of the 60’s

120820

Sixty-nine years old

Until tomorrow.

I haven’t written for quite some time and I’m not sure if I still can have a productive go at it, but here I go: at it.

Once I reach this age I will no longer be as young as I was, but that won’t hold time against me, it will keep up on its own. I am a product of the sixties but I will no longer be a part of them as the slide rule of entropy gravis cannot be denied, and while the numbers go up, the ride is easing down. The depth of the slide ride is yet to be determined, and I’m enjoying this latter part of it in so many ways. Age earns wisdom through perspective, memory and acceptance of change, which is how some older folks become acerbically outspoken and are known as wise guys. Little left to chance, the odds stacked in even piles, each year a separate token, each person’s pile climbing as they age on. The point is not to win the biggest pile, but rather to make those stacked tokens colorful and vibrant with a well-lived life, each token a diverse encapsulation of experiences and sensations held in memory form and substance. Enjoy the beauty of the building of the pile and don’t bother looking up, the ceiling will find you when you get there, no problem.

Is there a place to start and a thing to say that will somehow guide a direction toward which I might direct my written thoughts, or is this a question that answers itself, and thus questions its own being, negating its purpose full circle until then, yes, it will be a direct statement instead. Questions? Reminiscing is a delightful pastime, but what goes on right now is so interesting that I know I’d be reminiscing about it sometime in the future if I wasn’t so busy enjoying what will be happening at the time, at least that’s the way I fondly recall it. How many one-liners does it take, speaking for myself and, rhetorically, for the reader of these words, to amuse you into believing that one thing you are sure of is that time marches on and stops for no one. Look at the tokens. See the tokens in countless piles across the view of humanity. Time has been slowed to a standstill in myriad ways through tokens left by those long gone, tokens that provided other tokens with reflections that gave greater luminosity to all around. And so, as I breathe deep and look all around at the endless vision of tokens piled into the fading distance against a vague background of imagination, I opt to deal out of that hand and go to get something in the fridge.

Coconut milk ice-cream. I love it.

Upon returning, I am again, still, faced with my impending 70th birthday tomorrow. How time has flown.

I do not feel satisfied with my pile of tokens as they have been stacked, the variance of dissatisfaction fluctuating between extremes at both ends of either side, and yet I still retain belief that the drawings, the words, the art and the interactions with others over the years, the tokens of my life, in some way may help bring positive light to other tokens as the piles grown on around us all. I’ll leave a light on for you.

Perceiving variance of activity-based cognitive relating-intent toward communication is spot on, aren’t you? Don’t worry, I don’t either. This leaves us both with little else to do except read the words and, hopefully, figure it all out from there. To get there is the tricky part, for it is the actual ploy of the medium that is rarely well done and in need of coaching on the side, like a well-defined salad of words, and a role for the understudy, feeding the need of belonging. All: Together now.

I believe that did it. We are securely ensconced in the cavernous realms of the second page with no bottom in sight (look out for the damned ceiling). This reminds me of the time that we just got here, and so we carry on as if it never happened, letting us all get on with the show. Meanwhile, our hero (that’s you, oh implacable reader) has wandered off the rounded edges and found a short detour into another thought altogether: How did I get to be this old? Goodness but I have had an interesting life, and a generally good life. And I see my life now is the best now I could imagine, and I’ve got a pretty good imagination, but anyone would have to be awfully fast to imagine now other than now is, isn’t it? I’m past that.

Then twisting our tale like a tie around a hair-do, we wind up in some kind of drab and uninteresting place that has little to offer and less to take, the edges peeling and cracked from being ignored, the decor uninspired and dated, the air stale and dry. Humdrum and patience bide their time over at a table in the corner at the start of a new sentence, but do little to otherwise stir the air and create an image of activity within the confines of what is presented to your reading eyes. Alone and lost with the words, you let them enter your mind and touch defined application within the established realm of your comprehension, seeing what they mean but somehow not meaning what you see, finding that you can’t turn around before you leave unless you’re going the other way to begin with. Fluctuating connotative stasis keeps you from being too level-headed, yet able to read into the words what you think you might understand in a different way, if that was the case, but that writes you on the straight and narrow in any direction you may go at any time you may choose for whatever reason you may have for however long you want to go there. Float. You dream as if your eyes are closed (if they are you’re a pretty good psychic to read this) and of having your eyes opened to the beauty of things you can’t see but feel in some pro-found way of being anti-lost, the warmth of affection, the touch of companionship, the substance of being human, the meaning of all life and reason coming to rest in comfort in the quiet, flowing stream of consciousness through the words as they are written before you now, here while we follow this together as you drink it all in with your sightless open eyes.

Still thirsty? I sift, chew and swallow, not sure what I’m getting but feeling refreshed for the effort. I’m sure that if you tag along in your reading device you will find that when you thought you were lost you were really finding yourself in the fast lane to confusion and lost to the need for a settled place or acknowledged location. I’ll find you there. Right now, though, I’m hot on the trail of my last few minutes of being sixty-nine and I don’t want to miss an exciting moment of this spontaneous literary endeavor, editing notwithstanding. If I knew what I wanted to say you probably won’t find it here, but this is as close as I can reach you through the written word medium, so we’ll have to settle for that. Therefore, I offer congratulations and festivities for your maintaining your own activity in visual contact with what is written, for it can’t read itself, no matter what it says. (Says who?) The eyes have it under cover and control in gentle focused contact, brushing over every word, each a trigger of meaning and intent, finding the path they form, following the lead of intention, seeking the way to the next comprehensive assessment and conclusion, beyond the blind spots inherent in some random cases (I had a blind spot once, but it kept bumping into things and I had to white it out) and eventually filling out the shape of a thought, I think.

My two minutes worth have the audience on the edge of the seat of my chair. See you on the flip side and we’ll see what you look like there.

120920

Good morning! I see you’ve made it! Well done and congratulations! And you don’t look a sentence older than when you were with me last year. How time flays! It wasn’t easier getting here to these latest few words and I’m too old for all the rigmarole associated with being aged, so I’ll take my leave now and wish you well. I’m sure you can do it on your own and that you will have great adventures and entertainments along the way.

Cheers!

As an Old Man, I’m going to bed.

Calmly Frantic To Be-Mused

I’m absolutely befuddled by my age. What the heck happened and how did I get to be this old? How did my life come to the situations I find myself within? What am I looking for and is it actually attainable? What is going on with my choices and reactions such that I seem to be treading water uphill against the wind? How can I viably deal with all the chaos and fragmentation in my abilities to face it? What options do I actually have, and who is asking all these questions?

Maybe I’ll write notes:

The spirit of Life shines brightest in those who have the least to give, yet who still give with generosity.

‘Twas the night before Christmas and I went to bed.

Culling the tallow at simultaneous extremities.

The silent alarm is ringing.

He’s a few drops of water short of a puddle.

How would you like your statistic to be slanted?

Turning the corner on confusion, I stroll down the lane and arrive at my destination in time to wonder where I am.

Corporatopoly

Fighting illness taxes my dwindling resources to their exhausted limit, and I’m sick and tired of it.

Dulce et decorum erstwhile.

Duplicitous, equivocating society

Caught in the spur of the momentum.

My fears keep me company in times of insecurity.

An advanced retreat

There are weirdoes among us

Lazy fare ergonomics

Caught in the surface reflections of a chitterchat mind

Like the Cheshire Potato, where all you see are its eyes, just because you aren’t looking for something doesn’t mean you won’t find it.

Trapped in the identical version of two different stories

Sally forth and plunge head long and mind short into the door of opportunity and dream: closed for repairs.

To date, this is the oldest I’ve ever been.

Euphoric, me Tarzan.

Compassion only exists toward those not known, otherwise it is obligation and self-service.

Perfection is a concept by which we define things as we would like them and not necessarily as they are. Everything is perfectly itself.

Spam: delete it or eat it.

Bold trepidation

I believe I see the source of your problem: your parents met.

Since the company payroll department has gone paperless, I am mailed an empty pay envelope. However, I have not noticed any significant difference in the amount of pay enclosed.

Corporate doublespeak with the word ‘empowerment’ replacing the words ‘added responsibilities’.

From the depths of depression to the heights of despair, it’s a rollicking, fun-filled adventure into the everyday comedy that life brings in the desperate struggle to survive.

Tromp l’oy vey

It’s not going outside your comfort zone, it’s expanding your sphere of comfort.

If you didn’t see it gone, how do you know it wasn’t there?

I have nothing, but I will gladly share it with you.

A venomous snake is a beautifully desirable thing to another venomous snake.

My social skills shy from overt mingle, enhanced by my inability to hear, encourage me to enjoin this opportunity to swirl in your eyes as I imagine them, blind as a book that no one reads. And you?

With baited breath I smell worms.

Cry ‘Hammock!’ and let loose the logs of snore.

Peripheral obliquity

Beware the piranhasaurus!

The late night moon offered a light snack for my hungry vision.

The world is getting less and less user friendly

Money is free speech only if everyone has the same weight of voice

There were sheep all around, but I never heard them bleating, no I never felt their needing, ‘til there was ewe…

It all seems real, but it’s probably just you reading about it.

Don’t listen to these words: here them!

The incessant choreography of revisionist ‘history’

No matter how careful you are, how meticulous you plan or how detailed you envision, when you get to the future, here you are.

Invocation to the muse: caffeine.

Proxsymetry

Taking first things first, with one thing at a time in between.

The stately halls of inconclusive re-adjustments

The Turgid Nozzle Band

Another beautiful day in the neighborhood… it makes me wish I was there instead of here at work.

There’s more to everything than meets with expectations

Transluscend

From clear to infirmity

Corruption, thou art a party-less politician

The impassioned power of overt creativity is caffeined upon me.

 

Well, that was fun.

Covid Election Eve 2020

110220 Election Eve

Covid is a crapshoot. Any intelligently functioning American can discern that the disease is dangerous and spreading, if they so desire. It is infecting more and more people, faster and faster. The crapshoot is whether or not you, or someone you care about, will catch it before the pandemic eases up (not ends) with a vaccine sometime, if we are lucky, next year. And then that you are able to get the vaccine in a timely manner.

The current administration’s plan is to let the virus do its thing and hope that they don’t catch it…. you’ll have to do your own hoping for you and your family not to catch it. Everyone will be on their own. Letting it spread increases the odds that you or yours may contract it. And, if you do catch it, there’s hope that you don’t get it too bad and that you easily survive. Many people do. Crapshoot.

Biden’s plan is to have everyone face the terrible truth that this virus can decimate our population, and we must Man-Up and Woman-Up (Human Up, actually, for this is a SPECIES dilemma), put our Big-Boy and Big-Girl pants on and help each other stop the spread by wearing masks and maintaining space in social situations. It will be hard, it will be tiresome, it will be frustrating, but it will slow the spread considerably and is the difficult price we must pay to avert a building, disastrous national crisis. It will also lessen the odds that you or yours might catch it. Then, when we have the vaccine and begin the long process, months I’m sure, of inoculating people against the virus, life will ease back closer to the normal we all yearn for.

Both of these plans rely on the development of a vaccine. The first plan is entirely dependent upon it. The second plan incorporates it into a pro-active effort to stop the spread as soon as we can, so the need for the vaccine is not as dire. And, of course, no vaccine is ever perfect or works for everyone, although those statistics are usually quite minimal. Crapshoot.

The virus is no one’s fault, and it affects Humanity as a whole. No one will be unaffected by this viral pandemic. No one. Some less affected and some more affected, but life as we have lived it has been interrupted and it may never return as we evolve into a new normalcy. Some people who get it will have lifelong ill-effects, some won’t. Some will die, some won’t. The depth of impact that this virus will continue to have upon your own life will most likely be directed by the outcome of the election tomorrow.

The way we deal with the virus will be decided. The way the virus affects our economy and our daily lives will be decided. As more and more become infected and fall ill, the economy will stutter, sputter and fall apart.

President Trump’s plan is to ignore it and let it run rampant until such a time that a vaccine is finally developed, mass produced, packaged, shipped, distributed to medical technicians, then brought to the public and administered. Not at all a quick process, of which creating a vaccine is just the first step. Meanwhile, the pandemic grows and the economy distintigrates.

Joe Biden’s plan is to clamp down on the spreading of the virus, which will be uncomfortable and tiresome, while waiting for a vaccine. This plan will diminish the spread and thus diminish the percentage of the population who are harmed by the disease, and diminish the numbers of people who experience direct harm from Covid. Maybe you, maybe not, but greatly enhancing your odds against it. The economy suffers, but maintains and continues in diminished capacity until people are able to be relatively free of the viral threat and refresh the economic direction.

It’s a choice.

A Crapshoot.

Vote as if the lives of people you care about will be directly affected.

I wish all of us luck.

A Cast Oaf the Part Bowed

(From 2014) If I was sinking any faster, I wouldn’t have to swim. Court the relations of daily drama and feed me a line I can quiply respond to, like a kitchen faucet drip spilling out of synch. Fear of the unknown hides behind closed doors to empty houses in the lost reaches of forgotten memories belonging to someone you never knew, who don’t believe it themselves. It’s the known that I’m not so sure about. It’s all self-explanatory except for the instructions. Life in the fast line leaves me hungry for more velocity in the efforts to abandon this ship and weigh ranker at the situation I continue to flounder in, feeding the sharks of society’s ills, while staring straight from my blind eye gone numb with the blur my life has become, barreling along the high way, over the rainbow made by the missed that catches the light at the end of the tunnel vision view as I drive right on over the waterfall of my circumstances. I can write these words hot into the future and seer this dream, burning the bridge before I can get to it, but can I use it to fly across the great divide of ability and opportunity? Read on and find the answer, just don’t spoil it by telling me… I like suspensive stories (especially this high up over the bottom line)…

I bemoan my inability to focus on packing up and cleaning up this house of my troubles while I am able to function as a see worthy unit in so-so-ciety. The rest is putting my frustrations to imagery, and then, referring to this writing and style, wondering if it will ever be read by anyone beside me …but shhh… that’s the secret.

Be careful out there…

Utah Tour 2008 (225) Be Careful!

Week 4 Assignment: Setting

I have been posting assignments from my creative writing class (to catch you up if you are lately arrived) and Week 4’s Assignment was to do a character study on a room or place. I chose a room I had seen in the mid-1970’s in Chicago. A condensed version of this is in my book Endless Shifting Sand, and this is enhanced from that to greater instill a place of setting…

Setting

Cryptaxidgience

Dark, quiet, still….

Staring in through the opening enables your eyes to adjust to the dim light in the interior as it slowly fades into view. The trespassing light dwindles away once it pushes through the violated window at which you wait to view the details of this mysterious room and your eyes start to coax objects out from the dark clutches of shadow. Curiosity and impetuous inspiration brought you here to this quiescent place from the summer-aired sunshine, where you were strolling in your ease. The lively breeze became subdued and died with your approach to the small structure, and now, as you peer inside to see what this room might hold, an uneasy, cool peace dominates all within and touches your spirit like a barely recalled dream. The confines of the room rectangular in shape, with sharp corners and flat walls, the ceiling double recessed with the same harsh angles, its muted and lofty gray barely visible to the caressing touch of your upturned eyes, the dark remaining crouched, steady-laired in the corners and angles, holding breath and hiding amongst itself.

Lean forward to enable a better view of the greater interior, being careful to mind your head for the rusted, horizontal, iron cross-bar in the middle of the slender window through which you seek visual adventure. The vertical bar still holding center point on the stolid horizontal cross-piece, but cut and wrenched from the sill and bent straight up to offer a narrow access to the room within, giving you the opportunity to explore what visitors who came before might have exposed and revealed. No colorful glass shards remain attached to the bars or enclosing wall frame to filter light and cut through the interior’s gray dominance.  The leaden wrought settings which once held that glass in decorative grace are also gone without remnant or scar. And now you can discern that the walls are smooth brick, utilitarian and plain in their appearance, with occasional, random stitches of browned flora appearing to cobble the bricks together, filigree upon stone, all colored to blend by the shroud of dust that holds the ambiance of the room in dead silence.

Away from the steadfast, creeper-adorned walls, in the space where it can be seen around the large box which sits in the middle of the small room, the floor is strewn with the detritus of ages past, broken pieces of unknown materials, objects dropped, scattered and left in the churn of dust. The obvious focus of the quick-handed interlopers was the sole occupying object in the room, the large solid wooden box that stately lies on the floor, its dimensions and angles congruent to the four containing walls of the room. The heavy lid, somberly utilitarian with raised and edged decorative panels, lies slid aside and slightly skewed across the box itself, revealing a narrow glimpse of the contents within. Knowing that this is what you came for, this is the goal of your curiosity, this is what you feared to contemplate in your approach to this room and here, unable to turn away from the morbid fascination, you stand witness to overt, sinful desecration.

Once brightly pristine and ornate lace, now yellow and tattered, lies draped over the edge of the opening, roughly cascades up, over and out in motionless disarray, ends trailing among the rubble on the floor. Where the material is bunched and jumbled inside the box, definition is difficult to hold recognition but there lies a single piece of short narrowly cylindrical material, smoothly curved in organic simplicity, yellowed like the cloth coverings within which the full complement of this disjointed object once peacefully resided. Further consideration of what the substances within the box might be are foregone and forgotten, for your eyes finally rise up, back to the lid, the dust along its edges printed in hands and smudges. Upon this carpentered slab, like a crown jewel on a platter, surveying the confines of its severely enclosed kingdom, the skull sits in silent reign. The ubiquitous yellow of decay tints the bone, rotted edges crumbling and uneven, expressionless and pitiful in discarded stand upon the outer side of the lid which it had faced from within for so long. The leavings of vandals and ghouls.

Tear your gaze away from this relic of human occupancy, this entombed and forgotten particle of individuality and identity, which now remains in sorry repose and debasement. Pan a last view to give testimony to the indignity of this human interaction, then turn and step back into the light and warmth of the day, taking your leave, and leaving what you have witnessed to its own solitude once more.

If you were to return in one week with a camera in order to record the scene, you would find the room to be the same somber homage to patient decay, save that the skull would be gone.

And if you were to return one more time after another week, you would find the window stoutly boarded up and the room once more inaccessible, lost to everything save itself and the passing time.

Dark. Quiet. Still.

 

Desicrated

Class 3 Assignment – Changing Voices

This assignment called for an activity to be experienced and viewed by several people, with the narration giving various viewpoints of the activity from some of those people. I chose an eighth grade graduation, in description of which I recalled parts of my own. Were you there?

 

Changing Voices

 

He’s so handsome and tall… such a fine looking young gentleman in his coat and tie… and he looks just like his father, thought his mother, as she watched him walking down the aisle.. It looks like he might be outgrowing those pants. They’re practically new!

I’m so proud of him… look at him all dressed up and handsome … how did he get to be this old? …and he looks just like his mother, thought his father as he watched him walking down the aisle. I’m glad I remembered to have him shine his shoes.

The double row of boys and girls, all dressed in coats and ties or dresses, solemnly walked down between the two halves of the standing audience.

I hope he’s as uncomfortable in his coat and tie as I am in mine, squirmed his little brother as he watched him walking down the aisle. “It would be funny if he tripped or did something dumb.

Very good… hold your heads up high… act like proper young ladies and gentlemen just like we practiced, thought Miss Kinderhof, his homeroom teacher, as she watched the class walking down the aisle. That’s it boys, behave yourselves

I love this moment… presiding over such formality … the pomp of the circumstances… the gathering of the school… the pride of the parents…thought the Principal from on the stage in front, nodding his head to the tune as he watched the procession of well-dressed eighth graders filing up the aisle toward their seats directly in front of him. I just love this music!

Okay, there’s Mom and Dad and Tommy… watch where you’re going, goofhead, don’t bump into Barb… man I can hardly wait until this is over… I’m hungry… they said they’ll serve pizza afterwards, I thought to myself as I walked slowly down the aisle between the rows of chairs, with all the parents and families watching and looking, expectant faces jostling in the crowd to get a better view of the marchers. My stomach is growling.

The processional slowly poured its way into the first two rows of seats, well-rehearsed and without any noticeable incident other than a few quietly unintelligible mutterings from some of the marchers.

The Principal stepped forward to the podium, nodding to Mrs. Gladwall at the piano, waited for a few bars as she smoothly ended the music, and then he motioned for everyone to be seated.

The gathering seemed to deflate into their seats and an expectant hush settled down from the collective susurration.

I hope he won’t talk too long, thought his parents, his little brother, Miss Kinderhof, myself and everyone else in the gym as the Principal took out what appeared to be a thick sheaf of papers from the inside of his suit jacket.

A collective mental groan silently filled the gymnasium.

Alright… showtime, thought the Principal with the hint of a smile…

“Greetings and welcome to the graduation ceremonies for the eighth-grade class of 1965,” he spoke out to the audience in front of him. He looked around, held up the papers and said, “These aren’t my notes, this is a list of you all,” gesturing with them to the first two rows.

These are my notes,” and he held up a single sheet of paper that was already on the podium, now smiling openly.

A collective mental sigh silently filled the gymnasium, with a few scattered chuckles accenting the overt relief.

The speech was pertinent, “A big step in your life,” inspiring, “You have the future in your hands,” and short, “Thank you.” The graduates filed up to the steps at stage right one row at a time, climbed up and waited as each individual name was called out. That person strode forth, received their diploma, shook hands with the Principal, continued across the stage and stepped down the far side to resume their seat.

The process was exciting for everyone involved as the graduate of their interest walked across the stage and received their diploma. Applause was held off to speed things along.

I hope these tears don’t spoil my make-up, his mother thought as she watched him step down the stairs with his diploma in hand. He’s so young to be going to high school. But look how big he is.

I hope I don’t cry with the pride I feel, his father thought as he watched him step down the stairs clutching his ticket into high school. What a big step that must seem to him… I remember it felt like it for me,like the top of the world.  And, with a wry smile, Then freshman year at the bottom of the pecking order!

Nuts, he didn’t trip… so is this almost over? I’m about to cry this is so boring, his little brother thought as he watched him step off the stairs holding the thing he was given.

I could just cry with pride at these fine young ladies and gentlemen… well, most of them are anyway, Miss Kinderhof thought, as her erstwhile charges matriculated beyond her jurisdiction, but not beyond the nurturing fruits of her efforts.

…read the name, hand the diploma, shake the hand, remember to smile, …read the name, hand the diploma, shake the hand, remember to smile, …the Principal was thinking to himself in a semi-automatic state.

Man, I got it… finally! …now let’s get this over with and get some pizza, I thought impatiently, as I stepped down the few steps to sit and wait for the rest of the class to receive their alpha-numerically arranged moment in the spotlight.

And eventually, after the Becky Zybrinski finally stepped down and returned to the last open chair, the Principal spread his arms, motioned to the graduates to stand, turn and face the audience, and then declared, “I present to you the graduating class of 1965!”

The applause lasted long enough for the graduates to all troop out to the hall to wait for their families to join them.

“You looked so handsome up there,’ his mother said, thinking, My little boy is a young man now…

“Congratulations, graduate! I’m very proud of you,” declared his father, thinking, He’s still so young and has a long way to go…

“Lemme see it,” his little brother demanded of the diploma. “Fancy,” when he got it,  followed by the thought, Not much to it, but I guess it’s kind of cool…

“So good to see you,” Miss Kinderhof greeted his parents as she stepped up to them, thinking, I will miss these good people, but their other son only has a few more years before he’s in eighth grade…

Social time and feeling the moment, this is what makes it fun, thought the Principal as he glad-handed his way through the throng.

I just stood wearing a smile thinking, I’m hungry, let’s go eat pizza!

The crowd gradually flowed into the reception area where the food tables were loaded with lunch for all.

Oh, the pizza looks good… maybe just one piece, thought his mother.

Oh… pizza… that sounds pretty good, thought his father.

Oh cool… pizza! thought his little brother.

Ah well, a piece of pizza to celebrate the day, thought Miss Kinderhof.

Pizza. Good. I’m hungry, thought the Principal.

And I thought, Wow… look at those desserts!