THE MALTESE MARBLE It didn't seem like a special marble when I first looked it over, at old Mr. Warner's place. True, it was larger than the other cats eyes and steelies in my collection. And the smoky green eye, in the middle of the glass orb, did seem to pulse and glow, when you looked at it for a while. But, when you are eight years old, everything seems special and by logical extension, nothing is ever too extraordinary. It was just another piece of glass, or so I thought at the time.
" Brain Farts " It was the custom, at our house, to sit quietly around the dinner table, after a leisurely supper, and talk of the events of the day. Subjects as wide ranging as the computer technology, of remote control Dentistry, and the difficulty of raising autistic children, would receive careful analysis and comment. My Father usually led the discussion, but it could often spread with the intensity of a wildfire. Sometimes, the conversation took on a life all its' own, as a barrage of ideas and comments were lobbed back and forth across the peach cobbler. New faces at the dinner table, in the person of friends and relatives, meant new perspectives and differing opinions. We welcomed them all, with the gusto of a pride of lions looking over a prospective kill. Nobody got away with generic statements or half formed opinions. If you were rash enough to open your mouth and offer comment, it was expected that you would explain and if necessary, defend your position. The give and take wasn't acrimonious, just spirited debate and honest curiosity.
T H E M A P P E O P L E I see the neatly lettered names before me on a map affixed to the wall. They are a rota of communities, formed by those who came before us. The enclaves are well ordered and spacious in their two-dimensional, mercator projection. The boundary lines are linear and perpendicular and none give a hint to the complicated array of lives that reside within these neatly proportioned hereditary fiefdoms. One can imagine them to be what they are, tiny baronies with well defended borders and armed check points, with gates manned by stern looking para-military personnel.
" The Frying Pan People " The idea came to us one Summer while we were vacationing on Cape Ann, North of Boston. My Sister in Law, Trish, had occasion to visit a Wahlgreen's Department Store, to make a small purchase. While there, she had the opportunity to observe what we would later dub "Frying Pan People." An overly portly matron, stuffed into tight fitting spandex, was upbraiding her slightly built and shabbily dressed mate. The timid looking male had picked up a metal frying pan for purchase. The solidly constructed female, who had three bags of Dorritos and one each of cheezebits and Potato chips in her arms, let out a high pitched and nasal barrage. "What are you doing with a frigging frying pan, she roared. "We have twenty frigging dollars left and you want to buy a frigging frying pan!"
Whatever the eye Beholds The difference between you and I is something that only you and I notice. To others, we have two eyes, two arms and two legs and function in a similar bio-mechanical fashion. In Shakespeare's classic. " The Merchant of Venice," we have the classic soliloquy "Have we not two eyes, two legs?" etc.