Monday, June 24, 2013

Name Game

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet." Juliet Capulet, Romeo and Juliet

Nose pressed to my iPhone, texting that I had completed my errands and was headed home. I'm middle-aged, gray - nondescript. Tommy Bahama silk shirt (blue and gold palm fronds, yellow background), matching turquoise earring, cargo shorts and flip-flops. Not stylin', exactly, but a stretch of sand and a boat drink are all that would complete the snowbird affect.

"Hey, Sarge!"

Of course, I turn and look. A friend from work.

I have taken pains to explain to officer colleagues I consider away-from-work friends that they need not address me by title when we are, well, away from work. Blue uniform, gun and...the badge on the bike uniforms is a patch, but never mind. I made up that guy out of necessity. I hear him barking orders, see the tools of his trade (rifle, plate carrier, Kevlar helmet) and marvel at my creation. He is, I suppose, Sergeant Hyde to my Grandpa Jekyll. I leave him at work. That's also where I leave the chevrons.

Shy, reserved, introverted real me would rather read on the back porch. My man purse may be patched "That Guy" but I'm not. I'm the invisible, quiet little fellow attractive women trip over not to get my attention, but because I'd have to generate a nuclear explosion to compensate for my abject ordinariness.

"Hey, Sarge." I didn't even hesitate. Maybe it was because I recognized her voice. Yeah, that's it.

I am totally not that guy

Sunday, June 16, 2013

My Father's Day Wish

"You live your life by a code, an ethos. Every man does. It's your shoreline. It's what guides you home. And trust me, you're always trying to get home." Act of Valor, 2012.

I did not truly understand my father until my children had become adults. By then, his mind was failing him. I don't know that he understood what I told him. I was sorry, I said, that I could never give him the Father's Day gift he wanted.

He wanted me to gain wisdom as I grew older, without enduring the pain upon which wisdom is built.

My children have grown and matured, celebrated triumphs and suffered heartbreak. They have carved out productive, enriched lives of their own and along the way learned how to cope with each day's challenges and uncertainties. They are three fine people, and I love them.

They have earned their own kinds of wisdom the old fashioned way. I wish it were otherwise. I understand why it is not. That is a gift my father gave me.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Alive...it's ALIVE

“Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
Ray Bradbury, Zen in the Art of Writing

Karen Sorenson is willowy, elegant and bright - yet, her vulnerable side seems inexplicable appended to an experienced police officer. Riley Malloy is smart and sassy, tiny in stature. She can make a Blackhawk helicopter salsa dance. Amy Painter's maternal instincts somehow compliment the SWAT gear she dons. Cici?

She's...twenty-eight. Solid build, tall and athletic. The five year mark of her law enforcement journey finds her settling into the job. Unsure if it will become a career, reluctant to be drawn too deeply into the culture, she confronts a dilemma every officer faces. When push comes to shove - when her principles conflict with the requirements of a peculiar and demanding profession, what happens?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Radials

Major Harvey Stovall: "That is not why I am drunk tonight. I got drunk because I am confused. I was thinking, which is a thing a man should not do, and all at once I couldn't remember what any of them looked like. I, I couldn't see their faces, Bishop, Cobb, Wilson, Zimmy, all of them. All of you. They all looked alike, just one face. And it was very young. It confused me. I think I shall stay drunk until I'm not confused anymore." Twelve O'clock High, (1949).


“Karen? Hello?”
      “Huh?”
      “Rosie the Riveter. Do you know the story?”
      “Sort of.”
      “Thousands of women worked in the aircraft factories. Women pilots flew the finished airplanes to depots for flights overseas. The folks who maintain these old aircraft, who fly them in front of crowds all over the world−they do so as a way of remembering and honoring the sacrifices people made so we can live the lives we do.” Out of Ideas, James A. Greer, (2011).

The growling radials gave it away. Skirting the foothills, skud-running under a low ceiling. The sound unmistakable, drawing me from the day's task - our front flower garden. Her unique outline was immediately recognizable. It was a B-17, in town for the weekend. She was Aluminum Overcast.