The Storyteller


The Gambler

One cowboy town is about the same as the next. The men stink, chew tobacco, and are about as civilized as a renegade Indian brave on the warpath. I should know, I travel with one.


Each town we go to, I go in first, to loosen up the towns finest. He stays on the outskirts of town, usually getting liquored up, sleeping it off, and starting all over again. If the truth were known, I donÕt mind getting away from him for a week or so. But I donÕt like being kissed and felt up by the town slops. Better off their wives deal with them. But work is work.


Tonight heÕll make his appearance. IÕll pretend I donÕt know him, and heÕll play poker. He will cheat them while I distract them and give him signals. WeÕll do our thing for three or four days, and skedaddle before weÕre caught. WeÕll get maybe ten miles down the road before he wants to make love. He always celebrates this way. About a week without is his limit. Oh well, weÕve got some money now and IÕll get my share. But IÕm getting tired of this life. IÕm tired of traveling with a man who only thinks of one thing, and it ainÕt me.


Angel Underneath My Bed


Sleep. Sleep is good. Some people donÕt like to sleep. They think itÕs a waste of time. What can you get accomplished while youÕre sleeping? Everyone wants to get something accomplished. I want to dream. After almost dying, sleep entices me. There must be an angel underneath my bed.


Dear Mr. President


It has come to my attention that you have lied and deceived us. Normally, I wouldnÕt think much about this, you being a politician and all. But you are the President of the United States, once the most powerful and trusted nation on earth. There were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. And the worst part is, you knew it. Now, 4100 American soldiers are dead, and countless tenÕs of thousands injured, both physically and mentally. You obviously have no idea what is happening. YouÕre life has been sheltered, and everything you have has been handed to you on a silver spoon. If you want to see what youÕve done, come take a walk with me.


Truth or Consequences


The truth is, itÕs hard to know what the truth is. Is the truth the truth because one particular person says it is? Or because itÕs written in some fancy book? What does the truth look like? Is it pleasing to the eye, like an angel? Or does it look more like the devil, with horns and a tail? Does the truth smell? Is it sweet or bitter to the taste? Is the truth like water flowing through your fingers? Could you drown in it? Maybe the truth is not the truth. And whatÕs the consequence for making up a truth thatÕs not?


The Pugilist


ÒDamn, that hurt. Bill, you got to take it a little easier. This ainÕt no championship bout. YouÕre my sparring partner, for ChristÕs sake.Ó ÒSorry, boss. YouÕre leaving a lot of openings.Ó Bill has been with me all the while. I started at seventeen, and have been fighting ever since. ÒYeah, IÕm a bit preoccupied. IÕm thinking about quitting.Ó ÒQuitting. Boss, just cause I hit you a few times.Ó

ÒNo, Bill, thatÕs not it. YouÕre job is to try and hit me. ItÕs just, IÕm getting tired. Time is running out on me. After all, IÕll be thirty soon. These young guys are strong and hungry. IÕve had my time. ItÕs time to move on. ThereÕs got to be more to life than this fighting and brutality?Ó ÒOh, come on. Two more title defenses and weÕll have more money than we know what to do with. Now is not the time to quit. Remember, weÕre ÒThe Wrecking Crew.Ó Now is never a good time to quit. But what about my dream? When am I ever going to get time for that? ÒYeah, letÕs get back to work. Give me one more good round. But take it ease, I donÕt want to be known as the champ you got knocked out by his sparring partner.Ó   ÒOkay Boss, IÕll ease up a bit.Ó I know that wonÕt happen. It never does.