Candy Apple Red

Chased by Corvette. Vespa. Candy apple red. Not Bulldog Drummond.

A real nice fellow turns out driving the candy apple red Corvette, vanity licensed MYID. Catches up with me, powers up and flips me the bird as I try to negotiate the Harley kickstand. Vetteman angry with me for some reason. Cut him off. Where? When? My anger management pills must have finally kicked in because I felt little urge to cut Vetteboy down to size and make him eat his license plate. Little, not none. I wanted to feel none, nothing. The little urge didn’t come on from getting the bone, and not even the vanity plate was to blame. Those were little nubbers up along the first base line. You picked them up bare handed, stepped on the bag, and tossed the ball to a kid in the stands above the dugout. Big hitter, little nubber. Maybe the candy apple red drew the little urge out. Very few cars should be painted candy apple red, and never a Corvette, an old pick up truck in retirement maybe, I don’t know, but not a Vette. Candy apple red is a very special color. But like I said, little urge, but not none, but still, the pills seemed to be kicking in. Maybe I should up the dosage again. I wanted to experience nothing. Why did the gods keep me alive? To do their dirty work. Then Vettepunk said it, one of the words, called me one of the names, the names no one calls me and gets away with it, without a bit of divine retribution sits you back on your butt and gives you something to think about other than your Corvette id. First, let’s back up. I don’t ride a Harley. I ride a Vespa, candy apple red. I am not Bulldog Drummond. I am not Mike Hammer. Not Philip Marlowe. I’m not Sam Spade. I stand five foot two, and my eyes are blue, but I’m no stereotype. I learned early on to mind my own business. But minding your own beeswax is not so easy with dudes like Vettedog off leash and full of road rage and megalomaniac vitamins. “That scooter a little big for you?” Vettestalker says, sneer and all.

“Candy Apple Red”
is episode 3 of
Ball Lightning
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at 
The Coming of the Toads

The gods Get Bored

 Riding Harley in the rain in Seattle. Ball lightning. The gods.

I throttled my green gnarly Harley across I-90 from Bellevue, wind chopped waves blowing over the wall on the south side of the bridge, the water as smooth as a coffin lid on the north side. I raddled through the last tunnel and merged onto I-5 north to downtown Seattle. A glob of ball lightning looped out of a smoke ring cloud hanging over the ballpark. The ball lightning bounced across the closed roof. The baseball stadium looked funereal. No game tonight. The winter circus was in town. On nights like this the gods might get bored and when the gods get bored no amount of prayer satisfies these clouds of gluttony, the local paradise filling like a wet basement. Why so many gods, I don’t know. Even the Catholics (and I am one, though maybe not a good one, whatever good means, but as Reverend Mother Mary Annette never tired of telling us, once a Catholic, always a Catholic), who profess belief in but one God, pray to the Saints and Mary and the rest, who seem to function much like the old Greek and Roman gods, one for every need or desire, one for every occasion, one for every problem, one for every predicament. A god for this, a god for that. A god for the nice, a god for the mean. Finely balanced too, the old gods, but like an unequal arm balance, some more powerful than others, leaving it to the mortals to try to balance things out. Still, evens up: one for light, one for dark; one for water, one for air; one for love, one for hate. Always meddling in human affairs, though, these immortals. Sure seem to get in the way all too often. Always wanting something, too, a piece of the human pie chart, insatiable. Why do we keep calling out to them? Was there a Saint of scooters? Could use a prayer to him now.  Dear Saint Scooter, please get me and my Vespa downtown safely, as an 18 wheeler passes at twice my speed, his mud flap cowgirls waving and laughing. God of lead, god of gold. God of the meek, and god of the bold. God of yes, and god of no. God of hot, god of cold. God of bought, and god of sold. God of gods, who never grows old, oldest of all.

“The gods Get Bored”
is episode 1 of
Ball Lightning
a Novel in Progress
in Serial Format at The Coming of the Toads