Copyright 2007 by Bill Branley

rain rain soft as air felt not seen cool warm cool again mist in the harbor or maybe just more rain looks like mist from a distance soaking rain long rain rivers of rain glistening collecting swirling spilling wet: shoulders shoes hands hat ears hair nose wind blurred vision ahead i see her black coat red hair white purse a dream who is she

the ferry she buys coffee i buy coffee i hate coffee i smile no response red hair thick luxurious heavy wet wool sweater white purse large organized crisp smells of wet leather blackberry cell phone ipod working earning living for tomorrow paying bills today in touch always ball and chain no such thing as a labor saving device the boss expects more because you can do more don’t get caught without your phone of all the gin joints in all the world she sits across from me i was a non-entity two minutes ago perhaps i still am blending in with the furniture non-threatening just another faceless passenger part of the scenery yep that’s me she has a computer slim trim powerful the computer i mean got to stay in touch bits bits bytes bits bytes and more bytes lots of ones and zeros billions upon billions yet where is the communication just keep talking doesn’t matter what you say blast ’em until their eyes glaze over then you’ll be the boss one day kid take it from me i clawed my way to the top before computers if i had one back then i’d be god now thou art god said the man from mars strangers in a very strange land yeah this is mighty strange god is all of us or god is none of us

rain goes mountains appear if you don’t like the weather wait five minutes pink orange white glowing in the west backlit in the east red sky green harbor white boats peaks valleys another morning thank you peace she reads email i read my book heinlein the man from mars would know what to do never in a hurry waiting is a concept waiting is waiting is this is living this is god right now spring on the island a smudge of light green like a painting almost too good to be real rainier majestic imagine the first people it must have been a marvel to them it must have been god still is waiting is timeless they had all the time we have no time sliced and diced and wrapped and stacked hogs union stockyards chicago big names of the gilded age: armour pullman men of steel women harder than steel molten iron poured formed glazed seattle bombers b-17s all lined up heros zeros aces bigger than life lower than life


you could get away with murder none of this media crap too much information too little information back then a man could do what he needed to do no tattletales and whistleblowers and blogging fruitcakes and youtube and every other person a journalist from hell god is everywhere or god is nowhere gilded men are on the run

she crosses her legs

what is living when does it start when does it stop religion man- made choose one any one take door number two sure path to salvation culture community tradition generations sons and fathers daughters and mothers rituals provide comfort and continuity we bond in ritual what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger what is her religion red hair irish catholic let’s reduce her to a stereotype so much easier to deal with molly bloom now there’s an irish catholic if i ever saw one “yes and his heart was going like mad and yes i said yes i will yes” wow kind of takes your breath away that must be living what do we call this that we do now what does she do for kicks when she’s not emailing ipodding blackberrying phoning communicating when she’s off line when she’s analog when she’s face to face eye to eye lips to lips dinner candles music conversation about flowers fragrant sushi sake texture taste wood cloth glass sensations she’s living then coming out of the digital world going analog warm humming heart beating eyes batting love smiles kisses and more she’s human again for the moment when does it happen with whom

with a chirp and a sigh her computer goes away into the big white bag i sense my time is running out what a coward i am a life of missed opportunities why break my streak now what would the men of steel do the industrialists built this country and made the rules they are god or no one is god big money oodles of money house in the city house in the country houses of mirth money makes the world go ’round modern millionaires have no taste the gilded man had a box at the opera today’s man has a box at the stadium drinking bad beer the old-timers had an eye for quality and style today’s millionaires buy bigger and more of it forty-inch hdtv with nothing to watch but commercials or worse the barons robbed you in style the titans of today rob you until they get caught trading inside outside the law backdating options cooking the books like burnt chicken on fourth of july 

she stands

i wonder if she is married to a big money man or maybe she is a money woman herself some of them ride their own motorcycles and have their own offices at no man’s beck and call slim trim powerful her i mean with a toss of those scented locks she steps away a fragrance rattles my insides but wait! an item left on the seat not something that one would toss away not even a millionaire babe or a millionaire’s wife a fine pen a writing instrument solid in the hand you would sign important documents with it contracts engines of finance and business nothing happens without a contract and if it’s not in the contract it definitely doesn’t happen no freebies today ever try to define quality? it was understood once upon a time among the big money men they bought quality and quality was delivered houses cars furniture built to last a long time you could pass them down through the generations along with your culture and your rituals and your prejudices and your greatest fears a package deal handed down to sons and daughters quality was part of the package now it is rare because it’s not in the contract sorry ma’am the building code doesn’t say to do that so you bought a million-dollar pile of sticks and filled it with crap congratulations you’ve arrived

i grab the pen and hurry to catch up with her she walks fast a babe with a purpose look out i’ve seen the type sunlight gleaming buildings fresh air she joins the huddled masses on the deck i approach: your pen? her mask melts away like magic she becomes analog and warm and womanly gracious smiling genuine i am without a doubt the kindest and most thoughtful person in the world she murmurs a gushing word of thanks i ask about the pen it seems fine indeed a gift from her father she says who had received it from his father a treasure an item of quality handed down to be used again because it can be an item still in service so rare so spectacular i wondered what else had been handed down to her kindness common sense 

which way are you walking

first avenue 

me too 

we leave together a moment of quality to be treasured 

this is living 

this is analog