Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Life That We Once Knew.

it was exactly one week ago from today. a sunday mornin with light cloud coverage on the west side, and a few drops of dew drippin from the leaves of fall. my alarm sounded as usual, and i decided to hit up a few more seconds of sleepersesh. a usual custom as to the days work, and a common man made error. three hours later to the sound of traffic,kids shouting, and the guns n roses famous hit, sweet child o mine, which was playin in the department next door, i was awoken from my slumber and jumped outta bed, realizin i was rollin late for church. my companion was already up, cookin a bowl of cereal over the lattern.
" whats goin down noble steed?" i toldhim as i walked over and sat at my desk.
"basic 27 " he replied.
hmmm...must be some kind of code forsomethin, i thought. i opened my mail box and looked out the window next to the microwwave. there were two birds fightin over a piece of bacon. strange times i said to myself.
the following ocurrences are based upon true reckonings that took place in the west side village, a town settled just outside of the north end near the east mountain thats situated under the rather slightly sloped narrow bridge on the south north tip of town.
i was a young lad, and the high school atraction wasnt callin myname. i found fame in the rather simple things of life. fishin near the canal, skippin stones, and readin the stock pricings from the last weeks daily newspaper. a simple life to lead, yet rather difficult to sustain.
thats when something happened that would end up alterin my lives story for all time to come.
this particular day,i decided it would be better to grab my bike and roll down to the dock to see how the fish were doin. but instead of goin to the dock, when i reached the pathway to nells street, i kept goin straight. i was pedalin and gainin momentum, weavin in and out of the rush hour traffic that seldom marksi ts path on the curvy roads,and somethin caught my eye.
it was an old school beach cruiser bike. nicely polished w chrome wheels parked neatly next to a bench in the park.
dang, i said to myself, thats a shredder bike. i wondered who could be the owner of such a cool lookin bicycle? as i went closer to get a better look, i noticed that sittin in the grass, takin pictures of the times, was a girl. hmmm...the bike is prob hers i thought. i decided itd prob be a bad idea to steal it, so i turned to go. and right as i turned to bail the scene, the girl turned to me and said,
" good day friend, how art thou? "

it was about 2 weeks ago to the day and hour when i awoke from a restless night of tossing and turning on my partially deflated air mattress. i realized at that moment that i had grown tired of the bitter winter of this small town and desperately needed to escape. i threw on my clothes from the previous day that laid balled up next to my night stand and slightly smelled of grocery bags and desperation. i quickly threw the essentials; money, passport, camera and some beatles cds into a small bag and stormed outside only to be greeted by the biting cold that was driving me away. i ignored the numbness that took over my finger tips and nose and jumped on my bike. i wasn't sure where i was headed, all i knew was that there was something bigger waiting for me than this small forgotten town. my mind was in such a trance that all sense of time or presence of fatigue was lost in the scenes of wilderness and city that sped past me. i don't know how long i peddled or how i got to this particular destination exactly; all i knew was this was where i needed to stop. as i slowed my pace and came to rest in the grass of a near by park the sounds of unfamiliarity filled my ears. the warmth of the sun which i had missed so dearly greeted me like an old friend and embraced every inch of my pale exposed skin. not only was this tender warmth unfamiliar, but the noises which surrounded me as well. while listening closely to the passerby's exchange friendly conversation i was able to to pick up on a few words which i recognized as spanish from my younger years of attending language classes at the academy. as my soul was filled with excitement and wonder, i was overcome with the need to document my peculiar surroundings. i had not been photographing the area more than two minutes when the sense of me being watched entered my overwhelmed mind. curiosity forced my head to turn and my eyes quickly fell up a young man who could not be much older than myself. he too look as if he had embarked on a long journey that fateful day. as my eyes fell upon his face i was immediately taken back to my previous life when i inhabited the densely populated desert of chandler arizona. "i know this fellow" i thought to myself and he turned to depart from my sudden realization. "good day friend, how art thou" i said aloud to the familiar stranger, wanting to explore my past in conversation.

..."good day friend. how art thou?" the girl said to me.
at first it caught me off guard. i hadnt suspected such friendliness from a stranger, and the voice sounded familiar unto my recolection.
i stuttered to reply, " im rollin fine. thanks, and you?"
as the words flowed from my mouth, i came to remeber the face, and the memories rolled into mind, takin me back a few years in time.
i was a youngin in my days, and just droppin out of school. there was a girl in my math class that sat a few seats down. her name was jackie francois. she was the only person i ever talked to , cause to me, the rest of the fools were all lost in other worlds. it was only a hello and good buye, but she was always cool to me. the semster before, in the academy, she had helped me with a spanish exam, which was the only class i got through with an A. the memory rolled back clear as the day it happend.
"jackie," i waited for her in the hall after the bell rang.
" how art thou jon?"
"jackie, i gotta tell you somethin." it was tough. i was always weak on words, " im bailin the academy..."

the young man turned at my apparently unexpected greeting to face my wondering expression. "i'm rollin' fine. thanks, and you?" he managed to get out with realization entering his now blank face-it was as if he was taken back in memory to match the face with a long lost memory that had been pushed to the corners of his mind with each year that had passed. as he became more lost in his thoughts, my mind began to wander and brought to my remembrance a simpler time during our last encounter at the academy. "jackie." he called me by name as the students filed passed us after going through the motions of another monotonous day. "how art thou jon?" i questioned the worrisome looking boy-my attention was immediately called to the anguish which engulfed his once friendly face. "jackie, i gotta tell you something" he struggled with the words he so desperately needed to say. "i'm bailin' the academy." were the only words he managed to utter before he swiftly flung his leg over the motorcycle and kicked the roaring engine to life. in a cloud of dust and forgotten school papers he vanished. i was flung to the present time as questions began to overflow my mind. "jon, where hast thou been for these countless years?" i asked the question that my mind so deeply yearned to be answered. he thought for a minute longer, as if trying to find the words to best describe the journey he had embarked on. "when i left my home and my family i was no more than a boy in the company of strangers, in the quiet of the railway station-runnin' scared."

"when i left my home and my family i was no more than a boy in the company of strangers in the quiet of the railway station runnin scared..." i started to retell the times as they had passed, "i was lookin for the path to glory in this life of distress. i figured the best hope would be to bail the old and to create new in a different stage of life. that day when i bailed out of the academy would end up bein the begginin of a new tail. i thought i had destroyed all hope of a better existence. i road where the wind took me. spendin nights under the stars sleepin in the open air. money bailed out faster than it rolled in, and had no use in my life. i spent endless hours learnin the true greatness of the good times. i was stoked, but somethin was always missin..." i paused, floatin off into the memories.

i became entranced by the tapestry of words that were woven as jon began to tell the story of his life after the academy. the stories that were conveyed unveiled a life that had thus far been filled with adventure and enlightenment. this particular way of life seemed so intriguing to me - this was the very thing that drew me away from the monotonous life that i had so recently abandoned. i was caught of guard suddenly at the mention of something missing from the life he led. "what could possibly be missing from a life that was spent rockin' in the free world" i contemplated to myself. "if it isn't too much trouble, maybe i could accompany you while you explore the vast lands of this strange place. maybe i may be of some assistance in discovering what may fill that void." no matter his reply, i knew that this very day i had begun my own journey of adventure.

i looked jackie in the eyes, " for real? youd be down to roll out into the life of the unknown?"
she grabbed her camera and bag, and rolled her bike over to the sidewalk, " where the wind runs north, may the sun set be our destination..."
wow i thought, a true free spirit. the lyrics rang through my like a bird...( i forgot how it goes jackie, so youll have to finish it up)

eb turned to face me at my request to accompany him, "for real? you'd be down to roll out into the life of the unknown?" without a hesitation i gathered my bag, kicked up the stand to my cruiser and joined jon on the sidewalk. "where the wind runs north, may the sunset be our destination..." i replied to him. at this instance only the lyrics to the song "free as a bird" by the british rock group the beatles could describe how i felt. the words "free as a bird. it's the next best thing to be, free as a bird. home, home and a homing bird i'll fly as a bird on wings. whatever happened to the life that we once knew? can we really live without each other?" rang through my head as if the beatles themselves stood directly in front of me reciting the lyrics to me. i knew then that the long days of bagging groceries and meeting the demands of the walking corpses that inhabited the small town that i fled were over. i was free to go wherever the black plastic peddles of my bike desired to take me.

so the two of us rolled out in the sunset into a chiller life of greater ambitions, and cooler times...the end

Oak Tree

Ringalingalingariiiiiing! The phone rang. The called I.D. disclosed the identification of the caller: Scam T. Sistema.
"What's up, Scam?" Beller took a bite of the orange. "What's rollin my friend?"
"Beller! How are you, Man?"
"Doin' good...doin' real good." Beller paused for a moment.
"Stop by at my house, Scam. We need to talk."
"Ah, sure thing, Beller. I'll be there in a few."
"And Scam, bring the rifle." Beller hung up and finished his apple sauce.
Twenty minutes later a car pulled up to the house. Ten seconds after that, the door bell rang.
"Come in!" Beller hollared." Get your face in here!"
Scam walked in, rifle and all.
"Have a seat my friend." Scam chose the couch next to the window and sat down.
"We need to talk." Beller Spoke in monotone.
"So, let's talk." Scam smoked a cig.
Beller spit out his dip. " A heist is goin down..." he started, " a very big heist. Twenty eight hundred dollars big!" Beller looked Scam squarely in the eyes.
"I'm in." Scam looked up." I - AM - IN..."
" Good. We'll start immediately. Meet me at 22 N. Shepard Ln. in a month and a half." Beller stood up and walked into the kitchen.
"Beller..." Scam followed a few feet behind. "It's not over yet. " Scam raised the rifle , aimed it closely and pulled the trigger. KABOOM!!!!!! the sound of bloodshed rang through the neighborhood. KABOOM!!!! Two short shots and Scam jumped out the window, jumped into his car, turned on the ignition, put on his seat belt, set the AC, engaged the clutch, put the car in gear, and sped off, leaving a fog of smoke and doubt hovering over the disaster.
"Woooohoooo!!!!!!" Scam yelled out the window. I'm FREEEEE!!!!" Scam took his attention off the road for a single moment and lost control when a bird flew by, sending Scam's car into a whirlwind of controversy. The car slid off the road into a ravene. CRASH! Slamming into a lamp post it came to a halt near the coffee shop.
"Spit, splat!" Scam spat out blood..."cough...spit," Scam took off his seat belt and rolled out of the scene just as the ambulance pulled up. Scam continued rolling until he came to a solid oak tree. "Oak Tree," Scam struggled to breathe. "Oak Tree, what did I do wrong? Where did I go bad?" Scam's left vertebrae had shattered in the accident. A small piece pertuded out of his back.
"Believe," Oak Tree whispered, "Believe, my friend.." The tree toppled over,"believe..." Oak Tree took its last breathe and died in all sadness.
"OAK TREE!!!!!!! NOOOOOOO!!!!!" Scam held closely to the tree,"Oak Tree...." Scam burst into a tearful syndrome. " I won't let you down." Scam took his last breathe and went the way of the soul. The words echoed through the canyon...Believe.
Stenson walked outside. "Cough...cough..." he coughed. " What a beautiful day it is, I would say." Stenson said. Looking at his watch, Stenson realized he was late. "SON!" Stenson broke into a sprint. He ran and ran and ran some more. Still running, always running. Stenson was a runner by heart and and artist by soul. "I will run the fears away. I'll run and run to another day." Stenson chanted in unison and did not notice his down fall. A fallen oak tree lay in the road. He clipped his left leg slightly on a branch and his momentum sent him flying through the midnight dreary in a cluster of feary, so calm but so fearce. Stenson hit the ground running, knocked his face, broke his heart, and fell into a deep sleep. SMASH! The wind blew through the trees. The sun shined brightly. So chilling, yet, so real. A bird flew over, perching on fallen Oak Tree. Laying there in disaster. Scam in his silent death, oak Tree in a fire of hardship, and Stenson in a quiet moment. Two miles away, a lost soul with nothing to lose lay alone in a silent hospice, finally getting what he always wanted: silence. Beller awoke from the dream. Silence. Beller passed on. Death. The Oak Tree whispered, "Believe..." and the street post lingered: 22 N. Shepard Lane.

Post Note: About the author.

Born and raised in rural town with parents, family and girls around Stanter Hampton was found writing his first book at the age of two when his mother heard a sound of the writer's pen closing down. She recounts a story of fond memory, " Stanter was a good lad, a stout son, but not too bad. One day, I noticed he did not come down for tea time at the normal time for drinking tea which was about 4:00 in that time, central standard time. I was very worried about my boy and decided to put out a shout to the people that roamed the country to find my child and kindle our family once again. A search party went out without hesitating even to pout. Soon, the phone rang, Sheriff Hawnes was on the line tellin me, You'll never believe what I just find... Ya'll's boy been spotted selling ryhmes, and get this madam, he already made himself a pretty dime." Turns out my ol' son been out in the town walkin around sellin story time to the local children from ages six to nine." Close quote. That was only the beginning of Stanter's long held career as a professional story teller, rhyming feller, flower smeller, and author of "Me and Beller"(also known as 'Oak Tree').

Monday, October 25, 2010

eye of the beholder

It's not too difficult to consider how one and another can become a single soul. On a side note, walking the streets can sometimes be a lonesome task. You need to learn alternative methods in life. Waking up everyday to the same sound and same task ain't no easy money.

Sunday, September 5, 2010


I had finally met up with Jaclyn and her face. She had spotted me at the Mexican restaurant the night before as I entered the bar and decided to disguise herself as a stout man and chase me around. She thought it would be a pleasant joke and had waited in the corner laughing as I looked around confused in the middle of the dance floor. It wasn't until I had finished my second mini cheesecake that she revealed herself and we both fell to the floor in a flood of tears, laughter, smoke, and cheesecake crumbs. For me, there were mixed emotions of joy, embarrassment, and anger at Jackie for making me go through such terror. The anger soon passed as Jaclyn looked me in the eyes and kissed me on the cheek. "E.B., it has been soooo long. I've missed you..."
A year ago from that day we had reunited after a two year break up and made journey to south Australia to visit some of her jungle friends. I recall an experience during that occasion in which I pronounced my love for the young lady. As part of our jungle journey, Jaclyn and I had vouched to become one with the spirit of the travel. We decided to leave all electronic devices behind, and dress ourselves in modern warfare attire. This was a demonstration of our devotion to the wilderness. The days consisted of great excitement. We would head out on hunting trips with the lion herds, churn butter with the buffalo pride, and even smoke the peace pipe with the indigenous scoundrels. To us, the joy of being together is what brought peace but the pipe gave us a way to express our inner selves. One of these days, we decided to take a swim with the school of elk that was crossing the planes. There was a grand waterfall and on either side the White man had tethered devices of rope from the trees creating a swing of sorts. The idea was to fasten thyself tight to the string, swing with might and gain, and then release thy grip upon centering the body above the pool of water. The concept seemed simple enough as I climbed the 172 foot cliff to the base of the jump. Jaclyn did not hesitate in following my foolish steps. We both met at the top, smoked the last of our peace pipes, and went for the jump. Jaclyn swung first, as her fear of heights was weakened at the sight of accomplishment. She soared through the air like a kite on wings with majestic ease and flowing grace. Sixteen and a half flips later she went into swan status with a perfect 10 dive into the water. Not a ripple was created. The school of elk that had lead us to the spot clapped with astonishment. Never had they seen such outstanding work and non the less from a white girl. The nerves jumped in as I prepared for my launch.Thoughts ran through my mind - if I show up Jaclyn, then I surely lose her as my better half, and if I do not live up to her mighty show of perfection, then I can consider myself banned from the school of Elf for lack of skill power. I had gotten myself into a jam. I watched as the river ran swiftly through the canyon and dropped off the edge to the waterfall's homeland. Time seemed to stand still as I looked below at Jaclyn as she patiently awaited my jump. She looked up at me as I grabbed the rope and leaped without further ado. The time I spent in the air allowed for much reflection. On a trip to Ruson three years prior, a shop owner had stopped us and said, " Are you two going out?" The question caught us both by surprise as we had only been hanging together a short time. "Ye-" I was cut off by Jaclyn, "No, we're just amigos de corazon..." Jaclyn smiled at the man.
"Interesting," the man replied, " I feel a strong spirit between you two lads and am certain that you have known one another for a long time, if not since the beginning of time and from such date forth..."
At this point I was no longer listening but rather looking at Jaclyn's face and wondering how I could muster up the courage to ask her out.
Now, three years later, as I flipped through the air, it was time to confess my love for her. I had fully completed twelve and a half rotations and was looking to do four more in order to catch up to Jaclyn's ranking. Nevertheless, as I went to spot my landing, I noticed that Jackie had picked up a stick and was fixing on throwing it my direction. She couldn't!!! She pulled back her arm and threw the stick and it was coming my way. I could not believe what was happening. In order to dodge the bullet, I could either throw in an extra flip, therefor showing up Jacklyn, or slow down my rotation, and only complete a tripcuadrip double flip, falling short of my expectations. I had no time to think and slowed my spin. I soon landed in the water, creating a tremendous splash that reached the height of the water fall. Upon surfacing the water and grasping for air I looked around for Jackie. She was at the foot of the water fall laughing. I climbed out angrily and stormed over to her. "How could you!?" I demanded. " You could've hurt me, or even worse, poked my eye out!!!" I was furious but her calm response changed my perspective on life forever.
"Johansen, my dear..." she started(Johansen was my nickname for the trip," There are two worse fears for a man: That of losing his better half and losing respect of the school. Today, you professed to me through your actions what is most important to you...Me. There is nothing more important to a woman than knowing with a surety that her man loves her and will not show her up. Today, you proven and professed your love for me. I tested you, and you passed with flying colors!!"
I never regretted that day. I learned two things as the school of Elk dismembered me: First, that I love Jaclyn and secondly, that I can live without the respect of the school.
Just as we had done that day, Jaclyn and I embraced each other in a hug. " I've missed you too, babe..."

Friday, September 3, 2010

Palistan Meeting

I was in the North, and she was in the southernmost top of the Andes Mountains. The only thing keeping us apart was the name of the tour bus company that did not allow north American tourists to enjoy the ride. I decided to pull a blind side on the company and bribe the driver with a few hundred shinglings (African currency). I pulled the money out of my backpack and handed it to the chauffeur with a smile and a nod...he kindly accepted and allowed me to board the bus. The next twenty miles would be an off road excursion both mentally and physically through desert, jungle, city, roads, maps, houses, highways, sky-ways, train-ways, subways, and all other terrain imaginable. The end had now begun and I was neck deep in this mess. My only hope of survival was meeting Jaclyn's face at the end of the tunnel. A pipe dream or a dream from a pipe...either way I had not yet smoked the day's cigar. I sat next to an elderly man who did not speak a lick of English. I decided to practice my sign language as I gave him the peace sign and pulled out my hippie hair from the front pocket of my suitcase. I then proceeded to take a nap for the rest of the trip. Upon awakening the man was gone, and so was my hippie hair. What had happened? I grabbed my luggage, and disregarded the rest of the passengers. Life was not on my side that day as I got off the bus and the journey began.
Day 2 La Mafia Mexicana
I walked in the door of the run down restaurant. Tables were laid out leaving an empty space in the middle of the room either for a dance off or a mariachi band. I took my seat in the far corner as guests began to file in one after the other after the one after the second. Nods to strangers were made and gestures of acknowledgment lost in the ramble of chaos. I pretended to engage myself in conversation with my cell phone as to avoid contact with the strangers I claimed to know. A table full of Mexican delicacies was at the front of the room to the left of the piano and small stage. The smell of fresh tacos de pollo caught my attention. I got up and began to make my way through the crowds of peeps and stopped at the foot of the table with a plate in hand ready to partake of the feast as a voice beckoned from afar, "You there!!! From where dost thou depart?" The voice brought my plate to the ground shattering like tin can man. I jumped twice in the air as I quickly turned to see who the intruder was. A stout man built of muscle and pure human form stood amongst the mingling uniforms. I ducked under the table as to not be seen as I snatched a few more tacos and some cheese cakes from the dessert stand. This fiesta had not seen the last of me. I caught a glimpse of the man following me through the reflection of the waiter's tray. He was in hot pursuit and I needed a quick escape. The exit was closed off due to repair so I would need another route out. Why hadn't I planned this better from the beginning and why was this man after me? I was now on my third lap around the small restaurant and found myself in the dance floor. I had stuffed the mini cheesecakes in to my pockets and they were beginning to spoil. I took one out and began to eat. I was dizzy and lost my sense of direction but was relieved that the man was no where in site. Few...I lost him. I sat on the ground and ate the last of that days ration.