Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bon & Mal's (Mostly So) Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

This puzzle is brought to you by NAMI - the National Association for Mental Illness.

Today's JS (#16) is unique in a couple of respects - you'll see why as soon as I load it -

For one thing, it's the first to feature circles (this was necessitated by the fact that, as it stands, the hidden word was impossible to fit on the diagonal - I had to be inventive on this one) and it's also the first to include a numeral. This is quite likely to give the game away, but there it is.

When you have reached the final four open squares, it shouldn't be too hard by then to figure out which letters go where.

Anyway, the anagram/fill-in portion includes the journaler's s/n and the name of her journal (the journal name is also what you will discover when you've filled in the circles.)

Photo # 7 Haiku

Together we stand

clutching one another’s hand

facing the darkness

Write Words Writing Club




Saturday, February 25, 2006

Wintry Mix

  < courtesy of

Following is a post originally from June 28th of last year:

I love women. Most particularly, I love Bonnie. Without my wife (the other half of who I am), I honestly don't know what would have become of me. Our marriage was undoubtedly the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I cannot imagine what my life might have become without her. She filled a hole that I didn't even realize existed. Marriage has been, in large part, a roller coaster ride, as I'm sure it has been for every married person who has discovered this journal, but, as in every roller coaster ride, the car eventually returns to the beginning and the ride is over. The exhilaration of the ride remains, but I am glad that the ride is over, and I can settle into the contentment that indicates that I have survived the ride.

True, lasting love is one of the most marvelous miracles that the Creator has bequeathed to us.

I have much, much more to say upon this topic, but for now this will have to suffice. Bonnie, I love you.

Little did I realize then that the 'coaster ride is never over. However, the rest still pertains.

Some of you may be wondering why events have not yet satisfactorily resolved themselves. There is, in NY at least, a medical Catch-22 in the matter of mental health. People who feel that they may be depressed can and will be admitted to the hospital, but only on their own recognizance or that of a qualified professional. Family members CANNOT admit them, presumably because there are people who would commit their spouses or relatives just to get them out of the way for awhile. If a depressed individual refuses to seek medical help, there is nothing a family member can do. The only exception to the rule is this - if a depressed individual represents a danger to her/himself or others, the individual may then be forcibly committed under the mental hygiene law.

This is how it has gone in previous episodes. Immediately upon becoming noticeably ill, Bonnie comes to an almost complete stop. She will not or cannot leave the house, either because she becomes agoraphobic or paranoid. This militates against procuring any immediate help for her, because even her therapist and psychiatrist prefer that she come to the office before she is admitted. To add to the conundrum, the clinic that she attended four years ago has moved and changed its name, and the personnel may not even be the same. I may have to wait until she becomes so paranoid that her unstable condition is easily apparent to the EMTs, at which point the ambulance will take her to emergency.

I have tried to talk to her during her lucid periods, explaining that the decision is hers, that if she wants help, she must get dressed and come with me to the hospital. She says she understands, but she takes no action that could be construed as acceptance. This is the worst possible outcome, and is hardest on the both of us, but it seems to be inevitable that this is how events will play out.

On the upside, for those who do not already know, I summoned up enough grim determination Friday to make a late-night foray to Wegmans. There is yet one store reasonably close to us that has not been remodeled into a megamart, and, having exhausted my energy on a fruitless search for a grocery delivery service and most of the food in the house, I decided that 'a man has to do what a man has to do,' and got myself hence. It was a success, and our larder is once again full. Luckily I know from long experience what tidbits will entice Bonnie into consuming something, and it has been encouraging - she is nibbling more frequently.

Having completed a major shopping successfully, I will have to make more frequent trips so that I do not have to again return home with 20 bags of groceries, and suffer such exhaustion that I fall flat on my face while attempting to shorten the number of trips to and from the car. As you may imagine, right now I am stiffer than an ancient drunk who has found a $100 bill. (Sorry, that seems to be the extent of the humor that I can muster up.)

That's the forecast for now, my friends. Once again, I thank you for your marvelous support and all your kind words. It makes my task much, much easier to know that you are pulling for us.

A puzzle will appear as scheduled later today. Until then,


Thursday, February 23, 2006


 < photo courtesy

I stand, bent, grizzled, wizened,

face to the gale and the onrushing waves


will this be the time

that I finally cave?

Do I still remember how

to confront the challenges that face me

or will my

memory falter

and prove my end to be?

How fierce the biting pellets,

Icy chips of frigid sea sting my face

(or are those

tears that scour my eyes?)

Whence comes this bitter place?

Beyond me, facing toward

land that seems desperately far away

my other

waits in winging hope

that I will save the day.

Give me strength to carry on

and do the things that must be done before

the cruel wind

and the waves destroy

us both forevermore.

Write Words Writing Club


Copyright Malcolm Mott 2006


Monday, February 20, 2006


Even though it's late/early, I wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who took the time to stop by and let me know that you are there and you care. Bonnie is resting comfortably right now (not sleeping, no, but resting) and in about 7 hours or so she'll be almost her old self, until her brain goes into overdrive once more and the downhill trip begins. The cycle is depressingly familiar (and no, that's not a pun, my sense of humor has temporarily taken a leave of absence.)

To test myself, I assayed a very short trip outside today to retrieve the paper. I have not been outside in a year, and, cold as it was, I reveled momentarily in the fresh air. And then I tried the steps. My friends, I can no longer do steps. I know now that I will be completely unable to go grocery shopping, and I will not be able to visit Bonnie in the hospital. Those activities now lie outside the scope of my limitations, and the knowledge is chipping fragments from the rock that I am supposed to be.

I must try to get some rest now.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Variable Clouds with Occasional Showers

"Honey? I'm going to make some soup. Would you like any?"

"Mmmm ... maybe in a while ... not now ... later."

"'Later' never comes, honey. You've got to eat something. You know not eating will only make it worse. Besides, it will make your stomach stop hurting."

" ... I can't ..."

"You've got to eat. Come on, I'll split a can with you. You only have to have a cup if you want. It'll warm you up and maybe you'll be able to get some sleep."

" ........ hahhhhhhhh ... okay ...."

"Here. This'll help you feel a bit better."

I love you, honey. Sleep well.



Saturday, February 18, 2006

Cold Front Moving In

I didn't want to have to write this, but I knew, deep down, that it would become necessary.

At the moment, I am living with a stranger. A very familiar, intimate stranger. The face, the form of this stranger are identical to those of the woman I married. But what lies beneath the outward appearance is no longer the Bonnie I know. She is in there, and on occasion she will surface, but at most times, the interloper who has taken control of her thought processes lies there staring unfocused, unfeeling, out at the world.

I have met this stranger 3 times before. I have learned to recognize and deal with the ill effects of this inimical alien on previous occasions, and now discover that I am being asked to do so again, now when I can barely walk the rooms of my own abode, let alone the endless aisles of Wegmans and the miles of hospital corridors I have often enough before had to traverse. Creator help me, I thought I was done with this.

It wouldn't be so bad if this doppelganger was benign. It is not. This foreign presence forces Bonnie to believe that eating or taking medication are activities antithetical to her best interests. She pretends to eat and sometimes nibbles on something just to shut me up, but it is nowhere near enough to approach basic subsistence levels. She takes medication only until I am out of sight, then removes the pills and secretes them in odd locations (as, for example, on top of the refrigerator.)

If it weren't for these behaviors, I could almost accept living with this being, to spare Bonnie the hospitalization and treatments that she abhors so much. It would be heartbreaking, never again to see the sparkle in her eyes, the brilliant light of her intelligence, but I could do it. But if I did, she would die - there is not a doubt in my mind.

And so it begins anew - my coping mechanism is kicking in and my emotions are shutting down. The storm of tears is past now (Happy Birthday to me) and the cold, dead being inside of me who takes control in this type of situation is coming to the fore. One of us must carry on, and it has once again been left to me to do so. I sometimes long to relinquish control and sink into that warm, fuzzy world where nothing matters and where one need worry about nothing. Except I now understand that it is not like that. It is a hell populated by voices that speak only in almost inaudible whispers, where all eyes hold evil intent, and almost no one, especially strangers, is to be trusted. Sleep holds no surcease, for the brain will not shut down - the eyes and the voices are always there, insisting that only death will suffice to alleviate the agitation.

The onset of the depression is always so swift as to be shocking. It actually begins some indefinite time before the red flags go up, generally triggered by some occurrence that sets Bonnie to worrying and causes her stress. She often makes assumptions about ill-understood events, and seems always to assume the worst. She will not share these fears with me, and if she does, will not believe my assurances that there is nothing to worry about. The fears linger and fester, and eventually balloon into full-blown psychosis. The worst part is that there is almost no warning - Thursday Bonnie is outwardly Bonnie, and Friday she is submerged below the persona of the Stranger.

On some subconscious level, I must have recognized that something was amiss, for I began to prepare for a future entry thusly -

Never underestimate the fragility of the human thought process and personality. There is sometimes a very fine line between what is considered ‘normal’ and what medical theorists determine to be ‘abnormal.’ What may seem, to a medical professional without full knowledge of the situation, to be perfectly normal behavior can often be just the opposite. For example, a weight of 105 may seem desirable for a woman 5'8" and slightly big-boned. Only after understanding that her original weight was well over 200 pounds and that the loss occurred in under a year without any exercise being undertaken, may one see that something may be not quite right.

It is difficult, if not impossible, for someone who has never before encountered mental illness to recognize signs that such might be in the offing. Not until the disease is well-progressed, and manifest behavior and personality disorders are evinced, does one realize that there is a problem, and by then the difficulty of obtaining treatment becomes problematic.

These are the red flags and characteristics of the depression personal to Bonnie. Other caregivers to depressives will most likely be familiar with some or all of these -

Listlessness, total lack of interest in food and pursuits, the statements "I’m so tired" and "I’m sorry", a faraway look in the eyes or a vacant expression, lack of emotion and emotional response, lack of assertiveness, indecision, restlessness, whispery and disjointed phrases

Please keep Bonnie in your thoughts. She is lost in a place where few of us would willingly go, and she will need your help to guide her way.

Thank you to those of you who have expressed your care and support. If you have ever been in need yourself, you know how much it means.

Entries will probably be few, although puzzles will continue to appear, because they are excellent therapy and keep my mind occupied.


Friday, February 17, 2006

Weather Report

This is just a quick update. We're sorry we've been not much in evidence - there is good reason for the lack of material.

The front moving across Rochester today was, and still is, particularly nasty. From a high of 57 degrees early this morning, the temperature is expected to drop to 18 before the night is out, and the winds have been blowing steadily at around 50 mph, with gusts up to 60 and 70. We have been battered about today, but remain unbowed.

The inside weather is also cloudy and unsettled, and it remains to be seen how an uneasy situation will resolve itself. It may abate, or it may require the indefinite absence of our presence. Time will tell.

Thanks to you who have been kind enough to inquire when the next chapter of the apparently continuing saga of the "dark rambler" (thanx and a tip o' the Hatlo hairpiece to Kathy for that description) will appear. There is indeed a chapter 'in process', and we hope to have it posted sooner rather than later. Events must dictate.

May life be kind to you all and refrain from unpleasantly surprising you.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

Today's puzzle, JS #15, is brought to you by the UAW - Unemployed Ascot Wearers.

Without further adieu -

Today's JS features the journaler's first name and the names of two of her journals. The first is a journal that features an ongoing story and the second is her regular journal.

An item from the D & C Police Beat -

Top's Friendly Markets at 1900 S. Clinton Ave. reported Jan. 31 that someone loaded a shopping cart with beer and left the store without paying. Two suspects fled in a green Dodge Intrepid after one of them was confronted while loading the car.

Bonnie's observation - They must have been stocking up for the Super Bowl.

We've been tagged by bedazzzled1 to list the songs on our playlist. We would love to - the problem is, we don't have a playlist. If we listen to music at all nowadays, it is the aol radio baroque channel to which we most listen. But here are a few of our favorites from days gone by -

The Beatles and their various solo permutations

Bob Seger


Led Zeppelin

Iron Butterfly

Green Day

The Moody Blues

Jefferson Airplane

The Who

Simon & Garfunkel

The Doors

 ... and many, many more. If you want to be tagged for this meme, feel free to go for it. I'm going to go lie down now.


Sunday, February 5, 2006

Bon & Mal's Weekly Sunday Puzzle Page

This puzzle is brought to you by the PLO - Precision Lathe Operators.

But first, some props. We'd like to say hi to tj of the blogspot journal Paisley Skys, Red of the blogspot journal Collage of Clouded Lucidity, Jodi of the blogspot journal Looking Beyond the Cracked Window, and Coy of the blogspot journal Dancing in the Rain. Thank you all for stopping by. If you like, go visit their journals and say hi also.

And now, we present JS #14.

The anagram/fill-in portion contains the first name, sn and journal name of a journaler who is currently recovering from surgery. We hope you're doing well and recovering rapidly.

In two weeks a special sudoku will appear, created solely by Bonnie for a certain birthday boy.

And a humorous bit borrowed from a humor website -


1. You take your dog for a walk and you both use the same tree.

2. You can entertain yourself for more than an hour with a fly swatter.

3. Your property has been mistaken for a recycling center.

4. Your boat has not left the driveway in 15 years.

5. You burn your yard rather than mow it.

6. You think the Nutcracker is something you do off the high dive.

7. The Salvation Army declines your mattress.

8. You think fast food is hitting a deer at 65 mph.

9. You offer to give someone the shirt off your back and they don't want it.

10. You come back from the dump with more than you took.

11. You keep a can of Raid on the kitchen table.

12. Your grandmother has "Ammo" on her Christmas list.

13. You think a subdivision is part of a math problem.

14. You've bathed with flea and tick soap.

15. You know how many bales of hay your car will hold.

16. You have used a rag for a gas cap.

17. Your house doesn't have curtains but your truck does.

18. You wonder how service stations keep their restrooms so clean.

19. You consider your license plate personalized because your father made it.

20. Your lifetime goal is to own a fireworks stand.

21. You have a complete set of salad bowls, and they all say Cool Whip on the side.

22. You've used your ironing board as a buffet table.

23. You think a quarter horse is that ride in front of K-Mart.

24. Your neighbors think you're a detective because a cop always brings you home.

25. You've used a toilet brush as a back scratcher.

26. You missed 5th grade graduation because you had jury duty.

We hope you all enjoy the week ahead.


Saturday, February 4, 2006

Characters That Refuse to Die

I have heard again from the person who first spoke to me earlier this week. Apparently he wishes me to understand his motivations. To say the least, this makes me somewhat uneasy.


               Communication from the Highway

"If you ever plan to motor west:

Travel my way, the highway

that’s the best.

Get your kicks on Route 66!"

I believe I will.

You don’t know me. You don’t want to know me. I may be your worst nightmare - the agent of your abduction and release from your miserable life. You see, I have a talent - not a pleasant one, granted, but a talent nonetheless - the ability to see within you and sense your pain. That taste of anguish draws me to you, as is a philatelist impelled to possess a rare stamp. It compels me to free you from your misery and send you on to what comes after, in the hope that I may one day be quit of this curse with which I have been burdened. I do not enjoy killing, but I crave the sensation that overcomes me when the agony that you harbor within flies out from your soul and for a brief moment, you understand what it is to experience ecstasy rather than unending torment. The undiluted sweetness of that moment is simply incomparable to me, and is all that renders my wretched existence tolerable. Whether a gift from God or a scourge from Satan, this talent is my only true possession, for it necessitates that I must remain forever a vagabond, a rootless wanderer, never owning more than I can carry in a suitcase or the trunk of my vehicle.

I do have a redeeming quality, though you may not perceive it as such. If I should meet you some sable night, if I should sense that the vessel of your soul is o’erbrimmed with the bitterness of bile, I will make certain that your death is rapid and without discomfort. I have had practice in the art of quietus, and my blade is honed to a precise and deadly edge. Only a few times has my work caused distress to someone, and then, I am almost ashamed to say, it was deliberation, rather than compulsion, that impelled me to act, despite the fact that when the time came, I was just as overwhelmed with necessity. Certain people that I meet arouse in me a sour antipathy- I feel a dark glee radiating from their souls that is quite as compelling, in its own way, as the agony of despair that I sense from others. It speaks to me of pure evil latent or actual, and to eradicate that psychopathy, I must occasionally deviate from my role as dark angel of mercy, and don the vestment of the purveyor of awful vengeance. This act, rather than fill me with ineffable joy, causes a spate of bitterness, vitriol that sears my very soul, to rise within me, and the finesse that informs my merciful releases is blunted, coarsened, and I become no more than a vicious butcher, a harrower of flesh and spiller of blood. When the fury has passed I experience, not the exhilaration that results from my acts of compassion, but an exhaustion and self-loathing that gnaws at me for days afterward. Each such occurrence leads me to forswear my vocation, to move on and begin afresh, and I keep my promise to myself for a few hours or a few days, until I enter a new town and prepare to embark upon a new exploration of life, and then ...

You must have divined that my nomadic existence has forced me to forgo any semblance of normality, that to live I must take from my (why be coy?) kills whatever money they might have been carrying, or to hire myself out for any temporary employment that may present itself, and to assume a species of protective coloration so as to better mingle with those who may have not been afforded my opportunities for a decent education. I have schooled myself in the vernacular and mannerisms of the folk with whom I most frequently associate, and I find it much easier than I once did to blend in without causing awkward misgivings. I find that I am able to acquire possibilities with more deftness, and the ground I now till is quite fertile and produces so much of what I require to fulfill my need.

You may consider me a monster. The acts that I perform, while they may seem horrible to you, are perhaps less so when viewed from my perspective. If you cannot offer me your sympathetic understanding, much less even a crumb of empathy, then at least extend to me your pity. And, if I should someday encounter you, and sense your exigency, then I solemnly promise that I shall do the same.

There’s a road sign comin’ up there on th’ right. Looks like it says ‘Moriarty’. ‘ppropriate, doncha think? An’ it’s only a short ways from Albuquerque on good ol’ I-40. Guess it’s time I started lookin’ for a new job an’ a place to hang, and I’m sure wantin’ ta meet some new friends an’ swill a few beers, an’ see can I figure out the lay a’ the land. Be seein’ ya ‘round.

I hope I do not hear from this gentleman again.

P.S. My hope has been dashed. To be continued ...

Write Words Writing Club

Copyright Malcolm Mott 2006




Friday, February 3, 2006

When You're Always On the Go ...

Funny Pictures


This is the ONLY way to go!


Thursday, February 2, 2006

Our Furry Woodland Friends


In honor of this assiduous and industrious (if slightly lackadaisical) creature, we present this snippet of hometown news (a little late, it has already occurred, but we wanted to save it for today) -

From the Rochester D & C


The Greece Chamber of Commerce's fourth annual Groundhog Day Festival will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Greece Canal Park, 241 Elmgrove Road.

The event will include a hockey shoot, woodcarving demonstrations, ice fishing (we wonder where they found the ice), a bean bag toss, food vendors (of course, the ubiquitous sausage carts), raffles and more.

A noon welcome ceremony will feature the Rochester Skydivers and a groundhog. (Italics ours) PETS ARE NOT ALLOWED.

There is no admission fee.

We are left to ponder the question - can the groundhog operate a parachute?


Wednesday, February 1, 2006

Write Words Writing Club - Another One

Inspired by photo #3 in the Write Words Writing Club post:


Write Words Writing Club

Occasionally people who feel compelled to write tune into an alien frequency and a wraithlike whisper emerges from the ether ... "Tell my story."

I have twice heard from this person - the first time I received a snippet of his experiences, and the second represented a postscript of sorts. He is, as far as I can determine, still out there somewhere, roaming the deep Southwest.

         HUNTER AND HUNTED: THE DARK RAMBLER                                   

                                Another One

     Slim Valdez disappeared last night.

     We all called him Slim 'cause that's just what he was. Wasn't always like that, though. Time was, he ate all those nachos an' drank all that soda, he ballooned up t' about two-seventy-five. But then he got hired down ta Allied, they put him in Shippin' an' Receivin' ('cause he was big an' could easily handle th' cargoes I guess) an' that's when he slimmed right down. Mighty proud a' that too, he was. Useta lift up his big ol' shirt an' say, "Hey, check this out!" I really liked Slim. Had a heart as big as those trucks he unloaded. Naive, too. He left himself wide open for so many snide jokes that they called him a big ol' garage door. Like, one time Manny handed him a piece a' plastic, short, dark an' thin with a blob on th' end, an' said, "Here, guess what this is."

     "I dunno." says Slim, peering myopically at the object. "What is it?"

     "A petrified dingleberry." says Manny.

     Well, Slim he dropped that bit a' plastic so fast, you'd a' thought it was burnin' hot. "Watchoo wanna go an' give me that for?" he cried. Shakin' his hand up an' down like he was snakebit. A' course, everybody busted out laughin' fit ta go ta hell. I pulled him aside one time an' asked him why'd he wanta leave himself open like that for. "I dunno," he says, "I don't mean ta do it. It just happens." But, like I say, that's the way Slim was.

     Slim was a Tex-Mex, his parents come up from Mexico City, snuck over th' border, went ta ground in Waco an' got any kinda crappy job they could find ta make a go a' it, an' eventually little Reynaldo (that's Slim) came waltzin' in, so he's 'merican born an' bred. Once Slim got old enough to work, his parents snuck back over th' border, an' like the dutiful son he was, he sent 'em a check every month. That's another thing I liked about Slim. Any guy loves his parents that much, he's gotta be an okay guy, eh? Oh, and I don't wanna forget those loud shirts he useta wear with th' baggy cargo pants. They were sure bright an' colorful. He looked great in 'em, an' ya could always see 'im comin'. I liked that, too. For myself, though, I'm kinda partial ta black.

     I'm gonna miss Slim.

     Amy Sirkin disappeared last week.

     She useta date Slim, back awhile ago, I thought they made a cute couple, but I guess it didn't work out so well. Don't know why, Amy was pretty in a quiet kinda way, didn't wear makeup or anythin', she wore a lotta blue, jeans an' shirts, baggy, not tight. She worked over ta Blowmold, ran th' machines that made plastic milk jugs an' suchlike. Hard work an' hot, she useta say, though she didn't say much, come ta think. Funny, now that I think on it, big ol' loud Slim an' quiet little Amy, together, yeh? Maybe that's why it didn't work out. I kinda liked her, but she wasn't really my type.

     I heard from Darla, Amy was born somewhere up North, her Ma died when she was only four, cancer, I think, and her Pa had to raise her alone. Amy herself wouldn't ever say anythin' about that, an' I hate ta pry, but I guess Darla got some outta her one night when Amy was feelin' kinda bad an' drownin' her sorrows, an' Darla don't mind talkin'. Amy was afraid of her dad, she said, he liked his liquor an' he liked it a lot. Darla said she met Amy's dad down ta the Moonshine Inn one time, he'd had a few, an' tried ta hit on her big time. She had ta leave th' bar, he was creepy, she said, an' she heard later that he got inta a fight with some other lush an' beat him somethin' fierce. Amy moved out of her Pa's place last year, an' she asked if she could bunk with Darla, but Darla had ta say no, she didn't want Amy's dad ta come knockin' on her door, 'specially if he was drunk. I guess Amy's dad useta hit her, 'cause sometimes you could see bruises on her arms an' sometimes she'd walk funny.

     I heard Blowmold put on a third shift, they was doin' so well, business was way up, an' they asked Amy ta change shifts, offered her a lot more money, an' she coulda used it, but she told them no, 'cause she didn't like nighttimes. Huh. For myself, I'm kinda partial to th' night.

     I kinda miss Amy.

     Billy Kwan disappeared last month.

     Billy useta work down ta Sarge's Super, stockin' the shelves on th' graveyard shift. I useta stop an' chat with him, down on th' floor on his knees, crammin' those cans in down on th' bottom shelves, 'cause we were 'bout th' only people in th' store, 'cept for that lazy good-for-nothin' night manager who always looks at me funny. Jimbo, I think they call 'im. Billy an' I useta hang together. I liked Billy.

     Billy hailed from Vietnam. He was an orphan, parents killed in that last push on Saigon. He was pulled out an' adopted by a Marine an' his wife. Very nice people, both of 'em. They really loved Billy, I think, an' Billy loved them, least that's what he'd tell me, but myself, I think he broke their hearts too. He got a little wild, hung out with that crowd that did crack down on th' corner by Ray's Got Gas mart, an' when he needed money bad he broke inta that crummy pawnshop, Joe's Three Balls. Didn't know 'bout th' silent alarm an' got busted, went down ta th' farm for two-an'-a-half. Poor kid, his parents died in a car crash three months 'fore he got out. I think that really broke Billy up. Maybe that's why he got that job at Sarge's, tryin' ta straighten out an' get himself back on th' right track.

     The last time I talked ta Billy, he told me he'd bought himself a gun (I think he stole it, felons can't buy guns) an' asked me if I wanted ta go shootin' with him. I said no thanks. I'm kinda partial ta knives, myself.

     I really miss Billy.

     Jimbo's next.

This is the last communication I received from my correspondent.

     The soft susurrus of tires caressing pavement is so soothing, don't you think? It is a sound so pleasing to the ear.

     Yes, I'm moving on. The police were becoming curious, and were perhaps beginning to suspect. They brought me in for questioning once, and ran into me at random but more and more frequent intervals, and that was all the impetus I needed. There are small towns aplenty here in the Southwest, and there is sure to be more than one that will meet my needs.

     By the way, I thought you should know. Jimbo died badly.

Copyright 2006 Malcolm Mott