Tag Archives: Books

ul_front-cover

Undivided Lines

Available at Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com

Undivided Lines is a collection of stories about wisdom, love, adventure, and redemption, featuring a diverse range of characters who brave challenging and life-altering experiences.  From a tenacious senator defending the legacy of his work, to a Native American youth fighting for survival in his homeland, to a new mother traveling the galaxy to solve the mystery of her husband’s disappearance, these stories entertain, amaze, and enlighten.

From Undivided Lines:

The Senator

“The first sign of the decay of nations is when they begin to have common gods.  When gods begin to be common gods, the gods die as well as the faith in them, together with the people themselves.  The more powerful a nation, the more individual its god.”  — Fyodor Dostoevsky, Demons

The senator’s crisp white sleeves made a whisking sound as he punched, jab, jab, right cross, left hook, left uppercut, jab…  He kept his chin in and head down, weaving lightly back and forth.  The standing mirror in front of him quaked gently after every punch, faintly blurring his reflection, as he threw his fists harder, faster, exacting a fierce combination of head and body blows until the whole room began shaking, then he slowed, dropped his hands to his sides, stood there and watched himself breathing.

“You don’t get into my line of work unless you care about people and want to make a difference in the world.  I look back at who I was thirty, forty years ago, and it amazes me how much I didn’t know.  It astounds me.  You could fill a library floor-to-ceiling with volumes of books about the staggering depths of my ignorance.  The knowledge I’ve gained since then has changed my opinion about some things, but honestly, the reasons for me staying in this fight are the same as when I started.  My heart’s the same, it’s about heart.”

The boy glanced up at the creases branching out of the corner of his dad’s eye.  “Brandon said his grandpa had a heart attack a while ago, and he died.”

“I’m sorry to hear that.  May Brandon’s grandpa rest in peace.  Steven, I’m talking about your figurative heart, like your spirit.  When heart attacks happen it’s your physical heart, here…”  He pressed his hand against the boy’s chest.  “That’s what pumps your blood.  I’m talking about the heart you feel with, the heart that makes you strong.”

“Where is that one at?”

“Same place, I suppose.  Only it’s invisible.”

“Invisible?”  The boy’s eyes opened wide as he smiled.

“Never mind.  The point I was trying to make is whatever you decide to do with your life, you’d better make doggone sure you’re doing it for more than a paycheck.  You can farm money trees for all I care, but if you haven’t got a bigger goal than making money, you might as well set those trees on fire.”

Burn money trees?”

“You bet, burn ‘em up.”

“Wouldn’t that be a waste—”

“No, it wouldn’t be a waste.”  He looked at his son’s blank expression.  “Yes, it would be a waste, but only because of what you could accomplish with all that money, the businesses you could start, people you could feed, and bless, and help out of all kinds of trouble.  The money itself isn’t the thing, is what I’m saying.”

“The money isn’t the thing,” the boy echoed.

“Correct.”

“Isn’t the thing,” he said again, more softly.

The pavilion they were in had a green pyramid-shaped roof made of hard plastic that started to click right then with the impact of heavy raindrops.  Click-click, click, click-click-click, click, click-click, click…

The senator cast an irritated glance upward.  “Did they design this thing to be obnoxious in the rain?”

The pavilion was built on a bridge spanning a small lake in a park near their home, and the fish started jumping once the rain began, launching out over the rippling surface and splashing down, or merely churning the lake with a whip of their tails and descending.

“Whoa!  Did you see that?” the boy asked, his eyes lit like high beams.

“Must have been a five-pounder,” he answered.

Steven jumped up and walked over to the railing, then, feeling the cold rain, leapt back under the roof of the pavilion.  “It’s cold.”

“It’ll stop soon.  You see those clouds over there, the gap over those trees?  The wind is driving ‘em this way.  We may see sunny skies before lunchtime.”

Sitting down again, he turned and asked, “What’s for lunch, you think?”

“Chips,” the man smiled.  “Salsa.  P, b, and j.  Doubt mom’s gonna fix anything today.  She might, though.  Never know.”

The rain slowed to a light drizzle.

The man cleared his throat.  “Steven, I want to tell you something, and this may have been what I was trying to say earlier.  You’re too young now to understand it, perhaps, but I’m not getting any younger myself, so here goes.  Grown-ups, we do the best we can.  We start out as little kids just like you, everything’s new and interesting, the world’s a great big adventure.  We go to school and get jobs, start families, and hopefully put our time and effort into something useful.  The problem is, most of the time, the simple goal of building something, building a career, a life, can be the most difficult task in the world.  And people can hate you for it, even when you’re just trying to help.”

“Hate you?”

“That’s right.  Now life is complicated, son, and the world, it’s a chaotic place.  Chaotic, you know, crazy.  For everything that goes right and smooth and the way it’s supposed to go, there’s about fourteen hundred things that go wrong along with it.  I’m not saying I’ve been a perfect man, far from it.  But I have tried, every step of the way, to steer clear of trouble, both for myself and your mother, for you, Helen, Jenny, and Allen, and most importantly for the American people.  My job is tough, Steve, tougher than you know.  You’ve got to fight and do the best you can to help the highest number of people you can, and half the time you’re killing yourself just to steer clear of the next catastrophe.  Catastrophe, like a disaster, like an earthquake or something.  Anyway, that’s what I tried to do, day in, day out, for thirty some-odd years.”  He smiled.  “So don’t let them tell you different.”

The boy glanced up at him, half-smiled, and gazed out over the water.

“You hungry?  Let’s go get that p, b, and j.”

As they crossed the bridge onto the path that curved up toward the front of the park, it started raining again, harder than before.  The senator hopped a few times and started running, smiling back at the boy, and letting Steven run on ahead.

 

IC Front Cover

Intended Consequences–Essays

Available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com

From Intended Consequences:

Wishing

Perhaps the worst thing about living in Missouri is the distance from the ocean.  A thousand miles to the Atlantic and two thousand to the Pacific, the city of St. Louis sits securely landlocked in the middle of the Midwest.  You start to feel it too when summer begins, when the rising temperatures, blinding sun, and boiling air start prompting visions of crisp blue waves and white sand beaches, of running and diving into the surf, then stretching out and relaxing in the shade.  There are plenty of swimming pools around but it’s not the same, pools are crowded and boring compared to the sea, like playing with Hot Wheels instead of driving an actual car.  And the only way to get to the coast would be to fly there for a week and who has time for that?  So here I am, in a coffee shop in a mall, watching people drink iced coffee while I write a pointless essay about wanting to be somewhere else.

The last time I swam in the ocean was over fifteen years ago, my tenth grade spring break in Destin, Florida.  My friend’s grandparents had a house down the beach a couple miles from the hotels.  It was quiet, and at night if you walked down to the water and listened to the waves rushing over the sand you felt alone and content in a universe as infinite as the ocean is mysterious, the moonlit waves drawing back and back and back into rolling darkness.  One night at 3am or so I awoke and went down to sit by the water, and for no reason at all jumped up and ran figure eights in the sand, as fast as I could, until I couldn’t breathe and collapsed on the beach with burning lungs.  Not sure why I did that—I think it had something to do with freedom.

Another memory from the trip took place a hundred yards out from shore, nothing tragic, no shark attack or near-death drowning, just a feeling of staring out at the horizon, faintly sinking and rising, melting with the sky, and feeling close to God.  Moments like those rarely happened to me back then and I didn’t recognize what it was at the time, but now I know it was Christ reaching down to bless me, to let me know as a kind of bread crumb that He loves me, that God watches over us, even when we don’t believe, and with Him is complete and radiant joy.  Everything fused in that second on a raft off the coast of Destin, and since then there’s been nowhere else I’d rather go to get away for a while, away from dry land, from routine, and from real life.

Walt Whitman wrote a poem entitled, “As I Ebb’d with the Ocean of Life,” about walking the edge of Long Island and feeling humbled and inadequate.  The poem begins:  “As I ebb’d with the ocean of life/As I wended the shores I know/As I walk’d where the ripples continually wash you Paumanok/Where they rustle up hoarse and sibilant/Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her castaways/I musing late in the autumn day, gazing off southward/Held by this electric self out of the pride of which I utter poems/Was seiz’d by the spirit that trails in the lines underfoot/The rim, the sediment that stands for all the water and all the land of the globe.”

Whitman uses the Native American name, Paumanok, for Long Island, the place of his birth.  I wonder if the Native Americans had a name for St. Louis.  If they did it probably had something to do with rivers.

 

Brotherhood

One of my church brothers told me a while ago that we have to treat every day like it’s Day 1.  It made sense then with what was happening in my life and I remember this statement from time to time when the cares of the world start weighing on me.  Regardless of our progress in any area of life, our families, work, friendships, spiritual growth, there’s an open invitation to help other people out, and when we make that our goal and pursue different ways to help others, new doors open up and new opportunities present themselves.

Martin Luther King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail talks about brotherhood in idyllic and majestic terms.  He so exalts the idea it seems that if he had one dying wish, he’d ask for all Americans to live as brothers and sisters, bonded by love, securely able to withstand social turbulence and survive whatever conflicts arise with a foundational, brotherly love intact.  Dr. King dreamt of such a place, of one national family.  The late Sixties weren’t so different from today.  Violence between police and citizens, especially African American citizens, plaguing the news every week, sharply divided political parties clashing in dismal arguments, and frightened people yearning for peace, stability, and brotherhood.

Since the beginning of this election year I’ve made a point of trusting God for our national welfare, and instead of panicking over the latest catastrophe, praying and reading Scripture on behalf of those in power, the civil authorities, and the oppressed.  Prayer helps more than anyone gives it credit for, and God hears every syllable of every word we speak in love.  Families pray for each other.  Brothers look out for one another automatically, as a rule.  Jesus teaches in the Gospel of Luke, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” (Luke 16:10)  The Lord promises that those who do show faith and responsibility in the less important things will be promoted to leadership roles in the kingdom.  Details like kind words, respectful manners, and common courtesy reflect a heart that belongs entirely to God and go a long way toward healing people.

When families disagree, the details are what hold them together.  My brother might hate the fact that I’m a Beatles fan, but as long as we keep it respectful, and I don’t make fun of his weird antler statues, there won’t be a problem.  The same dynamic works for politics—as long as people operate under the agreement that we are or at least should be a family, the major disagreements won’t tear us apart, and reconciliation will occur.  Details hold families together when the world tries to break them down.  Details matter.

Details matter so much that fifty years ago people sacrificed their lives for equal seating in restaurants and on buses, for the right to eat and drink in the same places as everyone else, and for the right to be regarded publicly as citizens by their government, because those superficialities revealed the state of America’s heart toward African Americans.  Martin Luther King knew that better than anyone, which is why he gave his life for brotherhood, the kind that fills the heart and manifests throughout the world.  He closes his Letter from a Birmingham Jail like this:  “If I have said anything in this letter that is an understatement of the truth and is indicative of an unreasonable impatience, I beg you to forgive me.  If I have said anything in this letter that is an overstatement of the truth and is indicative of my having a patience that makes me patient with anything less than brotherhood, I beg God to forgive me.”

 

Kind of Blue

Jazz originated in New Orleans in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, evolving to produce some of the most creative and varied music the world has ever heard.  Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue holds the honor of being one of the most highly valued jazz albums, and one of the most influential records of any musical genre in history.  Recorded in New York in 1959 and released that year, the album features Bill Evans on piano, Jimmy Cobb on drums, Paul Chambers on bass, John Coltrane and Julian Adderley on saxophones, Miles Davis on trumpet, and pianist Wynton Kelly on one track.

The use of improvisation makes jazz unique, gives the music life and power, and carries an emotional energy through the sound waves like currents of electricity.  The solos on Kind of Blue feel like echoes of an invisible music more real and powerful than the notes we hear from the trumpet and saxophones.  The drums, bass, and piano maintain a gentle structure for the horns to dance over, trancelike, then more upbeat, alternately crying and singing, sadness, weeping, fusing into mellow joy.

A departure from the style of his earlier work, Davis shifted from hard bop to modal jazz with Milestones in 1958, furthering his experimentations with modality on Kind of Blue.  At a time when American music, culture, values, and society were rapidly changing, artists like Davis cleared new paths for others by simply doing what they loved.  The Sixties saw wave after wave of brilliant, unprecedented, soulful music flooding out of the United States and Great Britain, a creative movement founded on the bold work of fearless artists of the 40’s and 50’s.  Popular music contributed a uniquely powerful voice to the national community, a vitality which healed and bonded people when bitter disagreements kept trying to make our nation split.

People talk about jazz’s quality of incorporating “wrong” notes into the music, pressing on through failed attempts and using the rhythm as a platform to speak hints of some far greater truth, so that really there are no mistakes in jazz, no “wrong” notes, because it’s all one big try anyway.  The musicians get together and give it their best shot to reach the unreachable, maybe they come close and maybe they don’t, but at least they gave it a shot.  Miles probably wouldn’t care too much that the Library of Congress selected his album for the National Recording Registry, or that Rolling Stone ranks it among the top 20 albums of all time, but he definitely does care that his music speaks truth to people, revealing the eternal.

America has a lot of music playing today, jumbled, broken music, jagged signals flying around and scattered voices trying to sing along.  The invisible music of truth gets drowned out by all that noise, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still playing.  Another thing people say about jazz is the most important notes are the ones you don’t hear—not that those notes aren’t being played, only, silently.  Miles teaches us the best thing one can do in life is miss.

 

warzonecover

Warzone: Nemesis (Book Review)

Available at Amazon and Barnes&Noble.com

A skillfully written, action-packed science fiction novel about the undisclosed truth of the space race, Warzone: Nemesis documents the fight between Russia and the U.S. for alloy-x, an element that could revolutionize space engine technology.  The battle scenes are descriptive and expertly crafted, the characters intriguing and vividly authentic, and overall the story is highly imaginative.  Graham’s writing is at once unique and easily readable, and the novel an extraordinary accomplishment.

Summary:  This is the seventh edition of Warzone: Nemesis, which opens the files of the top-secret war for space, hidden behind the facade of a decades-long cold war between super-powers.  The wrecks of two alien spaceships, and the larger disaster behind the wrecks, gives both the USSR and the USA the rudiments of space travel, and access to the element known only as alloy-x, the key to the interplanetary engines.  Elite fighters recruited anonymously from Special Forces units join the battle between the two countries for supremacy in space, waged on the Moon, on Mars, and on the moons of the outer planets.  To their planet, these men are dead, their histories erased from the record.  Identified only by call signs, they engage in a life-and-death struggle far beyond the view of the public.  Warzone: Nemesis is an action-packed opening novel to the Warzone series, a richly-detailed read for lovers of science-fiction and military fiction alike.  Contrasting ideologies bring the underlying similarities between the commanders on both sides into sharp focus, adding depth to the story, and the levels of research that have gone into the book are clearly visible in the meticulous description of locales and technologies.  Morris E. Graham creates comprehensive battle strategies and interesting psychological twists to keep the battles, and the story, moving along, while touching on some of the many ethical dilemmas that any war brings into the open.

Title:  Warzone: Nemesis (A Novel of Mars)
Author:  Morris E. Graham
Paperback:  322 pages
Publisher:  Morris\Graham; 1 edition (March 4, 2013)
Language:  English
ISBN-10:  0615862985
ISBN-13:  978-0615862989
Category:  Science Fiction

 

Book Release: Last Year’s Resolution

Last Year’s Resolution is a novel about Edmund Stovender, a famous author who falls in love with Marie, a journalist who calls him for an interview just before the performance of his hit play.  Their lives accelerate through an epic adventure testing their faith, strength, and love for each other, as they discover that their story might pivotally influence the fate of the world.

Available now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Robert Lampros is an author of Christian poetry, essays, and fiction who lives in St. Louis.  He earned a Bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Washington University in St. Louis.  His books include Fits of TranquilityIlluminating SidewalksOm-BorkAfternoonEleven FloorsWhat Is Sacred, and Last Year’s Resolution.

From Last Year’s Resolution

Eddie spent the majority of his childhood as most children do, divided between mandatory school work and outdoor adventures with the other kids in his neighborhood.  He loved sports, but that love quickly faded at age thirteen when he took up smoking cigarettes, at which time he turned his attention to skateboarding and playing guitar. Proving successful at neither one of those activities, he spent more and more time reading books, watching films, and writing both fiction and nonfiction stories of his own.  By the time he graduated high school his writing had been published by a number of literary journals and featured in various newsletters, making his parents very proud.  After attending Illinois State University for two years, he dropped out to pursue his career full time, and moved to New York, because that’s what writers do.  Eight years later, Edmund Stovender was the author of three bestselling novels and a National Book Award-winning play, The Hopeful Sigh, then in its third year on Broadway.

This is where Eddie’s story begins:  He sits in a coffee shop, drinking a beer, a mile down the street from the theater where his play will soon start.  His phone rings.

“Hello?”

“Hi, Eddie?”

“Yes?”

“Eddie Stovender, the writer?”

“This is he.”

“Okay, hi.  My name is Marie, Marie Altnikov.  I’m a journalist with The Triune Times.”

“Sorry, I don’t do interviews with people whose middle and first names are the same.”

“You don’t—I’m sorry?”

“You said your name was Marie-Marie, I was making a joke.  Never mind, I’m an idiot.”

“Oh, ha-ha.  That’s… kind of funny.  I actually don’t want an interview, I’m calling because I’m going to see your play tonight, to review it for the Times, and I was hoping you could answer a few questions first.”

“How is that not an interview?  Answer a few questions, that sounds like an interview.”

She was silent for a moment.

“Hello?”

“I’m here.  Maybe it is an interview.  I hadn’t thought of it like that.  Do you have a minute?  I’m sorry to call you out of the blue like this.”

He checked his watch.  “Marie, the play starts in forty-five minutes.”

“That’s fine.  I only need ten, fifteen tops.”

“Excuse me, bartender, may I have another Blue Moon, please?  Sorry.  Alright, fire away.”

She cleared her throat and he heard papers rustling on her end of the phone.  “Question number one.  What inspired you to write The Hopeful Sigh, and what were your goals for this piece when you started writing?”

“Um…  Well, four years is a long time ago—that’s when I wrote the play.  Honestly, at the time I think I was trying to save the world.”

“Interesting.  And you thought writing a play could do that?”

“The right play, sure, if it performed its function correctly.”

“What is its function?”

“Sorry, Marie, I explained all this a long time ago in my other interviews.  Didn’t you read—”

“I don’t read newspapers.”

“But you write for one.”

“Yes, sir.  Do you mind answering the question again?  I’d appreciate it.”

“Sure, fine.  I thought The Hopeful Sigh, if I wrote it properly and it was performed properly, could help people realize… we’re not home yet.  The world we’re in now, it’s really just a stage, and what each of us does here, our work, our families, our dreams, the best parts of our lives, that’s what our true homes are going to be like, you understand?”

“Sorry, I’m writing… ‘what our true homes are going to be like.’  Okay.  I think I got it, like Heaven.  A place where dreams never die.”

“Exactly.  A place where nothing ever dies.”

“Question number two,” she said.  “Who is your greatest influence?”

“Whoa.  Can I do top three?”

“No, you have to choose one.”

“Why?”

“It’s the rules.”

“Then I’d have to say Shakespeare.  I mean everyone says Shakespeare, but it’s true, he really is the most influential writer we’ve got.  War, politics, love, faith, humor, betrayal, death, salvation…  It’s all there, packed into a neat entertaining format for real human beings to bring to life.”

“Lovely.  Well said, Mr. Stovender.”

“That’s what I do.”

“Question three, last one.  What would you say are the autobiographical elements of the play?”

“Huh.”

“If you don’t mind answering.”

“It’s not a matter of minding, it’s more whether or not it’s possible to answer.  Everything and nothing, really.  Nothing that happens in the play ever happened to me personally, but at the same time I feel like it all happened to me, like I’ve lived through those events somehow.  I don’t know.”  Eddie laughed, “Is that clear enough?”

“Not a problem.  I know exactly what you mean.”

“So, are we done here?”

“Yes, indeed.  Unless you’d like to add anything.”

He thought for a moment, watching the bubbles rise in his glass.  “Something I learned a few years ago, the first season, on opening night.”  He drank the last half of his beer.  “If you write a play that’s meant to take people up to heaven, you had better be willing to walk through hell.”

“Thanks for your time, Eddie.”

“God bless.”

 

FB_IMG_1435163363119

Fits of Tranquility (review)

Reviewed by Karen Jones

Fits of Tranquility is a collection of Christian, inspirational and romantic poetry from the American poet, Robert Lampros.  I always read collections with a vague feeling of unease as some collections I have read even though they were published by internationally recognised poets tend to be quite repetitive in terms of structure, style and content.   Therefore I was extremely relieved to find Fits of Tranquility contained a variety of poetry styles and structures which made this collection immediately more appealing to the poetry connoisseur.  Lampros’ poetry contains a sensitivity and emotional eloquence which flows gently through his work.  I particularly enjoyed ‘Binaries’ because of its beautiful imagery.

‘I looked up

at the sky one night,

maybe last September, and saw two

of every star.  They weren’t

spinning and dancing like binaries,

but only resting there,

one slightly

above the other, as if…’

There is something for most poetry readers hidden within the covers of this collection.  There are  several understated Christian/Inspirational based poems such as ‘Storms,’ ‘Building Character’ and ‘Peace’ which offer soothing thoughts and  could provide comfort for people undergoing personal struggles.  I particularly liked the thought,

‘Bruises become wings.’ from the poem ‘Invisible Arms.’

The romantics out there will enjoy the sensitive love poetry littered throughout this collection.

Fits of Tranquility is a superior collection of poetry and I recommend it to those readers who want to read beautiful, family safe poetry.

Fits of Tranquility can be purchased from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

 

Afternoon Cover (5.5x8.5)

Afternoon, 08/2015

Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/Afternoon-Robert-Lampros/dp/1515259803/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1438949418&sr=8-1&keywords=afternoon+lampros

Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/afternoon-robert-lampros/1122459706?ean=9781515259800

An excerpt from Afternoon, by Robert Lampros:

“Will you feel good about this decision tomorrow?”

“It’s a guitar, Mom, it’s not like I’m dropping out of school.”

“What about Guatemala?”

“I’m not bailing on that.”

“You just spent all your money on a guitar.”

“It’s not just a guitar, Mom.  This is a nineteen sixty-nine Fender Stratocaster, exactly like the one Dave Gilmour played on the Dark Side of the Moon tour.  And I didn’t spend all my money.  I spent four hundred and eighty-five dollars.  That’s a steal, Mother.”  I squinted and wiggled my eyebrows like a gunfighter in an old western movie.

“You’ve got three months to pay the fee, Andy, don’t wait until the last minute.  This is a great opportunity to serve the Lord.”

“I’ll get the money, Mom.  Sheesh.”  I’d have to pick up some extra shifts at Ramsey’s, that was all.  Two people had just quit so Ron was probably looking for someone anyway.  The thing about my mom, she’s really cool most of the time, but then she’ll get super-strict for no reason.  She thinks I don’t care about Guatemala.  I care, okay?

Three cars.  No, four cars.  No.  Five.  Stay calm.  Peace.  Peace be with you.  Mix the drink.  Pour the stuff.  Add the whipped cream, sprinkle the chocolate thingees, snap on the lid.  “Presto!”

“You’re holding up the line, Drew.  You’re squelching my whole operation.”  Ron started using words like ‘squelching’ recently to avoid cussing at his employees.

“If I move any faster I’ll catch fire.  This whole place might go up.”

“Just bring it, alright?  Your A-game.  All I ask.”

“Yes, sir.”  The orders kept piling up.  My eyes burned from sweat.  You can try the best you can, you can try the best you can, the best you can is good enough.  Singing at work has spared me countless nervous breakdowns.

“More sprinkles here, Drew.  The ticket says extra sprinkles, see?  Right there.”

“My bad, Ron.”

Ramsey’s was a good place to work most of the time.  Ron opened it three years ago after returning from Arizona.  He’d been in the desert for almost a decade, working at a camp for troubled teens.  They did stuff like venture into the mountains for weeks with nothing more than a bag of rice and some water.  He named the place after his mentor who’d gotten bit by a rattlesnake out there and died.  Upon returning to civilization Ron saw all the cafés and figured coffee was a good way to make a living.  He didn’t seem very at home in the world.  I think that’s why people liked him.

“How we doing on drivethru?” he asked.

“Down to three, no, five cars.”

“Good work, team!  Keep it up!  What’s this?”

“They wanted soy, not two percent,” said Jenny.

“Spam it!  Okay, Drew, will you fix this, please?  Spam-a-lot!

The sun beamed at me through a pink and blue swirled haze as I left Ramsey’s that night.  Double shifts always induced a sort of amnesia.  I’d gradually forget everything that existed beyond our red and beige coffee den until the time came to exit through its tinted glass doors.  It was a Saturday.  I checked my phone.  3 calls and 1 text, all from Robby.

Doooood!!!!!!!!  I have one word for you:  THE SINK!!!

A shock of cold crashed over my head rushed down my back and legs then out through the soles of my feet.  Darkness turned deep blue fading lighter and washing away into a clear night sky.