Skip to main content

Micro Wave: A story


                                                           Micro Wave

    The only time Micro ever left his house was at dusk to walk his pug dog, Dumpling. Neighbors got used to the sight of the old man and the pug, both huffing and puffing with every step, as they made their way down to the old wooden pier, jutting out into the Ohio River. Once there, the two would sit on that old pier until dark or after, catching their breath and gazing out into the dark water.
    "Didn't always have breathing problems," Micro said, "but years of chain smoking spotted my lungs. Now old Dumplin' here," he said, "well, he come to me snortin' and snuffin'. No bigger than my hand when I got him."  He studied the palms of his big calloused hands and then bent and patted the little dog.
    Back when Micro moved into the house on the lower east side, down next to the river, he said his name was Micro Wave. His disability checks came addressed that way so people figured he was telling the truth. Or the truth as far as Micro knew it. Truth to Micro wasn't always truth to the others. Neighbors learned that about the old man right off.
    He told stories that made people wonder. Like the one about a wife named Ocean Wave and about being part of the Woodstock scene and the Hough Avenue Riots and the Kent State shootings.
    Micro was neither black nor white but somewhere in between. He said he didn't stand for any one race but stood for many. He played Chuck Berry records on his phonograph, original 45's. Not worn. Worth something, he said.
    "Oh, Maybelline, why can't you be true, oh, Maybelline, why're you doin' those things you used to do." The music floated out through the open windows of Micro's house, drifting out through long white curtains that billowed onto the porch, wrapping Chuck's words in gauze. Wooden spoons propped in the windows held them open year round.
    Dumpling would snore and Chuck would sing. No wonder the old man's hearing was nearly shot. Or so he said, when he was still talking to the neighbors.
    On Friday nights, he used to come and sit with the neighbors, whoever had chairs out, and he'd talk until he ran out of words. Or until he'd take a coughing fit. He would start on the weather and how it was changing and go on to Ocean Wave and how with her the tide was always turning.
    One of the neighbors would finally stick a finger up to his own ear and draw a circle, indicating to the group that Micro was crazy. Others, though, drew in every word he uttered. He may have been crazy, but he was entertaining-crazy on hot summer nights.
    Right before he quit coming out of his house for anything except to walk his pug dog at dusk, he told me in detail how it was at Kent State. The National Guard. The shots ringing out. The blood. And that awful sound of the screaming. How it made his ears ring, even today. He couldn't have told it as well if he hadn't been there.
    Some people came away with pictures of it, he said. He came away with a scar. Neighbors never saw any scar. It could be his scar was in a place eyes couldn't see. Maybe not even his own.
   

the end





I have a collection of short stories. Some very different than what I usually write.
This one is certainly different.

Not sure where it came from but I'm thankful it arrived. I'd be interested in your thoughts good or bad or indifferent. I'm deciding which stories to leave out of the book of stories I hope to publish on Kindle this summer. Spill your thoughts below. Many thanks! Bless you on this cloudy in Ohio Monday!














Comments

  1. Oh Barb, that was fantastic! I totally loved it. I felt it, right in here *pounds chest*. I love Micro Wave and his wife Ocean Wave, those are two of the coolest character names that fit the characters in such a perfect way -- just color me jealous!

    Oh yes, do put this story in your book. It's wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good one!!! I think you should include it, if you have the room! Character is quite colorful, but still left to the reader's imagination as to what he really looks like. You've done a good job again, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like it, Barbara. Micro is quite the character! I'd put it in.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks to all who left a note. I'm thrilled that you like Micro. He's in!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed this! I could picture this man every step of the way...I think I even heard his breathing...I even started thinking about what will happen to the pug when Micro passes on and feeling so sad! Maybe because I've met people like him. You should put this in the book!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This was such an entertaining story! I love the characters, AND their names! It takes real talent to write, let alone a short story. I commend you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I can't thank you enough for the great comments. I will be using Micro in my story collection. I'm not sure where this one came from but it came fully realized. It just flew from my fingers onto the page.
    Blessings to all.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

ODE TO OLD OR I SHALL WEAR PURPLE.....

Ode to Old
When I am old- Really really old- And cannot see -
Red balls of rouge- Riding- High on my cheeks,
Black lines- Arching- Over my eyes, 
Gravy stains covering- Yellow flowers- On my good blue dress.
When I am old- And cannot see - Will you please do-  My grooming for me?

by: Barbara A. Whittington











My Favorite Essay by Gladys Taber

BUTTERNUT WISDOM

From an essay by Gladys Taber
Family Circle  - September 1982

    I sat in the sun the other day while the dogs dug up the lawn and thought about work. I wasn’t working. I was just thinking about it. I have found that when I cannot possibly accomplish everything I am supposed to and feel an unbearable pressure---as all homemakers must---if I just stop, life goes better.
    I get a good book, make some spiced tea and sit down on my own corner of the sofa or in my favorite lawn chair. I let life settle in around me, and that is the only way I can express it. After 20 minutes or half an hour, I go back to the mechanics of living.  AND at days end I am just as far along as if I had not stopped to think.

Another of her thoughts: time for thinking is a gift one can give only to one’s self.


Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I have over the years. When I've had it with my life some days -  I have only to sit down with a glass of sweet tea and think of this essay an…

Romance paperback now available - wrapping up those small holiday gifts....

NEW romance paperback makes a sweet gift for the reader in your life.

The publication of my paperback Dear Ann: Love Letters from Nam, which is a short story, is finally HERE. So happy. Just click the link below to go to Amazon and check it out. The story is told in letters between a young soldier in war-torn Vietnam and his bride back home in West Virginia. Priced at $5.99. I put a lot of hard work and considerable research into this story. It is a part of a much larger work - which may take the rest of my lifetime to finish or I may never. Thus, here's a portion of the story I still love! The letters make a good stand-alone story. I hope you'll enjoy reading it. If at all possible, please leave a review on Amazon. This paperback exists because of the many requests I had to turn this story into a tangible book. Dear Anne is filled with romance, and the emotion and angst that comes with war-time romance. Leaving a loved one behind to go fight in a war in a far away strange land…