Monday, September 17, 2018

Prose by Will Mayo - This weeks installments!

Same Song, People, Second Verse
by
Will Mayo

And so when Ben E. King was still a very young man he came up with that crazy cool tune "Stand By Me" which all the kids loved to hum as they went about their way. The fact that he composed dozens, maybe hundreds, of other songs over the years to come hardly even mattered. That was the song that people longed to hear. It sent a shiver right down all their spines. That it was given even more life as the theme song to the movie of the 1980s of the same name made the requests come even more frequently down Ben's way.
Never did he ask, "Don't you want to hear something else?" Instead, he just gave that old sad grin and sang his song again. It was, after all, one for the ages. And when at last, they laid him in the ground that song, "Stand By Me" could be heard yet again. That was Ben's moment. And not once, no, not once did he ever grow tired of the same old song. It was his to claim at the very end.



Where The Road Ends
by
Will Mayo

And then I dreamed that I followed that damned road as far as I could. It trickled out into one gravel lane and then a dirt road that ended just past a couple of lousy, rundown cattle gaps. I was in no man's land and hoped for the best. Slowly, I began the walk forward, seeing what good might come out of me now...


The Race
by
Will Mayo

Then there was that moonless night about 35 years ago when I joined my buddy for a round of drinks there in his hometown of Thurmont, Maryland and it was now time for him to head on to his college and time for me to head to mine.
Race you?” he asked, surely joking.
Sure, I'll race you,” I said, meaning every word.
So we were off with his car the better made but with me as well the more daring driver.
Whizzing around bend and down hill at speeds topping 80 and 90 miles an hour (this back in the days when a federally enforced 55 mile per hour speed limit was the law of the land), passing the signs for Lewistown and the Cactoctin Furnace where daredevils of another age manufactured cannon balls for the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and then speeding up to nearly one hundred miles an hour, only one lane allotted to us in our direction, him slightly ahead of me, it seemed all for nothing...until in the distance we spotted an old jalopy driven by one little old lady who insisted on driving forty miles an hour no matter how, our cars slowed to a crawl, we hogtied her tail. Until, finally, I eased my car onto the shoulder of the road and stayed even beside my buddy and the little old woman. They looked at me as if I'd lost my mind (which surely I had) until the woman signaled and then got off at her exit, waving – I swear this is true – a little white handkerchief out her window. 

My man and I then stayed side by side, he on the road, me on the shoulder, for the remainder of the single lane stretch until the road divided and, with a lane apiece and with cars now all around us and not a cop in sight, we zipped and roared for the final ride, swerving our way around one errant vehicle or another, we completed our race, neck to neck, as I exited onto Hayward Road (then just a country road in those days with meadows lining the way) for the back entrance to the community college while he headed on down the highway towards his university. It was the end of one more road among many. We were young and reckless and alive and having the time of our lives. We gunned our engines in salute and then we were gone.

Friday, September 7, 2018

PROSE WITH AUTHOR WILL MAYO - This weeks stories are awesome!

The Human Fly
by
Will Mayo
And then there was George Willig, "The Human Fly," who walked up to the old World Trade Center in New York City back in 1977 and, as casual as you be, he grabbed onto ledge and windowsill and climbed from floor to floor up that mighty building. High above the crowds, among the high winds, he kept climbing until he reached the top where the police were waiting for him and with a helicopter they took him away to court. When the judge asked him why he'd done such a thing, Mr. Willig replied simply, "It was there." Then when the judge handed down the fine of a penny per floor and Willig paid it he passed away into legend. And in such a way was the old Tower sanctified.



For The Secret To The Blues Look In Your Soul
by
Will Mayo

So they said that Robert Johnson was buried close to the crossroads by where he sold his soul to the devil for the secret to the blues. Truth is, no one really knows where the man is buried.
The location of his remains are a mystery to all. But the mystery lives on of how the worst guitar player in the world overnight became the legendary blues singer of all time. And some say it all happened right there where those two roads meet...





Freddie's Show Of Shows
by
Will Mayo


And so when the critics accused Freddie Mercury, singer with the band Queen, of alienating his audience with the sensation he caused wherever he went with his procession of male and female lovers, Freddie could only reply, "Darling, don't you know a show is all there is to this life?" 
So he danced and he sang and he made love all the night through and when he died the critics had to admit something died right along with them...





Infancy's Dream
by
Will Mayo

And then a fevered dream came to me this morning of me as a little boy in my overalls on the porch of some young black family's shack as they all gathered around me and cooed and ahhed over me and said "He's all right" to each other. The year was 1965 and I was alive in a way as a little boy I would not be again for a very long time. Then I woke gray-bearded and old in the early morning light. Blinking my eyes, I knew only that I would have to start over all over again. It was a quick trip to my window to be sure of things and then I was on my way.





Alma
by
Will Mayo



Then, too, I think of Alma, the fat bellied cook at the restaurant down the road from here that drove her dishwasher friend and me all about the county some summer nights all while we guzzled our whiskey and beer and joked and laughed and made fools out of ourselves in the night. Alma, who drank not a drop and kept a stern eye on us boys so that we didn't take our shenanigans too far. Alma, who cackled with ease as she told us dirty jokes on the midnight hour.
"Alma!" I called out to her. "Have some whiskey. It's on me!"
"What do I want with that?" she asked. 

"Well," I said with a chuckle. "I'm told that it puts hair on your chest."
"What if I don't want hair on my chest?" she asked.
"Well then you don't have to drink it," I said.
"You got it, boys," she said, laughing. "I don't have to drink it."
And so she drove us around another bend of the night and we drank and joked some more. Soon, she left us out. Soon, we moved on. But for now the night was ours. We were young and alive and the whiskey tasted good. We looked ahead. The night rolled on and so did we.



Another Time, Another Place
by
Will Mayo
I'll never forget Walt. Him, just standing there in the doorway, smoking a toke - or toking a smoke, if you prefer - with his Afro, his halfgrown beard, and his horned rim glasses, saying, "Come on in, won't you? Come on in." And then there we all were - Beebee, short, round and black and constantly in a lotus position like the Buddha he resembled; Betsy there, having made her way out of Vietnam at the height of the exodus at the controls of a renegade helicopter; and Veronica with her bushel load of kids. Oh, yes, and me, Josh, with my long stringy dirty brown hair and halfassed goatee coming in for just a short stay from the country.
All of us, yeah, short moments from eternity fitting somehow luxuriously in those four large rooms of Walt's as if we had planetwide spaces to spare there.
It was as if we had all our lives to live there, drinking that cheap rotgut wine by the bottle and smoking joints as big as Groucho Marx's cigar. Never mind that it was already the 1980s and Ronald Reagan was in office with his greasy, slicked back hair and his welfare cutting ways. We made believe that time was ours and it would all stand still if only for us.
And then came the time to move on. We were growing up finally, kicking and screaming, throwing all our tokes out the door. Beebee ended up checking into a drug rehabilitation clinic never to return. Betsy got involved with Vietnam Veterans of America and rode her motorcycle out the open door of Walt's house, likewise never to return. Veronica's kids simply grew up, she needed another place. And, me, I was destined to give graduate school another shot, taking my schoolboy classes places where they had never gone before. All of us without exception were growing past it all. Past the tokes. Past the rotgut wine. Past those alternate states of being. There was no looking back.

Poor Walt never got past the heartbreak.