Two lanes
concrete rattling
while the sea in the distance
placidly sleeps
inhaling the lullaby of fumes
whose breath resounds through the sky
like the crackling raspy voice
of 70-year-old Annie, twirling her cigar like a baton
between her stumps of fingers

A batting cage, that odd sanctuary in the midst of traffic
boys resolutely clutching their bats
like an unruly mob of vigilantes
in the pursuit of some mysterious vagabond
who broke into their barn
and drove away their cattle

Strike. A ball into their air catapulted
the fumes dispersed
the sleepy sea assaulted
And then beyond the green expanse
it disappears
A woods unknown,
a realm of fears
A lone kid
has the good sense
to climb the dividing fence

On his way up he toils
his pale flesh caught up in thorny coils
Wiring, danger, the signs warn
The skin on his hands is slightly torn
from contact with prickly brambles

And then he comes upon a clearing
the gorgeous park its lakes revealing
It is a paradise from sinners sealed
the murky sky, the cars concealed
They are certainly honking, piled up back to back
stretching out for miles and miles

But he hears them not
and only feels

the baseball, that monstrous egg

stirring from its sleep
and tickling his scarred fingers

Last night, I had to stay home and watch our two kids while my wife went to her class at UAF. Her class is usually three hours long.

So there I was, left alone with a one month old baby, and a two year old baby. When she had left, my two year old was still taking his nap, and I was feeding my little girl. I thought to myself, this will be easy, I guess. This wasn't the first time, you see. In all of the previous times, I plopped my girl down onto this bouncy chair thing, rocked it with my foot, and flipped through the channels (watching aged Star Trek The Next Generation episodes for a reason unknown even to me).

The babysitting session last night showed a side of myself which has yet to be conditioned. Feeding my girl while holding her in my arms, I had to wake up my boy from his 3-hour nap. As some might know, waking up a baby before it wants to wake up can result in uncomfortable and unpleasant situations. My boy didn't react too badly. At first.

After feeding my girl, I had to heat up some chicken nuggets for my boy while rocking the girl's bouncy chair. The boy was getting hungry real fast. The nuggets finally cooled down after I had nuked them, and I pulled up his little eating chair-contraption to the couch. That way, I could watch them both, feed the one, and watch TV at the same time!

Then things got hairy. Being tempted by the kid's chicken nuggets which I prepared for him, I lashed out and grabbed one. I opened my jaws to consume the yummy ketchup-covered nugget, only to have it fall out of my fingers, roll down my work shirt, and splatter on the couch. Good thing it was leather, unlike my work shirt.

My girl slept for a good 20 minutes, and then started to squirm and complain about her tummy, I guessed. I tried to rock her, press her little legs up against her tummy, tried to give her the pacifier---nothing seemed to work too well. Then I hear water pouring out of a container in the kitchen. I run over there to see my boy dumping water onto the kitchen floor and hallway carpet from my wife's massive water container which she lugs around the house.

The girl then decides to test her vocal cords and starts to scream and choke. I try to do everything I know of to make her stop, but nothing is working. My nerves are becoming frazzled, and my head began to hurt from her high-pitched baby-screams. I could feel the blood pulsing through my brain. The more she screamed, the more I became aggravated. I felt myself begin to crumple, the walls closing in on me. Irritation spiked tremendously all of a sudden, and my aggravation intensified. I tried swaying her in my arms, rocking her in the bouncy chair, setting her down on the couch and unwrapping her---nothing was working!

By the mercy of GOD, my wife texted me and said they were letting them go early. By the time she got home, I was an angry wreck, and probably told my little girl to "shut up" about ten times. I felt enraged by my incompetence and was disgusted with my aggravation with this little baby whose stomach was hurting.

My wife had the grace to comfort me, even though I was angry---angry at myself, angry at the situation, and angry angry angry! She needed some things from the store, so I stepped out into the cold Alaskan air and drove to the local fly-trap (Walmart). I proceeded to visit the McDonald's drive through and ordered a hot mocha. Still riled up, I sat in the parking lot, playing Starship Commander on my cracked smart phone. I kept losing, and that didn't help.

I came home not much better off. I had about 40 minutes before having to go to bed (I'm trying to go to bed earlier so I could wake up at 5 every morning to work on my book), and I asked my wife to take a look at some of my work. She eventually did and began to critique it. Now I appreciate it, but at that moment, I was not a happy camper.

So I go to bed huffing and puffing. Throwing on my Sony headphones, I cranked up some dubstep. This didn't really help my nerves, because all I could imagine was evading gunfire and running from the living dead. Eventually, I took the headphones off and somehow fell asleep.

Last night...was not fun. Good thing I have today to start anew and think about how I can condition myself to be better prepared for those situations, a better father to my kids, and a better husband to a wife I don't deserve.

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