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  • Feb
    3
    2010
    • 1 comment on blog post ghosts and echoes
      • 11:32 - Davy Hamburgers: I still look for that park bench even though it was replaced long ago, and i try to see which tree he carved my name in but it must be up very high now
  • Feb
    1
    2010
    • 1 comment on blog post ghosts and echoes
      • 6:39 - Raine: You make me want to go back to 1978 for good. I really like your Poppy story :-)

        sigh
  • Jan
    27
    2010
    • 8 comments on blog post ghosts and echoes
      • 18:06 - Davy Hamburgers: :)
      • 14:55 - pidderpat: I wandered across your blog and thought I'd take a look. What fantastic imagery. I imagined myself right there with you in the mid-70's (I would've probably dismissed you as a little squirt back then, being somewhat older than you) and have to say I was disappointed to be brought back so quickly to the present day. Thanks for sharing your written work here as well as your music. And now I'm sorry I laughed at the davy1 photo.
      • 12:56 - Davy Hamburgers: I like yours!
      • 12:55 - Davy Hamburgers: I like words!
      • 12:55 - Davy Hamburgers: thats good stuff. and I will try my best I am just teaching myself how to write.
      • 12:47 - Evonity: Not something to read between two newly uploaded songs - especially not if English is not one's native language. But you write stories as you write music - dreamy, with one part of brawn and two parts of troubled soul. Exactly how I like my plate of art.

        The fast forward in the final chapter is very effective - that's what memories do with you. My favorite sentence is "I am a smile with a boy inside."

        May I suggest (I sure hope we know each other well enough for me to make suggestions) that you spin longer chapters in your next story - if any. Maybe try a story in episodes (LOL even if it's just for me).
      • 9:36 - ForgottenPrince: Didn't realize you were a fan of the written word!

        Enjoyed your style. Very Visual.
      • 7:50 - Jason Bohata: i really do like your writing style.
        j
  • blog post Report ghosts and echoes

    Davy Hamburgers
    Posted on Jan 27, 2010 - 6:15 by Davy Hamburgers
    1.

    When I walk outside, I do it the fun way, and exit the house through my second story bedroom window, and climb down Keith Livingston's sculpture creation and onto the railroad ties with a minimum of caution. If I have need of extra quickness, I will jump from roof to dirt in a fifteen foot flash of boy , air and brick backdrop, but today I climb down almost leisurely, mildly hoping some random passerby will be amazed by the precision with which my blind toe finds the skinny pointing peak of the structure.

    I'm down and take the ties in 3 formal leaps.

    I'm going to the store, and I know exactly what I'm getting....

    1 pepsi 1 pack Reese's cups 1 bag sour cream and onion chips 1 pack baseball cards.

    Quick Stop guy puts my change down and slides it towards me but it is sleight of hand. Lo, the quarter is in his other hand. I am ready for the trick but still fooled. The dark haired cashier lady shakes her head at him and smirks.

    Weighted with treasure, I am home in seconds...
    I know every backyard in a 3 square block radius. I am Mr. shortcut. I am in transit with a mission, but I take a few seconds pause in Krista and Jenny's yard, because the honeysuckle is in fragrant bloom, and the swingset sounds like bagpipes, and I am a sucker for a sweet sad drone, even when chocolate calls.

    Across the street, I sit with the booty on the railroad ties, and dig in. I'm entirely unaware that punk rock is being born at the same time. 1977 does not yet equate with awesome ancient music in my mind.

    2.

    mmmmm....
    Reese's Cups.
    William Edison, aka Pumpkin Williams, is the king of the wheelie. I sit on the ties finishing my pepsi as he nails a 4 block beauty. I'm completely mesmerized as he crosses 9th St. "I'm goin to Gridley!" he yells as he passes and I'm on his heels, shouting encouragement. A car squeals angrily on 8th, narrowly averting catastrophe, but neither ... of us notices at all. "started at 10th!" I hear, as he widens the gap between us. In front of the school, when I catch up, he is waiting and I jump on the handlebars. Pumpkin's strength is apparent and evident as he propels the doubly heavy craft adroitly between onrushing cars and trucks. We have 6 packs of firecrackers, 6 packs of jumping jacks, and 2 M-80's courtesy of the Rock & Roll Firefighter, and are determined to blow shit up quickly, so that we might return to Poplar St. in time for the rock salt battle that is planned for the neighborhood at 3 sharp...we choose the bayfront to detonate, go for the gusto, tying all the smaller explosives together with one master fuse. The jumping jacks are some of my favorites, spinning madly, hopping and shooting green flame. The m-80's are planned more carefully, being rare to our possession, some glass bottles are located to, hopefully, add shrapnel to the explosion. (!retarded kids!) We somehow avoid being killed or blinded in the resultant blast and scramble back up the hill, leaving a smoking crater in the grass.

    3.

    Rock Salt War!!...
    The court is swollen with semi familiar faces, kids from all directions have come. A delivery in error has delivered into the ringleaders hands, a very copious amount of rock salt, in large heavy pieces, grape to golf ball size. The Court is narrow with close set houses facing porch to porch across the gap. Children choose sides and face off, North and South. My house faces Nuber's, which has no porch due to John's record room, so...
    I am assigned defense of DiEugenio's, along with several other of the smaller boys. We are handed 2 buckets of ammo, and the stern command to never surrender under any circumstances whatsoever, so help you god. Everyone is excited, ripples of frenzied battle plans echo up the alley. I peer over the porch and am somewhat startled to see how many combatants lean jeering over porch walls, up and down the entire street. I look to my own undersized post mates and realize we have no big kids , but also no direct cross court combatants, as Dolly's porch is walled like Nuber's. The oldest Hartlib boy and Keith Simpkins are assigned team Generals and stand in the middle of the street, hands raised. The signal is delivered and the air thickens to a salty, painful soup. The barrage of missiles is so thick, it sounds like a swarm of angry hornets on the blood path. Screams and cries follow close behind as both lines suffer immediate and very real casualties...Sobs and muffled wails of the suddenly reluctant soldiers are evident, and many go home within minutes of battle. My post mates are fled and I am hit under my eye, but I don't vacate my command. Guerrilla actions breakout along the entire front. I am assailed by 9th St. kids, but repel them with a dog poop festooned pointy stick and stay put until my General passes and says "Get to the high ground!" as he beats a retreat whilst speed gunning fistfuls of salt at his pursuers. I am over the chain link and scaling the garage next to my house immediately. The eagle's nest vantage allows a splendid view of the receding warriors. The entire episode of sodium war is over within 15 Minutes. There is bloodshed, no fatalities, several broken windows. I lay on my stomach to present a low profile to snipers, and taste my stinging bloody lip. I am reflective and philosophic and cognizant of my limited potential in further matters military. I am also falling through the rotten roof...

    4.

    I throw the ball. I hit the wall. I throw the ball. I hit the wall. I throw the ball. I hit the strike zone expertly, perfectly, ever so sweetly. Two men out, two men on, bottom of the ninth, full count. World Freakin Series. The batter fills the box like an oak tree. The batter's bat slices angrily. The sun broils behind us. I shake off the sign. I shake off again. The slugger's lips curl in disdain as he fouls pitch after pitch, just staying alive. I can't shake him, but he can't quite dial in the breaking ball. Ump has the smallest strike zone I've ever seen. It's entirely ridiculous, but I knew it would be small, at least he is consistent. Again, and over, we duel, I throw a small village full of breaking balls and changeups, and the Oaf clings to life, daring me with his sullen black eyes to bring the heat. I stand riven. I accept. I rear back, summon the rage, and prepare to throw the fastball as hard as I can. I want to end this game. I want to strike him out The windup. The delivery. The pitch, hurled at full velocity, trailing flame, comes in high, and..

    hits John Nuber's record room wall full force. The capacity stadium crowd goes deathly silent, pick up their hat and coats, and vanish instantly.

    I stand and wait, tennis ball bouncing.... See More
    John pokes his head around the bricks and says
    "Geez Davy, try to keep it in the strike zone during Creedence, ok"

    with a smile

    John Nuber says it with a smile
    and allows the Fall Classic
    to continue.

    5.

    I'm sitting on a park bench at Gridley with my grandfather. I call him Poppy. I am five and he is carving my name into the bench with his pocketknife. DAVY. I am a smile with a boy inside. "On a tree too?" I implore when he is done. I flash him the big browns and he melts, big bad war hero undone by love for his grandson. "OK Davy my boy" and inscribes DAVY 76 on a maple trunk close to the bench. I am fascinated by the knife's blade and watch intently as he shows me how to apply pressure gradually. "That's sharp, Davy, You understand that, right?" he asks. I nod and he nods and shows me how to whittle a little stick without cutting myself. We walk home to 817 Poplar hand in hand, quite content with the others company. The next time he visits, Poppy brings me my own tiny mother of pearl handled pocketknife and after extraction of solemn vows of care and safety, I am a man of 6 years, and properly armed.

    6

    whooooosh, and my shoes melt. The soles are hot liquid plastic, and they melt my socks and burn my feet and I don't care. I trail 20 foot streams of fire. I look like a Daemon fresh from the foundry. I look like Joe Magarac's iron horse. I must look very strange indeed, eyes screwed up, painful thin, a flash of bicycle and fire and boy. When ... See Moremy shoes fall off my feet, I will get my other pair, and drive long hobnails through soles, and ride again, a sparking fountain around the corner and gone, dragging the fire behind. My feet will be wet for months when I step in puddles and the rain water intrudes through the burned edges of multiple hull breaches.

    7.

    KICKBALL

    It smells like 1978. For those who are not FROM 1978 I will attempt a legend.

    1 part HONEYSUCKLE JASMINE it hung in the air like the smell of a tigers sex and was omnipresent on the olfactory radar... See More... See More

    1 part LEAD everything was made of lead. paint, car fuel, decorations, bananas, EVERYTHING

    1 part Uncontrollable Urge. this is perhaps related to being 7 years old. but also is a fantastic Devo song and is the soundtrack to this story, picture it now, if you know it.

    1 part Flaming Glory. this is because the Sun in 1978 shot special particles that made people disco dance and affected photographs and optics rendering visions resplendent in yellow brown orange and dusky smoky reds, no matter what color the subject scene had been.

    1 part WE HAVE LOST IT ALL children ALL. This is because we hadn't firsthand knowledge of the highwater mark of ten years earlier. We weren't there for the culmination of the psychedelic dreams. The loss of the cohesion and clarity of the movement and ideals of the summer of love was felt by all and made us tighten our belts. We knew that we weren't likely to see the most beautiful things, because we were told they had already happened.

    I am standing at home plate. It is the large heavy manhole cover at the Poplar St. side foot of Downing Ct. It has always been home base. It has surely been assigned as such by the very first pilgrims to live on the block, long before me. I do not think of this. The day is achingly beautiful and the special sun rays of 1978 are beaming so thickly upon the playing field that all I see is streaked with trailing comets of spectacular hues. I do not see this. There are girls walking from 9th street to Gridley in terry cloth tube tops and daisy dukes. Amazingly, I do not see them. I am a linear pulse. I am a coiled piston snake organic and mineral and a computational machine accurate to within minute fractions of true. The pitch is very good. Amber is a very good kickball pitcher and when she catches an offensive boot flush, is also known to homer, but now, she rolls outside corner and I accept. I swing with the power foot and catch a full serving of the red gym ball. I Send a rocket shot with full english ripping oerhead and start for first when a giant leaps 35 feet straight in the air, jackknifes impossibly, and snags my rifle shot from the air in mid scream. I stop, stunned, and drop my arms to my side.

    My father had been playing shortstop for the opposing team, and just made the kickball play of the century against his own son. He had joined my opponents in chivalrous sense of fair play, certainly, since I was the best player and he sought to even the terms for all involved, but for me, control and dignity were lost in a flash. In my small and somewhat ill tempered mind, I had been betrayed by the one who should at all costs and all hours be true protector. I was not a good sport. I was a sullen pit of fire and a
    bubbling cauldron of tears mounting a slow sure steam. I would have gladly killed every person alive. Krista, sweet, sweet Krista, makes a gracious and kind effort to soothe my bruised immaturity. I lash out at her and spit venom, hurting someone who loves me, setting a template for future poor choices. My father tries to console me, then gets mad when I continue to be sullen, the game collapses around my emotional deficiencies. it is 1978 the sun is the most beautiful shade of gold any man will ever know or see. I do not see the sun.

    8.

    I am supposed to be going to little Villa. I walk by the gate and pause at the air outflow vent on the pool side of the building and breathe in deeply, allowing the smell of chlorine to momentarily send me into paroxysms of imaginary swimming fun. I shudder, and force myself to acknowledge reality, and shoulder my pack, and with a furtive glance... See More, dash across the street and head towards the bayfront . My mood is grim and glum and very, very, heavy. I am in 3rd grade and am skipping school for the first time in my life. I have squandered every precious minute of thanksgiving break and am now forced to choose between handing in a non existent 10 page English essay , or becoming an outlaw and foraging in the scrub woods along the shore for whatever scraps I may find instead of the warm comfort of my mother's table. A solitary tear squeezes from my eye and chasesthe thought down my cheek as overwhelming waves of feeling sorry for myself creep deliciously up my spine. I will surely die of exposure! It has to happen though, as I can face neither angry teacher nor angry parent. I am aware of shadowy emotional problems bubbling under my odd skin thathave rendered me entirely incapable of enduring the gaze of an adult disappointed in some way with me. I have a very high tolerance for physical pain, but the thought of admitting my failure makes me head for the hills. I stop at quick stop and the guy gives me a funny look as it is after the school bell, but he sells me a ginger ale, reeses cups and salt and vinegar chips anyways. I scurry under shelter of the steps of the U-Frame it as the wind works up a temper. I peel open the package of chips and realize there are two men already under the steps. They are drinking cans of beer and regard me with some surprise. I decide that I won't say anything unless spoken too and eat my food in increasingly sodden silence as the rain picks up. The man accept my presence and resume discussions on the merits of four barrel carburetors between swigs of Koehler's after awhile their attention turns back to me and the more lucid of the pair says "hey kid yer pretty young why aint you in school today maybe I just better call the truant cops on you eh?" and I turn to face him with the air of a man who will face firing squad with dignity and quiet honor and I say "I don't really care if you do" in a voice of gravitas and power. The men are amazed and the one who had spoken quickly reassures me that he will do no such thing and offers me some beer. I decline. "well, why aintchya goin to school then whats yer problem?" the man asks me. I tell him I can't face the music I try to explain that I don't care to bear the burden of letting people down anymore and I'm going to live on the bayfront. He asks me how I will eat and I tell him the last time I was there I found an unopened box of donuts sitting on a fence post and that I hoped with any luck such occurrences might be repeated. He opines that he thinks the chances of such sequel are slim. I say "well I cant go to school and I can't go home so I'm here under the step and he says "well, I cain't tell ya what to do, but I think you should go to school so you don't end up like me and Bob here" and I state my agreement of the wisdom of that and then he tells me that if I really plan on playing hooky I better get away from the school and the prying eyes of crossing guards and such so I bid the stairmen adieu and hustle between sheets of dark rain to the bayfront ...
    I have a hunting knife given to me at Christmas by my uncle Jim. My mum was not happy about it but she lives by a code of honor and it precludes taking the knife away from me when I am so joyous to receive it. I have started a fire in spite of the rain and sit in front of the hissing steaming sticks with my hunting knife and try to whittle. I am trying to ignore the numbness in my feet and the leaden fear in my gut. My linear deductive abilities refuse to be silenced. As the sun falls I know I will not be able to construct a cabin as hoped. My lean to is a shabby affair and buffeting winds threaten total collapse. I break camp and abandon all plans of frontier survival. There are no boxes of donuts to be found. I cannot whittle. I am soaked to the bone and disgusted with my paltry accumulation of years and size. I scramble up the cliff side and add considerably to my collection of mud stains in the process. I pick ever heavier footsteps into a reluctant route home. as I pass the corner of 8th and Liberty I see the man who had been under the steps drinking beer. He calls me over to the other side of the street. I go over. He says "well then I bet yer not gonna be playing hooky again anytime soon again are ya little man you look like a drowned cat" and I allowed as how I was not likely to play truant or live in the woods and then I left him and cut thru Motorhead's bright yellow house on the corner and again thru Perry's back yard and then into my house and up the stairs and into dry clothes in seconds flat. i am noticeably glum and my parents are extra nice to me all night. Dread waves of nausea repulse sleep and my pocketwatch makes a mockery of the moonlight. In the morning I am a skeleton and a thousand years older. I eat my cereal listlessly and prepare for death. I arrive at little Villa, and nobody says a word about my absence, I furiously scribble page upon page of instantly conjured English essay during homeroom and I know in my heart it is solid B- material. I hand it in, the teacher asks not where I was yesterday, excuse is not called for. i go home. The telephone has not rung. The world has not ended. I have slipped thru the cracks. Praised be the gods, indeed. I do not skip school again until high school but I mismanage the completion of many more essays.

    9.

    I have a dead man's hat. I roll it over in my fingers and see where it has been impressed and under friction along the bottom edge. It is a cap, more sturdy than jaunty, but not entirely without humor either. I am Mark Tanenbaum's auctioneer's assistant, and we are in what was once a small machine shop with a foundry in the corner. A tiny set of ... See Moresteps leads up to a miniature apartment with a cot and a clock and magazines strewn about. the decor is straight 1959 4Hclub mixed with a bit of seedy, a touch of sad, and an air of mystery. Who is this dead man, I wonder, as I tentatively raise the cap to my head. It does not feel like an invasion of privacy or the looting of a grave. It is apparent that in a dingy room where all the other clothes are tattered and stained, this hat, though certainly well worn and molded into shape, has been lovingly cared for. It is not dirty at all. It falls onto the shape of my scalp with a velvet foam security that astounds and delights and amazes me. A chill shoots up my spine as my excitable imagination pictures THE MAN in ghost form, right next to me. "G'wan", he says, "You can have it, that's my good hat." I take the hat off. It is green but not olive nor drab, and not quite army but certainly not hunter. I walk down the steps and approach Mark. I hold the hat out in front of me and must wear a quizzical expression as the auctioneer pauses his inventory check and takes the hat from me and then hands it back. "You can have it if you want it, it must be his I guess, huh?" I nod and we start looking at a few pictures and clippings pinned to a board by a desk. "Look" Mark says "there's him in the hat." I gasp and see THE MAN, in full body, pleasant enough looking, a man of machine and oil and grease and labor, palms and cheeks besmirched with soot, but hat clean and happy like the star on a tree. Mark goes back to work and I attempt to help but my mind is off to the races. Giant 50 foot lathes cross the entirety of the room. Huge drill presses abound. A Hanging crucuble of considerable weight denotes the steelworking corner of the shop. I love being Mark's assistant. He always allows me some trinket from the spoils that catches my fancy in addition to my pay, and he is exceptionally kind and funny. A few days later we reuturn for the auction, and I see some people who surely knew THE MAN teary eyed and sad the auctioneers voice cries out in a machine gun burst and I hold small things aloft to be bid upon, but my gaze is distant and thoughts fully involved with my hat and its old owner. I am fascinated by one man in particular, bidding on pieces of machinery. His face is a massive craggy bluff sitting in shadows under his cap. he is clad in ... See MoreCarhartt brown, head to toe, overalls crisply creaking as he follows the action around the room. His hands are like twin plowshares mounted on oak trees. I picture him snapping my neck in two and tossing me on the burn barrel. His boots are the size of ocean tankers and I picture him tripping over his own feet and then punching a hole to China as he fell with his swollen fists. His face beckons for the roosting of terns and gulls, expressionless, ancient, immovable, alien. The crowd is rural and painfully frugal from the beginning, sullenly refusing to pay fair value for the giant pieces of solid steel machinery. Mark grimaces as a 50 foot lathe sells for 25 dollars.....fast forward.... It is 1996, I am in my apartment in Pittsburgh. I am looking for the dead man's hat. "I threw it out." my room mate says. "WHAT!' WHY What do you mean?" I sputtered. "It was just too creepy Dave" "I knew you would be mad at me, but I kept having nightmares about it since you told me" "Last night when you were working I disposed of the damned thing" Normally my friend Nathan will do anything for me but he steadfastly refuses to reveal the hat's location despite threat of bodily harm... fast forward, it is 2010, and I am thinking about lathes, and Mark Tanenbaum, and dead mens' hats.

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