life · · 3 min read

untitled original 070445

It all ends where it ends.

untitled original 070445

It all starts where it starts, and that’s almost always at the beginning of something. In this case, it all starts here.

Please allow me to, Clareifi…

Gathering my dad’s writing into an anthology of work spanning from as early as 1960 up to 2013 has been slow-going, not for lack of material, but rather my procrastination on what, how, and where to publish it along with every word that comes out of my mind as I read through his old scattered notes, poems, and short stories.

Dad was always worried about somebody, “stealing his shit”. Now that Alzheimer’s has robbed him of the opportunity to continue doing the only thing he probably ever really loved, writing. I end up spinning my wheels when publishing his work alongside my own. I can’t help but feel like he might disagree with how I do things. Fleeting thoughts disappear as quickly as they came once, I remember that like it or not, we took care of the legality of it all years ago.

I try to convince myself that he would be proud of how I honor his legacy by sharing his past works, expanding on some of his short stories, and developing the characters he created. I try… I don’t always succeed.

It all starts here… Before anywhere else.

The first longer piece I’ll be sharing is Part I of my Dad’s short story, The Virgin. You’ll need to be a premium supporter to read the longer stories and WIP’s

The Virgin
The bullet had struck the water about two yards in front of him and would have hit him in the upper back had he not bent to retrieve the reins just before the carbine’s report. Then, he heard multiple crackling gunshots. This time, he realized the shots were too far away
In the short story — The Virgin, seventeen-year-old Gospel, an orphan from Tennessee born in 1863, the year President Lincoln *issued the emancipation proclamation, ended up in Texas when Fort Quitman was re-commissioned in 1880. Like most of the soldiers at the Fort, Gospel was transferred in from Fort Selden in Las Cruces, New Mexico. In the early days of the Indian campaigns, the troops were made up mostly of former slaves, but now young men like Gospel joined the army to support the cause, riding the open plains and deserts, chasing and fighting the Comanche and Apache warriors of southern New Mexico and West Texas.
The army offered a hardscrabble life with no regular recreation, save that made by the troops. There were no tasty meals and no women. That was life, and some soldiers had "sweetheart heart" duty, which meant riding escort on stage coaches heading west with payrolls to west Texas and southern New Mexico towns. Buffalo Soldiers who "won" this duty returned to the Fort as best they could. Most of the time it meant a long walk home, but Gospel didn't mind the rigors of such a life. He thrived on adventure and enjoyed chasing the Indians and warding off attacks.

That’s how Dad told it…

That was a long time ago.

Meanwhile, somewhere in my mind… Gospel Storey lives to the age of 59 years old, so what happened in his life before the army? How did he live the next 42 years of his life after the story of the Virgin?

This is — Gospel’s Story.

Reading, and re-reading, Dad's words are inspiring to me. I find myself doing what I grew up seeing him do. Listening to jazz, and spending countless hours reading and taking notes, all to keep pushing my mind to continue to learn and grow before it befalls the same fate as his. It takes all I have to try and not be pessimistic.

It all ends where it ends.

Inspiration for today's title came from listening to one of Dad's favorites, John Coltrane - Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album

*Dad originally (incorrectly) wrote, 1863 "the year of President Lincoln's assassination"... Lincoln was shot on April 14th, 1865.


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