About 99moods

Tim D. is a poet.

On Sundays

The kids arrived after lunch

on Sundays.

There were usually one or two buses,

but it was mostly mini-vans and

Japanese cars.

Mom and Dad dropped off their young Lutherans

for a week of Jesus and mischief and

I was their counselor.

I was there to help,

to teach them,

make their faith stronger.

However,

I was a train wreck.

I was a time bomb.

Usually when I met the kids

I was still sweating out the weekend,

hard, hazy chaos and blackouts.

My friends would tell me what I did

on Saturday night.

I would nod, say,

Yes, that sounds like me.

I wore a Miller Lite t-shirt (seriously?) and

I snuck cigarettes in

whenever I could get away for 5 minutes.

I was a horrible counselor, but

man,

I loved those kids.

They were wide open,

funny, fearless, full of life,

5 foot heroes with big, high voices.

I would be cool when I met them, but

later I would yell at someone for something,

so they would be a little bit afraid of me.

In theory,

I was there to teach them, but

in reality, they taught me.

They were little stars

at camp universe.

God pumped them up

like birthday balloons and

they flew into the sky.

I am thankful for those lessons.

Yep, on Sundays the parents

dropped off their wise little children.

We became a family for one week,

holding hands, hitting baseballs,

swimming in our miniature sea.

At night we sang praises

as the fire sent sparks up to join the stars.

I can still see the world

through those 12 year old eyes,

running, laughing,

shouting with joy

like puppies barking.

Thanks to them,

I’m still innocent somehow.

I’m still enchanted by this life.

I’m still hypnotized by the orange, gold glow of

the summer sun dissolving into that silver lake.

 

 

 

 

  • Copyright Timothy Downs

Lottery Ticket

Remember

back in the day,

crossing Tower Avenue

between the Cove and

the Casablanca?

You would ask a girl to dance.

It was terrifying.

It was so loud that

you had to scream into her ear:

DO YOU WANNA DANCE?

After,

if you were lucky,

you got her number.

She would say,

Do you have a pen?

You would ask the bartender or

the waitress to borrow theirs.

She would write her name and number

on a cocktail napkin.

You’d thank her,

tell her you’d give her a call.

She would smile and

disappear back onto the dance floor.

You would look at this number

like it was a launch code,

valuable and

dangerous.

You would try to memorize it quickly,

in case the napkin was lost or torn.

It was a like a lottery ticket

in your pocket.

When you got home,

you would set it

carefully

on the dresser and

promise yourself

not to call too soon.

Heather, you would say to yourself,

dreamy and sleepy as

you faded slowly into slumber.

Her name is Heather.

In the morning,

the first thing you would do is

check the dresser,

make sure

it was

real.

 

 

 

  • Copyright Timothy Downs

Undefeated

“Go slow,” my friend warned.

“You don’t want to get wasted too quickly.”

I beg to differ.

Getting wasted quickly is the reason I’m here.

It’s like my mission statement.

Getting Wasted Quickly Since 1978

Wanna get fucked up?

I can help with that.

We don’t need to play drinking games.

Getting drunk is the game and

I’m undefeated.

Was that the first time you got pulled over?

That happens all the time.

Small town cops will drive you home.

Your parents’ wrath is nothing

compared to their disappointment.

You try to sleep it off,

but your dad comes in at 9 AM,

pulls the shade up violently.

“Get up,” he says. “Go cut the grass.”

You feel like shit.

The birds are singing.

The sun beats down.

You throw up on the lawn by the garage.

It kills the grass there.

You’ll go out tonight.

It doesn’t matter where.

Your friends will say, “Go slow.”

You smile.

God likes you.

He looks out for you

as you weave down country roads

in someone else’s car,

as you jump into the river,

as you wobble down dark city streets.

God has plans for you.

He kept you alive for a reason:

to tell jokes,

to write music,

to fall in love,

to write this poem.

 

 

 

 

-Copyright Timothy Downs

David

What was David  thinking,

 

the night before,

 

walking there,

 

the second during,

 

the eternity after?

 

Did he have second thoughts

 

in mid-air?

 

Was there regret

 

or only relief?

 

The moment when you decide:

 

This is what I’m going to do.

 

This is how I fix it.

 

That exact moment

 

is an emotion that

 

doesn’t have a name.

 

You will never know it exists

 

until you feel it.

 

David turned

 

into a dark, blue cloud.

 

He’s gone and now

 

he’s everywhere.

 

 

-Copyright Timothy Downs

Watching TV

God watches us on cable TV.

He’s like, “What the fuck?”

Sometimes He watches football but

He steadfastly refuses to cheer for Notre Dame

or impact the outcome in any manner.

He watches The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and Atlanta and

He dislikes them all equally.

He loves The Price is Right.

He’s embarrassed when He watches The Bachelor

just like the rest of us.

God channel surfs.

He watches Aleppo on CNN and

wonders to Himself about free will.

He turns to ESPN,

watches in awe as LeBron and Stephen Curry light it up.

He prefers pop culture over high art.

He hates country music.

He feels bad about Prince.

He hopes Oasis get back together but

so far has been unwilling to intervene.

God watches Animal Planet, Hoarders and movies on HBO.

He likes Justin Timberlake, Dave Chappelle and Chris Rock.

God hates almost all of the Christmas specials

except the Charlie Brown one,

kinda.

God yawns, turns His TV off

with His universal remote,

goes into the kitchen

to make a snack.

-Copyright Tim D.

What Ashley Said

On Sunday morning,

22 year old babies

text each other relentlessly

about the things that happened last night,

as if it matters somehow.

But no one cares

what Ashley said,

if you got sick or

got laid or

lost your car keys.

None of it matters

unless

you got shot

or

you fell in love.

-Copyright Timothy Downs