Category Archives: Writing Exercise

On the Day I Was Born…

On the day I was born
inflation soared
recession dragged
and gas prices climbed and climbed.
But on the day I was born
Rocky fought again.

On the day I was born
pieces of sky
rained down from on high
and nuclear fear still clung.
But on the day I was born
grace found Poland again.

On the day I was born
brother became a brother
Mommy shed happy tears
and Daddy smiled.
Back when I still had
a home on the day I was born.

Heat Exhaustion

Heat. Beating down. Relentlessly. Swarming. Suffocating. Drowning. Hazy air. Choking. Clouding. Blinding. The weight, bearing down on my back, pulling me to the ground like wet cement, and the stereo in my hand, ripping my muscles despite the shifting–how can I ignore the pain? Heat. Never ending. Burning. Aching. Thirsting. Water.

I stop for a moment, allowing my body to collapse to the sidewalk. I set the stereo next to me, and gingerly pull at the straps to my backpack, letting it slide to the ground. Pulling a twenty ounce bottle from the bag, I untwist the cap and take a long, cool drink. Relief. Refreshment. Cold. Soothing. Calming. My legs ache. My stomach feels squeezed and compressed. Sweat drips into my eyes, the salt burning.

Alone. Solitary in the city of millions. But what choice do I have? A 45-minute walk to the train station—then true relief. Oasis. But 45 minutes in good health. I have two hours to make it. I seriously wonder if I will. People hurry by. Suits and dresses, briefcases, cameras. They all have places to go. They all have an agenda. They all pass by.

A woman trips and falls, her knee slamming into the concrete. Wincing, she steadies herself. The pedestrians pause for a moment, hesitating. But the woman forces herself to her feet, before a helping hand is offered. The pedestrians continue. The woman brushes herself off, and limps onward. I feel her pain. I understand.

With another swallow of cool liquid, I force the burden onto my back again, and struggle on. Twenty steps later feels like an eternity, and my throat is parched and dry again. My legs cry out with each step. My stomach tightens. Dizzy. So dizzy. Hazy. Vision failing. Mind reeling. Trembling. Press on. Half way there. Train Station. 8:30. Air conditioning. Oasis. Heat.

Again I fall in a mass. I couldn’t force myself to walk farther. I collapsed and downed another mouthful of cool water. It didn’t help. My throat tightened. I wanted to die. Leaning back, I let my body rest on the ground. Muscles loosened. Stomach relaxed. Heart rate slowed. Trembling stopped. The skyline circled above me. The clear blue sky between the tall buildings. So beautiful. So clear. The buildings towering above seemed to sway back and forth, back and forth. I squeezed my eyes shut. Home. Sleep. Bed. Air conditioning. Mommy. I’ve never been so alone and abandoned in my entire life.

Is This the Place?

“Hi,” he said with a soft smile.

“Hi,” she answered back, setting her purse on the table. Looking around, she seemed a little confused. Was this really it? The thoughts assaulted her mind, but she pushed them aside and sat down.

“You new here?” he asked. He’d been silently watching her since she came in.


“Me too.” Tension filled the air, like the first day of school.

“Hello,” another new comer said as he walked up to the table, “Is this the place?” The other two nodded without saying a word, and the third person sat down.

Not exactly sure what to expect, the three cautiously examined the room. Their eyes scanned the walls, they breathed in the air. It certainly wasn’t fancy, but it was here. And it was theirs.

Finally, the awkward silence was broken.

“So do either of you know what this place is all about?” the woman asked. The two guys exchanged glances, then one of them spoke, “Well–what do you want to do?”

“Excuse me?” she asked, slightly taken aback.

“The way I understand it, this place is for us. It’s ours.” Came the answer. Silence again overcame the room. Puzzled looks melted into smiles as the three surveyed the room, let their imaginations go, and realized the potential.


So you want to change the world? What?

No, I want to change the channel. This one sucks.

You’re just going to sit there and watch TV?

Yeah, you got a problem with that? Now leave me alone.

Well no, I don’t–yeah, I do have a problem with that.

Well why don’t you write me a memo and I’ll discuss it with you after this commercial.

You’re just going to sit there on the couch, while the world passes you by?

Is somebody talking?

Where is your motivation? Where is your drive? Don’t you have any dreams? Don’t you have a vision? Don’t you want to do something with your life?

Could you pass me a beer?

How can you just sit there ignoring everything? What about your children? You had the gall to bring them into this world, and then you pour nothing into them. Are they a chore to you?

I think I hear that annoying little voice again.

You realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, don’t you?

You’re standing there talking to me, the TV’s sitting over there talking to me–things seem to be revolving around me.

Ahhh! It’s like I’m talking to a wall.

Yeah, it’s great ain’t it? Now would you do me a favor and shut the hell up? I’m trying to teach you something.