25 July 2017

“Melancholy Baby”


An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

Post Thirty-Nine

     Your face haunted me from the very beginning,

A wisp of your eyes forever lingering.

     Life was the Nile that kept us apart,

Death was the mule bringing us together by cart.  

     Your strong clutch had the warmth of home tucked in its grip,

I panted as tasting your kisses…tugged at my lip.    

     Through the hours, the days I listened to the melody of your voice,

You remained perplexed, and saddled by choice.  

     As the notes of Sinatra tip toed across the bass,  

I waited for your arm to twirl me to outer space.   

     I fed you from my hand, my mind, my heart,

But your conflict rested, on the weary tree tops.  

     While your mind riddled with thoughts of love,

I coaxed your arms open for a deep seated hug.   

     A moan, a groan bellowed from your chest,

As my face hooked, on the nape of your neck.

     The manliness wafted throughout my senses,

Stopped you from moving, past the fences.

     Your judgment clouded by an awkward goodbye,

Ended on the pavement, at your door with a short drive.   

     I beckoned forty years to capture us within,      

But fear claimed space first…and bound it with sin.

     Casting an uncertain dye across the sky,

Gray clouds broke the blue heavens apart,

     The laughter, and joy seemed to banish from our heart.

If that orange tree had room for two,  

     Climbing together we’d both see the view.

If each day I could tell you how good you are,

     You still couldn’t hear me as your mind has wandered, much too far.  

My name no longer lingers in your ear,

     Consumed by caution what I say isn’t clear.

The words are suspended but you won’t let them out,

     Percolating through crevices they are drowning in doubt.          
A fog of grief has engulfed my pain,

     When I opened my eyes…nothing was the same.

Father Time is accelerating much too fast,

     Already recent memories are part of the past.  

I raised my head from the crib, and found myself 20 overnight,

     I turned my head to the left…and found my life drifting, out of sight.

I fear as I lower my head to a pillow…and turn to the right,

     My life may be complete…and I lost the chance for the love of my life.       

  ©  COPYRIGHT 2017 All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Permission. STUART ROAD MEDIA GROUP

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15 January 2016

“Speaking Deutsch with Donny Deutsch”

An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

Post Thirty-Eight
Original Interview from 2009 

International ad man (and proclaimed ‘great dancer’), Donny Deutsch morphed into a rapid fire orator, author, Indy film producer and acclaimed talk show host of CNBC’s, “The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch.” Deutsch appeared on the celebrity scene with the debut of his television show by interviewing America's most influential entrepreneurs and business titans. It spawned a new book in January 2009, “THE BIG IDEA: How to Make Your Entrepreneurial Dreams Come True from the AHA Moment to Your First Million.”

His life, packed with as many projects as his punchy, straight talking purr---is orchestrated by three assistants from his massive 14th floor, 130,000 sq/ft. Manhattan headquarters, where Deutsch sits as Chairman of Deutsch Inc. As they celebrate their 40th anniversary, the roster of prestigious clients include; Johnson & Johnson, Anheuser-Busch, InBev, DIRECTV, Kodak and IKEA.  

The highly secured ad agency saddles two coasts. Since 1999 the West Side Chelsea location has housed a portion of the 1,000 employees, where most dressed in jeans, glide across concrete floors on silver scooters. With terraces wrapping around nearly all four corners of the space, you’re greeted by a receptionist overshadowed by a mammoth brushed steel counter---the DEUTSCH brand illuminated and etched on its façade.

The receptionist’s overhead pages echo throughout the exposed HVAC and metal piped ceilings like an airport terminal. The windows of this open, raw design, frames a panoramic view of the city bustling below. Deutsch’s office, no more stately than the other executives, overflows into a private conference room. It’s the epitome of transparency---with the third wall made of glass. And only steps away from Deutsch Commons, a sunken loft size room with a pool table, ping pong, and arcade games where employees gather for lunch, meetings or parties.

Deutsch, an impeccably dressed Wharton School graduate favors suits by Tom Ford, wears this day, a pair of jeans with a custom Alfred Dunhill shirt made by Bruno. A Vintage Rolex strapped to one wrist, and beaded, string bracelets on the other. A blend of Bohemia meets affluence for this laid back Queens native whose motto is, “If you want to be successful, surround yourself with people who are smarter than you.” 

His father David Deutsch an advertising veteran, began Deutsch Associates in 1969. His tough love approach helped shape his son, at one point firing him and saying, ‘Get the hell out of here and find something you’re passionate about.’ That catapulted him to become a lawyer. Then at 26 years-old Donny forfeited law school to intercept the sale

of his fathers company. Over an 18 year period the once identity seeking Deutsch fell in love with advertising, and turned it into a thriving 2.5 billion dollar agency. By  implementing his personal, “leaner, meaner, faster, smarter” philosophy, he transformed the small advertising shop into a five time award winning top 10 agency, which begot 300 million dollars in 2000 when they sold the company.

With Donny remaining at the helm, his father advised him early on, ‘do what you love.’ And he continues to….no matter what the occupation. “My father probably had more influence on me than anybody,” Deutsch admitted. “He taught me values as a man and as a business man. And has been a tremendous influence on me as a teacher and mentor. We’re very different in a lot of ways---but also very similar in our overall values.”      

In 2004 Deutsch stepped in front of the camera for CNBC and hasn’t looked back. “I tell people if you sell something you have to be prepared to let it go.” So instead, he’s no longer jolted in the middle of the night about ad campaigns but a show idea. “The Big Idea” provides the right amount of inspiration and intuition necessary, to nudge an entrepreneur with a new patent into the marketplace. Deutsch is the motivational catalyst to many peoples ideas and dreams. “One of the greatest thrills I’ve had is when someone comes up to me or sends me a letter and says, ‘I started my business because of the show. It motivated me.’ What a privilege it is to be part of something that literally inspires people and effects their lives,” he conceded. “I don’t think you can hope for anything more in any endeavor particularly in television. I’m very fortunate to be part of that.”   

Although his show is currently on hiatus, Deutsch can be seen guest anchoring on CNBC’s “Reports” and “Power Lunch,” with regular appearances on NBC’s “TODAY Show.” As the economy sabotages peoples dreams, they’re less likely to risk capitol on new ventures. But Deutsch says, “The counterintuitive answer is now is actually a good time…if you’ve lost your job or may lose it. Out of the depression a lot of new businesses were started. Because of adversity comes the necessity for new thinking, the models broken so there’s opportunity. We will invent and build our way out of this.”         

Deutsch never dreamed his life would unfold as it has, but he always knew he’d be successful. “I felt I had certain gifts, abilities and always believed in myself and owe that to my parents,” he reflects. (He quickly reaches to extinguish his cell phone ring tone of “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”) Now I look back and say wow, I’ve been pretty lucky.”

The Deutsch brand he explained, “Has always been about empowerment, rugged individualistic achievement in terms of going for your dreams and breaking some rules along the way. So I kind of apply the same ethos to everything I do. And I get a kick out of that I’m able to motivate and inspire people.” His trademark candor, bold and funny style has translated well to print, penning his first business motivation book in 2005.  

While he has become a brand he isn’t thwarted by it. “You can argue it…a good brand is not for everyone. But there is a core of set values (clearly defined) and if you’re in touch with your value system and stay true to those, I don’t think there’s a downside,” Deutsch remarked.

Whether at his Park Avenue apartment or East Hampton home, when he has downtime Deutsch loves being with his girls. “It’s clearly my favorite thing. Second place would be out to dinner with friends. They’re the greatest therapy. Sitting two hours with people you enjoy….laughing and having a drink. I find that a real joy.”

As a father of three daughters, “I so enjoy being a Dad---I love it,” Deutsch beamed. “I call it little people management. Managing is all about empathy and trying to understand the needs of the other person. Kids are very simple, they thrive on tons of love, structure, safety and fun. It comes natural to me because I had a great teacher, my father. On a scale of 1 to 10 he’s 100.” His father, now 80 years-old. “Is my greatest supporter, a fantastic artist and sharp as a tack. I should be like him at 80.”

The best aspect of being Donny Deutsch he says is, “If you’re lucky enough to achieve a level of stature, ascertain some money and notoriety---there’s tremendous access and opportunities that comes with that.” But he doesn’t rest on his laurels, Deutsch serves on the Executive Committee of University of Pennsylvania's School of Social Policy & Practice, and the Board of Directors for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.

In 1992 he tasted politics for the first time as the lead member of the Clinton/Gore communications team. It sparked rumor of Deutsch running for NYC mayor, but he scoffed, “I’ve talked about it but I don’t think I can…I’m a little too crazy---nothing horrible---just a lot of women---nothing that’s not fun.” (He is single and twice divorced, his manager sitting in rolled her eyes at his candor.) “What are you rolling your eyes at it’s no secret,” he jested. “In France it would be a political platform.”

He noted, “Amongst my many weaknesses, my biggest strength is public speaking. I find I’m able to inspire people and am very lucky it’s a gift I have. Hopefully in 10 – 20 years I’ll be utilizing it whether in philanthropy, on the media side or business, somehow they’ll understand it and be enthralled by it.”

In the coming years Deutsch says we as a society have to start looking at ourselves in a different way. “And start behaving differently whether it’s not being gluttonous consumers to not trying to kick the worlds ass anymore and play nicer. We’re going through a change as a society---finding where we fit, in the world.”

©  COPYRIGHT 2016 All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Permission. STUART ROAD MEDIA

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09 December 2015

"When Your Word is the Sword"

                            Poisonous Angel Trumpets

An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

Post Thirty-Seven

It’s simple to have sarcastic banter and humorous discourse without the use of derogatory words. I’ve had my share of name-calling in junior high, that continued periodically in the streets of New York, usually by adult men, whom felt the only way to feel powerful was to call me a fat bitch, ugly bitch, or whore. Those words aren’t on the tip of my psyche when having a verbal altercation with a stranger, but the playing field changes when they go there first. I never hone in on a particular body image or defect; weight, height, or baldness, instead I’ll hit him where he’s the most covered and insecure---in the loins. A montage of carefully selected words may lynch the backbone of his manhood. 
In L. A. the insults even come from women…usually Latino. Last week a girl approached me one night with her Pit Bull when I was walking my Poodle and was offended when I slid out into the street so she could pass by. She defended her dog, who was angling towards us, as sweet and just wanted to play, adding his Rolodex of Pomeranian friends. I conveyed that mine was Alpha and aggressive, and began to growl in unison of my remark. Her Pit undeterred stretched closer. I remarked that I wasn’t interested in them meeting since mine would ultimately be the looser if he nipped at hers, it would provoke a fight and I’d be holding an empty leash.
She retorted with my dogs need for socialization as I plodded along the darkened boulevard. Then announced, “Go eat a cheeseburger bitch.”
I was aghast, “Oh gawd…California is nothing but assholes. You wouldn’t be talking that way to people if you didn’t have a Pit Bull at your side.”
“You’re the asshole bitch…go eat a cheeseburger,” she cockily repeated trying to tighten the grip on her muscular white and brown carnivore who was becoming agitated.     
Over the summer I confronted a woman about picking up her dogs poop from my yard [it is the norm in L. A. to not pick-up after your dog no matter how small the turd. The latest trend is allowing them to defecate on the sidewalk and simply leave it. Yes, L.A.ers are a filthy bunch.]
She professed a verbal assault, “This is public property you dumb bitch. You’re mental go take your meds bitch.”
Unfortunately without red property lines inking the ground she couldn’t differentiate between public and private property. Maybe she was referring to Woody Guthrie’s folk song, “This land is your land, this land is my land. From California to the New York island. This land was made for you and me.”   
As a celebrity you're accustomed to haters via Internet comments....and we know how hurtful it can be. But what about those who 'read' people in their personal life---push people’s buttons---family and friends? It appears like hating---but is it human nature to pick people apart, expose their neurosis, or "issues," to their face and/or behind their back?  
Is speaking the truth a character flaw, or is it human nature to criticize? How does one dull a sharp tongue? Being a stand-up comic is the only profession in which cutting wit and sarcasm is cultivated and praised.
Like the venom of a rabid animal it seethes just below the surface on reality TV.
Realistically, we are aware no one is perfect---but when others are less than perfect our gripes feel justified because we observe a personality or character flaw in another---how do you suspend the words from traveling up your gullet and spewing a mouth full of razor like verbiage. We know it can cause long held rifts between people---but once you have the capability to "read" people---how do you turn off the spigot and shut your mouth. It’s like someone sitting down at a crystal ball for a reading…and instead of gently taking their hand stroking their palm---you sever a vein. It’s a psychological wound in which they’ll never forget the time or place….or who the avenger was. Words are the truth tellers amulet of poison.
Even Donald Trump laments about aggressive haters, but then like quicksilver uses his trumpet calling Marc Cuban an asshole on Twitter. And in 2015 at the Academy Awards found disapproval with co-presenter, 80 year old, 1950’s Alfred Hitchcock muse, Kim Novak, whose face had transformed from Botox and surgeries.
Equally so, Trump has taken endless jabs about his hair resembling a toupee, unflattering orange spray tan, mannerisms and overall appearance. And I must admit that I am amused by Trumps unabashed outspokenness …as it reminds me of my own foibles sans gender, money, or influence.
But why would Trump, who has the highest of standards in building and design, as well as personal and professional integrity---lower himself to take swipes at other celebs or politicians? Novak admitted to her devastation from his public humiliation that resulted in not leaving home for three days.
Society at large is murky with the spontaneous combustion of castrating someone else’s ego, or dissecting their physical attributes---it’s akin to frosted donut holes and a latté.
Then again there are haters who use social media as their platform for public ridicule, slander, bullying, or racism twisting a joyful event into a civil rights movement. As with a vicious tweet to Oprah on National Pet Day, as she celebrated lovingly with a video of giving her dogs treats.
This army of invisible, ignorant, Internet imbeciles post and tweet without fear of retribution. If the government can’t protect us from Terrorists posing as Tourists, then how will they police millions of pages of script littering our information superhighway?
It appears the human race is under attack from a multitude of nemeses; terror attacks, verbal attacks, racial attacks, financial attacks, environmental attack, religious attack, sexual attack, heart attacks…
Has the speed of time made this world so raw and unfiltered that one must wear a suit of armor before turning on the news, and sling a shield over your breast before walking out the door…or is it merely the fallout from being truthful, and having the electronic means to spread our freedom of speech---no matter how painful or evil---that we will die, kill or lie for it. Maybe Jesus meant; Live by the Word. Die by the Sword….    

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©  COPYRIGHT 2015 All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction Without Permission. STUART ROAD MEDIA

27 April 2015

"If it Were a Dogs World"


An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

Post Thirty-Six

If dogs ruled the world instead of humans, and we were their domesticated pets, and in turn they used our Canine tactics, laws and rules upon us----how would that change the way we feel about their injustices?


If we gave birth to a baby and they took it away from us at 8 weeks old and sold it to another family without out permission---our heart would break with torment and despair…how could we go on loving…or living.  

If they sent certain women to live in cages where they were allowed to only mingle to procreate during menstruation, then birth another baby and remove the suckling infant from its mother’s breast, only to be sold to a childless family---it would be a near crucifixion to our Soul.  


If they decided a few years after adopting a human pet, that they didn’t like the way it behaved, or how much time it took caring for it, or how expensive it was because it had a disease or illness---and no longer wanted the responsibility. They freed themselves from the burden by pushing the baby out on the side of the road for someone else to deal with---and if that baby survived---it would be psychologically scarred for the rest of its life.

If they tied up the strongest, most muscular males to a tree in their front yard, to use as protection for their home…without shelter, nourishment or interaction, we would wither in sadness and desolation.

If they had a mass vote to keep population under control, and decided to castrate all the men, and give hysterectomies to all women, no matter what the age---we would be blinded with rage at such a violation against humanity.

                      Smokey, my family abandoned him

If their human pet had grown old and was grey with hopelessness, its head slung low, and riddled with arthritis, they assumed it was time for you to die. They’d take you to a facility where an injection is used to kill you in seconds---then stuff your lifeless body into a thick, black plastic bag. And without celebration or fanfare, of what a great companion, protector and friend you had become---drag you across the graveled ground and leave you at a dumpster

But it is not a Dog’s World…it is a human world that dogs cohabitate with us. It isn’t that they don’t remember any pain, suffering or betrayal that we inflict upon them. They do---they just choose to accept it as part of loving you, and being by your side. They reason, we must know what’s best….
If it were a Dogs World, it would be filled with compassion, love, understanding, acceptance, joy, comfort and forgiveness. As they would never, unequivocally----mistreat, harm, endanger, abandon, or exploit…us.

So remember when adopting a pet, you are becoming a forever family, a permanent home for a creature who didn't have a choice in who takes them, why you have decided to turn their world upside down with human conformity, when they become part of your life, what you do with them, where they live or how they are treated. Treat your furry, lifelong friend with the kindness, respect, patience, devotion and unconditional love they so freely give. For with them in your life---you experience a joy and enrichment that no other human could provide..... 


©  COPYRIGHT 2015, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.


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16 August 2014

Robin Williams: "One Robin Rescues Another"

An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

Post Thirty-Five


For every Robin who contemplated the end,

There was one Robin that couldn’t mend.

Through tears on his breast,

Robin put his heart to rest.

Robin watched his life slip through a noose of

Silently, he pushed his spirit towards an early ever

In the bosom of Heavens fate,

Robin will stand at the Angels gate. 

He’ll watch the sorrow consume his loved ones below,

As they erect a monument from the joy of his soul.

Thank you for your courage so the other Robin’s
could live, 

A selfless August act, after sixty-three years, you
still lovingly give.

Thank You Robin for Giving Your Life so that Other Robin’s Could Live.

RIP: July 21, 1951 – August 12, 2014

©  COPYRIGHT 2014, R. B. STUART. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction of this Blog in any form.

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31 July 2014

"THE DEAD---END" (be in the short story)

An Original Collection of Provocative and Powerful Essay's by R. B. STUART. Her Work Begins and Ends at the Crux of Truth, Sorrow and Humor---Capable of Slicing Through Your Psyche and Piercing Your Heart.

                     NYC Painting By Billy McCormack

Please Help Rescue a WriterBe a Character at End of Short Story in Funeral Scene.
The Last Paragraph is Ready for You to Enter. Help me Create Who "You" Want to Be!
The post below is the ending/death scene in the soon to be published longer short story. 
Kindly help generate a buzz by TWEETING 
@R_B_STUART  Share the Love and Share the Link:
  "THE DEAD---END" (be in the short story)  

Thank you for Rescuing a Writer.…  

Post Thirty-Four
24 July 2014

With only spurts of work and periodic loans from her family Rachel made it through 2013 to July 2014. With $40.00 left in the bank and August clipping at her heels, her brother told her she was ‘a failure’ and was aware she could feel the noose tighten. Her Christian sister sent an E-mail telling her to, ‘Find Jesus first…then find a job.’ Even if I had to live under a bridge Jesus would care for me.

Their generosity of spirit and I. O. U's eroded their compassion and empathy...but this form of tough love wasn't what her already fragile psyche needed. Rachel no longer had her sisters credit card to rely on for emergencies, her car’s registration expiring and heart medicine dwindling…she had no one to ask for help. The 500 plus resumes she’d sent out over the past nine months in Los Angeles, were fruitless…as she believed it was her age they were calculating by her references. The 15 years of experience would hinder her from utilizing the skill-set she mastered as management. Rachel kept turning to call someone to share her distress except there wasn’t anyone. 

Kat was dead, so was her mother, and her other sister, as well as her father. Her eldest sister who helped her move to the West Coast was like a nonsensical drunk with advice. She'd parrot, “I just don’t know what to say,” at every fraction in Rachel’s life. Rachel always ridiculed her, “How could someone be in their 60’s and be without wisdom about anything?’ She was baffled by her sisters inept guidance. 
Hasheim spent weeks not even casting an eye her way since his secret marriage. Maybe being from the Middle East he was prone to secrecy. She desperately wanted to cry all her woes in his arms, instead she'd waken from dreams feeling his warm cheek pressing against her face. He clutched his cell phone like a safety shield and lowered his head when she’d pass by. Sporadically they’d catch one another’s gaze. But Hasheim made no attempt to cross the street to sweep his hands across Pistachios face or bid hello to Rachel like he’d done for months. His moodiness would cycle with more personality changes then Sybil. There were definite signs of a psychological disturbance. But with Rachel being devoid of physical affection she was emotionally malnourished and erred on the side of love rather than common sense---all she wanted was to be the star in someone's sky.
Suicide seemed like the only relief to the anguish. Within days of her mothers 86th birthday she couldn’t bare the wedge that had deepened between her and the lackluster she found in her life. Rachel couldn’t comprehend why nobody understood her, or had the empathy to lift her up with praise and assurances that she’d find a way. She couldn’t find the words of encouragement within any longer and dying was the only way. They say suicide is the cowards way out…it’s the most
courageous act one can do. Putting up your dukes to almighty God and following through not knowing who or what is in the darkness on the otherside…diving head first into the fear is a noble final act, that can only be meant on the wings of suffering. How great the pain must be to be able to slit your wrists, blow your brains out, suffocate by asphyxiation, drown, overdose or Rachel’s method, hanging.

Five o’clock that Friday morning, still awake from the day before she went out to her terrace and unhooked two bungee chords from the back of her ten speed. Rachel stopped to look at herself one last time in the bathroom mirror where she tied a red bandana around her neck knotting it twice, then applied a coat of Chanel’s No 60 New York Red lipstick to her perfectly bowed, thin lips. Her thick, curly blonde mane sprouted ringlets over her forehead. Wearing a white V-neck Jockey T-shirt, a pair of Khaki army green capris, and lime green strappy leather sandals, she delicately pinched the lipstick tube and wrote down her left arm in capital letters; F  I  L  U  R  E.

In silence, Rachel fastened Pistachios, Cesar Milan peacock blue harness around his small 16 pound Apricot frame, and clipped the leash to his collar. She knew his dog tags would be the clue to who she was. She took him for a 20 minute walk through the darkened, desolate streets until she ended up on Sylmar….Hasheim’s street. Rachel knew he was a creature of habit and at six-thirty would walk that way, passing her building enroute to the car wash. She wasn’t blaming him or anyone…it was just life….Rachel could manifest fiction, but not fulfill her dreams, or the love of her life.
Under the streetlight she circled Pistachios leash three times around the base of the pole until he was two feet away. He focused on her every move just like he’d done for the past 11 years. He looked at her curiously, his large, brown, sensitive eyes, obsessively watching Rachel as she connected the two bungee chords together. Rachel stood on her tip toes and after several attempts angled the woven-elastic chord around the street sign. The seven foot high pole was tall and sturdy enough to hold her body weight. Rachel jumped up to grasp the hooks from the chord. Forcefully stretching it down the pole linking both metal hooks to her bandana. She gashed her neck with the metal tips but pushed through the pain, until finally she cried out to her Poodle Pistachio, “I love you little Papa. You’re a good doggy. You’ve always been a good boy. I have to go Bye-Bye.”  

Heaving the guts of her tears---images of him paralleled her mind, his smiling face retrieving a squeaky ball, him whimpering and pawing at a wrapped minty bone with anticipation of it sailing  across the room, watching the way his bum shifted when he walked. Pistachio was the most patient, kind, gentle and dedicated dog---it was nothing he'd done---simply his love wasn't strong enough to keep her anchored to the earth any longer.      
Pistachio’s head cocked from side to side trying to interpret her final words then hopped on her legs like a pogo stick. The tears streaming down Rachel’s face blurred the street lights and clouded the image of the crescent moon. Rachel unglued her stiffened hands from the outstretched chords. They bounced back jerking her body up the pole and a foot off the ground then bit her tongue. The veins in her neck reddened from lack of oxygen, then like a twig, her neck snapped to the right. On the morning of Ernst Hemingway’s 115th birthday, she hung from the noose like a Piñata.
Pistachio began howling like a wolf in the wilderness snagged by the rusty, iron teeth of a trap,
Hasheim who was preparing for his first morning cigarette slid the picture window open to sit on the terrace. He listened to the dog howling and thought for a minute that it resembled Pistachio, who barked each day Rachel took him for a walk, or when she drove by. While on Rachel’s lap Pistachio would stand at attention out of the car window barking. Hasheim was amused as if Pistachio was the Captain at the bough of a ship.
He fired up his lighter, bending his partially hairless, silkened head to listen closer. Hasheim knew the little dogs voice. Puzzled, he peered up to the corner towards the front of Rachel’s building. When it didn’t subside, he grabbed his keys then leapt his small but muscular body over the balcony and scurried up the street.
Less than a half a block away, he could see a miniature dog jumping up the street sign pole. He thought the dog was chasing a squirrel. Quickening his pace, forgetting there was a cigarette between his fingers, the orange ambers followed him as he came closer. He saw something thick hanging from the pole, like a scarecrow, and couldn’t believe his eyes. He flipped his cigarette into the gutter and raced to the corner where he saw Rachel’s head cocked to the side, Pistachio frantically squealing was springing up and down the pole. Hasheim slid his cell phone from his Levi's back pocket and dialed 911.

Gasping, “This is an emergency. Hurry. there’s been a hanging. I’m at the corner of….You can’t hear me because the dog is barking. Are you fuckin’ kidding me? A girl is hanging on a pole and you’re worried about the fuckin dog!” he boisterously exclaimed then demanded. “I need an ambulance, fire truck, police…anyone---I need help!!!” and hung up.
With the power of God Hasheim hoisted Rachel’s large frame off the hooks. His hands trembled as adrenalin shot through his body like a bolt of lightening. Her body flopped forwards over his back and he stumbled. His steps strained as he lowered her onto a mound of grass on the curb, her head facing a garden of pansies. As gently as he could, he awkwardly laid her down. Then uncoiled Pistachios leash from the pole. The hyper, distraught pup galloped over to Rachel and began licking her face and mouth. Hasheim knelt by her side as he’d done many times before when patting Pistachio, “I know buddy…I know…she’s gone.”
He picked several purple pansies, then one yellow, a white one and wrapped her right hand around them and placed her arm on her chest. He saw the writings on her left arm and spit in his hand and feverishly began to erase the stained letters from her arm. His dark eyes wept onto her breast.

“You’re not a failure. You’re not a failure, you’re not a failure,” attempting to remove the word from her pale skin.  Suddenly, the normally stoic Middle Eastern man buckled from emotion and bent over her lifeless body. Wiping his eyes and smoothing over his seven day grey beard, he kissed her cheek. "I’m sorry that I didn’t love you sooner. Go Angel…go… You’ll be safe now. We’ll see each other again. I promise. Be free.”  
Hearing the sirens approach Hasheim scooped Pistachio up in his arms and rocked him.  “Shhh.shhh.shhhh,” kissing his furry head. “I know buddy…she’s in a better place now. We’ll miss her. I wish that I could have been part of your lives…but I waited too long and made a mistake. I’m sorry. I promise I won’t let anything happen to you Pistachio. I promise.”

The red lights from the ambulance and fire engines bounced off the windows of the apartment buildings. The LAPD patrol cars barreled down the wrong way, their head lights strained Hasheim’s eyes, the cars screeched to a halt. Like John Wayne they sauntered over demanding answers, 
“What happened here---who are you?”   
“She hung herself on the street sign. I pulled her down. I’m a local business owner, this is Rachel Sterling, a friend, she lives across the street, and this is her dog Pistachio. They just moved here from New York last fall. She needed a friend…regrettably…I wasn’t there for her…she was a unique person…very special…life had been gnawing at her and I didn’t see the pain she was in. She was suffering more than I knew. I wish I could have been there,” he said burying his face into Pistachio’s shoulder.  
The EMT’s hoisted Rachel’s body onto a white sheet and like a hammock they moved her onto a gurney. They fastened a thick red seatbelt around her waist and spread the sheet up over her face. Pistachio was squirming out of Hasheim’s arms, his toenails scratching and digging into his forearms, chest and hairless scalp. Hasheim held him tighter, like a straight jacket pressing the anguished dog against his body trying to calm him down,  “I know buddy I’m sorry. It’s okay…easy…I have you.”   
Pistachio was panting. Frantically watching every move of his best friends body. His tongue dripped saliva from his muzzle. “Where’s her face I can’t see it anymore,” he thought. “What happened to her? Why isn’t she moving? I want to go with her. Pleeezzze let me down so I can go with her. I can’t live without her. I love her.” his soul wined with grief and confusion as he watched his beloved placed in the back of a boxy white truck. “I need her. I have to be with her. Let me go with her. She’s mine…she’s my world…I love her with all my heart. Please don’t take her away from me. No…no…no….please. Ahoo…ahoo….ahoo”    
In a trail of smoke, the caravan of vehicles wheeled down the Boulevard with Rachel’s body.  Just then Pistachio started to hear the birds chirping and it reminded him of a song Rachel used to play at night when she was meditating, he quieted, his ears pricked, faintly hearing within, the soothing slow baritone of gospel singers, Carlos & Johnny, 
“If you wonder why I’m weeping. It’s because I wake from sleeping. To discover that I’m keeping...you forever more. Holy God I feel your presence. Holy God I feel your power. In God I know I’m whole…and f  e  e.”  
Pistachio and Hasheim stood clutching one another as the morning sun rose. Hasheim too, heard the birds sing-songing in the Oak trees. There was an air of peacefulness as his mind swirled with vibrant memories of her face. Rachel meandering down the side of the road, Pistachio prancing beside her like a show dog. Her life had suddenly evaporated---before his very eyes---she was gone….lost somewhere in the ashes of time and space. 
From then on at six-thirty every morning, and five–thirty each evening, Hasheim and Pastachio would walk by the corner where he planted a white cross marker painted with black dog paw prints, a red satin ribbon, her favorite color, was neatly tied in a bow with a double knot at the center, allowing it to stream with the wind. They'd briefly stop. Pistachio would sniff at the ground where Rachel once laid as Hasheim closed his eyes and softy prayed.  “Salam alykom,” and blew her a Persian kiss.

They’d jet across the street,,,,Pistachio trotting beside him barking, trying to pull Hasheim to the front door of the apartment building. He tightened the leash, “No buddy….Mumma’s gone----you’re safe with me now.”

Pistachio followed his steps and down the road they walked until they disappeared. The birds trailing them with a song of love… 
Rachel an undiscovered New York writer, died with a stockpile of unpublished manuscripts, short-stories, essays and poetry. Since 2002 she’d labored over her keyboard drenched in emotion exercising her demons. Her life began to shift in L. A. as she became entrenched in melancholy. Deceased loved ones were more comforting to her than those alive. Her family never respecting or understanding the soulfulness of her craft planned to destroy her belongings and life’s work…since to them there wasn’t any value or meaning to what she crucified her spirit to write. Reading about the hanging and her life in the LA Times, a benefactor stepped forward to honor the invisible and unheard writer, offering to pay for her funeral expenses…. 
"THE DEAD---END" (be in the short story)

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