In my dream I’m a drummer in a band. I don’t play drums and can’t carry a beat. My band mate looks at me to start the song and I think I’ll do a count: one, two, one, two, three, four, and try hitting the sticks against the drum like I know what song, like I know the beat that’s to the song that we will be playing.

And it's wrong, it’s all wrong. The guitarist can’t get it going, and I’m banging for a moment and then stop. There’s no music. We look at each other and there is disappointment in his dark eyes covered by his dark hair. He thought I could play.

On the plane the intercom comes on and wakes me up from the dream that I'm having. I try to pay attention and listen to a woman’s voice ask if there is a doctor on board, a nurse, an EMT, anything, then to please push your call button, and then, thank you. I wait. I hear a ding and then nothing. The few people I could see crank their heads up and down the aisle.

The woman on my right puts her Brad Meltzer book in her lap and the poor binding comes apart and the page that begins Chapter 32 comes out and she doesn’t notice like it won’t affect the plot. The page, it slips down her skirt between us. She’s more curious that I about who is hurt, who’s dying on the plane she’s flying, will this mean we’ll have to emergency land.


I got a call but he missed it. It was a missed call. Fortunately, the number was on my phone when I pushed the button to retrieve the missed call. The number didn't have a name with it, which means that it wasn't the number of one of my contacts. I put the phone back in his pocket.

Why didn't I hear it ring?

My phone's on vibrate. Why didn't I feel the vibration?

Is my phone on vibrate or has it been silenced? I checked. And the phone logo with two lines on each side indicating motion let him know that his phone was on vibrate.

Why didn't I feel the phone?

I was walking to work and movement of my legs might have caused vibration enough to counter the vibration of the phone, or the movement with the motion makes sensory impossible.

I continued to walk, crossing streets heading down sidewalks through neighborhoods and across the bridge the whole time wondering who it was who might have called.

Could it have been an employer? Someone to tell me they wanted to interview me? Could it be someone to tell him he had been passed up for a job he had inquired about? That's possible but didn't they leave a message, or at least I hadn't felt another vibration, an indication that a
voicemail was left by the caller, but I hadn't felt the phone ring or rather vibrate in the first place, so not feeling the phone vibrate, which it does once indicating there's a message, was more likely that feeling the phone vibrate. I pulled my phone out of the pocket a second time
to check for the logo but he didn't see it. They didn't leave a message whoever the they was.


I remember when she first understood the expression, you've got to choose your battles. Her mom said it to her talking about her little brother, who wanted to watch something on TV or eat something he probably shouldn't. Mom could've put up a fight or let him have what he wanted. She thought about that: Choose. A cute innocent smile was left: you can't have everything. You will lose something to gain. She was about to make one of these choices.

There are choices that I'll always remember making and other people making. How they've come to alter our realities. Without regret I'll look back and think that one, oh, there. When I did that or this. The battles that I chose and the ones I let work themselves out. The ones I ignored. And the ones that defeated me. The ones I won.

There are no winners in war. That's what I think when I hear someone on the radio say that we are trying to figure out a way to still win this war, a culmination of battles. When we put down our guns and finally walk away will we come out on top? Will anyone? The are those that are left. The winners are those that didn't have to see it all the way through. Those that bowed out early or were killed. Those we might consider losers.


Do you have a place to recycle? she said holding up to me her paper coffee cup
complete with lid and wraparound brown corrugated sleeve.

There's a trash can behind me. I thumb over my shoulder. I'm not here to take trash
from strangers' hands and don't want them to get the idea that I am.

But it that recycling? she wants to know, waving the white cup in front of me. Really, she wants me me to take it from her. Her problem = my problem.

I don't know if you can recycle those cups (with plastic lids and shiny coated insides), I offer.

She doesn't get it. She's holding onto the cup, turning away from the black-bag lined trash, which is on the ground perpendicular to a blue bin with paper in it and a white triangular recycling logo.

I continue to see her, she's walking around with her empty coffee cup. I want to stop her and tell her to stop drinking out of paper cups or come to terms with the fact that as of consumption
waste must get thrown away in the trash and taken to the landfill. Stop feeling like just because you place trash in recycling you are doing your part to save the earth.