Hoopless Dreams

© 2012 Michael Fiveson

When he was a boy he would play for hours at a time. His jump shot was second to none and he was quick too. When he received his scholarship offers his parents were so proud and when he blew out his knee just three games into his freshman year everyone was devastated.  It was a career ending injury.

Now his children are grown and his wife moved out two years ago. He dreams of standing by his childhood home, basketball in hand. In his dreams he is young again, but there is no basketball hoop and he doesn’t know what to do with the ball. He is lost and alone. When he awakens, he remembers that he is.

*dark fiction……that’s all folks.

3 Haiku Wednesday-Last Stop

© 2012  Michael Fiveson


long since abandoned

forgotten on a lone track

now a rusting shell


birds fly in and out

where children once laughed and slept

fools take pictures now


some still hear it roar

late at night when others sleep

a ghost train haunted


Three Minute Conversation

It was a three minute conversation on a stairwell that turned me inside out and brought tears to my eyes.

We were both volunteers at a local elementary school and I stepped out of my room to stretch my back as he was approaching. He was 75 years old, but looked younger and in the space of 30 seconds he told me that his wife of 53 years had just died and then he added  “I didn’t know what I had”, and began to cry softly.

Married 41 years myself, I felt immediate compassion for this gentleman who told me that she had developed ALS and died “without dignity.”  He relayed how he would carry her to the bathroom and even told me that he found himself wishing she would die. Racked with a combination of guilt, loss, and grief, he continued to say “I didn’t know what I had.”

I touched his shoulder and told him it is clear to me how much he loved her, and that she would live on in his heart and mind. He just shook his head and cried, and I knew that his grief was in a deep place I could not massage, and that only time would soften the loss. I also knew that this was a peek at the loss many of us will feel when the love of our life suffers and dies. Unavoidable, this kind of grief waits in the shadows to clutch our hearts and stab our minds.

What I did not have the time to tell him is that I knew that he only wanted her suffering to end, that no one holds him accountable for that, and that the best of us struggle to know what it is we have, while we are having it. There is no doubt that he loved her deeply, and cared for her in sickness in a way most men could not.

Grab the moment, and squeeze it like it might be your last. Work hard at knowing what you have, and prepare for a loss that will leave you crying to a stranger during a three minute conversation in a stairwell.

Library Zombies

they can be seen

all over the library

by the magazine rack

looking like they lost something

reading newspapers

any news will do

listening to music

without hearing

any of it

on a laptop

maybe this application

will be the one, finally

searching for the wife

who died

6 years ago

sometimes just walking

from one end to the other

tired like



just this side

of crazy

past despair

on the way

to oblivion