Roman Sturgis Take care of each other and make good decisions.

February 1, 2011

Lego Joe

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 7:32 pm

Lego took the long way because he wanted to see if the girl who played violin in the Public Garden was out. He really liked her shoulder length black hair that she didn’t tie up, and how her hair would dance when she played, especially when she really got into it. When it got dark, she had a fiber-optic weave that would kick in, so you got a light show with the Mozart. It was a good gimmick to get people to actually stop, think twice about dropping that coin. Lego’s instinct was to avoid parks, really any place with large open spaces and groups of people. These were residual preferences from his former military career. When he left the ‘stans for the last time, he was required to participate in a 100 day observation that included sessions about the importance of winning little victories every day. Hearing a beautiful concerto in the park–this is what made life worth adapting for. Other notables: his rig, and Spooky the dog. The former lay on his kitchen table in pieces, the later, probably asleep underneath it. (more…)

April 6, 2010

The Hammock Coast

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 8:02 pm

On a beautiful sunny Saturday morning in Litchfield, South Carolina, a federally recognized Retirement Zone on the Hammock Coast of Georgetown County, the seagulls wheeled over the Bi Lo parking lot, waiting for Jo to take her seat at the bench under the live oak trees, as she did every morning, weather permitting. There, she sipped coffee from a stainless steel travel cup and threw crusts of bread and raw vegetable scraps which showed up sharply on the fresh blacktop that still smelled of kerosene. Large white gulls descended around her, screaming. The pecking order that was established during these feeding frenzies fascinated Jo. It was one of the highlights of her morning routine. (more…)

March 17, 2010

Wrestling Practice

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 9:17 pm

After classes were over, Craig had a 30 minute window before he needed to be suited up for wrestling practice. As a senior he was given no special consideration for a spot on the varsity bench, so the practice before every meet he had to wrestle off against two of his teammates in the same weight class. Craig had won the spot for the last meet against St. Thomas, right before winter break. The Thomas squad was small, and had to forfeit three spots. It was a complete shut out. Craig pinned in the second, tossing his opponent over his hip and landing him in a head lock for the win. It had been a great way to leave for the holidays. (more…)

March 10, 2010

Float On

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 4:05 pm

Craig took a moment to rest, the Pelican riding a nice wind, gaining altitude a little bit. The air passing over the cockpit hood rubbed against the skin of the glider and that friction made a squeaking noise, like wet yellow dish gloves on a soapy plate. His view out the cockpit bubble: A wet road edged in salt crust rolling past. Snow in the trees. Ahead, the JV football field and the woods. Then the cross country course with its wild grasses more than waist high. Over there, a wind came rolling up a long, wide hill creating some interesting conditions. You could use that wind to do some pretty gnarly gliding. This time of year, there was the added bonus of all that snow on top; not that you’d want to take a nose dive, but it would soften a belly landing if you had to bail. In theory. (more…)

February 24, 2010

Back To School, Flying Birds

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:30 am

In the past, Jay Hougart enjoyed first days, the most important being the first day of the fall semester, but the first day after winter break was also significant. This year, with his arm in a sling, and a nagging cold to boot, Jay was not feeling as chirpy as he knew he could have been. The pain in his shoulder was a constant nag, never going away, and if he took the meds his doctor in Boston prescribed him, he felt loopy and not as sharp as he knew he needed to be. Simple things like opening the door and carrying two things at once took on new perspective. At home, Laura had to cut his food for him. (more…)

February 17, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Hougart; Real Books; An interesting look at the stars.

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:30 am

Mr. Hougart was almost a relic of the past. When he and his wife had students over to visit, they put out colorful fabric napkins, even if they were just serving ice-cream. They had been at Standish for almost 50 years, during which time Mr. Hougart, known to his peers as Jay, had taught every course in secondary English at one time or another. Eventually he settled on indoctrinating only the first and fourth years. “I am your Alpha and your Omega,” he told freshman who were lucky enough to be placed in his Rhetoric and Composition course. “If you make an A in this course you are automatically guaranteed a spot in the storytelling workshop three years from now. That is a year long course, as this will be. My expectations of you are great, because I expect great things from you.” He was a god of sorts to students, honored summer after summer during alumni reunion weekends. (more…)

February 10, 2010

Final Jeopardy

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:00 am

By nine thirty most of the alcohol was gone, and everyone had a pretty good buzz. Inhibitions lowered and Elize and Randy whipped up some group enthusiasm for the hot tub. (more…)

February 3, 2010

Everyone gets together; Craig meets someone special.

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:00 am

Around nine o’clock, Randy and Craig turned off the car racing video game they had been playing and checked on the tea in the freezer. They had made it in two big pitchers, a combination of soda, beer, vodka, and frozen Lime-Aid concentrate. Technically they were supposed to add Everclear, but they couldn’t get their hands on any, and Randy said his friends would probably call them pussies, so whatever. Randy had been to parties where they real stuff was served, and he couldn’t tell the difference between this and that. “But I don’t know, because I was usually pretty fucked up at the time,” he told Craig, laughing. They weren’t sure if the two batches were even, but when they tried some, it seemed fine. Randy got a text from Ali that they were on the their way over, so the boys decided they’d kick things off with one of the dark beers that they had debated over mixing into the tea. Music was selected, they found a football game to watch, and Randy went upstairs to change his shirt. (more…)

January 27, 2010

A Small Lie

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:00 am

Craig’s car stopped and opened the door for him. He gave the simple instruction “drive home,” and headed up a winding flagstone path to the front door as the car drove through the other end of the horseshoe, around the pond. The rubber tires squeaked louder than the whirring electric engine and the windows rolling back up. At the front door, Craig was greeted by an electronic voice that recognized his wifi footprint and greeted him by name before sliding open into a climate controlled foyer. Randy came through the inner door and welcomed his friend in, shaking his hand, as the air was quickly sucked out of the foyer through scrubbing filters. Randy’s mother had terrible allergies. (more…)

January 20, 2010

A dentist appointment; An early Christmas gift; A small lie; An experiment in serving Texas Tea. Part II

Filed under: Between Worlds — Roman @ 5:00 am

Craig spent much of winter break mastering his Invisilens. He especially liked taking aimless drives in his mother’s car. To get to his favorite burger joint, way over in Stafford, he spoke the address just as he would if he was using the car’s onboard navigation. Invisilens painted a line for him to follow, making directions unmistakable. As he approached the destination, the car asked for permission to be remotely navigated by the restaurant’s control tower. A long string of cars were lined up ahead of him. Craig consented and a window popped up with Estimated Time Till Service: 8:37. The car moved into the turning lane and slowed down. Ahead was low concrete building with cacti planters surrounding plastered walls painted to look like the Alamo. Music requested permission to play on the car’s sound system. Craig decided what the hell, and a tinny Mariachi band struck up a song. Waiting in line, the Tornado Burger sign whose company logo was a red Texas Twister, rocked back and forth in the wind, squeaking. Craig watched as one of the restaurant employees dressed in white shirt, black pants, and a red apron, made a slow circuit around the building removing plastic grocery bags from the various cacti needles. (more…)

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