Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Writing { and reading and publishing } ~

Tag Archives: Story Bazaar

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-Two


The Do-Gooder

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

“I admire his commitment to purpose; but, I can’t stand him…”

Those words were said by the richest man in town, Jack Herrington…   I responded:

“Well, he’s never been disrespectful to me…”

“Sam Jaffe, you’re a tavern owner—what’s he got to be up in arms about with you? Give me another whiskey… Does he come in here?”

“Naw, I seen him around—shops and all…”

“Well, I just can’t trust a man goes out of his way to show off how holy he is…”

“Holy, Mr. Herrington? I’ve never seen him be that way…”

“Well… He better stay clear of me since that ruckus with the homeless folk…”

“What harm’d he do you, Sir? He took ‘em all in under his own roof…”

“I’m going to make sure the zoning board goes after him—illegal boarding-house or some such…”

“Why you got it in for him so bad?”

“Because… Any man does that much getting out of his own way can’t be trusted—it’s unnatural.”

“It’s only what the Church tells us…”

“The Church!? Bunch of hypocrites!”

“Mr. Hobsworth ain’t no hypocrite—he surly believes, deep down, what he does…”

“Ain’t natural—folks have to look out for themselves—what’s he going to do, help other folks so much he dies doing it?”

“And, what if he does, Mr. Herrington? What if he does?”

“You challenging me, Sam Jaffe!?”

“I’m just standing up for a really good man…”

“You poor fool… You’ll see who knows what’s right… I’m going to see him in jail or, at least run out of town.”

“Mr. Herrington, that just ain’t right!”

“You sure you want my business, Sam; or, you want my guns trained on you too?”

“Well… If it comes down to that, I’d say you’re the one can’t be trusted, not Mr. Hobsworth…”

“What!?!”

“You heard me, Sir…”

“And, you’ve lost my business!”

Jack Herrington walked out of Sam’s tavern and began a campaign to deter folks from patronizing it.

Interesting thing about it all—folks loved Sam and Sam drummed up his own campaign to raise funds to help Mr. Hobsworth in his moral undertakings…

Mr. Herrington pushed hard, with lawyers, to subjugate the feared do-gooder…

The judge in the case wasn’t a patron at Sam Jaffe’s tavern—he wasn’t in the pocket of Jack Herrington—he wasn’t ignorant of the law and its purpose.

The richest man in town spent four months of house arrest for Vindictive Harassment…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Advertisements

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy-One


Who Am I?

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

He was getting old…

His friends would tell him, “No, no Aziia, old is a state of mind, you’re still young!”.

But, he knew for a fact that his body was not young any more; still, he understood the state-of-mind argument—an issue that, for a few years now, had greatly troubled him…

He looked in his small mirror and said to the wrinkled face: “I’m just getting damned weary of myself… But, I can’t seem to let go and trust in something more grand than me and my life… And, dear Aziia, you just don’t look like you have much time left to straighten things out…”

On an intuitive urging, he went to his desk and searched for a certain piece of paper—eventually found it and considered the “to do” items he’d written down—nearly five years before:

* show compassion and goodwill

* render some service to humanity

* attempt to guide and counsel others

* be kind to everyone

* be humble

Some of those to-dos seemed rather grandiose; but, as goals, they certainly showed that Aziia was plagued with a desire to get rid of his all too familiar, judgmental, and fussy ego…

He wasn’t what some might call a rampant egoist; but, as he often reminded himself, it was becoming rather obvious that his vanity was holding him back from some “higher calling”…

He considered his to-do list again, chanted it like an agenda of affirmations, began to feel self-conscious, and went out for a mindless walk.

His stroll brought him, perhaps not so mindlessly, to his favorite café.

As he entered, he saw one of his treasured younger friends, a lecturer in philosophy at the local university.

“Hello, John!”

“Oh! Aziia, you seem so eager!”

“Uh… Well… My mind’s been hounding me and, in fact, you might be the best person to consult…”

“Shall I get you a cup of tea?”

“Oh, I’m not that old yet—I’ll be right back.”

After Aziia had returned, sat, and tended to his tea, John asked:

“So, the hounds in your mind…?”

“Oh… Yes… So, what’s your opinion of the ego?”

“Opinion? Hmm… I’m not sure it’s an opinion—more a considered premise.”

“And, this premise is?”

“The ego is the central focus of the physical concerns of the mind.”

“And, the central focus of the metaphysical concerns of the mind is?”

“The soul…”

Aziia finished off the tea in gulps and, as he stood and began walking back to the counter, said:

“Now, we’re getting somewhere…”

~~~

They’d conversed for about an hour when Aziia said:

“Now, I reveal the second part of my concerns—my age and my desire to attain what you indicated as “freedom from self”. I will ponder all you’ve said, John; but, my age beckons me to cease discussing and go home and rest. Can I book a longer appointment soon?”

John laughed and said: “As long as you want, next Saturday, around one-thirty?”

“Perfect”

~~~

Aziia spent the next six days going over the points John had made—he’d taken many notes and worked hard to condense them into precepts or axioms:

* Being full of self leaves nearly no space for depth-learning.

* Without cooperation and mutual attitudes (altruistic purposes), there’s only limited and solitary development, like an animal or plant.

* What folks called evil or “the devil” is a power unleashed when the Truth of being human is falsified—when the ego smothers the soul.

* The ego doesn’t have to be killed; but, it must be fought if it tries to take the soul captive.

* A good practice for quelling an overactive ego is not broadcasting our sufferings or complaining about how we’ve been wronged—essentially, raising consciousness to the highest level and basking in the sunshine of the soul.

* Just as the earth attracts everything due to gravity and every object thrown up will come down; so also, materialistic ideas attract one to the center of the ego. Anger, passion, ignorance, prejudice, greed, envy, covetousness, jealousy and suspicion, all of these suck you into the jail of egotism.

* A person trying to detach from one of the ego’s passions will fall, unconsciously, into the claws of another passion unless the consciousness learns some method of spiritualizing or raising the frequency of the desires—the love of self, like gravity, draws one right back to the materialistic cravings.

Aziia not only studied these new axioms, he correlated them with other concepts in the books of the ample library he’d accumulated during the many years of his life—years he was now more appreciative of…

~~~

When they met at the café again, Aziia began their consultation with:

“John, do you have a religion?”

“No.”

“Hmm… Look over these statements I distilled from the notes of our last session.”

John took the paper and read what was titled Soul Axioms—looked up—cleared his throat, and said:

“This is what you got out of our talk?”

“Yes…”

“Hmm… I see why you asked if I have a religion… Naturally, as a philosopher, I’ve studied all the religions—drawn parallels between their teachings—attempted to see their precepts being practiced… But, I’ve never noticed any large group of people who seriously applied those precepts; although, I’ve never done any rigorous searching for truly religious people… I have noticed, though, that most of the religious folks I’ve known are too eager, no matter the precepts they’ve happened to acquire, to redefine them according to what their ego demands, creating perverted and grotesque versions of priggish, stuffy devotion to their lower selves…”

“So, you’re anti-religious?”

“No, I just have a healthy antipathy toward religious pretenders…”

“Well, to get back to my Soul Axioms… Would you be willing to sponsor an elective course in Explorations of The Ego and let me facilitate it?”

“I’d love to; but, why would you want to conduct such a class?”

“You certainly know that teaching something is the best way to really learn it?”

“Yes, indeed I do…”

Well, even though I’m approaching Advanced Age, I need a crash course in… Well… Here.”

Aziia had reached into his pocket, pulled out his to-do list, and handed it to John.

John read it out loud:

To Do

“Show compassion and goodwill.
“Render some service to humanity.
“Attempt to guide and counsel others.
“Be kind to everyone.
“Be humble.”

Then, John said:

“Well, I must ask…  may I have permission to take your course?”

Their laughter echoed round the café…

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Seventy


Guilt and Innocence

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

My name’s John and I’ve got a few things on my mind…

I suppose I need to start by talking about one of my girlfriends—when I was younger. She used to fall into a bit of a trance and start punching me—hard…

She’d been sexually abused as a young child…

I think her reaction—not really about what was going on around her—was some kind of fear—maybe frozen into her muscles—then—some trigger word unlocked it all…

I suppose that experience is what makes me extremely aware of abuse…

I do still wrestle against telling women off when I think they’re out of line—but—I would never do sexual abuse—in fact—it’s a very creepy subject…

Thing is—how can it be proved a man abused a woman—except through legal tests?

Seems lately like more folks don’t think—they just believe every woman who says that guy abused me—least the news seems to be saying that…

It’s all pretty tricky…

I mean—maybe—that old girlfriend of mine wasn’t abused—maybe she was just crazy.

Tricky stuff—and—here come all the news media—spouting off what they think—having their panels of “experts” deciding who’s guilty—way before any real legal investigating’s done.

Then the comedians. They can’t stop themselves cashing in on rumors of abuse by public people—making jokes that make people guilty—way before any legal decisions are made…

It’s insane…

Hell—it’s so bad in our society that many cops tell someone that says they were abused to just suck it up—never even give them a chance to prove it…

And—some cops are abusing girls…

Insane…

Of course—not all the media is bad—all the time—there was that newspaper—back in ‘02—did that major story about priests abusing young kids—did some real investigation—supported hints with facts and records and proofs…

Still—there are too many people being called out and nobody knows for sure if they did anything…

Some real good folks having their lives ruined—while some evil folks are staying way under the radar—but—it’s getting really crazy—like that story Frankenstein where the village folks chased after him—probably killed a couple innocent folks in the rush…

And—I need to add something important—women can certainly choose to abuse boys and men…

Then there’s the “news cycle” thing—one channel starts with one story—three others repeat that story and add two more—another six channels repeat all those and make a couple up…

I don’t know—innocents being branded evil—evil ones bribing themselves out of court—young kids being abused—teens lying about abuse to get attention—grown folks never saying a thing about what happened to them as kids—other folks just making it all up…

I’m sure no expert—but—where’s that thing…?

The thing that lets folks decide right from wrong—keeps people honest…?

Oh yeah… Remember…? That word that’s almost forgotten…  

Well—people do say it—but—do they really mean it?

What is that word…?

Oh yeah…

Justice………

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Nine


CyberWar Updates

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

 

Wednesday the 2nd:
“Massive computer breach at hospitals in fifteen countries—critical equipment failures—hundreds dead.”

Sunday the 6th:
“Hack of nuclear plant control networks in four countries. Dangerous release of contaminated waters.”

Tuesday the 8th:
“Failure of European Union Agency for Law Enforcement’s computer network with High Alerts in twenty-seven countries.”

Wednesday the 9th:
“Suspicious activity reported on nine Federal Networks. Major digital search underway. All messages repeat the words ‘Greetings’ and ‘Wishes for Unity and Love’…”

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Friday Story Bazaar ~ Tale Sixty-Eight


Drug Chronicle

One Hell of a Disgusting Tale

by
Alexander M Zoltai

~~~~~~~~~

My first drug was the instant food my mother was encouraged to feed me—started back in the 50s—Mom was encouraged to feed it to us kids because we were just this side of poor and it was relatively cheap and, more importantly, fast to prepare—Mom also worked outside our home…

You may not think instant food is a drug, or at least that it’s not addictive…

Do a bit of research on it—it sells like hotcakes—companies that sell things want you to keep buying them—why not make them “tasty”, in somewhat addictive ways?

Sure, instant food (or, even, fast food) isn’t as addictive as heroin; but, those foods, just like heroin, are absolutely not good for your body…

So, to move on, my first beer was consumed in somebody’s garage while I was out with my early high school chums; and my first cigarette was around the same time, in the break room of the library I worked at.

It took till my brief stay at my first college to become actually addicted to beer and cigarettes.

Fast forward to my time in Vietnam—much more beer, other kinds of alcohol, and, what seemed to me a blessed substance, marijuana. That time, “serving my country”, in an exotic foreign land, established the benchmark against which to raise the stakes on drug consumption…

After the Navy, I lived in San Francisco—the American drug capital in the 60s.

I’d joined the military because, even with only a couple short jobs under my belt, I knew I wasn’t cut out to work for other folks—I joined the Navy to have the disciplined structure of its life train me how to hold down a job…

I’ve never learned how to hold down a job working for other folks; and, those three years in San Francisco unconditionally set the pattern for the next 50 years—get a job, do well for a week or two, do increasingly poorly, quit—all while juggling work against my other job—getting drugged-out…

Naturally, over the years, many sweet women successively grew tired of mothering me and/or watching me commit employment-suicide…

I tried my hand at a number of self-employment schemes; but, damn it, they just kept getting in the way of my main profession—staying drugged-out and feeling like I was protecting myself from the evils of a society that pressured me into being a druggy—nice little addictive round-about, eh?

I really can’t tell this tale properly without mentioning some of the most dangerous “addictive” drugs I’ve taken…

I put those quotes around addictive because the drugs I’m talking about are from dealers that we call doctors; and, most folks actually trust these kinds of dealers with their lives—taking their pharmaceuticals out of fear instilled by the medical “priesthood” who are, mostly, happily jumping in bed with the corporate gods of the “legal” drug world…

Those drug-dealing doctors, over many years of prescription multiplying and switching, literally killed my mother…

Think I’m drug-bemused and imagining the doctors killed my Mom? Latest stats have the third most killing thing in the U.S.A. as “doctor error”…

So, pharmaceuticals are “addictive” like stopping at red lights is addictive; or like, when you’re young, doing what your parents tell you to do becomes addictive—so addictive we can keep doing some of those things long after we’re grown and should know better…

Why did I call this, “One Hell of a Disgusting Tale”?

Because I’m in my seventh decade and I’m just barely holding my life together, just barely doing some things of actual worth, just barely being able to deal with folks with a sense of justice and compassion…

Just barely…

And, that, my friend, is Disgusting………

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Read More Story Bazaar Tales

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
FREE On-line Course in Self-Publishing & Book Promotion
Even though it may say “Fee”, it Really is FREE :-)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com