Literary Yard

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Lucky Thirteen and the Death of the American Dream

By: Brian Michael Barbeito


He drives through the highways and the inner roads. He is older now, and lived in Michigan. In fact, Michigan must have been his hey day, speaking colloquially, for he mentions it a lot. We talk about hockey and he is crazy about Ken Dryden. I don’t remember Ken Dryden ever paying for Detroit but I could be wrong. It was before my time but I know a lot about hockey. Cabbie drives a full smoking car, because I can smell it. It’s in the seats, the upholstery. I think he must have done a lot of drugs before, because he pauses too long before answering any questions. But then his answers are pretty intricate and agile. Just a slow starter. I can see the distant Mandalay buildings, where the terrible tragedy happened. I mention it and how sickening it was to hear about. Long pause. Longer pause. Forever pause. He doesn’t answer. I don’t know why. Maybe I caught him off guard. Maybe it’s just too disturbing. 

Princes America 

A breath of fresh air. She takes everyone to see the Grand Canyon. Full of jokes and light heartedness. And what a sight if beauty and rugged elegance it all is, what a hopeful thing ancient and yet still present, in a broken world. Birds. Skies. Winds. Clouds textured and a bit of beautiful rain. Shrubs. Trees. And the stone. Lines in rock. Shades of red and brown all around. The idea of the eternal and of things we used to believe in before they took belief and mythology away. Spirits. Gods. Dreams. Other worlds. Sprites. Faeries. Guardians of the earth and other elements. Long and wide is the canyon. Friendly are the visitors. Magical are the birds and the small lizard. 

Working for Trap

The prostitutes walk the casino and the front of the cafe especially. Little baggage. Phone. Sometimes phone. Small purse. Most of the time in pairs. Sometimes not. Prostitution and sex trafficking are world wide problems, and multi level problems. Society has failed these women, that is for sure. Spiritually, economically, politically, and in every way. But things keep on going as they are. The sun is bright. I go outside for air and notice they have chosen to make the roads of the casinos and hotels too slick. The vehicles make horrible sounds upon them when the tires turn and they are easy to slip on. They almost shine, glitter. And you know what they say about things that glitter not being golden. 

Maggie Capricorn 

Runs the crystal shop. Much like the Grand Canyon and the surrounding desert and sky, she is a symbol of beauty and hope amidst craziness and worse. Knowledge of stones and the chakra system. Of spirituality and healing. A good woman. A good place. The air outside is thick in the night and thick in the day. It’s hard to get a gulp of good air. Maggie arranges the baskets of stones, clears the air, helps the souls that arrive to her. Studies the ascension side of life, is sensitive to the soul. Down the way, cacophonous music plays and too loud. Down the other way, an actual cockroach runs around and around looking for a way underground. People are startled. Maggie Capricorn is in her shop though, trying to provide balance in a world gone far astray. 

House of Cards 

The Mandalay Bay mass shooting are the worst in American history. The gambler wears a number thirteen, written with marker, a lucky number for gamblers, drawn on himself while pictured at a card table. He will perpetrate a horrible act upon innocent people. He will then kill himself. He breaks the window on the high story with a hammer and begins shooting with a cache of guns and ammunition so large, that it took him numerous trips by road and suitcases to transport. Where is God? Where is goodness? Where is hope? How was it arrived at, how was this point gotten to? Where is personal responsibility, safety, and common ground? Everything falls. Sadness and grief bloom and grow like a wild jungle. 

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