The Judge

Breaking each minute by the length of a track, measuring time by the mark of a chalk. The few hardcore fans in the stands at Raceway Park sized the speed by the block of an engine, and bet on the skill of the driver behind his rolled-up window. An open track morning. Idling with impatience, the line of cars revved intimidation, their lacquered color and chrome signaling their driver was no man to mess with, on the road or off. Dante lit a cigarette and blew the smoke toward the shotgun seat. A gray, shifting cloud, but it didn’t bother Remy, who thrived on any kind of exhaust. Not so strange for a man who’d caught fire. Continue reading


I once met a woman at a gift shop on the Oregon Coast who was amazed to find that I was there alone. She felt so sorry for me that she asked me to join her family for lunch. I couldn’t believe it was so unusual for a woman of a certain age to be travelling on her own. I’ve had similar encounters in far-flung places in South America and China, which were somewhat understandable, I guess, but the safe, close-to-home Oregon Coast? I really didn’t see how some women could be so protected and so cloistered from the world. Simple necessity gave me license to move about the world unaccompanied. I had no partner. Whether that was a tragedy or a gift is still open for discussion. I can see it both ways. Continue reading