She walked into the room, and silence swept over the place. Waiters stopped waiting. Politicians stopped lying. Gentlemen stopped puffing on their cigars, and ladies stopped thinking about how every other woman in the room was thinner, prettier, wealthier and healthier than they. She was a force, and all those who saw her were reckoned to admit that the winds of fortune had changed and soon they would be forced to change with them.

“May I offer you a seat?” he said, as she moved into the center of the room.

“Thank you,” she replied.

A buzz from the back began low and slow, traveling to the place where she sat as the room assessed her with glowering eyes. Waiters began waiting tables once more. Politicians once more begat lies. Gentlemen and ladies throughout the room resumed what they had been doing prior to her entrance, but always, always with an eye to her and what she might do next.

She chose a table two-thirds the way back from the entrance and settled herself where everyone in the room could see her next move. She reached into her purse and drew out a revolver. She sat it gingerly on the table. No one moved.

If she’d come there that day looking to kill someone, her plan had been foiled. Whoever it was she was looking for she did not find. Still, she sat. She ordered a drink. She removed her gloves and lay them gently to one side of her plate as she scanned the room further; slowly at first and then with increased fervor. She lit a cigarette and took a long draught of tar into what must have been beautiful lungs. The hope of the crowd was that she had an intended. Everyone knew that kind of beauty could never be content short of possessing everything she wanted.


The Hit Man

One day this week I got caught up in the spider web that is Wikipedia. There, I found a story about a mafia don that held a secret meeting of the membership at his homestead in Apalachin in the ’50’s.

Apalachin, NY, people. A quiet lil burb of Binghamton!

Don’t ask how I got so entangled in this crazy topic.

My initial search led to other wiki pages and more information about the mob and more astonishment by me that people live such violent and vicious lives while walking on the same streets that we walk.

Truly amazing and shocking stuff!

I remember experiencing a similar sense of surrealism in the past, when I realized through my work at a drug and alcohol/mental health facility that some of the folks on the streets in my hometown were vicious rapists, violent offenders, and victims of diverse addictions. I had rubbed elbows with them on my way into the diner or movie theatre and never knew. Scary!

The following is my attempt to process the inner workings of a mind twisted by sin, while living on the outside. Note: I am tremendously grateful to be living on the outside of this type of dysfunction! The following is poetry born of reason and Wikipedia facts. Scary!

The Hit Man

Tall, dark, and deadly,


“A brick,” some say.

He paints houses.



Three weeks without sleep.

Clearheaded, I’m now ready!

“You do what you feel you must.  I’ll do the same.”