RING RING went the black wall mounted phone.

“Stephen, please answer that,” said Paul

“Okay Paul, I said as I took the phone from its cradle and spoke into it.

Hello? Yes this is the number for Paul The Super. Who’s calling please? One moment, I‘ll get him for you.”

“Well, who is it?” Paul asked me.

“It’s the Mayor.”

“The Mayor of what?”

“The Mayor of New York City, he wants to speak with you. “

Paul DiNioa, the superintendent of my apartment building, , my godfather and my mentor, stood up from his workbench and walked toward me as I held the phone out to him. He was the strongest man I’ve ever seen. Built like a truck, with forearms and hands that could crush a stone, I was always in awe of his strength and silent steely gaze. An immigrant from Italy with a zest for life and unwavering love for his family (and me) this man was very well respected in the neighborhood as a capable and successful jack of all trades. I watched as he took the phone into his hand looked at me, and then spoke in a soft  controlled voice with his heavy Italian accent, a sound that I can still hear to this very day.

“Mr. Mayor, so nice to hear from you again sir.” Yes, sir I do remember that I told you to call me if you needed my help. Yes sir I am always willing to help. Hmm I see, yes sir, I can be there in a few minutes. Yes sir I will do my best, I know my city is counting on me. I’m on my way sir, you’re welcome, goodbye sir.”

“Stephen, get my tool bag we have to hurry.”

I gathered up the usual tools that Paul used in these situations. His trusty measuring tape, an assortment of wrenches and screwdrivers and of course Paul’s favorite tool of all, “The Goesinta”. It’s actually only a hammer but Paul used to say that if something needed a little help, hit it hard with the hammer. The hammer makes “this goes into that”. The Goesinta”

I stood there holding The Goesinta in my hand, I marveled at its sleek wooden molded handle and the brilliance of the steel head with its curved claw at one end, while the front of it was perfectly rounded and smooth like glass.

“Stephen, get your head in the game, we’ve got to go now,” said Paul.

I threw the bag over my shoulder and raced outside to the street where we kept our vehicle.  As I climbed the steps from the alleyway to the street, I remembered all the times I used to play in this alleyway with Paul’s children. We all grew up together in this apartment building and spent most of every waking moment with each other. Paul was the superintendent, my family and I lived on the 3rd floor.  Our apartment building had so many other families and we all got along, it was a great place to be a kid. As I reached the top of the stairs I could see the wheels of The Rambler.

With its majestic sleek lines and the curves of its strong and reliable body. Its gray color came into view and as I made my way around the front of the car I reached out and touched the chrome emblem on its hood. It was our good luck charm and I rubbed that emblem every time we went out on a call.


Man do I remember it well. Paul used to let me steer the wheel sometimes while we drove through the city streets of our neighborhood.

I opened the door and hopped inside while I watched Paul gracefully leap up the alleyway steps and as usual he slid across the front hood, landed perfectly and jumped inside the car. He looked at me and smiled as he turned the key in the ignition we felt the old engine come to life. Paul had spent countless hours working under the hood of this car. He practically rebuilt the entire car himself. I helped of course, he always taught me how to tune the engine, replace brake pads and anything else that we could do ourselves.

His feeling was that why we would have someone else do what we were capable of doing. I believed that fully and still pass that on to my own children. I hope they’ll be as self sufficient as he taught me to be.

Paul looked at me and said,” Stephen buckle in, we have to get to an apartment building on Seaman Ave, right away. There’s a water main leak and The Mayor is afraid that if we don’t get the leak under control the entire city could flood, it’s up to us.” Paul threw The Rambler into first gear and as I listened to the screeching tires and smelt the burning rubber of the white walls. I was again reminded of how very lucky I was to have this man in my life.

I watched out the window of the Rambler at the passing cars and street signs. All the other kids in the neighborhood saw me and I know deep down they all wished it was them sitting in my seat.  All of them knew of the man called The Super. They knew of his heroic escapades. He was the talk of all the other superintendents in the city. He did it all, and when they needed help, they always called him.

“Stephen,” he started saying, “make sure that when we get to the building you take my tool bag and go directly to the basement. I’ll enter the area of the leak and assess the situation then meet you in the basement, okay?”

“Okay, Paul.” I said, happy to once again be called into action.

“There’s the building,” he said pointing to an apartment building down the block. I didn’t have to know the number of the building; it was clear that we had arrived at the right one. There were crowds of people standing around in the street while the tenants were streaming out of the building soaking wet and terrified. A policeman moved away a barricade when he saw that it was Paul in his trademark Rambler automobile.

“CLEAR THE WAY FOLKS, THE SUPER IS COMING THRU, ” the officer was yelling to the crowd.

Paul slowly drove to the front of the apartment building while we both looked out the car window at the water that was dripping from the rooftop down the side of the building into the street. As we exited the car we both stepped into the small stream of water that was now passing under our feet.

“You ready, Stephen?” He asked me

“Yes I am.”

“Okay hurry now, it looks like we don’t have much time. If we don’t fix this leak soon, you and I both will be out of a job. And, our neighborhood will be called Swimwood not Inwood.” He patted me on the back and off I went to the basement. I caught a glimpse of him as he ran into the front door of the building, he showed no fear, only determination to get the job done.

I was in the basement and in position near the boiler room when I heard a huge roar coming down the dumbwaiter shaft. “It must be the water overflowing”. I went to the alleyway and looked up towards the second floor. There was Paul pushing with all his strength against a steel door on the second floor landing. I could see him holding the door with one hand while reaching over with the other to slide a thick metal bar to keep the door closed.


He looked down and saw me. Then I saw a look in his eyes, he was looking past me, but at what?

“STEPHEN LOOK OUT,” he yelled.

I turned just in time to see a wall of water rushing towards me. The water from the dumbwaiter was my last thought as I was swept into the alleyway. Smashing me into metal garbage cans, the water was rising now and as it did I took me with it. I was getting tangled up in the clothes lines that hung there. Paul saw this and yelled for me to hang on. I was trying to but the water was stronger. One of the clotheslines was hanging loose and I kept trying to grab it as it fished like a snake in the rushing water. I almost had a few times and I felt myself getting weaker and going under.

Suddenly I heard Paul yelling; only he wasn’t yelling my name. Through my grogginess and constant gulping of air I could almost make out what he was saying.

“Grrrr lunniy.”

Up and down into the water I went. I kept hearing the yelling.


GO LUCY, why would Paul be yelling that? Then it came clearer to me. I pushed myself out of the waters pull one last time. I could see Paul in a window, he was pointing to something in the water. Something that was coming directly towards me.

IT WAS LUCKY, Paul was yelling GO LUCKY.

It was Lucky, the DiNioa’s black dog. Lucky was swimming towards me with the clothesline in her teeth. I reached out and took the line. Wrapping it around my hand and with Lucky safely in my other arm, Paul pulled us both to the window where he stood.

“Are you alright?” he asked me.

“I’m fine now, thanks to you and Lucky”, I replied.

“Good”, he said, “now let’s go finish this job.”

We all ran towards the basement where I had left Paul’s tool bag. There it was right where I left it, thank god. Paul grabbed the bag and we all sprinted towards the boiler room. When we got there he pointed up at a massive steering wheel looking thing.

“That’s the main for the water pressure. We need to get there and shut that down, “he said as the water was starting to puddle up around my already soaking wet Pro Keds. “When I get to the top, you need to throw me the tool bag, it’s too much for me to climb and carry the bag.”

“Okay Paul,” please be careful I whimpered along with Lucky.

“Don’t you two worry, okay I can handle this,” he said as he scooted up the side of the boiler.

While he climbed I positioned myself underneath the huge boiler and got ready to throw him the tools.

“Okay,” he yelled thru the roar of the water coming down all around him. His clothes were soaked and he was barley holding onto a small piece of steel mounted to the top of the boiler.

“Throw me the bag” “Okay,” I said as water filled my open mouth.

I took the canvas tool bag in both hands. Swinging it thru my open legs I gathered enough momentum and heaved it in the air towards Paul. The bag sailed higher and higher. Paul reached out one hand and with his very fingertips he touched the wet canvas handle of the tool bag. Just then the water exploded into the air and Paul was thrown from where he was. Lucky and I stood there unable to do anything, I was sure that he had been knocked off the top of the boiler; I listened for the sound of his body landing near us. Squinting thru tear and water soaked eyes; I painfully looked up at the spot where I last saw him.

THERE HE WAS, he was still hanging onto the massive wheel. And there in his right hand was THE GOESINTA.

With his trademark smile always warm, bright and reassuring, he winked at Lucky and I as he swang the Goesinta at the rusty steel wheel.  I could see the bulging muscles of his bicep. His arm swung at the steel like he was playing a musical instrument. Slowly at first then with increasing speed the wheel started to turn. The water was slowing down, till finally with one last might swing of the Goesinta the last drop of water fell.

Paul holstered the Goesinta into his belt and slid down the boiler to Lucky and me.

I picked up the wet tool bag as he came over and ruffled my wet hair. Lucky did a gigantic dog shake and almost knocked herself off her own feet. Paul and I both laughed as we walked out of the basement and into the bright sunshine.

“How about a Coke a Cola and a Hostess cupcake Stephen, I think you deserved it.”

I looked up at him and nodded yes. I couldn’t wait to get back to his workshop and hear the phone ring again.


The End…….for now



girl with rose


My Tip Toe Rose


Shall we dance

While we’re here

Just us two

I ask you dear


Will it hurt

When we spin

When your thorns

Start digging in


How can I

Begin to dream

That I know

What you have seen


I can walk

Or skip away

You are where

You must stay


At least until

You are selected

And sadly then

No longer protected


I am grateful

That you chose

Me as partner

My Tip Toe Rose



usmc flagan excerpt from Tales of a Sinner…

I was becoming too comfortable with this lifestyle. My friends and family endured me because deep down there had to be a “good-guy” in there somewhere. I had seen and been part of more than life’s fair share of death and near death.

Karma was winning. I had to make a change. I had to save myself.  There was a place that I heard of where men like me could go to, a place that would never judge or discriminate against those who sought its embrace. I’m sure that the local authorities would endorse my application into this organization. I was at a dead-end in my life and I felt it was going nowhere fast.

So I did what all good blue blooded males do at this point in their lives. I signed up to do three years in the Marine Corp. I wanted to do something totally different, something I had never done before. This was certainly different.

After all the paperwork and legal shit was done. I had gotten into a fight and got arrested and the judge wanted to send me away. Luckily the Gunny who recruited me, bailed me out of that jail in Long Island by telling the judge I was entering the military. I was told to report to the USMC recruiting station at 181st and Broadway on the 3rd of September.

The night or two or three before the 3rd of September, I was out partying with as many good friends I could possibly find. We drank and smoked everything we could possibly smoke and drink in three days time. I was so hammered when the morning came for me to report to the recruiting station. I couldn’t walk on my own so like good buddies they were and not wanting me to miss my appointment. They literally carried me and dropped me off at the front door of the recruiter’s office. I actually awoke inside the doorstep of the recruiter’s office.

It was early morning and there were people stepping over my drunken ass in the doorway. Moms and dads hugging and kissing their sons and daughters goodbye and everyone wishing everyone good luck.

All this mushy shit please, “Give me a break”, (and a beer and a cigarette). When all the crying and good wishing was finally over, the Gunnery Sergeant who recruited all of us said, “I want everyone upstairs in my office for a quick meeting before the bus that’ll take you to the military processing center gets here.”

We go to his office and he proceeds to tell us that our group of 22 recruits from NY City is the second largest group of New Yorkers to go into boot camp at one time this year. In his infinite wisdom he decides that one of us should be the “group leader” and handle all the medical and personnel files for the 22 of us.

For some ungodly reason he hands “ME” this large briefcase type luggage looking thing with all the personnel and medical records for all us recruits. He declared that “I” should be this responsible person. He must have regretted that decision once he handed me that records. Because then I choose as my assistant record keeper, this crazy looking dude with a Mohawk haircut.

So here we go, getting onto a bus that will take us to the Fort Hamilton military processing center in Brooklyn. All 22 of us, 18 men and 4 women including me and Mohawk guy, “The Keepers of the Records.”

It takes us about an hour or so on the bus to get to Ft Hamilton and then another 10 hours of physicals, stress tests and assorted other useless examinations. From the base we take another bus shuttle to JFK airport. We check in at the ticket line. The airline proceeds to tell us that we have a good 7 or 8 hours to wait until our flight takes off.

“7 hours? What the hell do you do at JFK International airport for 7 hours?”

Dig this; because I was the “leader”, I felt it was my duty to take care of us in the best way I knew how. I rounded everyone up and said, “Now some of us have money in our pockets and some of us don’t have any money at all. And since we’re going to boot camp for three months none of us will need any money.”

I collect every dime from the whole group we actually ended up with a few hundred dollars. Then me and Mohawk Hair Dude take a yellow cab into downtown Queens and buy 25 cases of beer, ice, smokes and munchies. We then take another cab back to JFK, gather our fellow recruits and we all march across to the other side of the airport till we get to what was then known as the Flying Tigers airplane cargo hanger (now it’s the FedEx terminal).

We then spent the next 6 hours drinking, and getting to know each other. What a fucking blast. Most of these kids never had a drink in their life, it was awesome.

By the time we went back to the main terminal and the gate to board our plane we were so freaking drunk that the 4 girls with us were actually placed into wheelchairs. As for the rest of us, we were farting, burping and making all sorts of other humorous bodily noises. We finally get seated and the plane takes off, and of course, we continue to buy drinks and food.  We get thru the majority of the flight without any major problems, other than vomiting and a few fights with some of the other passengers. We safely land in South Carolina.  Of course, we have another hour or so to wait for a second and much shorter flight to a smaller local airport closer to our final destination Parris Island South Carolina. So of course we slam back a few more beers and buy some more booze. Everyone is doing their very best to smoke all their cigarettes and do any other illegal substances that they had on them before we get to the base.

Finally we boarded the last flight and everyone appeared to be mentally preparing themselves for what lies ahead. The flight takes less than 30 minutes and while we are descending into the airport, the pilot makes an announcement over the intercom. He is telling everyone that they have some special passengers on board. The pilot politely asks the other passengers if they would allow us future US Marines to exit first. We will be exiting thru a separate door in the rear of the aircraft. Even though we are all shitfaced drunk we’re thinking, “That’s right we’re Marines, make way you bunch of ordinary civilians.”

That attitude does not last long though. The plane lands and taxis to the gate. As we walk toward the rear of the plane to this little exit door that is now open. I can hear screaming and yelling, more barking than yelling. It wasn’t until I got to the exit door myself that I saw what the all the yelling and barking was all about.

Standing at the bottom of the steps, was quite possibly the biggest, meanest looking person I have ever seen in my entire life, (including in the movies). He was massive. And he was pissed off for some reason. He was screaming, “Get down here you bunch of low life @%$%, and you *)&%#$. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, which I am pretty sure were massive as well. As the “drunks”, (that’s us), made our way to the bottom of the stairs this massive dude was literally tossing people to one side of the room. I was able to run past him with the Mohawk hair guy into the bathroom to take a piss and snort the last of his cocaine.

All of the sudden the frigging bathroom door comes flying open. The door practically comes off its hinges. And here comes SGT Rock Massive still screaming and yelling as he comes right at us. He sees that we’re doing drugs and takes a swing at me about head high. I duck and he hits the metal partition between the urinals we are standing at. The freaking thing breaks off the wall. I’m laughing and pissing on myself as I run out of the tiny now “door-less” bathroom and into the madness that is the room filled with all my other drunk recruit buddies.

I get to one side of the room to join everyone else and it took a moment before I realized that there were just as many SGT Rock Massive pissed off dudes out here as there were of us drunks. There had to be a dozen of these crazy bug-eyed screaming giant drill instructors.

Everyone is scrambling to find a corner to run to or stand in, just get away from these psychos. The Smokey hat wearing screaming, barking bellowing, yelling, vein neck bulging Marines are running behind people. Screaming at them, ordering us to stand in these little yellow footprints painted on the floor.

They finally round everyone up and into the appropriate areas, it seems like things are starting to settle down a bit.  “But, as you can figure out by now, there is much more abuse to come, especially my way, because after all this is my story.”

I’m standing straight as I can like everyone else. On my left is this little room with a small window, like one of those windows they have in the police station interrogation rooms. (Not that I know of such rooms personally, or do I?) Through the small window, I can see SGT Rock Massive and this other huge guy in a hat. The two of them are waiving their hands, hats, and everything else all about like madmen.

They’re also holding this black plastic garbage bag.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention something. Remember that briefcase luggage looking thing that the Gunny gave us with the records in it? Well while we were at the airport drinking all that beer. I used that briefcase thing as a cooler for some of the beer.  So naturally I used a garbage bag to hold the records. I was now guessing that all the records in that garbage bag got all shuffled and mixed up. The two giant mean screaming Sgt Massive come out of the little room and with one look. Everything and everyone stopped, no more screaming and yelling, just silence. I swear that second lasted an hour, but it didn’t. All of the sudden SGT Rock Massive starts screaming,


Well, everyone looks at me and starts laughing, me included, but not for long. Before I knew it, I had one SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing in front of me screaming.  Another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the right side of my face.  I had one other SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the left side of my face. And I had yet another SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine at the back of my neck, and YES there was actually one more SGT Massive Mean Screaming Hat Shaking Marine standing on top of a chair yelling at the top of my head, at the top of my head!

They are so close to me that every now and then one of them would knock his own hat off when its brim would hit me. You would think they could yell without their hats, right? Apparently not, they need the hats to yell, I’m not kidding. I don’t ever remember seeing a drill instructor yell without his hat. Well because of this still infamous act, I became the most taunted recruit throughout my entire experience at boot camp. Everyone knew about O’Brien and the medical records fiasco. Every time there was a punishment handed out, our entire platoon had to scream, “Thank you private O’Brien.”

I survived boot camp and the rest of the shit that karma delivered to me. The moments and opportunities in my life that I thought had meaning and merit didn’t have either. The things in my life that I squandered and wasted would have been gladly received by someone else in this world.  I had so much given to me and I gave it all away.

Know what?

I wouldn’t change a single minute of that or any other day in my life up till this point.

clense heart

Cleanse my Heart



Just want to

Wash away

All the moments

Before today

Start fresh

With new reason

Stop giving

Into treason

If I could

Id reach in

Remove the pieces

Of past sin

Look at it

In tilted hand

Watch it spill

Like time clock sand

Never again

Will I be

Brought to tear

Brought to knee

All it takes

To live this part

Is cleanse my soul

Cleanse my Heart


The Blood of my Brothers


The events of 911 continue to pluck at the heart chords of all true Americans. For me personally, that particular day stole 22 friends, 22 brothers and sisters.


Below is part of a New York Daily News article written about our neighborhood loss and how we honor our fallen friends every day.


The boys of Inwood would be proud.

Proud to see how their childhood buddies have taken care to remember and honor them, the 22 who were killed in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

Guys like Tommy Dowd, Bobby (Rock) O’Shea, James (JimmyMac) McAlary,John Burnside and Christian Regenhard. Joe KellettBrian MonaghanKieran Gorman and Joe Holland.

From the sidewalks and parks and schools of Inwood, they grew up to be cops and firefighters, Wall Street brokers and construction workers. Today, their smiling faces peer up from grey headstones in a memorial garden that’s easy to miss in the city’s hurried pace.


We all knew someone that worked in the towers. They were brokers, electricians, secretaries. And when the call came for first responders, we also knew those that arrived, by the thousands. Rushing into a warzone where only moments before was filled with coffee and newspaper vendors and morning pleasantries between co-workers.


And all through the days and nights that followed, thousands more civilians arrived, so many in fact that some were turned away due to health concerns of the rapidly spreading and deadly asbestos poison that was filling the air. There were moments of hope as someone would shout.” WE FOUND A SURVIVOR” The entire site would come to dead halt with a silence that could be heard to the heavens. Once again it would be a false alarm.  Days turned into weeks and still the fires would burn and smolder.


My younger brother Christopher has been a New York City firefighter for 24 years now and was at Ground Zero until the very last fire detail was removed. He then spent the next several years going to every single fallen firefighter’s funeral he could physically attend.  My brother, my hero spent the next 3 years attending funerals.


While he was working Ground HERO, Chris found few artifacts, and as a dutiful American he notified the American Red Cross. He found a key pad from a telephone, a corner of one of the hundreds of thousands of windows, AND he found an American Flag.  The Flag was shredded and torn, with the colors bleeding in spots. My brother My hero, was not able to save any one single life (on that day anyway)but he did save The Flag.

The Red Cross said that The Flag should be sent to one of their hazardous waste disposal facilities to remove and treat The Flag for asbestos. Chris boxed and sent The Flag to the Red Cross and went about his normal duties. Covering shifts for the now very short staffed fire houses all around the city, and whenever he could he work as many  all the holidays possible so firefighters with little kids could be home with their families.

Weeks became months became years. The Red Cross contacted Chris and told him that HIS Flag was now safe of all containments and that they would ship it to him. He said,” My Flag, oh no,I found it at Ground Zero, it belongs to the folks there.” Their reply was that since HE found it it was legally his property.  They sent The Flag to his firehouse. Chris and his brothers were in awe and they as brothers decided that The Flag should be shared by all.


So, they contacted the Freedom Tower design committee, these were the folks responsible for rebuilding and restoring our great American symbol- the now opened Freedom Tower. They even sent the committee a photo of The Flag.


And to truly understand the significance of what he found that day is to know that “the original flag”, the one immortalized on a US stamp, the flag that was raised by three firefighter at Ground Zero and flew proudly at various US bases overseas- IS MISSING (see Wikipedia notes below)



The flag came from the 130-foot (40 m) yacht named Star of America, owned by Shirley Dreifus of the Majestic Star, which was docked in the yacht basin in the Hudson River at the World Financial Center. McWilliams cut the yardarm off of the yacht with a K-Saw and then took the flag and its pole from the yacht to an evacuation area on the northwest side of the site. They found a pole about 20 feet (6 m) off the ground.

The flag has since disappeared. The city thought it had possession of the flag after the attack, Rudolph Giuliani and George Pataki signed it, and the flag flew at the New York City HallYankee Stadium, and the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) during its service in the Mideast. However, when the flag’s owner prepared to formally donate the flag it was discovered that there was a size discrepancy: while the yacht’s flag measured four feet by six feet, the flag the city had in its possession measured five feet by eight feet.[2]As of 2013, the flag has yet to be found. The owner, Shirley Dreifus, has started a Web site ( in an effort to get the flag back.[3] A 2013 CNNdocumentary film, The Flag, investigates the mystery of this missing 9/11 icon.[4]



Incredibly the Freedom Tower design committee told my brother and I quote,” Thanks but NO THANKS – your torn and tattered flag is not in line with the LOOK we have for the NEW Freedom Tower.

We were stunned to say the least. Word got out about The Flag and my brother and his fellow firefighters soon became inundated with calls from all over the country about The Flag. He was even offered $500,000 from someone who wanted to sell The Flag on ebay.


My brother My hero refused, in fact he told one buyer,” I could and never would sell this Flag, it is bathed in the blood of my brothers and sisters.


To this day The Flag hangs proudly in Engine 48, Ladder 56. If you’re ever in New York City, feel free to stop on and see……




american flag

Another year older and another year wiser, does that sound familiar? Yeah well, that statement didn’t apply to me at all, ever. In fact I do believe my choices and logical thinking got worse. Here’s an example;


One summer night my good buddy Bobby and I were drinking in one of our locals pubs. And just like all good summer nights, we were once again very very drunk. By 3am on this particular night we had reached the point of being so drunk, you can sit and talk about anything at all and every word out of your mouth is profound. Bobby had just ended a long term relationship with Cathy. Up until that very week the two of them were freaking inseparable, totally,totally in love. Something happened and they broke up, why, it doesn’t really matter does it?  She was now dating this other guy and that was the end of it for Bobby and Cathy.

So on this summer night, Bobby and I were determined to drink “his” pain away. Bobby was in a lot of pain and I was just helping him thru the pain. Actually it was me and a bottle of whiskey helping him through the pain. Try as I might, he just wasn’t going to let it go. He couldn’t handle her being with someone else. He wasn’t up to being consoled. The whiskey, drugs and smoke just wasn’t doing it that night. His heart had been broken and he needed to set things right. And when you’re as drunk as we were that night you had to believe you can make things right, at least till you sobered up. Instead of letting this go, Bobby said “I need to see her right now, this minute.”


I said,” Whoa bro, its 3 am. Wait till the morning.”

He said,” No man, right now. I’ve got to see her right now. We need a plan.”

So like the true drunk Irishman we were we came up with “THE PLAN.” A plan to end all plans, the most magnificent of all the ideas ever conceived in all of time. Until now, all other plans since the dawn of time were meaningless and could not hold a candle to our plan. I sat in awe drinking my beer and smoking as Bobby talked of this plan and of all the reasons why his master plan would work.

The Plan;

Cathy lived on the sixth floor, the very top floor of her apartment building. Her bedroom window was in the alleyway, in the back of the building on the sixth floor.

Phase I – Get a big long rope.

Phase II – Go to Cathy’s building with the rope and to climb the stairs to her rooftop.

Phase III – Tie one end of the rope around my waist and the other to Bobby’s waist.

Phase IV – Using my incredible beer muscles, I will gently lower Bobby over the roof edge (six stories up mind you). He will then scale the side of the building till he arrives at           her bedroom window. He will then quietly and expertly climb into her bedroom. Then profess his love for her. She will fall madly “Back in love” with him and all will be as it should.

What a plan, you have to agree.  I bet you could do some research right now and you would still not find a more perfect plan anywhere.


So with 12 more beers and rope in hand we went into her building, climbed the stairs to the rooftop and prepared to put into place the most amazing plan ever.

We located the section of the roof that was directly above Cathy’s window and proceeded to tie one end of the rope around my waist. Then Bobby takes his end of the rope and ties a knot around his waist. We drink a few beers to toast what will be the obvious success of this brilliant plan as he makes his way to the rooftop edge. Not once did we ever think this was a bad idea. Not once did we think that Bobby could DIE.


Bobby straddles the roof edge while I stand about 30 feet from the edge. The one thing we were sure of was that the rope needed to be taught before Bobby goes over the edge of the building, too much slack could result in Bobby falling too fast and possibly dragging me over the rooftop with him. If that was to happen, we would both be splattered into the concrete pavement of the alleyway 75 feet below? The ultimate end result would mean that we could drink NO MORE. And that my dear reader is not an option for Irishmen from Inwood.

So, I get in position and grabbed hold of my end of the rope. I lean slightly backwards to give the rope even less slack as Bobby puts one leg then the other over the rooftop and slides off like those SWAT guys do in the movies. We had it all figured out, right?

Well the one thing we didn’t plan on was the dead weight I would be carrying once Bobby was hanging in the air hanging. The second his weight pulled on the rope it yanked me towards the roofs edge so quickly that I never had a chance to get my footing. As he began a freefall downward I tried to gain my balance and footing. I could not and my body was dragged to the edge, luckily there was a 3 foot high brick parapet around the perimeter of the roof. I slammed head first into that wall and for a moment I didn’t feel any pull on the other end of the rope. Had Bobby fallen? Did his rope become untied? I hadn’t heard the thud of his body hitting the concrete; I actually knew what that would sound like. Shaking the cobwebs from my head that hit the brick wall, I was able to slowly sit up. Now I could feel his weight I could hear the rope as it stretched over the roofs edge. I could hear the scrapping of his body as it brushed the brick of the building below.

Bobby had dropped almost 20 feet at the same speed that I had been dragged. He slammed into the side of the building. The rope swayed right and left. Somehow it slowed down its swinging and settled. I am now holding onto a very heavy Bobby on a rope.

Suddenly I feel the rope slacken and I’m like “Oh shit he fell, I lost him.”

In a loud yet terrified whisper I call over the edge “Bobby you still there?”

He says, “I’m okay I’m at her bedroom window now”, with the weight suddenly gone from the rope. I can stand up and peek over the edge and I see his feet going into the window.


We survived this minor setback of “The Plan.”


Man that was close, I plop down onto the rooftop and with y back against the parapet wall I crack open a beer and spark up a joint. As I’m enjoying myself and catching my breath from nearly dying a sudden thought occurred to me. We never talked about how the hell he was going to get back up to the roof? Oh well, I guess we’ll figure something out when the time comes.  I drink a few more beers and eventually fall asleep with my end of the rope still hanging over the roof edge. The next thing I remember is Bobby standing over me saying, “OB get up let’s go, come on lets go.”

I look up at Bobby, amazed that he is standing there over me. We grab our rope and what’s left of our dignity and started to walk across the roof towards the stairwell. I look around the roof and it dawned on me that we both could have, should have died here tonight, it was so close. As we walk down the many many stairs out of the building and into the city night I said to Bobby, “So how did it go? Did you tell her that you loved her and how you want her back?”

He doesn’t say anything for a minute then he stops and takes a seat on the hood of a parked car.

He starts to compose his thoughts then he looks over at me and begins:


“After I stepped off the roof edge and slammed into the side of the building wall and after I finally stopped swinging back and forth.  I thought to myself, this might have been a bad idea. But what the hell, I’m here now right? So I had no choice but to climb into Cathy’s window at the very least to just save my ass. Once inside her room I crept over to her bed to awaken the girl that I love. I was going to tell her that we were meant to be together forever, that my love for her was endless. As I looked down at her angelic sleeping face and the soft bed that I had known so well.  I noticed that there were 4 not 2 feet and the end of the bed. She had another man in her bed. SHIT, now what?

So I sat there on the bedroom floor for a moment to get my head together. I came to a conclusion.   After what I just did for her, hanging off the roof like that, “well hell she just didn’t deserve me.” So I sneaked through her apartment and out the front door.”

Now, I’m not sure if this is a good ending, but that’s how it happened. He had love and he lost love, but you cannot fault the guy for trying.

We went to some sleazy afterhours bar and drank some more.


I guess the best laid plans can backfire on you.


In this instance our best plan didn’t include Bobby’s girl getting laid.

Love Stinks! sometimes





Today was shaping up to be a good day even though it started kind of crappy, Marie was just finishing up her one hour training with a blue haired head nurse, Mrs. Crabtree. You see this was Marie’s first day at her new job working in the hospital. The head nurse was possibly the oldest and grumpiest person Marie ever met. As she was leaving the old nurse’s office and walking down the hospital hallway, Marie looked back over her shoulder and told herself that she would never ever end up old and miserable like that. Her life was on track, things like negativity and unhappiness were not part of her plan. She was still thinking this to herself as she rounded the nurses’ station her hand running across the shiny gray counter top.

She was still walking and daydreaming when suddenly BAM – CRASH!

She had just turned her head in time as she ran FACE FIRST into a guy wearing a hospital gown. The two of them reacted exactly the same way at exactly the same time. “Hey there?” said the older stubble faced gentleman. The two collided and then simultaneously caught each other in a, “I’LL save YOU; NO I’ll save YOU” kind of embrace. It was quite funny actually and Marie even laughed more than she had expected to.

“I’m so sorry are you okay?” said the stranger in a husky and smoky voice, to Marie.

“I’m fine, please don’t apologize, it was totally my fault she said as she looked back over her shoulder at the ancient Mrs. Crabapple. “I wasn’t looking where I was going, I was looking back there.” He saw her face crinkle as she pointed at the old nurse sitting at her desk pushing stacks of paper around.

She looked at his face and caught herself staring into his blue eyes as he looked her over to make sure she wasn’t hurt. His eyes rose from her feet up her entire body and finally to her face. Marie felt a strong shiver run inside of her as his eyes and body language told her ‘he liked what he saw.”

“I’m so sorry again,” Marie said to him. And for a minute she swore that he answered something, but she didn’t catch it. There was a moment of awkwardness when they both realized they were still holding one another.

Marie looked at his unshaven face and his ruffled hair. “He’s really quite handsome with a, I just rolled out of bed look,” she thought.

Separating quickly, maybe too quickly, the two straighten themselves out. He making sure his skimpy hospital gown was closed and Marie checked her skirt with a downward swipe of her hand. They then proceeded to step into each other’s path one more time till they smiled and finally walked their separate ways down the hospital hall.

“Hmmm, he looked yummy, Marie thought to herself as she felt a small shiver up her spine. I wouldn’t mind bumping into him again,” and a small devilish smile worked its way across her lips as she licked them slowly.

As Marie walked away she was in a trance like state. Her mind was filled with images of her body being held by this stranger. In her mind she started to imagine him holding her around the waist and with strong arms he easily lifts her up. She imagines her legs wrapping tightly around him. He squeezes her and pushes his face deep into her bosom. Marie blushed at the thought; she couldn’t remember feeling this way before about a man, especially a complete stranger. She had been walking through the hospital halls daydreaming not caring where she was going. Sinful yet delicious scenes kept playing over and over in her mind. Some scenes had her and the stranger in a basement, alone naked!

Finding herself flush with both embarrassment and erotic chills running up her body, she started to feel faint as if she might collapse. Looking quickly around the hallway her eyes became clouded with dizziness, she sought refuge through an open door. Pushing open a hospital room door and slowly closing it behind her, Marie turns and leans up against the door as her head starts to spin. Her heart is racing, her skin covered in goose bumps, she reaches down and then up under her skirt between her legs and feels the moistness through her sheer panties. Again her body shakes as another wave of erotic chills runs through her. With her back against the door, she gasps and speaks in a low whisper, “Whew, what the hell is happening to me?”

“The same thing that is happening to me,” said an almost familiar voice from the shadows.

Marie quickly turned towards the sound of the voice coming from the corner of the room. There, in the corner of the room where the curtains were trying to keep out the morning’s sunlight stood a person. Marie took a straightened up in shock and asked,” Who are you? What, what did you say?”

The shadow started to move and suddenly transformed itself into the shape of a man. It was him! The stubble faced sleepy eyed stranger in the hospital gown she bumped into earlier, Marie’s heart momentarily jumped with joy. Then fear and of course confusion set in.

“It’s YOU, but HOW?” she said softly never taken her eyes off him as he continued to materialize before her eyes.

He started talking, “The same thing you’re feeling is happening to me.” Never taken his eyes off of her he continued to speak in that same husky voice, “I don’t really know how to start.” Then, still looking straight at Marie he began again,” after we met or bumped into each other by the nurses’ station I walked away and kind of daydreamed , about you! I just kept wandering the halls thinking about you, and thinking about why I didn’t talk more to you back then. I’m normally not a shy person, yet I when I saw you I just couldn’t speak. I know that sounds silly.”

Marie looked at him and felt his vulnerability; she replied, “No, it’s not silly at all.”

He looked at her, smiled with his head bowed like a child who had done something wrong and was now confessing “So I circled the hallways thinking about you. I guess I kind of lost my way and I saw this door opened so I came in here and was looking out of the window thinking about you, that’s when you walked in.”  He was now standing closer to her and she felt her legs begin to shake as she listened to him speaking. It was at this moment that she realized her skirt was still slightly raised from when she felt her panties and without looking down she moved her hand quickly to straighten it out. He watched her eyes with a curious tilt to his face.

Marie spoke next,” I ahh, felt the same way about you. I mean I think I felt that way. When you walked away the first thing that came to my mind was if I would see you again?” Blushing Marie put her hand to her face. “Oh my, this is so embarrassing, it’s crazy, it really is.”

“No it’s not, he started saying. He took her hand in his and gently pulled it away from her face. She tingled with excitement at his warm touch. He looked down at her slender and young fingers for a long moment, staring into the life lines in her palm. Marie tried to catch her breath as she watched him, his touch was so warm and she felt the heat from his body radiate towards her. He took her hand and placed it into his. Looking straight into her eyes he said,” You’re so young and beautiful. Can I kiss you?”

Marie almost fell on the floor right there. She began replying to him “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, when he suddenly and forcefully moved into her and placed his soft wet lips onto hers. She started to resist, but something felt very very right about all this, about him! His hold on her hand was very strong and demanding. She gave in helplessly and willingly. He kissed her hard and long, his tongue darted in and out of her mouth as he continued to open and close his lips around hers, with the occasional tiny bite here and there. Marie welcomed his mouth and his lip as if she was coming to the surface after being trapped under water. She passionately kissed back and even bit him back at times.

Their two bodies began to meld and mold into one as they rubbed and grabbed each other from behind. Marie felt the room spinning again she was loving this.

There was a sudden loud noise in the hallway Still entwined into each other they both peeked out the little glass window in the center of the door. There was some orderly picking up bed pans that had fallen from a cart he was pushing. The stranger grabbed her attention again by running his hands up the sides of her thighs. Marie took a deep breath as she felt the next move coming. His hand ran from her thigh to between her legs, his hands reached her wet panties. She hugged him tighter now as he allowed her neck to meet his shoulder. Squeezing her eyes shut trying to hide from the embarrassment she heard him softly ask, “My My look at this, you’re wet already?”

“Yes, she said, yes I am.”

His hands were all over her panties and she suddenly felt his fingers grasp at them harder, and in one swift well practiced move, he YANKED her panties right off her body. She felt the pull, and she expected it to hurt but it did not. There was no pain only the shock of her exposed wet vagina to the air.

That exposed and deliciously “naked in public” feeling ended quickly as his fingers now wet with her juices wormed their way inside of her. It all happened so fast that she felt a sudden urge to scream out, not in anger or fear, but a scream of enjoyment. She held it in and lifted her leg up and around his waist. She wasn’t sure if she had instinctively done this to cradle and pull him closer, or just so his hand had less restriction while he plunged it deep inside her. Either way, it was her way of telling him to go on.

“Oh my god,” she squealed.

“Yes my baby, yes let it go, feel me inside you, “was his hot whispered reply to her.

Marie knees once more became rubber-like and she would have collapsed right there if had not been for his strong hold on her entire body.

Shaking and moving in rhythm with his fingers as they circled her clitoris and vagina lips, she moaned in delight. “Yes, yes yes.” Her thighs were soaking wet and her ass began to slap against the door making a knocking sound that became louder and louder with each powerful thrust of his hand penetrating inside of her. Realizing the loud noise he took control and without warning he picked her up in his arms as if she weighed nothing. With his fingers still deep inside of her he rolled across the room as if on wheels towards the bed.

The two of them fell onto the unmade bed, and before Marie knew it her dress was completely off. His hands like hot water from a hot shower first turned on, were suddenly everywhere on her body. She squirmed and arched her back trying to work and accept the pulsing shock of pleasure waves that ran throughout her entire body now. He was on top of her and in command, his hospital gown was gone. Where, she did not know? His throbbing and thick cock was exposed to her. Marie looked at its size and became even more aroused. He spread her legs forcefully and drove himself hard and with purpose inside of her now soaking wet pussy. Marie did not resist.

“OOhh, she cried as he went deeper into her pinkness. “OOhh, please please it hurts.” Marie cried as she bit her lip and buried her face again into his shoulder. It hurt so good, she wanted him to stop and yet she wanted him to hurt her more. Her skin was on fire as his body and hers created a heat she never felt before. His manhood was thrusting into her like a piston from a machine. She tried to look down between her legs to see the physical reason for her pending orgasm. His hand held her face and he looked longingly into her eyes with a stare she could not break from. Marie met his gaze. It felt as if he was controlling her thoughts. She wanted to speak but could not, she wanted to show him that she was not afraid, yet she was terrified. All of her strength seemed to leave her very being, she felt weaker and weaker. His rhythm became faster and more powerful now. Her body was starting to shake and tremble. Marie was about to scream out loud, she didn’t care who heard her, this was bigger than herself. She looked at this man who, only moments ago was a complete stranger to her and now he owned her, all of her.

She felt herself being lifted into the air. He grabbed her by the arms and without ever once disconnecting from her pussy he rotated her so that he was lying on the bed and now she was sitting on top of him. She felt his throbbing cock even more now. It felt as if “it” was trying to reach up into her stomach. Marie found herself rocking back and forth on top of him. Falling into a semi-trance, her hair and skin wet with sweat, she rubbed her exposed clit against his stone hard cock each time she moved forward. Rocking back and forth she could feel the surge of excitement as her clit became swollen against him. His hands reached out and he cupped her breasts, pinching her nipples. Marie felt the surge inside her again again. Her body was getting weaker and weaker as her orgasm grew. She prayed that her strength would not give out before she reached her climax.

She looked down at this magnificent man who had somehow set her whole world on fire.

He looked back up at her and was about to speak, when suddenly his eyes went blank. His smile was gone, now replaced with his mouth wide open, as if he was gasping for air. Marie looked down at him and saw his eyes, his eyes were black and dull, almost lifeless. She could hear a faint sound in the background, but not really in the background. It was as if the sound, a beeping sound was coming from right there, where she was, WITH HIM RIGHT HERE AT THE BED. Next there were voices, she heard the voices and got nervous. Marie hopped off the bed and found herself against the window and the curtain where he had been when she first entered the room.

Suddenly there were lights, very bright lights. She put her hand up to her face trying to shield the brightness away.  Marie began to see a little better, a little clearer. As her eyes became adjusted to the light, she noticed there were people in the room, lots of people.

“How did they get here?” she asked herself. “Who are they?” then it came to her, these were doctors and nurses.

Marie looked at the bed where just moments before she was half naked. There in the middle of all the crazy sounds, in between all of the scurrying and yelling doctors and nurses and flying tubes and machines beeping and buzzing was him.  He was just lying there motionless as one of the doctors was straddling his chest. Just like Marie did only minutes ago.

OMG – The doctor was performing CPR.

“YOU “yelled a nurse.  “YEAH, YOU, STANDING THERE OVER IN THE CORNER. I know it’s your first day honey, but we need your help here.”

Marie snapped out of her day dream and suddenly felt embarrassed and started to fix her clothes when she realized she was fully clothed. Shaking her head not totally understanding what did or did not just happen. She came over to the bedside and the nurse who yelled at her handed her an oxygen mask and pointed to the stubble faced stranger on the bed. . Marie instinctively held the oxygen mask over his face. His breath immediately fogged up the mask and she saw his beard stubble glisten with the moisture.

A second or two passed when someone yelled “THE PATIENT HAS STOPPED BREATHING!”

The doctor on top of her man barking orders to everyone else.


A nurse came rushing over with a huge needle and handed it to the doctor. The doctor still sitting up top of her lover’s lifeless body raised the needle high over his head and with a determined and well practiced swing he PLUNGED it into the non beating chest. Pushing the drug into her man the doctor jumped off the bed and in a second Marie saw her lover eyes open wider than she thought eyes could open.

“HHHHOOOOOOOAAAAAAA”, was the sound that came from his throat. The sound was a deep gasping or grabbing of air. He sat straight up for a split second then fell back onto his bed. He looked around the room and without warning, he grabbed Maries arm. It hurt like hell, his grip was deathlike and hot. Pulling her to his face, Marie allowed herself to be brought closer to his lips; with a finger she curled her hair around her ear so she could hear him. He started to speak into her ear. Marie couldn’t hear what he was trying to say. Something like, behind, bine, brine,something???

His head lifted up off the bed and then just as quickly, it fell back. With a final gasp of air, only this time the air was coming out, her lover’s head tilted slightly and he was gone.

The doctors and nurses pushed her aside as they continued their quest to revive him, but it did not work. The room became very quiet and still. One by one the nurses and doctors began removing their rubber gloves and masks and with defeated faces they stepped away from the bed.

“11:09 am, Mark the time of death please.” Said a male nurse.

“11:09 am, marked.” Said another nurse as she wrote the time and date on the clipboard that hung from the end of the bed. Another orderly pulled the white sheet over his head pausing as if to say a quick and silent prayer for him.

Marie could hear the sounds subsiding, hear the people talking in hushed and subdued tones. She could see the room becoming darker as the medical staff began turning off the non essential lighting that they needed only moments before. The quietness was getting louder now as she felt the nurse who yelled at her whisper quietly, “Come on sweetheart. It’s over now. Did you know him?”

Marie looked at the nurse and dropped her eyes away so to hide her tears. “Yes. I did know him, I mean No, we just met,” Marie said.

“This is the first death you’ve seen isn’t it honey?” asked the nurse.

Death?  Marie thought OMG he’s dead? Marie was now trying to make sense of what had happened. In her head she ran thru the events that lead to NOW. The nurse took one last look at Marie and silently walked from the room leaving her to her thoughts.

Marie suddenly snapped out of her daze and walked to the bed. His body was lying there motionless. She could see the profile of his chest and feet. She crept even closer, still trying to understand what was happening.


She was just making love to this man, this body beneath that white shroud of death, RIGHT?

She reached out her hand towards the sheet.

Slowly pulling it back to reveal his stubble face and his thick pink lips, she stared at him. “How can this be happening,” she thought again to herself. Marie leaned into his face and ever so gently kissed his forehead. She thought back to when he grabbed her hand and spoke into her ear. What was it he was saying to her? She ran it over and over in her mind, “brine, be rinn,be eyen,,OH WAIT, he said Be Mine!! OMG she shrieked out loud, He said, “BE MINE”.

Her heart filled with joy at the sound of his voice saying that to her. Then just as quickly she became sad. Looking at his sweet face she leaned in again, and again kissed his forehead and this time she whispered, “I will be yours my darling, I WILL FOLLOW YOU MY LOVE”

Marie pulled the sheet back over his face and went out the door and into the hallway. Walking with purpose and her head held high as if she was being driven by something inside of her. She strode right past the same doctors and nurses who now had stood outside the room. They obviously had given her some alone time.

She walked down the hall past the nurses’ station and towards the stairwell. Opening the door she began to climb the stairs to the roof. Marie opened the roof door and walked towards the edge.

And without looking and without hesitation she calmly walked off the roof edge. Falling towards the quickly approaching parking lot pavement below she smiled and softly said, “I’m coming my dear, I will be yours.”

The crowd that gathered around Marie’s body included the nurse who was with her last in the room where they tried to save the man’s life. Someone asked the nurse what had happened, “why would such a young girl do this, take her own life?”

The nurse looked at Marie’s broken body and answered, “We don’t know, she just started working here today. She was asked to go into a comatose John Doe’s room and open the curtain, that’s all. The patient suddenly went into cardiac arrest and we lost him. She seemed despondent over his death, but I don’t think they knew each other at all.”

“I’m here my love, where are you?” asked Marie as she walked through the rolling mist.

“Come closer my darling, walk towards my voice.”

Marie smiled as she recognized HIS voice. Walking to HIM she felt like a little girl on a first date.

“Closer my darling, come along now.”

Marie could start to see through the mist that seemed alive as it began to wrap itself all around her. It felt warm and she tasted a bead of sweat from her upper lip as it lazily dripped into her mouth. It was getting hot and her feet started to hurt as if she was walking on burning sand. There in the mist beyond the sound of HIS beckoning voice was a reddish hue.

HURRY NOW, HE said in a more commanding tone, DO NOT KEEP ME WAITING.”

Her hair was plastered to her head, her skin was clammy and soaking wet with sweat, Marie now noticed that she was naked and that her body began to burn, before she could even think of what was happening, HE came out of the mist below and grabbed her by the ankles, she knew HIS touch instantly. Pulling her down through the mist she could hear screaming.

It was her own screaming, but her screams soon became muffled by the sound of, of…


devil arms girl