A Different Headline
“Listen Kid, we all read the same story and write a different headline,” Oscar says. Steam from his cup of joe swirls between us. He flicks an ash from his Lucky Strike and looks at me. “The Common Council killed Urban Renewal tonight. The Feds asked Saginaw to clean up her act. That’s what my paper and I want our readers to know---”
“Yes but,” I say, “isn’t how the vote came down a bigger story?” The top button of my white shirt and Windsor knotted, paisley necktie choke my breath. “I mean--- you were there. You felt the mood of the room shift when Bobby reached into his briefcase and slammed his piece on the table. You could taste fear in the room. Have you ever reported on a City Council meeting when an alderman put a .38 Colt Special next to his microphone during roll call on a crucial vote?”
“Look Richard, I’ve covered Council meetings for the paper before you were born. I’ve seen worse. Everyone knows Bobby packs, so I wasn’t surprised. Hey, it’s 1976. Welcome to reality. I don’t see that Bobby’s revolver influenced the tally. I’m after the meat of the evening, I reported the real story.”
We Can Be
I write this song for those of us who search for our real story. Composed for piano in C minor sus4 (suspended thirds).
Only see what we want to see. To
Live out our time on bended knee. To
Have a life most comfortably. Un
Til we can be we’ll never see.
Do we be in order to see? To
Live with fire with empathy. Then
We will see and really will be, A
Lover of truth continuously.
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Richard Wilberg, MS, PLCC, ACC
Coach for Personal Fulfillment and Career Success
About the Author
I write personal essays, creative non-fiction, flash fiction, and self-development articles from my home in Madison, Wisconsin.