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Occupying My Time

by Daniel Hargrove

Published by Daniel Hargrove at Smashwords

Copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Cover art copyright 2017 Daniel Hargrove

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This book is published for anyone's enjoyment. Authors retain the copyright to their work. Users may read, copy and distribute the work in any medium or format for non-commercial purposes, provided the authors and the journal are appropriately credited. The users are not allowed to remix, transform or build upon the published material.

01 Occupying My Time

02 Too Classy

03 For Roberta

04 Long Time Ago

05 The Problem

06 The Smart Mouth

07 I May Not Be Strong

08 The Drill

09 In a High Tree

10 And the Deal Went Down

11 The Rum Cake

Occupying My Time

I work as a paralegal

and I am a notary

but all I do at work

is notarize

letters, documents, contracts

I am a paper shuffler

and I like my job

but lately the workload

has been heavy

I am quick

but sometimes the

letters, documents and contracts

pile up

sometimes I need a breather

and there is a smoking area

out front, on the gravel path

by a tree

with some nice wisteria

and a few ligustrums

and a park bench

I'll sit for awhile

and smoke a cigarette

when the weather is nice

I take my lunch out there too

I work for the government

and the bureaucracy is burdensome

there's too much red tape

and not enough skilled workers

like me

but we get it done

even if I have to work late

on Fridays

Too Classy

Looking for that perfect job

I browsed the employment section

and found one that looked okay

a phone job

cold calling I was sure, but, anyway

I looked up their address

and looked at the map

I wasn't sure how the busses ran

out that way

so I called Metro

turned out it was three busses

to get there

and I didn't want

to do that every day

a social worker

had give me a list of job lines

so I called a few

and listened to the recordings

dish washer, paper shuffler, janitor

I ended up mopping floors

hey, it's a job

there's one cutie I have my eye on

she passes by every day

early in the morning

I don't have the nerve

to approach her

after all, I'm just a janitor

she's probably an administrative assistant

or a paralegal

or a business consultant

it doesn't matter

she's out of my class

For Roberta

There was something in her eye

that I recognized

did it come

from Orion

some years ago

or perhaps the Little Dipper

at the same time

from Sagitarius

on the night

of a full moon?

I will never know

from whence it came

for I am lost

on a cloudy night

and wandering in a garden

not seeing

each and every rose

lost in the ink

Long Time Ago

When I was with Floretta

life was easy

she cooked

pork chops, roast beef, steaks

and we had company a lot

guys who hung around the corner

and bummed change for beer

they would come over

and drink 40's of malt liquor

they didn't eat much

but we played cards

spades or hearts

and listened to blues

good fun

The Problem

He believed

in the angels


he felt

guided his path

and the demons

which persecuted him

in his thoughts

he took his car

out to the soccer field

and rutted it up

doing doughnuts

and then went

80 miles an hour

in a 30 zone

they didn't catch him

that night

but eventually

it would catch up with him

he stopped to pick up some beer

and clumsily

pulled out his wallet

and paid for it

the clerk

thought at first that he was a kook

then he thought he might be drunk

then he was a bit alarmed

by the guy's behavior

the guy saw all this

but couldn't see

he burned rubber

out of the parking lot

The Smart Mouth

I was in a slump

but the jackal on top

was riding high, way up

on his high horse

I sniffled just a bit

at the thought of such a

powder blue whiney baby

running the whiskey

from door to door

I am not as clever

as I may look

but when a high hat

like this particular clown

starts groping for conclusions

I seek answers

now and then

the funny thing is

I'd die laughing

in a heartbeat

if I could ever catch him lying

I baited the mousetrap

with a gumdrop

(work better than cheese, btw)

A hundred years from now

I will be long gone

but he will still be living

high on the hog

as the smartest guy

on the block

because he was so slick

that he never made a slip

on his way up the ladder

I May Not Be Strong...

The man's name was Abriel

but he didn't seem like an Abriel

he was a big


white dude

with little compassion

and no compunction

he liked independent women

as I do

but he stole my wife

my first thought was, "Buy a gun,"

but that wouldn't solve anything

so instead I decided

I'd go out to a bar

and get sloppy drunk

but the fourth beer

(and I don't hold my alcohol very well)

I was crying

the waitress was sympathetic

but I was reluctant

to tell her my life story

so I, instead, asked her

for the key to the the bathroom

accidentally, I'm sure

she gave me the key

to the woman's restroom

I walked in

and was so embarrased

that I left the bar in a big hurry

and practically stumbled

my way to the bus stop

The Drill

We stopped at the gas station

and Jimmy got out

he asked me for a cigarette

but I knew Jimmy

He used his debit card

and pushed a few buttons

took out the nozzle

and stuck it in the gas tank

for some reason

Jimmy did not like to use

the lock on the handle

of the gas pump

when filling up his

'76 Chrysler Lebaron

I was eating some peanuts.

I wanted a Coke

so I went in the store

the clerk seemed like a good guy

and asked me in broken English

if I needed cigarettes

I told him thanks,

yes I did

the reds? no, the lights

Drinking my Coke

I went back outside

Jimmy always liked to top off the tank

and some gas had dripped on the concrete

He asked me again for a cigarette

this time I gave him one

because we were heading out

on our way to Chicago.

In a High Tree

She was good

and kind

and he was a good man

but troubled

he loved her

and she loved him

but it could not last forever

he troubled her mind too much

and she could not

achieve her goals in life

with him always around

she needed some peace of mind

but where to turn?

As did he

and somehow he knew it

and thought he could find it in her

there was an angel in her eyes

that he saw

but she didn't

that could make everything


he was a good man

and tried to get her

to understand the realities of life

but she was set on her goals

she couldn't deal with him

and this is after all

the twenty-first century

so she made a call

and the constables came

and put him in the looney bin

and she wouldn't have him back

And the Deal Went Down

A friend of mine

wanted some weed

it took him a couple of days

to get it

he called around

but once he got Peter on the phone

his problem was solved

Peter knew where he could get some

though it was the dry time of year.

The next day Peter called my friend, and said

"The Jewel is in the Crown"

as if a jury or a D.A. or a judge

would never be able

to pin it on him,

but anyway,

the deal came through

and my friend didn't have to mess with it

for another week

The Rum Cake

I am in jail

for P.I.

as I write this

if it hadn't been for...

well, my wife

means well

and for my birthday

she baked me a cake

I had actually


forgotten that it was my birthday

and the cake

was quite a surprise

it had rum flavored frosting

and it was a bundt cake

I was tired

and yawned

"Goodnight hun, I'm tired."

But my wife has quite a temper

and an argument ensued

it ended with her

kicking me out on my ass

it was a very hot day

and I was so tired

I was stumbling down the street

and was stopped by the police

they thought I was drunk

but I will get out

and you betcha

she will get a piece of my mind

but next time she bakes a bundt cake

I will tell her "Thanks, hun!"

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