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Coming Out of the Silence

October 8th, 2019 No comments

As a person with hearing loss with words unheard or incomplete,
From accusing my wife of speaking Mandarin or Chinese,
To asking people what they said or to repeat,
The frustration of living in a wall of silence or tomb,
You can understand the disability that is in a nutshell,
Of not hearing well.

So now you can imagine how ecstatic I was
Getting new the latest hearing aids so sweet.
Now marveling at being able to actually hear the spoken word,
From hearing the beauty of music
To once again comprehending my wife,
Are all again like magical wonders for me in my life.

This piece is dedicated to my Audiologist, Holly Kay Spiser Foley, Alamo Hearing Aid & Audiological Service,
The savior from my wall of silence. Thank you so much!

Bob Collazo, 10/8/2019
www.robertcollazojr.com

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Categories: 99% Non-Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry Tags:

That Cold Night

January 5th, 2011 2 comments

I had just bought a new vehicle six months before, and never gave it a second thought that it would go out on me in the middle of a cold Friday night in West Texas on the way to San Antonio. But there I was, stuck on the side of that dark, lonely highway, and my new truck wouldn’t start. Well, I couldn’t just sit there and freeze all night. So, I got off my truck, and when that cold wind hit me, I thought what did I get into now?

A few miles before, it had begun to sleet, and though it was not coming down too hard, the road was beginning to take on that icy, sheen look. I thought about which way I should start walking.  In one direction, the closest town south was about 9 miles away, and the other way, I knew it was more than twenty.

My walk south hadn’t been more than 10-15 minutes, when a loud, souped up truck was coming up the road. The surprise was when that stranger stopped and asked me if that pickup truck down the road was mine, and if so, gestured me to climb in. I thought it odd that the stranger looked about in his late 70s or 80s.

The stranger told me that a new pickup truck in his neck of the woods wouldn’t last long out on the highway without being stolen, and said we’d better hurry to go it before it disappeared. In the time the stranger picked me up to the time we got to my truck, the man had told his whole life story. That he was a retired mechanic, all his kids were dead, and he had outlived all his other relatives.

We arrived at my truck’s location and the stranger stated that all he had was ten foot chain that he pull me with, and I exclaimed that the chain wasn’t long enough! All the stranger said, was not to worry since he just lived up the road “a bit”, and wouldn’t be driving too fast anyway. Yeah, right!

You can imagine my surprise when we got on that highway and the speed at which he pulled me was somewhere around 80-85 mph! The only thing that stranger didn’t lie about was that he did live relatively close by and ten minutes later we were driving into his driveway.  The stranger told me that I could use the pay phone at the corner store, and have someone pick me up.  He also told me that I should give him my truck keys and to come back on Sunday, and my truck would be ready to go.  I thought to myself, can I trust this stranger?  He already had saved me, and kept me off that cold highway, so why shouldn’t I?  So, I gave him my keys and I thanked him.  I then walked as he suggested to the pay phone, to call my Brother Frank.

A couple of hours later when Frank had picked me up, he couldn’t believe I had “given my keys” to a stranger, and then felt like a fool since I had not even got his name!  Somehow, like I explained to my brother, it all felt “right”.  He called me a fool (very eloquently in the Spanish language), and as he kept chewing on me.  Anyway, I pretended to be asleep on the way to San Antonio to keep my brother from chewing me out again.  For those of you that know my Brother Frank, surely you understand how I felt, right?

That following Sunday, I took a Greyhound bus back to the Stranger’s house in Mason, Texas.  I walked from the station, to the Stranger’s house, and found a note from him on his front door.  The note stated that he had worked on my truck and all that was needed was a timing chain adjustment, and my truck was good “as new”.   So, I knocked on his door, and when he didn’t answer, looked around for him, and realized that the house looked totally abandoned.  In fact, it looked like no one had lived in it for years!

My thought then was that the stranger had just gone to the store or something.  So, I waited awhile for him.  After an hour or so, and feeling impatient, and thinking and feeling just about what my Brother had called me, I looked down his long driveway, saw my truck, and didn’t quite feel like a fool any longer!   Then I saw another vehicle behind my truck under a very dusty tarp. I pulled the tarp off and found what appeared to be that souped-up truck. However, this time, the motor looked like it was in the middle of an overhaul. That couldn’t be right. For the other night, it had been running great!

My mind was surely playing games, I thought. So, I got in my truck and found that it started right up as the Stranger had noted.  I then drove to the nearest ranch house, about a mile away. When I asked the gentleman that greeted me there if he had seen the neighbor lately, his faced got grim. It seemed that his neighbor had had a heart attack and died about 6 months back, he said.

How can that be, I thought?

Robert Collazo, originally posted on 10/20/08, and reposted on 1/5/11.

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A TRAVELER

December 31st, 2010 No comments

As I have mentioned countless times, I am very blessed to have many true friends.  Well, on Wednesday, of this week, one of my dear friends left me a poem on my desk that he had written for me.  I was very moved by it; and I consider it a real honor for me to share it here on my site.

To my author friend, Joe Alcazar – first of all, I didn’t know you were a poet; secondly, I thank-you so much for thinking so highly of me. – Robert Collazo, 12/31/10

=========================================================

A TRAVELER

The sun shines its warmth everyone knows
And oh how refreshing a cool breeze will feel
Some days are so gloomy, so cold and so hard
And life’s many maladies will make us ask why?
On the voyage of life many roads are traversed.

I don’t know the answer to all of life’s woes
But I know there’s a key that satisfies most of all
If all would just learn it, what a life it could be
Alas not all travelers have been able to see
All the beauty and splendor there is to enjoy
Life is a wonder; isn’t it so?

But the greatest of gifts from the Almighty above
Is not the beauty in nature that expresses His love
For like the clouds that form figures or a mist in the night
So many pass by without leaving a mark
Once in a while, so rare I’m afraid
Comes a traveler that reaches right into your heart.

This impression stays with you even though they depart
For such is the character of one called a friend
A companion that only sees what’s your very best
A friend that is born for a time when there’s need
Such a gift I have been blessed to know
The friendship of Robert will continue to grow.

Though with sadness to many, Collazo will go
The voyage of life will march on without fail
The twilight of life brings these changes I know
But reflecting on friends brings a smile and a glow
It’s not goodbye forever just a farewell for now
For the sun shines all days wherever he goes.

Your Friend,
Joe Alcazar, 12/29/10

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That Cold Night

October 3rd, 2008 No comments

I had just bought a new vehicle six months before, and never gave it a second thought that it would go out on me in the middle of a cold Friday night in West Texas on the way to San Antonio. But there I was, stuck on the side of that dark, lonely highway, and my new truck wouldn’t start. Well, I couldn’t just sit there and freeze all night. So, I got off my truck, and when that cold wind hit me, I thought what did I get into now?

A few miles before, it had begun to sleet, and though it was not coming down too hard, the road was beginning to take on that icy, sheen look. I thought about which way I should start walking.  In one direction, the closest town south was about 9 miles away, and the other way, I knew it was more than twenty.

My walk south hadn’t been more than 10-15 minutes, when a loud, souped up truck was coming up the road. The surprise was when that stranger stopped and asked me if that pickup truck down the road was mine, and if so, gestured me to climb in. I thought it odd that the stranger looked about in his late 70s or 80s.

The stranger told me that a new pickup truck in his neck of the woods wouldn’t last long out on the highway without being stolen, and said we’d better hurry to go it before it disappeared. In the time the stranger picked me up to the time we got to my truck, the man had told his whole life story. That he was a retired mechanic, all his kids were dead, and had outlived all his relatives.

We arrived at my truck’s location and the stranger stated that all he had was ten foot chain that he pull me with, and I exclaimed that the chain wasn’t long enough! All the stranger said, was not to worry since he just lived up the road “a bit”, and wouldn’t be driving too fast anyway. Yeah, right!

You can imagine my surprise when we got on that highway and the speed at which he pulled me was somewhere around 80-85 mph! The only thing that stranger didn’t lie about was that he did live relatively close by and ten minutes later we were driving into his driveway.  The stranger told me that I could use the pay phone at the corner store, and have someone pick me up.  He also told me that I should give him my truck keys and to come back on Sunday, and my truck would be ready to go.  I thought to myself, can I trust this stranger?  He already had saved me, and kept me off that cold highway, so why shouldn’t I?  So, I gave him my keys and I thanked him.  I then walked as he suggested to the pay phone, to call my Brother Frank.

A couple of hours later when Frank had picked me up, he couldn’t believe I had “given my keys” to a stranger, and then felt like a fool since I had not even got his name!  Somehow, like I explained to my brother, it all felt “right”.  He called me a fool (very eloquently in the Spanish language), and as he kept chewing on me, I fell asleep on the way to San Antonio.  For those of you that know my Brother Frank, surely you understand how I felt, right?

That following Sunday, I took a Greyhound bus back to the Stranger’s house in Mason, Texas.  I walked from the station, to the Stranger’s house, and found a note from him on his front door.  The note stated that he had worked on my truck and all that was needed was a timing chain adjustment, and my truck was good “as new”.   So, I knocked on his door, and when he didn’t answer, looked around for him, and realized that the house looked totally abandoned.  In fact, it looked like no one had lived in it for years!

My thought then was that the stranger had just gone to the store or something.  So, I waited awhile for him.  After an hour or so, and feeling impatient, and thinking and feeling just about what my Brother had called me, I looked down his long driveway, saw my truck, and didn’t quite feel like a fool any longer!   Then I saw another vehicle behind my truck under a very dusty tarp. I pulled the tarp off and found what appeared to be that souped-up truck. However, this time, the motor looked like it was in the middle of an overhaul. That couldn’t be right. For the other night, it had been running great!

My mind was surely playing games, I thought. So, I got in my truck and found that it started right up as the Stranger had noted.  I then drove to the nearest ranch house, about a mile away. When I asked the gentleman that greeted me there if he had seen the neighbor lately, his faced got grim. It seemed that his neighbor had had a heart attack and died about 6 months back, he said. How can that be, I thought?

Robert Collazo, posted on 10/03/08; and modified on 10/20/08.

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Categories: 99% Non-Fiction, Short Story Tags: