The Tale of the Flying Marlin

1958- The Flying Marlin was deep in the Atlantic Ocean, no one in history could quite say where- but it was deep in the swirling storms of the Atlantic. The beautiful Flying Marlin ship has begun to take on water and the crew wonders what to do next. What do you do when you’re working on the poop deck of a fishing boat and your Northern starboard begins to flood with water?

You speak with The Captain.

The Crew of the Flying Marlin raced to The Captain’s corridor and knocked hesitantly at the door.

“Sir. I uh, I mean Captain.” Said the First Mate; a bit quieter than he should have.

“What it is friends!?” The Captain replied with a jovial response.

You see, The Captain never liked a stern ship. He kept the Flying Marlin calm and efficient. The Crew took home a decent pay for fisherman in 1958 and risked their lives about once a month to a hairy situation. This was worse than hairy.

“The ship is sinking, Captain.” The First Mate formally informed The Captain.

The thick copper door swung open and the captain (not completely sober) addressed the crew.

“Alright men, the Flying Marlin is an ol’ gal but we better get her patched up soon or you’ll be delivering our latest bounty to the Devil at bottom of the Sea.

The Crew looked a little bit defeated already.

“Captain, it’s beyond repair. We need to take emergency precautions. I have a wife at home and I would like to see her and my son again.” The First Mate cried.

The Captain put his hand on the First Mate’s shoulder.

“Then let’s get you come, mate.”

The Captain ordered all of the crew to find the life rafts and take immediate (but efficient) choices in order to save the crew. When all of the rafts were set to be deployed one by one by a hoist, the crew got a bit happier and had some hope in their hearts.

The Captain had been looking upon his crew with joy as he smoked his pipe. The Captain wasn’t a big smoker, but he figured if there ever was a time to have a smoke-this was it.

The emergency life rafts were ready to go.

“All younger men first! Lets get these boys home to their family.” The First Mate shouted. Even though he was a young man himself, he knew he had obligations to The Captain.

The Crew followed orders and put the younger crew members on the life rafts. In Theory, this was a kind hearted gesture all thought up by The Captain. It wasn’t until the last life raft was out of site that everyone realized they had just saved their strongest men and The Flying Marlin was left with 16 old men.

These senior portions of The Crew were gentlemen who lived on the sea their whole life. They had been with The Flying Marlin since she first set sail and most of them lost some fingers in the process. Moral was low but no one was giving up.

The Last Minutes

Now, with a ship full of old men in galoshes aboard a vessel that is now taking on massive amounts of the salty sea… The Crew began to panic and the mood was sinking just as quickly as the ship. The Crew of the Flying Marlin began to fight the Atlantic with a bit of a chill down their spine.

“Captain! What now!?” Shouted the First mate from the Southern Side.

The Flying Marlin was in full Titanic Mode.

The Captain stopped puffing his pipe because by now it was raining and he found it annoying to light a match every 30 seconds, only to have it whiffed out by the surrounding elements.

The Captain responded just before the crew got anxious.

“We are going build our own life rafts, gentleman!” The captain informed everyone.

“Find whatever you can and make a life raft. We have some time and I know all of you are good with tools and creativity.”

 The Captain pointed to his First Mate.

“We used to install fencing around the old factory together.”

The Captain pointed to his Second Mate.

“We’ve known each other since Mrs. Goldman’s science class!”

The Captain pointed to his Third Mate.

“And we were on the same little league team!”

“Go Badgers!” They said in unison.

“Lets lay this bastard of a ship down and save our lives!” The Captain screamed. The Crew shouted with cheer and hope.

The Crew began to search for all the materials they could find in order to float and stay alive. The situation was the perfect blend of  every-man-for-himself- mixed with together-on-the-Flying-Marlin.

Doors. Furniture. Art Work.  The crew began using their best imagination and building their life rafts for the chance of surviving this daunting situation.

The Captain was happy and wished he was able to smoke his pipe again because he thought it would be the perfect time. But again, the surrounding conditions weren’t allowing it. The Captain crossed his arms and smiled.

You’d think with the very few skills that The Crew had, it would take some time to build a raft. You’d be surprised at how quick an Old Man can build a life raft when he is facing death at sea. A little over an hour, all of The Crew members had built their own rafts.

Some of them had individual rafts with beautiful nautical furnishings and some men decide to work together and build a group raft to save each other’s lives. The men completed their projects just in time because the ship was sinking fast now and they were awaiting orders from The Captain.

“Captain! We have completed your orders to build ourselves a raft. To our own surprise, it worked out pretty well!” The First mate shouted.

“When shall we set sail!?” Cried the Second Mate.

“We shall set sail immediately! This old girl of a ship is about to guzzle all the water she can handle and I don’t want to be on board when she takes her last breath!” Proclaimed The Captain.

The Crew all looked puzzled at The Captain. The Crew knew why, but the Captain looked puzzled back because he had no idea what was happening.

“What in the hell are you looking at men!? Lets move!” Their Captain ordered.

The First mate removed his hat and brought it to his chest as if he was about to deliver bad news.

“Captain, while we were building our life rafts, we figured you were building one too. Did you not?” The First Mate replied.

“Are you fucking serious!?”

The Captain rarely cursed but he figured now was the perfect time.

The Second Mate took off his hat. The Captain had just seen this move from the First Mate so he braced himself for more bad news.

“Captain, we honestly thought you were going down with the ship once we noticed you just watching us and smiling. I mean, The Flying Marlin is your vessel and when you didn’t move a muscle to make a life raft, we wanted to honor your solitude because we figured you were about to die.” The Second Mate reported.

“I’m not suicidal! I want off of this drafty old ship! Please! One of you must have room for me!” The Captain cried out.

The Crew looked around at each other’s life rafts. Even though they all looked pretty solid, and were all floating quite well by this time- they had no room for a portly, old Captain. And The Captain knew this now.

The Captain removed his hat and placed it to his chest. The crew knew bad news was coming because it’s not like this was an original move or anything.

“My Crew, friends, and family, I wish you the best and hope you get back to land safely. Just be aware that there are quite a few sharks in these waters and that we are probably headed towards a recession of some kind, so maybe find a new profession when you hit dry land.”

Some of The Crew began to cry. At this point, The Captain was on the very last few feet of his ship and the rest of his crew was safely on their rickety rafts.  The Captain gave his official hat to his First Mate and saluted him.

“May you all always remember what happened here on The Flying Marlin.”

The Captain whipped out his tobacco pipe and puffed away as he descended into the ocean with The Flying Marlin.

After the last bubble from The Captain’s breathe came to the surface, The Crew took a moment of silence and wiped their tears.

“Men! Lets get to safety!” The First Mate (now Captain) shouted.

The Men began to row their makeshift raft army to shore. It turns out they were not far at all from a rescue ship that was signaled by the first wave of young crew member that left the Flying Marlin earlier. When everyone was rescued, they all realized that they had been selfish not helping The Captain. But it was too late for that because the ugly sea took him under and his body was probably being eaten by the aforementioned sharks.

Years Gone By

Whenever The Crew (especially The First and Second Mate) thought of The Captain they smiled and were inspired by the courage The Captain had. They all told the tale about The Flying Marlin, especially when in the company of The Crew.

Fortunately, most of The Crew took The Captain’s advice and began new careers in carpentry. They realized the craftsmanship of their rafts and saw that they were actually pretty good with tools and wood, especially under pressure. They began a Carpenter’s Union and to this day, The Crew and their next generation of kin still operates out of Maine.

Recently, the local Historic Society holds a day in The Captain’s honor. The town builds tiny creative rafts and sets them all out to sea to sink. It’s terrible for the environment but brings a lot of joy to locals and tourists who heard the Tale of the Flying Marlin.

As far as The Captain? Some say that on a calm, warm summer night, if you salute the Atlantic Sea- you’ll smell the rich tobacco that The Captain puffed with his last breathe.

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Distress Signal

The year is 1978 and the U.S.A has just launched a team of astronauts into space. The United States was happy to see the launch on their color T.Vs in that month of May.

The NASA Houston Port receives a distress signal and a mid-level employee picks up the call.

“This is Houston Port, we hear your loud and clear Astronaut Goldman.”

“Hey guys, this is Astronaut Jim Goldman On Space Shuttle 602.”

“Yes Astronaut Godlman, we are aware”

“Please, just call me Jim.”

“You got it Astronaut Jim. Please inform us of your reason for a radio distress signal.”

“Oh right, um, well I don’t know how else to tell you this but…I am..

Astronaut Jim gulps. You know, one of those gulps that seem comically enhanced. Except this time it was real, and Houston Port was tuning in.

..afraid Houston Port. I’m afraid.”

“Afraid of what Astro Jim? Your shuttle seems to be cruising along nicely and all of our readings are perfect”

“ Yes, that’s good. But I am afraid of this. All This. Being an Astronaut, going in space. This whole situation terrifies me and I am now just realizing it.”

“Astro Jim, you do realize that you’re about 113,000 mile outside of the Earth’s atmosphere, right?”

Astro Jim checks his dashboard and sees his mileage from Earth constantly going up and fidgets in his seat nervously.

“Yes Houston Port, I can see that on my radar.”

“Where has the rest of your crew gone? Why haven’t they tried to assist you?”

“Well Houston..

Astronaut Jim gulped again.

..they made fun of me.”

“Sorry could you repeat that? We believe we heard you say that they made fun of you.”

“That’s correct Houston Port. Those guys can be real jerks, but they have good hearts. So please don’t tell on me”

The mid-level employee looked around looking for assistance, his team all shrugged.

“Don’t worry, we will omit it from our recordings. Is that what you’re afraid of? Being bullied in space?”

“Sort of but not completely. I mean, what if we blow up, you know? That’s scary to think about.”

The Houston Port crew all looked around at each other as if they didn’t have the answer. One entry-level scientist from Houston Port grabbed her personal radio.

“We have done several thousand tests to ensure you that you will not blow up.”

Astro Jim leaned back in his chair a bit.

“Phew, I knew that was true its just great to hear you guys say it.”

The entry-level employee gave a thumbs up to her crew, they smiled.

“No problem. Are you comfortable enough for radio silence?”

“Um. Yeah. I think I am good. Thanks Houston Port.”

“It’s what we are here for. Now go make the USA proud.”

“Copy that Houston. Over and out.”

(12 Minutes Later)

The distress signal at the Houston Port begins to ring and buzz again. Both sounds are equally annoying. A senior staff member answers on his personal radio.

“Yes Astronaut Goldman, how can we assist your distress signal?

“Please, just call me Jim.”

The senior level employee shakes his head disapprovingly.

“How can we assist you, Jim?”

“Ok, so I’ve been thinking.”

The entire Houston Port looks at each other and begins to get comfortable in their seats. The senior staff member clears his throat and continues with protocol.

“What have you been thinking about, Jim?”

“Well, what if we encounter something unknown?”

A mid- level scientist chimes in on his radio.

Well, Astro Jim, that’s sort of the whole point to space exploration. To discover the unknown.”

The mid level employee smiles as if he always wanted to say that.

“Good point. But what if we discover something unknown that we really shouldn’t have discovered?”

The senior employee begins to reply but the mid level scientist stops him and puts his hand up like “I got this.” Which pisses off the senior employee but he realizes that it’s for the best because he doesn’t have an answer.

“Astro Jim, can you elaborate?”

“Well, say you’re in the woods and you discover a bear. I’ve never seen a bear in the woods but I know I shouldn’t get closer and poke it in the name of science. You follow me?”

Everyone at Houston Port begins to shake their heads and rub their temples, mostly because they saw all the senior employees do it and thought it was protocol. But everyone truly knows that this is the most action they have seen in a while so they all still listen in as the mid level scientist calms Astro Jim down.

“Yes, Astro Jim. We follow you. However, we sent you up there to explore the unknown and we wouldn’t have done it if you weren’t the best man for the job.”

“Thanks. I knew I was worrying too much.”

“Are you OK for radio silence? We have a lot of paperwork to do here down on Earth.”

“You got it, gang. Radio silence from here on out.”

The mid level scientist smiles and looks around for compliments but everyone seems to have started their paperwork.

(4 Hours Later)

Astro Jim clicks on a radio recorder from the dispatch control panel. The device was designed to record the last radio signal from Shuttle 602 in case of a deathly emergency.

“Ok, I know I am not supposed to use this device for any other reason other than certain death, I’m sorry.”

Astro Jim looks around the shuttle and crawls under the control panel so no one hears or sees him. Even though he is quite loud and bulging out from under the control panel.

Astro Jim clicks the red button he was trained to press.

“It’s just that I feel a little guilty out here. I am pretty sure I agreed to be an astronaut just because I went through all of the steps.

One day I am an upper level scientist working in the lab and I get the opportunity to be trained by NASA, what scientist wouldn’t want that?  I would be a dick to say no.

Only now I am afraid and isolated in space I am starting to realize that maybe someone else would enjoy this more.

I’m a steak and eggs, simple scientist from Tucson, Arizona. I don’t need the unknown to be amazed. I just need my wife Darlene and my son Junior. Heck, I’d even add that ol’ smelly Chihuahua of ours. I just hope I make them proud. That’s all I think anyone should ever do. Make their family proud.”

Just then, Astro Jim’s entire consol begins to light up. It’s a beautiful glow, not exactly blue but that’s the best way he can register it. The glow was growing bigger and more fantastic just outside his window.

Astro Jim looked at his monitors and sees the rest of the crew messing around in the kitchen making space burritos. He doesn’t feel the need to radio them.

Astro Jim stares at the Unknown Glow and feels that he shouldn’t be recording it. He got the feeling that if he recorded his findings, it wouldn’t be as unique. He felt that he should only be feeling it. Perhaps Astro Jim was the one who was supposed to experience The Unkown Glow on that entire Shuttle 602 all along?

After a few more seconds of heavenly glow, Astro Jim had to say something.

“I just want to say on record. That life itself is better than The Unkown It’s important to recognize what’s in front of you, rather than what’s out there.”

Astro Jim didn’t really know what that exact moment meant, he sort of felt like he was supposed to say something, anything. So that’s what he said. And just as he said it, the heavenly glow was gone. Nothing was left but Jim and the recorder.

Only he didn’t record the message into the control panel last-words device like he thought. No, Astro Jim recorded his sentiment to Houston Port radio. Had he known that all along? Fortunately a lower intern who was hired to work the night shift, wrote down Astro Jim’s words and put them in a desk because at this point, everyone had grown tired of Astro Jim’s voice.

(3 minutes later)

Shuttle 602 was blown to pieces by an unknown glow.

(30 Years Later)

NASA decided to clear the Houston Port unit for lack of funding and discovery. The desk was offered to the lead janitor on call and he gladly took it.

The lead janitor took it home and quickly realized it wouldn’t fit in his studio apartment. So he decided to list it on Ebay. It sold for a modest amount of money to an eager buyer.

The buyer was excited when his “Official NASA High Level Desk” arrived on the front porch. He knew exactly what it was when he saw it online. It took two deliverymen to take it out of the truck and drop it on the front steps of:

 “Junior Goldman 157 Echo Creek, Tucson AZ”

Junior Goldman set the desk up near the window where he could get proper sunlight and feng shui. Junior Goldman wasn’t an astronaut like his dad, but he enjoyed space.

Curiosity ran in the Goldman family, so Junior explored every crease to the desk to see if any etchings or info from his father’s time at Houston Port were still left in the over sized desk.

After kicking away some old pencils and a red NASA visitor’s button, Junior snagged a corner of something in the way back of the drawer, the area where things get lost and no one remembers, or cares if they find it.

Junior pulled out the crumpled piece of paper that was stuck between the drawers. It was his father’s last words scribbled down by an intern. It’s like Junior had known it was there the whole time. He framed the note and let it sit in the glow of the sun for years

NASA never figured out the Unknown Glow that took the life of Astro Jim and the crew. Mainly because after that phenomenon, may of the entry to mid-level employees quit their jobs to spend more time with their families. The case was quickly closed and never opened. Perhaps the exploration and words of one man- meant the world to another?

Life Cycle

As you may have noticed from scrolling through the pages of this here website, I don’t exactly have consistency with the type of content that I post. If I was still a “professional” blog writer, my editor and SEO marketing manager would tell me to fix that so I can maintain my minimum wage job status while struggling through cancer recovery..(breathe).

Sorry- did I get off on a tangent?

Anyway, happy to report that I no longer take orders from a blog manager, influencer, SEO commander, or whatever-the-hell they are calling themselves. Don’t get me wrong, there jobs aren’t easy, but that life isn’t for me. (He said while he continued to write his personal blog for free).

Look, I didn’t really plan on posting that much on here. But my ego got super boosted when I saw that a lot of people seemed to have been responding to what I post. So I did what any good American would do and decided to feed me ego and get ta writin’ sum more.

Side note: In my opinion, ego isn’t bad. It’s just the way you execute it…Kanye, A-Rod, and (probably) Leonardo DiCaprio would say it’s confidence and not ego that drives them. Personally, I think confidence is ego with Ray Ban sunglasses on. Neither are bad, but too much of the other will probably leave you crying in the shower…or as I call it “Tuesday.”

Man, did I get off topic. Bare with me, kinda free flowing all of this because I have been so backed up with words for so long…(ahem).

Life: what is it? why are we here? And what is better than a good turkey sandwich?

I ask these important questions because my good friends at Facebook like to have “memories” and that is what sparked this post..

I don’t have to tell you that life is weird and can’t be explained by anyone. If someone tells you they have the secret to life- ask them how much it costs and then report them to the Better Business Bureau.

Heres how Facebook wanted to let me know that life’s content isn’t consistent:

4 Years ago: I was in chemo therapy at Sloan Kettering receiving treatment and being delivered amazing banana bread (s/o to Sofiya Alexandra) totally fogged and detached. Although I think I did some writing..

8 years ago: I was working in Los Angeles and performing at iO West theatre (RIP). Our group “First World Problems” was on a long run of successful shows, depending on who you ask.

9 Years ago today, I got in my car and moved to Los Angeles. Slept on couches (s/o to Phil Tipping) until I landed in a sweet house in Eagle Rock, CA on an air mattress that had just sprung a leak…I then called my Mom to tell her how well I was doing.

10 years ago today: I boasted about making a great Turkey Sandwich.

Your biggest Influencer you follow on Instagram doesn’t need to tell you that life has ups and downs. I just told you that, so like, don’t read their post..just scroll past it; please keep reading this one though because I promise I am almost done.

(clears throat and straightens clip on tie)

I will never forget an episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine when Detective Jake Perelta (Andy Samberg) misses out on a date with Lt. Amy Santiago ( Melissa Fumero) to a well respected and super-star colleague: Detective Dave Majors (Garret Dillahunt).

SPOILER ALERT!

The episode ends with Amy not having a great time with Dave on a date they had, mostly because she had eyes for someone else in the precinct… Jake runs into him and says “you must be pretty bummed you two didn’t hit it off.”

Dave simply replies with: “Not really, I can’t wait to see what happens to me next” and walks off.

THAT is the line that I always remember when the world is upside-down because to Dave Majors, there was no up or down..there just was- and he couldn’t wait to see what life is.

I’m going to post this on Facebook so I get a memory of memories that I shared because I want to remember how happy I am today. (S/O to my amazing wife Jade and our “sweet pea”).

 

*S/O to the writers of Season 2 Epsisode 21

 

Hello Again!

First off, I want to thank all of you who have said kind words over the past few years. I can happily say that I have recovered well and I am successfully cancer free.

What have I been up to, you ask in your head?

Well, a lot actually- but I won’t bore you with all the details and then try to wrap it up in some witty way. The point is. I am doing great. Oh! I will tell you that I have moved to NJ and have an absolutely, smart and beautiful daughter.

What’s her name, you ask in your head?

I can’t tell you. Why? (you say out loud because now you’re getting annoyed). Well, if you’ve noticed, Google has taken over the world and you can look up anything at anytime. Don’t believe me? Google any two words and you’ll find something helpful and also disgusting.

First two words that popped into my head: Mustard Party.

I don’t feel like Googling “Mustard Party” because, my point is- EVERYTHING IS ONLINE! I don’t want my daughter’s life out their on the cyber nets for eyeballs to read. She can’t even crawl yet and I don’t want her pictures or name online to haunt her later in life because we all have embarrassing child photos, even if our parents only meant the best. If she chooses to make a Youtube account (owned by Google) later in life then she can. As long as it’s age appropriate material.

So, you may be asking yourself internally- “Why the hell is Mark writing this.”

Well, for a few reasons. Since having a daughter and now having a family of my own. I have been getting like, super eager to create.

I mean..I created LIFE what else can I do! (is what I say to myself at night in my head).

So I just wanted to say “hello” and “thank you” to all of the followers and subscribers out there. In future, I will be posting casual content for easy reading, music that I have written or want to share, and maybe a doodle or two.

I hope you’re all doing well, safe, and happy. I look forward to growing with you all.

(He’s right, that wasn’t witty at all) you say in your head.