T.L. Messegge

‘Squandered on the Young’ By T.L. Messegee

Saturday, May 25th, 2013
Todd Messegee

Todd Messegee is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College.

No one would be so mad as to cut off their own thumb, not even him, not even Marco. Alone on that island that his grandfather had bought nearly a century ago, Marco did as he pleased. The rest of the family had died or moved away. As the last man standing, Marco was happily collecting dust among his dozens of buildings jam-packed with junk, antiques and cast offs, just like him. His only human contact was the young man, Davy, who would come across the bay in his little powerboat bringing groceries. It was from Davy – and bits of evidence found after the fact – that we were able to piece together this account.

Marco hardly spoke a word to anyone when he’d come ashore, and wouldn’t even return a wave to those he knew in town. He was happiest alone on his island. Still, when Marco accidentally mangled his thumb with a monstrous drill press, his screams of pain were heard by no one but his cats. As we all know, cats couldn’t care less if you cut off your head, let alone your thumb.

So Marco stood there, looking down at the mangled bit of meat where his thumb had been and apparently he calculated how long it would take for him to get the boat ready, then motor across the bay and then make his way by taxi to the hospital. He must have figured that the loss of blood and expenditure of energy would have made the journey too perilous, so in his own way, he took care of it. Suffice to say, he stopped the bleeding, but the thumb was gone. (more…)

‘The Courage to Face the Sea’ by guest author T.L. Messegge

Sunday, April 14th, 2013
Todd Messegee

Todd Messegee

They should have been her last pictures. The weather was perfect. The light was perfect. Everything seemed right. She was standing among the gigantic, smooth rocks just above the shoreline, looking like a mermaid that had sprouted legs. I hadn’t asked her to take off her clothes. That was her idea. With the springtime sun shining on her pale winter-whitened skin, I would have been a fool to stop clicking the shutter. So I kept at it like a greedy voyeur.

We had just met a few days before. She had been standing next to me in my drawing class crafting renderings of the model that made my sketchy efforts look like stick figures. She had turned to me and asked to borrow my pencil sharpener. When she handed it back, she extended her hand and said, “Arianna.”

It was that very weekend when we had our one and only date. I took her to lunch, to a place that didn’t look like much, but made great tacos. While sitting there near the shore we talked about the old 35mm camera that I had recently acquired at a yard sale. I had worn it around my neck like a medal won in a war. (more…)