Michael Talerio

Recent Stories

Published: Oct 09, 2020

Elephant in the Room

Snippets hung around in his mind. He wasn't practicing everyday like he should; instead struggling to keep the pace. Flurries of production kept him just ahead of the scheduled demands. In a way Michael was playing the odds even if history said this was the worst thing he could do. He could not help himself.

He sat, fingers hovering over the keyboard, undecided what he wanted to say, but quite certain he wanted to say something. He felt sure that he needed to have something to say.

Published: Sep 30, 2020

A Night at the Arcade

"Hey Cara," he said.

She was perched on a bar stool in front of a custom video game cabinet, swaying as she worked the controls.

"Hey, aren't you Cara?"

She was focused on the screen, blonde bangs hovering over her eyes. Music thumped and the air was hot.

Michael leaned in on her right side, hoping she might look over. "Can you hear me?"

The woman remained aloof.

Published: Sep 29, 2020

Betting Man

Michael liked to play the stock market. He bought and sold stocks like they were baseball cards, snapping up a hot item and flushing out old news. He consistently lost money, because he was often behind the trend. A moment or two in the current economy of instant trades and pre-written news was more than enough to mean all your bets would lose. But he traded everyday for the rush of the gamble, and it was far more accepted than going to the casino.

Recently he started looking at the forex market because it was faster and cheaper. The highs and lows were everyday by the hour. He could win (or lose) money faster. What was this addiction? He always thought he would win but he never did. Perhaps if he could find his way to that understanding, then he could quit. But Michael only saw the chance for winning, and winning big. He watched the chart plot the course of the trade and he was gaining money: $10, 20, 40. He blinked and it was back to a $10 gain briefly before going negative. At -$87 he closed it out and poured himself a bourbon, no rocks.

Published: Sep 27, 2020

Summer Sprinkler

Every morning he walked the dog, named Buck. This was not his dog but the one from the downstairs neighbor. When the neighbor was away on business, which was frequently, Michael took care of Buck. Over time they bonded and Michael took him for a morning walk. The weather did not matter, and it was quite varied throughout the year: snow and ice in the winter through to heat and humidity in the summer. Fall was Michael's favorite season, especially in early in the day when the air smelled crisp and refreshed his mood.

A small condo building a few blocks away had an automatic sprinkler system to water the vegetation set to run each day around six a.m. Buck knew this; Michael knew this. Each day they wrestled over the path to the building and the timing. The dog wanted so badly to run through the water and play, while Michael tried his best to avoid the headache. Today was the day, the first day sprinkler did not run, marking the movement into fall. The two of them stood there, in front of the building. Buck repeatedly sniffing the ground, and Michael thinking about the time that had past.