The Told Short Tales of The Kaman



See the grizzly in the wooded hills high above Los Angeles. See it hairy and boss and as alive as it has ever been. Then see that it isn’t a grizzly. See that it is Chris Kaman. These are The Told Short Tales of The Kaman.


The Kaman is hungry but he is not weak. He stands in the middle of the “O” of the Hollywood sign, the fading sun is giving the purple clouds overhead pink edges, the blue beyond them mellow. He bellows a roar that shakes the gravel and stone that rest below him. Somewhere a family with three Audis and a son that asks for Express for Men gift cards who still wears chokers ducks beneath a doorway because they think it’s an earthquake.

“The bear is here,” he whispers. He bites into the letter.

The Kaman is proud and strong and tall. He has not seen Los Angeles in several winters. Now, the City of Angels beckons to him once more. They need help. They need a savior. They need The Kaman.


He is at the beach. The waves rub his tired feet. His Red Wings lay in the sand behind him, his khaki shorts faded and frayed up to his mid thigh. The sleeveless yellow and purple flannel is unbuttoned, chest hair billowing out like a cloud. Off at the horizon line he sees the last bit of orange sun hanging on. He shuts his eyes.

“This city is mine.”

He takes off the flannel and runs in to meet the coming wave. He dives and swims some 50 yards out, then he goes under. He moves slowly below the waves, eyes open, belly wanting. A marlin swims by. With his right hand he grabs it by the snout. He shoots up to the surface. When he reaches air he hurls the marlin to the beach. It lands, bill poking into the sand, dead.


He is on the shore now, a fire lighting his tired face, the marlin on a stick twirling over the top of the flames. His head is full of thoughts and dreams of a future that is better than his past. The breeze off the ocean comes in swiftly and runs through his beard and he looks up to the stars like they’ll talk to him but they don’t. One shoots across the black and he thinks about the devil town he came from.

“This is where I am now. This is where I will stay.”

The fire is sucked up by the night and now only a few coals glow orange in the pit. He rises and makes his way back down to where the sea comes and goes. The water catches his feet again, the Pacific shoreline whispering sweet everythings in his ear, the waves pounding out some Willie Nelson-like braided joint-ish fog of a tune about angels being close to the ground. Tears spill and he adds some salt to the ocean.

If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
And I patched up your broken wing
And hung around a while
Tried to keep your spirits up
And your fever down
I knew someday that you would fly away
For love’s the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground
Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound
I’d rather see you up
Than see you down
Leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground

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