Writer | Journalist | Storyteller

David Todd McCarty


Hunting For Gold


When I close my eyes, I no longer have visions of deer picking their way through the trees, and the voices in my head have completely stopped, but every now and then I believe I can still catch the faint scent of a mesquite campfire off in the distance. It’s been a week now since I’ve been home, and I continue to be haunted by the memories of my time on a ranch in Sonora, Texas. It’s been a week now since I’ve been home, and I continue to be haunted by the memories of my time on a ranch in...

Wasting Time


It’s Saturday morning and I’ve come downstairs to find my wife Jane sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee and reading a magazine.  I’ve been upstairs showering, dressing, and generally trying to decide how I want to waste my time today. That’s what Jane calls it. Wasting time.  I’m okay with that.  I don’t have a problem wasting time.  In fact, a large part of my days off are spent contemplating how to waste as much of it as possible.  I’m good at it. Jane does...

Power tools


Up until quite recently, my entire tool collection consisted of a few mismatched screwdrivers, a circular saw my mother gave me, a power drill my wife bought me, and various tools we had given Ricky, my seven year-old step-son, for Christmas.  Ricky’s tools weren’t even toys, they were real and I had actually chosen them with the idea that I might someday need to borrow them.  The old bowling-ball-bag-gift theory.  They included a hammer, a tape measure, and a little patch of...

Looking For bears


“We’re going to the dump,” Jane announced. I was lying on the sofa of a cabin in the Adirondacks.  We were on vacation and I had purposely traveled thousands of miles away from home just so I wouldn’t have to do anything remotely like work.  This sounded like work. I looked up at her and asked, “Why are we going to the dump?” “To see the bears,” she said. They called it “the Camp.”  After seeing it for the first time, I had visions of Merryl Streep and Robert Redford in East Africa...

I’m Not From Here


Originally published in New Jersey Monthly Along the shores of Tuscany grow wild, salty shrubs that sailors, long ago, claimed to be able to smell long before they could actually see land.  It was this distant scent that alerted them that home was near. Although I have never spent time at sea, I can appreciate the sailors’ reaction.  I too live on the shores of the ocean and associate home with its scent. I live along the tidal marshes of southern New Jersey in the village of Goshen...

Chickens In the brothel


Jane wanted chickens.  Live ones. “Four of them,” she told me matter-of-factly.  She thought about it some more then said, “No six.  Yes, six.  And red.” “Six red chickens,” I repeated, not looking up.  We were having lunch outside, as it was an unseasonably warm day.  I was trying to decide what I wanted to eat knowing full well that I would order the same thing I always did.  I like to think that I want something new; that...

A Brief History of Violence


I’m the guy no one sees. An invisible man in a city of millions. Oh, it’s not hard to be invisible in the city—not like back home in Calumet, Oklahoma where we had a whopping 553 people in the whole town—well, until I left, and then I guess it was 552. Haven’t been back in years, so who knows how many people live there now. Not enough I can tell you that. Or maybe far too many. It’s hard to know sometimes. Often times I don’t even meet the owners. The maid lets me in, shows me where the piano...

They Go Flat


“They go flat,” she said. “What goes flat?” I asked. “The cats,” she said and motioned to the old black cat laying on its side on the deck. She sucked on the crab leg she was pointing with and continued, “They go flat in the summer.” I looked over at the cat and it did kind of look flat. Like someone had a let the air out of it. “Yup,” she said, “Darndest thing. We were on the back deck of her house, eating crabs. The table was covered in newspaper. A few dozen blue claw crabs, smothered in old...

Bar Talk


“So she looked at it and said, ‘What the fuck is that supposed to be?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, this was your idea,’” said Dave. The guys laughed. Dave, Frank and Carl sat together at Fred’s on a Wednesday afternoon. They’d known each other since grade school. Sometimes they met for lunch and even though it was the middle of July, Fred’s was cool and dark. Frank had always complained that it was like a cave but in the summer when you worked outside all day, it could be a welcome relief. The...

Going to Church


Back before the accident we’d always go surfing on Sunday mornings. He called it going to church. “Come on, let’s go to church,” he’d say. “I’ll call you in the morning. We don’t want to be late.” Then he’d laugh and slap his knee like he hadn’t said that a thousand times before. He was big knee slapper. I can still see him, riding along in the passenger seat of my old pickup, drinking a Red Stripe, the wind in his hair, the wrinkles in his face from years in the sun even more pronounced when...

Writer | Journalist | Storyteller


Recent Posts