Sancho wiped his brow with a rag and looked over the numbers again.
Life was too good in the village, so The Panza Insurance Company wasn’t doing so well.
He thought about stirring things up: a few barn fires, some rocks in the road to throw people from horses.
But that would certainly damn his soul.
“GIANTS!” shouted an old voice. “We must fight the giants!”
Sancho looked out his window to see Don Quixote on his horse, charging at his neighbor’s windmill.
Sancho grinned. He could use this.
He headed out the door and climbed up on his donkey.
Throndar wasn’t the best or bravest warrior.
He was weak, but smart.
He worked on the battle strategy for the chieftain, and the Vikings spread across the continent, pillaging and colonizing.
He also was good at community design, architecture, and agriculture.
When he died, he was surprised to see a Valkyrie standing over him.
“Valhalla awaits,” she said.
Instead of the boisterous feasting and drinking, Throndar spent his eternity planning expansions to Valhalla, coordinating serving schedules, and coming up with hangover and stomachache remedies.
He sipped his flagon, and spread out more diagrams.
“This is Heaven,” he said, and smiled.
I made a spreadsheet to track my walks and weight loss.
At a glance, I can see how far I’ve walked, my weight loss rate, and when I should reach my goal weight.
The projected date slides around constantly, based on my average daily loss.
Doctors say that measuring your weight daily is not good for you, because the variations will drive you mad.
But I’m already mad, so the variations make for pretty numbers and charts.
They dance and leap and twist in the air around me.
I try to dance with them.
And fall off of the treadmill.
Did something wrong? Feeling real dirty about it?
Well, no matter how hard you scrub, boy, you can’t just wash away your sins.
You’re going to need soap for that.
Plenty of soap, plenty of water. Nice hot water.
Be sure to get behind your ears. Don’t want to leave any sin back there.
It’ll grow on you, like mold.
Between your fingers and toes is another place people forget.
Under the fingernails, and up your buttcrack, too.
What? You ran out of hot water?
Didn’t leave any for the rest of us?
Son, that’s the worst sin of all.
Everything I write is real.
All I have to do is see the real world.
The hard part is, people keep trying to build a world in front of it.
Block out the truth. Block out beauty.
And replace it with the safe, the fear, and the simple.
I try to tear all that down, or peek through the cracks and the gaps.
Look around corners, or under rugs.
Turn around suddenly, in case it’s hiding behind my back.
And there it is. The real.
I smile and reach for a pen… a pencil… a writing pad.
And capture it.
You’re here to rescue me?
No way. I was born here. And I’ll die here.
Come Hell or high water, I’m staying.
Which is worse? Hell or high water?
Hell is forever.
At least high water drains.
Now that I think of it, if there were high water, I’d probably leave.
No sense in drowning and ending up in Hell, right?
Besides, if it’s flooding here, then I’d assume that it’s flooding even worse in Hell.
So, it’s not really Hell or high water.
It’s Hell and high water.
Got any dry matches in that boat?
I need a smoke.
In the age of online travel websites like orbitz and Priceline, you’d think that there’d be no room for budget travel agencies anymore.
But with my new RioTourism agency, cater to the cheapest of the cheap.
You get a bus ticket, bag of rocks to throw, and a sign that protests whatever grudge you’ve got that keeps you from admitting that you are responsible for the failure of a life you have.
For a few bucks more, you get matches and a can of gasoline.
Where do we profit?
From ratting you out to the cops when the riots begin.