The sadness spreads to everyone.
We all tread water in a pool of tears.
Sometimes, we splash each other for fun. Make the best of it.
Other times, we splash in frustration. Or rage.
And then there’s the ones who will pull you under with them.
Trying to scream under the water, thrashing and kicking.
Into the dark.
We build a raft out of the drowned
Lashing them together with their clothes
And we paddle for the shore.
But we never see land.
Only more people treading water, splashing, and thrashing.
It goes on and on and on
I go to bed early, my wife goes to bed late.
While I sleep, she watches TV, reads, and lets the cats go out and play.
Now and then, a neighbor cat comes by, and she feeds the cat.
Sometimes, it’s a friendly cat, and it comes inside to get warm.
Recently, an orange cat with a very fluffy tail has come by to visit.
I woke up at three in the morning and instead of our cats, I saw him, sniffing around on the bed.
“Hi, Fluffy,” I said.
He meowed, and scampered off.
So much better than dreams.
After years of failing to succeed in business, with women, or even to build proper friendships, I decided to see an image consultant to try and change my luck.
After just one session, he said he had me all figured out. It was my body language, he said – “It’s just far too words – your voice says one thing but your body is all over the place”.
This, he said, was the root cause of my problem – and, with practice, I could fix it.
I protested, but he was having none of it.
That’s Tourette’s for you. Fuckwit!
“Any last thoughts?” I asked, then as he opened his mouth to speak, I gave him a hard stare, “Don’t make it too wordy, I haven’t got all day!”
He looked deflated, understandable really. Most of us would like to leave this world with something worthwhile quoting; but death tends to surprise us, making it tricky to prepare a fitting last utterance.
As for this guy, he knew exactly when his time was up, but having me telling him to get a move on certainly wouldn’t help his mood.
Like all of them, his last words would only be terrified screams.
Having Kissed the Stone — Wordy O’Brien had nearly graduated from Trinity College. Of course on one there called him that. He got that moniker when he ran with Mike Sullivan’s Dusters. T’was the blarney that caused his timely exit from Trinity. One might say pillow talk with the Chancellor’s daughter put the flame of fee to his feet. I think it t’was the result of a savage beating leveled during a school wide debate with the Marquis of Ravensguard. Pissing off semi-royalty while immensely satisfying is always costly in the end. Wordy was wordy cus his words had keep him from the multiple nooses.
Why Kill a Mockingbird?
He sings like a bird, a loud bird, a bird on a branch in public, and because he is singing things that someone does not want to be heard by all those around, that someone thinks that he is being mocked, which is only marginally true: the bird cares not the content of his song, he only sings what he sees, what he discovers, what he roots out of the dirt at the base of every tree. Like any mockingbird, he repeats the songs that other birds have sung. Birds do not trumpet truth filtered by discretion, they just sing.
Politics Leads to Drink
Mark Twain said: “I am a political mugwump. My mug is on one side of the fence and my wump is on the other.”
The Queen of Hearts discovered an effective way of separating mugs from wumps, but that left a very wide aisle in parliament, with no possibility of a meeting ground between the two ruling parties (the Red Rose Party and the White Rose Party) and that inevitably led to the War of the Roses.
As for me, I tend to sit my wump down in a chair, put of mug of porter on the table, and drink.
Billbert met Linoliumanda for lunch and could tell from her dark expression all had not gone well.
She frowned even deeper opening her lunch bag. “Can you believe Mr. Ziegler said my Harry Potter report was too wordy? It was an oral report. How can an oral report be too wordy?”
Billbert shrugged. “I don’t know. How did it compare in length to the other reports?”
“Other reports?” Linoliumanda asked. “There weren’t any others. I took the whole class time.”
Billbert bit the side of his cheek and nodded his head. “Yeah. I can’t see how he’d call that wordy.”
Remember that old Twilight Zone episode where the Talking Tina doll says all kinds of scary things?
Well, my friend Tina talks a lot and she says all kinds of scary things, too.
I used to joke that they wrote that episode based on Tina.
But that’s absurd. That show was long before Tina was born.
Unless Tina is actually from the Twilight Zone, and she can travel in time and space.
Why is it a doll in the show?
Because back then, a person saying those things would have been too scary.
So they wrote her as a doll.
I got stuck with booth babe duty at the conference.
Me. A fat, lazy introverted slob.
A booth babe.
So, I put a jellybean in a clear bottle and asked people to guess the number of jellybeans in the bottle.
People thought it was a trick question.
“One?” some asked.
“Absolutely,” I said, putting down the bottle. “We provide tools and interfaces that take the guesswork out of webhosting and reselling. No tricks, just simple and straightforward menus and wizards to make your job simple and easy.”
My partner gives a thumbs up and smiles.
Another wallet stolen! Sweet!
My mother is not well. She is dying.
She doesn’t want to see me.
And my father agrees with her.
My brother, his wife, and their daughter won’t go.
They live far away, not that they’d go if they lived in the same city.
Or next door, not that they would do that.
My aunt, the parasite, won’t go.
She stole everything she could from their mother, my grandmother, and there’s some things she just don’t do.
And then there’s me.
Sitting here. Trying not to think about it.
Or them. Or me.
Or what I’ve done.
And I wait.
I love West Coast cities.
San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle all have walkable places to find a quick bite to eat, or enjoy the good weather, or just lay back and let the day go by.
The problem with these places is that they’re hilly, with lots of steep inclines and declines.
I find it hard to maintain my balance going up or down.
Which is why it was so strange when I stepped wrong on First Street in Seattle, a totally flat sidewalk.
I earned the red badges of courage, every scrape and bruise from my fall proudly displayed.
I miss you.
I see that in the corner of my screen, where the messenger window peeks out from behind the mail client.
I drag my fingers across the trackpad and tap.
It’s just the message I last sent to her.
And she hasn’t responded.
For days, weeks, months she doesn’t respond.
And then, maybe a hi. Or hello. Or a how are you.
I try to respond, and I say all the things, and ask her…
How are you?
But she doesn’t respond.
And we’re back to silence. And the pain.
And the long, sad wait for something more.
Bobby Smith and his brother Buddy listened to the radio as the draft official called out the lottery numbers.
They were twins, born ten minutes apart. Couldn’t tell one from the other.
Bobby born five minutes before midnight, Buddy five minutes after.
September 14th came first. Then, April 24th.
Buddy’s number, April 25th, didn’t come up until near the end.
Buddy offered to take Bobby’s place, but Bobby refused.
Buddy showed up at the indoctrination anyway, and he volunteered.
They trained together, they got shipped out together.
Buddy came home… or was it Bobby?
The war didn’t care.
Snow White woke up naked, sticky and sore under a pile of snoring dwarves.
Thank God I’m on the pill, she thought. Even if these little perverts spent more time in each other than me.
She crawled out of bed, showered, and tried on a robe.
Too small, she thought. So she wrapped herself in the drapes and washed her clothes.
Get dressed, grab some food, fill a bag with the gems they brought back from the mine, and hit the road before…
“Good morning,” mumbled a voice from the bed.
She’d try to wake up earlier tomorrow.