Wise

In the old days, you hiked for days to reach the mountain, and climbed it to reach The Wise Man’s hut.
Now, you can ride the 7 bus from Downtown, which takes you to the Visitor Center, where you can buy a daypass for the cable car, shop at the gift shop, or dine at one of three restaurants.
The Wise Man’s Casino and Ski Resort, managed by Hilton, hosts several self-help seminars a day, and runs the best rollercoasters in the world.
I found The Wise Man and asked him for advice.
“Try the veal,” he said. “It’s great.”

Cable box

A warning message appeared on my television.
Comcast detected an old cable box, so I ordered new equipment.
When it arrived, I emptied the boxes, laid out the components, and read the instructions.
Then I uninstalled the old equipment and installed the new.
It took a while to work through all of the menus and settings, but after an hour, it was all ready.
The final step was to pack up the old equipment and ship it back to Comcast.
But by then, the cats were sleeping in the boxes.
I’ll pack it all up and ship it next week.

Soap bubble

I’ve bought a lot of cat toys over the years.
They were all a waste of money.
One of the silliest was a catnip-infused soap water to make bubbles with.
Instead of the cats catching the scent of the bubbles and chasing them, they’d just sit there and ignore the bubbles.
Or, I’d blow the bubbles into the cat’s face, and they’d run from the annoying wet onslaught on their whiskers.
“What’s wrong with you idiots?” I’d groan at the cats.
If the cats could talk, they’d ask the same of me, paying for this soapy water instead of treats.

Lighthouse keeper

At low tide, the lighthouse keeper could walk from the lighthouse to the shore in order to pick up supplies. At high tide, the lighthouse was completely isolated from the shore.
Insulated cables carried power to the spotlight and the lighthouse keeper’s cabin.
The toilet emptied directly into the sea.
When he was drunk, the lighthouse keeper enjoyed climbing up the stairs to the spotlight and pissing over the rail into the sea.
This wasn’t a problem when the skies were clear and the winds were calm. However, when there was a storm, he always regretted pissing into the wind.

An hour

Our baby. Our baby is coming.
Our baby is here.
Our baby was born without kidneys.
She lived for an hour.
In that hour, we held her. We called her beautiful.
We prayed. We prayed a lot.
We had her baptized. A splash of water by the priest.
And we held her some more, and told her that we loved her.
Then, before we realized it, she was dead.
We held her for a while longer, said our goodbyes, and the nurses took her away.
How long, I don’t know.
Should she never have born?
Just scraped away?
And gone?

Simpsons

The Simpsons premiered while I was in college.
We’d watch the episodes together in groups.
I watched it for a few seasons.
Then, I kinda lost track of the show.
There’s video tape, DVD, Blu-Ray, and online collections, but I never bought any of them.
Years later, our cable provider offered free on-demand streaming of some shows.
Well, it’s free with the cable subscription.
Among the crappy shows these days, there it is: The Simpsons.
After all these years, it’s still going.
I connect my laptop to the television and start the treadmill.
Who says you can never go back?

Sand Castle

Neddy built a little sandcastle.
He filled his bucket with wet sand, turned it over, and lifted up the bucket.
He was very proud of his simple sandcastle.
So, he built another.
This sandcastle housed the enemy of the first sandcastle.
But he was the biggest enemy of all.
He threw rocks at the first sandcastle. And then the second sandcastle.
Both of the sandcastles were damaged.
Neddy laughed.
But then, a rock hit Neddy.
“Ouch!” he said.
Then another. And another.
Rocks hit Neddy from all directions.
Neddy fell apart into a pile of sand.
The two castles rejoiced.

Don’t want to deal

I don’t want to deal with anything today.
I didn’t want to deal with anything yesterday.
Or the day before.
But, for some whatever reason, I’m getting up.
I’m going through the motions.
I’m making this cup of coffee.
And drinking it.
Wash up, get dressed, go out to the truck.
Drive to work and go in the building.
Push the elevator button.
Walk out and down the hall.
Into my office.
Slide the door shut.
Dock the laptop and sign in.
This voice track won’t record itself.
So, I put on Ambient Sleeping Pill.
And close my eyes.
Whatever.

Town Square

Old Gertie liked to sit by the old wishing well in the town square.
She liked to imagine her great-grandfather digging the well and building the frame and cover.
But the truth is, her great-grandfather never left Sweden. It was her grandfather who came to this country.
And her didn’t dig the well or do anything to help build it.
He was in jail for drunken and lewd behavior while Chinese laborers finished it.
He knocked up a hooker, who had fraternal twins: a boy and a girl.
Her parents.
I guess its better she didn’t know the awful truth.

Bitterness

It’s hard not to be bitter about the horrible failures and stress during my time at the TV station.
Eighteen years later, I still feel so much anger and resentment, it clouds any good memories.
Even the rare, few good people trigger the bitterness and rage.
So, I’ve tried to keep my distance, and I keep the TV off, or close the browser windows.
I keep to myself, or escape into places where nothing matters.
But like any poison, it never truly goes away.
Imagining myself surrounded by vipers, they offer to suck it out, digging their fangs in deeper.