Loose Leaf Tea

I really like loose leaf tea.
I tried ball infusers, but they were a pain.
I tried clamp infusers, but they are sloppy.
Now I use twist-top bucket infusers. They are great.
Dump the tea in, not as much of a mess.
And I can put more in there, because I use a really large mug for tea.
My instinct is to be annoyed at having wasted my money on the other infusers.
Instead, I will treasure the process of experimentation and exploration.
Learning what works well, and what doesn’t.
The journey has its price, but it has its lessons.

Burning out

Every month, the Klansmen went out to the woods, parked their pickup trucks, got into their robes, and had their cross burning ceremonies.
As usual, nobody stood guard over the trucks.
I went from truck to truck, photographing license plates and texting them to the sheriff.
He looked up addresses in the database.
All over town, houses and businesses caught fire.
Leave it to the firemen to know how to cover their tracks.
The ones who were insured, Ted the Insurance Guy would delay their claims.
I got in my car and drove back to town, smelling smoke and redemption.

In the loop

Long ago, we’d go to The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.
I loved the Mathematics Exhibit, which demonstrated all kinds of principles of mathematics.
One of the displays had a large Moebius strip, and a red arrow ran along the twisted loop to demonstrate that the geometric construct had only one side.
“Let me demonstrate with my belt,” said a man. He took off his belt and gave it a twist. “See? It’s a Moebius strip.”
It was when he pulled down his pants that my parents realized he wasn’t a volunteer, and they shouted for museum security.

Disaster relief

After the storm passed and we went back to the flooded remains of our homes, the mayor thanked municipal work crews and asked the governor to declare a disaster for federal relief dollars
“Why didn’t the storm drains work?” people asked.
It turned out that the contractor was the mayor’s cousin, who wasted the inflated budget on “planning” instead of actually clearing the drains and sewers.
So, when the mayor and his cousin went out to their favorite strip club, I poisoned their drinks.
You’ll find their bodies in the sewers.
If you ever bother to clear them, of course.

Stan loves the animals

After the hurricane, the community came together to clean up and rebuild.
Donations of food, clothing, and supplies came pouring in.
It took a while to get the logistics going.
For example, Stan over at the local pet shop had been wiped out, but he let folks buy bags of food to donate to the rescue shelter and folks in need.
“When the supplier comes, I’ll deliver them.”
The donations came pouring in.
Three weeks later, when the shelter said they’d never received anything from Stan, folks went looking for answers.
Stan had skipped town, never to be seen again.

Doctor Odd’s cold pizza

Doctor Odd really liked cold pizza.
The problem was, he’d order a pizza, let it go cold, and he wouldn’t want pizza anymore.
Or, he’d want a pizza, but the toppings weren’t what he wanted anymore.
He’d have a cold pepperoni pizza, and he’d now want sausage.
So, he’d fire up his time machine, make the order the day before, and he’d come back to the right cold pizza in the fridge.
He’d also use the time machine to check out cute child stars on their eighteenth birthdays.
But he mostly used it for the cold pizza and starting wars.

Smiling Wide

She has steel teeth.
Stainless steel. Polished and shiny.
She smiles wide, shows them off.
“I can’t afford Gold,” she says. “But these are nice.”
Rings on every finger, heavy things.
Rings on every finger and toe.
Stones of every color. Or were they glass?
“They’re precious to me,” she says.
Shine a light, the colors sparkle.
She takes them off, one at a time, and cleans them.
Puts them back on, reciting a poem to remember the order.
She takes out her teeth and cleans them.
Puts them back in, smiling wide again.
I find myself smiling wide too.

Jars of Joy

I keep my joy in mason jars.
That satisfying click lets me know that it’s sealed tight.
To keep it fresh. To keep it for myself.
Every bit of joy I had, I put it in a jar.
Every bit of joy I’d take, I put it in a jar.
Shelves of them.
I dust them off now and then.
One day, I dropped a jar.
And it shattered on the floor.
It was empty. All of the jars were empty.
Because for all the joy I’d taken.
I’d never given any, and it left me with none at all.

Thoughts and Prayers

Thoughts and prayers.
People say that phrase all the time.
Especially when there’s nothing you think you can do.
Or, I suppose, practically do. Without inconveniencing yourself too much.
Keep Florida in your thoughts and prayers, they say.
What if I think that Florida looks like a giant dong?
Does that count?
Because, seriously, look at it. Giant dong.
You can’t unthink that.
Go ahead. Try to.
You can’t.
You’re been thinking that since you were three.
Funny then, funny now.
As for prayers, pray all you want… but you’ll never stop thinking that Florida looks like a giant dong.

The Tragedy

No, they were not all heroes.
They were not all innocent victims.
Some beat their wives. Others neglected their children.
Or left elderly parents to rot in nursing homes.
A lot cheated on their taxes. And defrauded their customers.
I mean, Cantor Fitzerald. That’s what they do for a living. Right?
One raped his secretary, then refused to pay for her abortion.
Didn’t matter. He, the secretary, and the baby all died that day.
No, they were not all heroes. Or innocent.
The real tragedy is that so many had to die along with the few that truly deserved it.