One Week Away.

I’d had an idea swimming in my head for over a year about a man who a watch could be set by, comedically so. That he is up at 6:33 every morning, into the shower four-and-a-half minutes later taking no more than a six minute and no less than a seven minute shower, whilst afterward spending thirty-seven seconds brushing his teeth, twenty seconds combing his hair, ten seconds on deodorant (each arm, a total of twenty-four seconds with a two second allowance to switch the deodorant from right to left hands, uncap and also recap and remove and replace from the shelf) intrigued me greatly.

The man who never got so far as to have a name, though I imagined it obnoxious, ending with a hard consanant, a last name like Bach or Rausch or Funk, would be the direct opposite of myself and quite difficult to take seriously. But, I would try to place myself inside him, in his voice and in his reasoning. Sadly, there was nothing of substance to pair with him — make him late for a meeting, drive him crazy in a sort of Falling Down scenario or something equaly terse for his psyche and see how he recovers felt bland.

Until this evening, when I stood for the train, and heard an unexpected voice behind me.

“Hey. Hey. HEY. Got a minute?”
Continue reading One Week Away.

An Autobiographical Moment.

I think I’m putting too much pressure on myself with this #write365 thing. I’m trying to form grandiose stories in my head, formulate amazing words, and disappointing myself when I come up with absolute crap. Possibly what I’m doing is trying to run before I can walk, and so, I’m going to scale it down a bit.

In truth, I think I’m somewhat sabotaging myself because I am absolutely terrified of success in any way, shape or form. Compliments seem to do more damage to me than insults, simply because I’m more used to insults than I am compliments. I’ve always sort of lived by the motto “Not everyone gets a happy ending” perfectly accepting of my place in life. I’m not an Alpha Male, I don’t take life by the horns and do whatever I can to avoid responsibility for just about anything.

But this? I’ve never had a fire like this in my life. I’ve never had a constant desire to do anything like I do writing with the possible exception of cooking. Problem is, I have little fires burning all over the place. Little ideas filed away burning slowly, needing a log here, a stoke there, a poke. And I want to attend to each of them at the same time, all the time.

Except, I can’t for obvious reasons, and I shouldn’t.

So, I’m going to write and write and write some more. And when I’m done writing, I’ll write again the next day. Some fires will grow larger, others will have to burn out, and I’ll hope I can refire the embers of what was into a roaring fire.

Trials and Tribulations.

He tapped his fingers on the keyboard, staring at the crack in the wall. “Aaaany day now,” he said, his voice fettered with sarcasm. “Any moment now, an idea is going to jump right out into these fingers, and I’ll write something. It won’t be good, but, it’ll be something.”

The sun had begun it’s rise, peeking through his back window and just barely catching his eye. He felt as though it was a death ray, piercing through to his soul, sending him crashing from his desk. He wiggled and shook, every last synapse firing, his eyes squeezing shut with tremendous might. He felt the presence of someone else then, and opened his left eye.

“Another seizure, Captain Stupid?” his Wife asked. The Writer sighed and stood up, avoiding the beams from the sun this time.

“No one understands the creative process,” the Writer sighed.

“Frying like bacon is creative?”

“In some circles, yes.”

“In your circle?”

He furrowed his brow and stuck his tongue out at her. She smiled smugly and walked out of the room. “I’m going to work now. Love you.”

“I’m not sure I still love you after that pithy remark, Madam,” he shouted after her. She shrugged and walked without turning around, opening the door to the garage and leaving.

He sat down in front of his computer again, the cursor blinking, tauntingly. “Screw you, cursor. At least you know what you have to do. Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Shut up.”

“Blink. Blink. Blink. Fuck you. Blink.” said the cursor.

“HEY!” he said, standing and pointing at the cursor.”

“Blink. Blink.” the cursor replied.

The writer pointed harder, and followed it up with a defeated “Gaahhhh!”

“Blink. Asshole. Blink.” the cursor taunted.

“Oh, fuck you, too.” The writer retorted, picking up the phone and dialing his wife. The phone rang twice before she answered.

“If you’re choking on your tongue, you didn’t dial 9-1-1.”

“Ha. Ha. Funny.”

“I thought so.”

Silence. Normally they were comfortable in silence. When they met, they were silent for hours while they stared into each other’s eyes. Now, it was uncomfortable. Nervous, even.

“What do you want?” she asked.

“You know I was kidding about the I don’t know if I love you anymore thing, right?” he asked, nervously. More silence.

“Are you serious?” she asked.

“Are we playing the question game?” he replied.

“Do you want to play the question game?”

“Do YOU want to play the question game?”

“Did you know you just lost because you asked the same question I did?”

“Did you know that it’s not because I said it in English, translated from Russian?”

“Did you know that you’re a moron, and of course I know you were kidding?” she said.

“Yes, I did. I love you.”

“I love you. You and your big stupidhe-”

“My stupid head?”

Silence.

“My stupid head?”

Silence, only louder still.

“Don’t give me the silent treatment. I hate the silent treatment.” He hated the silent treatment and how easy it worked on him. How frantic he got, how hard it was to be the one who got the last word or action in. And there, on the other end: Silence.

He looked at the phone and choked it, before putting the receiver back to his ear. “Hello?! Hello? Damnit!

On the other end of the phone, there would be no reply. His Wife, the one woman who loved him more than any other, the one woman who would put up with his nonsense, sit on the side of the road, gasping for air, looking around frantically for help as the police officer approached the side of her car.

“Any idea how fast you were going, ma’am?”

The Obvious Solution.

“I wish I could lose weight like you are,” she sighed. “What’s your secret?”

I looked at the ham sandwich in her hand, the fifth she’d eaten on her lunch hour, each impossibly filled with ham, tomatoes and cheese. Hiding somewhere in the mess had to be mayo and pickles; I could smell each hanging in the air. I shrugged.

“I dunno.”

She squinted her already squinty eyes sunken into her apple sized cheeks and frowned. “Fine. Keep your secrets. I’ll get there one day.” As she bit down, a tomato fell out of her sandwich. She barely noticed.