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in a warmed pot hot water and tea leaves meet in an intimate embrace pleased by the tea leaves' attentions the water becomes a sweet golden nectar but the water is a cruel lover and she turns bitter if held too long so the tea leaves are left behind tired and used, forgotten the water has taken what she wants
in a room dressed in their sunday best i was glad for the styrofoam plate it kept the soggy casserole served by neighbors bustling in our kitchen from soaking thru onto fingers and thighs as we mingled in the front parlour it didn't collapse under the piles of aunt paula's tuna surprise or aunt betty's ambrosia fruit salad that's the one with the little marshmallows
the styrofoam plate remained unbent as small talk and murmurs swirled around the room and face after face passed in front of me the styrofoam plate let me shake hands and offer one armed hugs i didnt mind their tear stained cheeks but if one more person says to me "let me know if there is anything i can do" ...i'm glad that at least the plate was strong
He died. He died in a clean white bed in a clean white room. There were no tears, no last gasps for breath, no alarms, no dying confessions; he simply stopped breathing sometime in the middle of the night. In the morning a nurse in a clean white uniform checked for a pulse, made a note on a chart at the foot of his bed, then made a phone call to some men in black and gray uniforms. The men came and carefully packed the body away in a gray vinyl bag. A few days later his body was sealed in a vault at the Sunny Vale Mausoleum. There was no ceremony, there were no mourners, there was only a cold body in a stone vault. It could have been sad and lonely.
But it wasn't. It was simply quiet and uneventful. He had out lived all of his friends and family so there just wasn't anyone left to mourn. It was like he was the last person to walk across the tarmac to a waiting airliner, there was no fanfare, no waves goodbye, he was simply the last to board the plane. And he made that crossing simply and quietly, without fuss or bother. That was the way he had lived his life, simply and quietly, without fuss or bother. If his life was a river, he swam to the middle, to the strongest current, and followed it to it's end at the ocean.
He didn't have any strong religious beliefs. If pressed, he would probably admit to being an atheist. So he was quite surprised to find himself in long line of thousands of people heading towards a large set of pearly gates. It seemed like daytime, but the sky above was dark as if it were night, and the great blue/green ball of the earth spun peacefully overhead. As the line moved closer to the gates, the people in it started to change, to transform. He watched as bellies distended with hunger shrank and their owners grew firm and full. He saw missing limbs re-appear. He saw bodies torn apart by guns and bombs and shrapnel begin to knit themselves back together. Lines of worry and fear disappeared from faces, and were replaced with smiles and gentle laughter. There were occasional checkpoints where official looking clerks asked questions. Some of the clerks asked for your name, or the name of a loved one. Others asked where you were born. But others asked odd questions like what was your favorite color, or favorite food, or where you might have been on a particularly uninteresting day.
Once through the pearly gate the line, the mass of people, headed down a hill to a large field bright with wild flowers. A soft warm breeze carried the scent of cinnamon and jasmine and promised a long peaceful sleep. He hesitated. He saw a second smaller line forming far to his right. A line of supplicants waiting to ask a question of an old man sitting in a rocking chair. He discovered from one of the clerks that the line was for those who wished to ask god a question. Each supplicant was allowed to ask one question and god would answer truthfully and to the best of his abilities. With one last glance down the hill to the springtime field, he turned and joined the line of supplicants.
This line moved slowly in fits and starts. Each supplicants question was heard clearly and loudly by the others, but the answers were whispered into the questioners ears and only the questioner knew what was said. Many questions were about specific events in the questioners lives. Stuff like, why did you let my mother die when I was only 12? Or why did scruffy, my childhood dog, have to be hit by that car? Where did my first lover go after we broke up? But the most frequent question was obvious: “What is the meaning of life?” It was strange because sometimes god seemed able to answer the question with only a word or two. Other times he took many long hours to give the supplicant their answer.
When he finally reached the front of the line he looked over to the mass of people walking down the hill to the golden springtime fields, then he looked over his shoulder to a spinning globe of the earth. He pointed to the earth and he asked...
His hand would itch and fidget. It would grab pens or pencils and doodle stick figure ballets on napkins, tabletops, even walls. Or sometimes it would write alien words in strange cryptic alphabets with a vertigo inducing speed. When the hand found a keyboard it was a violent staccato attack. adehhnradehhnradehhnradehhnr. The hand caused so much trouble that he needed to leave his quiet office job. He found a new job as a handy man. Working with hammers and wrenches seemed to placate the hand, at least for short periods of time. The hand would work tirelessly till, aching and blistered, it would hang limp and listless at the end of the day.
The hand? the hand simply wanted to find the other smaller and softer it longed to feel the warmth of the other for fingers wrap and hands to clasp and rest palm against palm
Favorite moviesThe Thin Man, Casablanca, Vanishing Point, The Producers, Whats Up Doc, The Avengers (Marvel)Favorite TV showsFawlty Towers, Red Dwarf, Penny Dreadful, the crazy ancient alien stuff on the history channel Favorite bands / musical artistsSonic Youth, Sun Ra, Pauline en la Playa, Mala Rodriguez, Throwing Muses, Neko Case, Fugazi, The Blow, Thelonious Monk, Well Hung HeartFavorite bookssee writersFavorite writersStanislaw Lem, Jorge Louis Borge, HP Lovecraft, Robert Chambers, HG Wells, Jules Verne, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Ray Bradbury, Lord Dunsany, Arthur MachenFavorite gamesSaints Row the Third, Fallout New Vegas, Skyrim, Tomb Raider, Mass Effect (except the last ten minutes of 3)Favorite gaming platformPC 'cause modsTools of the TradePC, I'm a computer nerd
Here's a bit of Thelonius Monk to set the holiday mood Well maybe that's only for me. My introduction to real jazz started with Wayne Shorter's Adam's Apple, Horace Silver's Song for My Father, and a Greatest Hits album by Thelonius Monk. So as I give thanks for finding such wonderful music, I'd thought I'd share a little of it with you. Something with a bit of a Turkey Day theme.
And if you absolutely have to go shopping tomorrow have a little of this...
I hope everyone has a wonderful Turkey Day and thank you to everyone for reading things from my silly little gallery. I have finally finished a close to final draft for a story about a cat named Ma'at. Hopefully I'll be posting it soon (yeah, we've heard that before).