Carting around the catch all day was bad enough; it seemed the smell never left her nostrils fully after there were no more buyers in the streets. This was only intensified by the oils and other fluids that remained after the fish were sold or returned to the market. Molly used the lye soap and tried lemon juice, wincing at the sting as it seeped into the cuts and cracks. Her hands smelled so badly of fish, she sometimes soaked them in vanilla liquor or wood alcohol, other times in pickle vinegar, in an attempt to get rid of the stench. Continue reading
Wrapped in a smooth velour blanket, her goose bumped skin cool to the touch, she bowed her head and closed her eyes. Her warm breath heated the tent of comforting softness and she imagined a world where opinions weren’t people’s facts, where bias and tiny world-views weren’t the end of the story. She entered the dark alcove she had created and let the garden of paranoia beyond the door of her room slide away. Continue reading
Live Support is currently closed. You will have to get your comfort, help, assistance, tower of strength, prop, and mainstay elsewhere. We are not at present, at this moment, at the present time, now, nowadays, or these days here for you. We would not describe ourselves as alive, having life, breathing, animate, or sentient; nor are we in the flesh, personal, or in person. But if you’d like to leave a message, we’ll mail you your crutch. You should receive that in six to eight weeks.
The Costco gas man gets bored. His job is simple, but once that’s done he really has nothing better to do than people watch. This would be a bonus of the job for some, whether because it meant they were getting paid to do virtually nothing, or because the sport of people watching is so fascinating. The Costco man doesn’t enjoy that sport, or the art of doing nothing. So he makes a show of it for awhile. He walks around with his broom and dustpan and sweeps up the littlest gatherings of rocks or spreads out a puddle (he’s already swept the area clean once today).
He moseys over to the side of the Eddie Bauer building that has a window facing the Costco gas lot. No one seems to notice or mind that their gasoline guide for the morning has gotten sidetracked. He makes sure though, as he rearranges the bush nearest him while assessing his further options. Eventually he enters a little area between the row of bushes and the painted wall of the building. There’s what looks like a cellar entrance there. He lifts the door …
Now, if this were the beginning of a novel, those two paragraphs would be too much. So far this story has been dull. I would have put it down when he started moseying. But if the reader suffered through to the cellar door, this would be the moment to pull a 180. This would be the place to spring into action and shock the reader into submission.
What’s in the cellar? Dead bodies? Leprechauns? Stolen loot? Missing children? Maybe its a time travel portal, or a bridge to another world like in Edgar Rice Burroughs‘, “A Princess of Mars.” It has to be something unexpected and fresh. Because if it’s just a dank, dark cellar where the gas man goes to collect his thoughts and ponder the meaning of things – then it just flows like a Woody Allen soliloquy. Clumsy, annoying, and a worthless waist of time.
Some say wisdom is a product of time. But I say it comes from eating pie. It wasn’t a dark and stormy night, it wasn’t a rainy day in New York. It was a typical day at the office and then she walked in. My nemesis. My creamy tan skinned, soft in the cuddly places, hard in the rest, dreamy eyed brainiac with a voice that made me want to whisper. My type. Only my internal history book was flipping madly through pages to try and remind me that this was just a cruel deja vu. Fact is, I already had a someone else and it wasn’t her. Besides, I wasn’t her type. Or was I? STOP! That’s what I’m talking about. The winds of fortune had emptied the pantry and assembled another round of ingredients for “Stupid Decision” Doom Pie.
Now scratch that. Fast Forward. That went down about 50 years ago (subtract 40 to get the years in real time). Just goes to show you what a nice mixture of pain, euphoria, experience, and yes – time, can do for a fool. Turns an ignoramus into a stable pillar of reliability. If you don’t believe me, ask my other half. I mean it. I’m 40 years old now and I’m a damn pillar.
I’m not much of a cook, but I can bake with the best of them. Doom Pie is something I was good at in my younger years. And I’m not saying that’s a bad thing. The very wise and learned folks, the ones that people seek to have as mentors and look to for guidance? They’ve usually had their share of Doom Pies. Some had the “Spoke Too Soon” variety. Then there’s the “One Too Many Lies” kind. The “Made a Promise My Heart Can’t Keep” Doom Pies are very bitter; the “Proud and Boastful” kind usually ends up in your face.
Personally, my least favorite is the “Stupid Decision” flavor. I have heartburn for years after one of those. They start with a delicious drop of sugar that tempts and tantalizes. It may be the dollar you just saw your fellow Earthling drop, or the smell that wafts your way as she passes by and, like a fish to the hook, you bite. Then there’s a fleeting creamy sweetness that slides over you and makes you think you’ve been awarded first prize at the bake sale and contest. But before you can swallow you’re sunk. What was tasty becomes sour; what was smooth becomes full of gristle and tiny hairs of unknown origin. Your character is tarnished. Hearts become broken; people take sides. Precious time passes and you have nothing to show for it but a lesson. A valuable lesson. Is a lesson just as valuable when you have to repeat it several times? I think not.
But I digress. Lock a person into a vacuum and let time pass and you won’t have a more wise being when you loose the gates. People don’t have grey hair because of time, although its a small factor. Pie takes place over time. And Pie cultivates wisdom. To put it mathematically: