Thursday, September 24, 2009

As I Sit Here

So, yeah. I wrote this a little while ago when I decided to take a break on my way back home from school one evening to watch the sunset. I think that it is about how sometimes it feels like time is passing you by, and you are just sitting there, watching, listening, smelling, crying, fearing, and praying.


As I sit here, on top of this newly landscaped hillside, the car next to me occasionally popping as it cools, the smell of solder lingering around me (left over from a long day at work), the orange sun setting across the smoke filled valley.

As I sit here, on the edge of a parking lot, watching the dragonflies fly their acrobatic dogfights, hearing traffic travel a barely visible road and birds chirping in the trees, seeing people in a studio below dancing.

As I sit here, one week from my last day at work, two months from goodbyes to friends I may never see again, two and a half years from my next class.

As I sit here, holding back tears, remembering the good times, holding back fears, scared and excited for the future.

As I sit here.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Terrible Dancers

I have frequently been confused and frustrated in my life. And I like to do something creative when I feel that way. So, this time, I wrote a poem. It's not a particularly good one, but I'm going to post it anyway. Not only do I feel a little better having written it, but I learned a new word. Rive. It's pretty great. :)

Terrible Dancers

Whirling, twirling, restless
they dance about inside
shifting with the changing music
they step, they slide, they stride

A kaleidoscope of color
their dresses and their coats
a symphony of different songs
pouring from their throats

but these dancers can not survive
nor linger for much time
because their songs are thoughts of mine
and my mind their dance does rive

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Tragedy in C Major, Ch. 4

Chapter 4

At this point in time Lemits wasn't about to waste time, and so headed toward his office, hauling George along. Yes, he had an office. After all, he was an upper level manager. Or, in other words, he was a manager on the second floor, which everyone knew was called the upper level.

Once they were in his office with the door closed between them and the field of curious eyeballs Lemits squashed his chair cushion and then asked George "Okay, what is going on."

George wasted no time and launched right into his tirade. "It is simply awful Lemits! This could be the end of the company! I would go so far as to say the end of our very lives! I simply can not see how this was"

At which point Lemits interrupted with a loud "Wait a minute!" and a large breaking-of-their-eye-contact hand. "You are the General Office Assistant of Institutional Correctness, right?"


"Then I don't think that I see how this is possible. Nothing that pertains to your job could threaten the company, let alone our lives!"

Obviously Lemits just didn't understand how important George's job was. "But it does! It is a matter of life and death!"

"And I am telling you for the last time that that is not possible. If you found something that you think the company needs to see, file a report and it will be taken care of!" And what could George say to that?

Lemits got up and opened the door of his office for George. It wasn't long before George got the message, got up, and got out of the room. He headed back to the elevator, and pushed the inlaid brass 'down' arrow, and climbed into the elevator. The doors closed. Have you ever wondered what would happen if you pushed the down button on an elevator, and then pushed the button for a floor above the one you were on? I have all the time, but I don't think that George had ever really thought about it. He just did it. One would think that the elevator would just take you to the floor whose button you pushed, wouldn't one? In fact, I would like to meet One. That person sure does a lot of thinking around here. I mean, I think he does more thinking than any other person that I know of. Unless he is really a she. Then she does more thinking than Wha? What did you say? Oh, the elevator. Right. So you would think that it would just go to the floor that you pushed the button for, but it wouldn't be absurd to think that it would get terribly confused and break down, right? I mean, that is what I would do if someone told me to go down and then said that it was up. Luckily for George, the elevator was smarter than me, and when he pushed the button for the third floor, with its fancy silver and gold inlay, the elevator just went up.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Tragedy in C Major, Ch. 3

Chapter 3

Soon after George began moving again, the smell was gone, and it wasn't much past that that he met his manager coming out of some poor employee's office. George called out to him. "Sir!" He said, but his manager didn't turn toward him. In fact he didn't even seem to hear him. George tried again. "Sir! I need to talk to you!"

This time his manager heard him. He stopped and turned around slowly. He saw George looking at him and said "Yes George? Did I hear you say something? That you need to talk to me? Perhaps you should have thought about that before you decided to come to work late today!" He was shouting by the time he got to "you need to talk," and George didn't even wait for the accusation before he started toward the nearest elevator and pushed on the button with the fancy up button carved into it. He could hear his manager following him, but decided that he didn't want to talk to him after all, despite his attempts at getting George's attention.

Whew! What a day George was having! This was starting to be very stressful for him. The last time he had had to do anything at his job he had just about died, and this was starting to look bad for George's blood pressure. Not that that has anything to do with this awful day, though that smell from the end of chapter two might.

The elevator finally arrived, and George stepped into it. After all, that is what one does when one's elevator arrives. Once inside, he hit the button for the next to the top floor, which happened to be the floor right above the one he was on. After all, even the largest pendulum company in the world did not need that much office space, and so they had them in a homey three story building, with the top floor belonging to The President alone, the bottom floor being where it stored all the people that didn't do anything, and the middle floor being the only one where anything happened at all, even though not much happened there even. Well, except for the time that George's third cousin twice removed, Mey Demity (who should not be confused with George's Great Aunt Dimity May, but often was) decided that the office needed something to liven it up. He thought that some candles would be nice, and so he put a lit candle on every desk. No one minded until the head accountants desk caught fire. If you know anything about accounting or fires, you know that that is not a good thing. Especially since the building had just had a new sprinkler system installed. It definitely worked too.

Today was a normal day on the second floor though. Everybody sat at their desks and did next to nothing. The somethings that they did were odd and far between, and so the majority of them were quietly flipping through manufacturing reports and filling out orders for the various pendulum factories. Then George arrived in the elevator. This in itself was unusual enough to cause a stir, especially since few people knew who he was. Cousin Lemits Raphetious knew who he was though, and he saw George almost instantly. After all, all that he had to do was look where everyone else was looking. It was somewhat harder for George to find him though, as everyone who wasn't looking at some scrap of paper was looking at him he didn't have a trail of eyeballs to follow. Luckily Lemits came over to him and asked "What is it George?"

George replied in a whisper. "I found something that I need to talk to you about. Something important to the survival of the company." And of course the whole floor was now looking at them. No matter how quiet a whisper is, it always carries across the room when it shouldn't after all.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Tragedy in C Major, Ch. 2

Chapter 2

Now that he had looked out of the window at the day where the first rays of sunlight couldn't even pierce the dark, dingy sky, and eaten his breakfast of Cheerios, Chex, and Lucky Charms marshmallows, and he had on his extra-large, luxuriously soft and squishy bright green bathrobe, he was ready to take a shower.

George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V was a creature of habit and so he always did everything at the same time, every day. He didn't know it, but that is why he hadn't had time to lay the tile himself. In fact, the only reason that it was even covering the old threadbare orange-speckled-with-green carpet was because one day his boss had made him take a day of vacation. He hadn't known what to do, so he had still gotten up and put on his bathrobe, eaten his breakfast, looked out the window, taken a shower, and put on his suit. But then he had just sat there, his rather rotund rear resting on the edge of his queen size bed that he had gotten for his birthday from his cousin that worked at a junkyard. He just sat there, staring around the room, needing to do something. So he got up and started walking around. He saw that he had some laundry that he could do, but it was friday and he always did his laundry on tuesday. He looked in the fridge and saw that he was almost out of milk, but he always went shopping on wednesday. Then he saw that stack of tiles and, by the end of the day, he had them all laid out over the floor so that he knew where he wanted each tile. Then he went back to work the next day and hadn't had time to go back and finish the floor.

His shower was one of his favorite daily rituals, as it was what he called thinking time. Believe it or not, it really doesn't take much mental effort to clean ones self, and so George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V used the extra thinking time that taking a shower provided him with to decide what exactly it was that he was going to do that day. You might be asking yourself what in the world I am talking about, as I just said that he was a creature of habit. But, you will also remember that I said that he was not aware of this fact. I may have misled you somewhat earlier when I said that "he had some laundry that he could do, but it was friday and he always did his laundry on tuesday." That is how I think about it, but I do not doubt that his thought process went something more like "I could do laundry, but I just did it on tuesday, and there isn't very much laundry to do, so I won't do that." Then, when it was once again tuesday he would think to himself, "It has been a while since I have done my laundry, and there is quite a pile of it now, I guess that I will do it." And so, every tuesday he would do his laundry, never even realizing that he was doing it every tuesday. He never did write out a schedule, and had never had a day book to help him keep track of what he was doing. All of this is evidence that he is a creature of habit. After all, he was not a man of terrific memory, or incredible mental organization, and so the way that he came up with to deal with his schedule was to always do the same thing. This did make him a very inhospitable man to visit though.

After his shower/daily planning session, he got dressed. He did not spend much time choosing his clothes, mostly because he did not have a great amount of variety of clothes to choose from. His closet was full of grey pinstripe pants with dark red speckled suspenders, along with matching suit coats and some very light cream shirts. The only really eye catching portion of his closet was his rack of ties. He had small red bow ties, big, bouncy, black bow ties. He had neck ties with wildly contrasting stripes of green and purple, and flashy oranges and reds. But at the front of his closet were two ties that stood out when compared to the rest of his collection. One was a medium width, medium length, and was a lovely, but dull, solid brown. The other was a bow tie, and it was a dark, earthy green, seeming to not be far from the grey of his pants and suit coats. Every morning during the quarter hour that he got dressed, he would pull on his suit and shirt without even thinking, and then he would thumb through his entire tie collection before picking up either the dull brown or dark green tie with a sigh and then putting it on. Although I never knew a time when he wore any tie other than one of these two, I often wonder if at some time of in his life he had a wardrobe that matched his ties in their extravagance.

On this day though, he once again picked up his brown tie. He then shrugged on one of his jackets and walked out to his car. So far, this day had been normal for the most part, except of course for it being so extremely dark, damp, and dreary because of the heavy, drizzling cloud cover. This was unfortunate because it was often dark and dreary where George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V lived, and so he did not really even notice that it was so much more dark, dreary, and damp than it usually was. To him the day was seeming quite normal, while I would hope that by now you have realized that it is not going to be a normal day. Otherwise I have wasted a bit of your time by luring you in with such a tragic title and opening paragraph.

One benefit of him being a creature of habit is that he was never really late. Of course this tuns out to be a matter of some controversy. He arrived promptly at work every day, but unfortunately he had a habit of conversing with the first thing that he saw every day when he arrived at work. The vast majority of the time it was the big tree outside of the office building. It was an ancient old oak, completely covered in a bright green robe of moss except for the very tips of its branches. George had been taught when he was a young boy that moss always grew on the northern side of the tree, and so this tree had confused him for quite some time after he had been introduced to it. Eventually he had decided that since moss always grew on the northern side of the tree then this tree must have many northern sides. That was just how he was. He would trust almost without question whatever anyone told him, and would force what he saw into those ideas. It was something that had led to many amusing incidents in his life. Like the time that his great aunt Dimity May had told him that toast always lands butter side down. He thought this was amazing, and so for years, whenever he would make toast he would drop it so that he knew which side to butter.

Anyway, he would always greet the tree when he got to work. As you can imagine the conversation was a bit drab. Usually George Archibald... well, maybe it would be better if I just transcribed here. George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V would start out, obviously, and he would usually say "Hello! Good day today isn't it?"

To which the tree would reply, "."

This usually amused George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V, and so he would let out a hearty chuckle and say "Isn't that always how it is ?" And then he would walk off chuckling to work. As you can probably tell, this was not enough to make him very late, but it was enough to make him a minute or two late every day. At first his manager was quite cross with him, as he always said that he became a manager by being on time, and so he would demand the same from his group. He tried everything he could think of to get George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V to work on time, even threatening to fire him. What he did not think of trying was giving George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V someone to talk to on the way from his car to the office. Fortunately for George, his second cousin thrice removed, Cousin Lemits Raphetious, was an upper level manager in the office, and so he was not fired. George's manager would still threaten, but they both knew that all of his threats were no more than words. Eventually it got to the point were the conversation took a rather absurd turn. Usually George would walk in to work a minute or so late, and his manager would be waiting at the door, taping his watch. He would then say "If you can't be here on time, don't bother coming!"

To which George would reply "I'm sorry, I must have gotten delayed somewhere." Eventually though George thought that he would play a little joke on his manager, which was something most unlike him. He decided that he would be the first person to say something when he came through the door, but he had the hardest time deciding what it was that he wanted to say. He thought about it for a few weeks, devoting large portions of his thinking time in the shower to the idea. Eventually he came up with what he thought was the most brilliant idea of his life. He was going to say the same thing that his manager said to him everyday. The next day as he was about to open the door he prepared himself to say it, but he couldn't remember what "it" was! He thought that he could piece it together though, and so through the door he went, and then loudly said "If you can't get her, don't bother!" This did not have quite the effect that he was hoping, as you might expect. Instead of being annoyed at George's supposed quirkiness, he was shocked silent. Whether it was the shear absurdity of George's comment or some other source of shock I don't know, but that day he wasn't able to say anything to George before George reached his office, and so, as he was so fond of saying, "If you can't be here on time, don't bother coming!" From then on he had decidedly ignored George's first comment, as George also ignored his managers comment.

George's work was nothing of interest really. In fact, he didn't really do anything. He went to work every day, greeted the jolly green oak tree outside, was berated by his manager, went to his small office, and just worked until 4:15 everyday with an hour lunch at about 11:15. Well, I suppose it isn't really fair to say that he didn't do anything. It would be far more correct to say that he didn't do anything that needed to be done, or that was important. He was the General Office Assistant of Institutional Correctness. You can even tell from his title that he didn't do anything really. After all, all of the important jobs had short titles, with the shortest titles going to those with the more important jobs, such as president or manager. Once you got past two or three words in a title, you know that you are a background player, and George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V's title was at least five words long, and was fair game to be counted as six on a bad day. He was supposed to make sure that the company was doing what it was supposed to be doing basically. Since the company only did one thing, and that was make clock pendulums, George really didn't do anything. Oh sure, there was the great pendulum crisis a few years ago where about ten pendulums came out upside down. The company didn't have a customer support area as it was not often that someone complained about a clock pendulum not working, and so when one of the customers called to complain they were transferred from area to area until they arrived at George's area. He was, and still is, the only General Office Assistant of Institutional Correctness, and he figured that if someone got some upside down pendulums then the company was not doing what it was supposed to, so he took it upon himself to fix the situation. He called his manager and arranged for the customer to exchange the pendulums. It took about 15 minutes.

But the job was not a bad one. He had plenty to do after all. He made sure that the company was spending money on pendulums, and he made sure that the employees were working on pendulums, and he even had to make sure that he was checking to make sure that the company was making pendulums. It was an exhausting job!

Today was no different either, besides that it was a horrible day that is. But George didn't know that yet, and so you can forget it for a while longer if you would like. I wouldn't blame you in the least. After all, who wants to be reminded of a horrible day, even if it wasn't your horrible day?

Anyway, today was no different. George came into the office late again, prompting a near instinctive response from his manager, "If you can't be here on time, don't bother coming!" George just ignored it and walked into his office, and sat down at his worn desk heavily stacked with familiar paper work. He was a little behind on his reviewal of the companies ordering records, but when wasn't he? After all, he did work for the largest single producer of clock pendulums in the world. At least that is what he told himself every day. It made him feel better about his work. So he sat down, and started going through them. He always liked this part of his job. He enjoyed reading the long lists of supplies that his company was ordering, seeing how the prices had changed, and what metals were in style at the moment. He fancied that with his sharp mind it told him a great deal about the world.

Today he was looking through the lists, seeing gold, brass, tin, steel, along with various tools. None of this was a surprise yet though. He had worked as the General Office Assistant of Institutional Correctness for long enough that he knew the name of everything that was involved in making pendulums. And then he saw it. Something that he had never seen before. A knob shaper! What in the world was that, and what was it doing on his list? George knew that it was not only his job to report this obvious breach in the correctness of the institution, but it was his duty! He was solely responsible to make sure that the company was doing what it was supposed to, and he could see no way that the company could survive without being true to itself. And so he grabbed the paper and headed to his managers office. On his way there he, wait a minute. You think that this is where his day begins to go bad don't you? Why is it that anytime anything unexpected happens people expect the worst? Shame on you, you pessimist! However, you are right this time. Lucky you.

It was on the way to his managers office that he first smelled it. A sour sort of stench, but so diluted so that it was just noticeable enough to cause a small cringe and a distinct feeling of distaste, but not strong enough to merit an all out verbal or physical response to the smell. He looked around him, but could not find the whatever it was that was giving off the awful scent. He turned on the spot, looking all around him and doing what his Uncle Dephan called the "only real act of human stupidity." He sniffed the air. Repeatedly. I don't know if I agree with George's uncle about it being the only act of human stupidity, but it certainly is stupid. After all, how rational is it to stop and go to great lengths to determine what a smell is that we don't like? Remember that the next time your Great Aunt leaves some of her socks to rot under the sofa. Don't just sit there and sniff to try and figure out what the smell is, just get rid of it!

Even after sniffing the air repeatedly, he could not find the source of the smell. He looked around him again, but all that he could see were large wooden desks in small, padded cubicles. Then he looked at the paper that he was holding and tried to remember what it was that he was doing out there instead of in his office. He started to read the purchase list again, and there it was! The knob shaper! Once again reminded of his noble quest, he set off again to his managers office.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Tragedy in C Major, Ch. 1

Chapter 1

It was a dark day, in the dark, dank, dingy city in which George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V resided. It was raining in fact. A lot. In fact it was pouring, raining cats and dogs, purring and barking when they hit the ground, the patter of the rain. George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V didn't like the rain, and really hated the smell of wet dogs. They both reminded him of that horrible day, that horrible day when the first rays of sunlight couldn't even pierce the dark, dingy sky. He woke just like he normally would, getting up right at 6 am and grabbing his extra-large, luxuriously soft and squishy bright green bathrobe. "I do wonder what in the world will happen to me today," he said as he ate one bowl of Cheerios, one bowl of Chex, and one bowl of just the marshmallows from Lucky Charms at the table that his great-great-great grandfather made so that he wouldn't have to eat on the floor like his father, and his fathers father, and his fathers fathers father had had to. George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V had no idea about the sunlight not piercing the clouds, as he had not yet gone to look out of the window. He didn't do that until 6:30 am, which was still ten minutes away. So, now that he was done eating his bowls of Cheerios, Chex, and Lucky Charms marshmallows, he got up from the solid oak heritage table and walked across the heavy duty, industrial porcelain tiles that he had gotten from his great uncle, Great Uncle Bob Stephano, when there was an order mixup for his uncles factory.

What George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V's great uncle Bob Stephano had actually ordered was industrial porcine ties, but his supplier was hit right on the top of his head by a falling frog that had lost its grip on a big stone building because of damage caused to the building by acid rain. The frog died, despite Great Uncle Bob Stephano's suppliers attempts at man to frog CPR, but the only thing that happened to Great Uncle Bob Stephano's supplier was that he mixed up industrial porcine ties with industrial porcelain tiles. (And he thought that the frog was his wife, which terribly upset his real wife when he explained to her that she was dead. She left him the next day.) At least that is what he had told Great Uncle Stephano.

So, Great Uncle Bob Stephano ended up with a bunch of industrial porcelain tiles, and he sold them to his relatives for a really low price, and since George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V was looking for something to replace his old threadbare orange-speckled-with-green carpet anyway he bought some of the tiles. He hadn't had time to install them himself yet though, so they were just sitting on the floor. "These tiles certainly look better than the carpet that they are sitting on," he said to himself, just like he had every morning for the last three years. Since it was now 6:30 am George Archibald Princeton Fredrick V walked to the window and said as he looked out "Hmm, the first rays of sunlight couldn't even pierce the dark, dingy sky." He didn't know yet, of course, that that day would be a horrible day since he hadn't lived it at that point in his life. However I know what happened because I am writing this after that horrible day happened, which is a good thing because if I wasn't writing this after that horrible day then I would either be writing a lie, which is a bad thing, as my momma used to say, or I would be writing it at the same time that it was happening, and that would be really hard on my hands because a veritable plethora of things happened in that day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

"Don't you love her enough?"

This is something that I have been thinking about for a long time. And it is something that I don't know if I will ever be sure about, and something that I have a hard time sharing, putting into words directly. So here is a story that I hope explains what I wonder about.

The story itself is fictional, but the situation that is portrayed is one that I feel embodies a lot of the concerns and questions that I know I have about life and relationships, and yes, love. And I don't think I'm the only one who wonders about them. . .


Two friends were walking in a park on an early spring day. And as they talked about sports and their plans for the summer, birds sang in the trees and a small group of ducks swam in a nearby pond.

After a moment of silence one said to the other. "I'm in love."

His friend looked up. "When did this happen?" He asked, eyes widening slightly at the news.

"It's been coming for a long time, I think." The first replied. He looked down at the still winter-brown grass and stuck his hands in his pockets. He shrugged. "We met a while ago. And even from the beginning I felt like there was something special about her. But I was distracted by other things. I wasn't paying attention. But I know it now." He looked back up, and his friend couldn't help but smile.

"Have you asked her out?"

"No." He looked back down at the grass.

"Why not?"

"Well. I think she likes someone else."

"You think. Do you know?" His friend asked, half a chuckle escaping his mouth.

He looked up and saw that his friends smile was waning. "I'm pretty sure. And I haven't been wrong before."

"You should ask her out." His friend said as he put a hand on his shoulder. "Don't you love her enough to risk that?"

"Of course I do!" He responded. "But I also love her enough to let her go. To let her be happy with someone else, if that is what will make her happy." He looked up and into his friends eyes, "I love her enough to be happy that she is happy, even if it isn't with me." His vision blurred as he said it, and he could feel his stomach tighten.

His friend's face softened, and his smile was gone. He let his hand drop. "Do you really? Or are you just saying that to try and deal with the loss? To deal with the fact that she might, might!, reject you? Are you giving up before you even try?"

He brought his hands to his face, trying to hide behind them. "I don't know. I don't know." He said as he failed at holding back the tears. "I don't know."