Tuesday, February 28, 2017

1051. What my seventy-unit apartment building sounds like

There are 19 children, shouting their games.
Two dogs are barking at one another, either in hate or in heat - I can't tell.
There's a car, honk, honk honk...honking a syncopated rhythm through the neighbourhood.
I'm wearing headphones, trying to ignore it all so I can continue my work on the tiny Walgreens I'm building in this bottle.

Monday, February 27, 2017

1050. With puppets

The puppet wasn't much more than a mitt with fake eyeballs glued to it.
She held it out to the crowd.
"You can't drink and drive, you guys," she said in a high pitched voice, her mouth turned up at the side.
Several people shifted uncomfortably in the front row.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

1049. The smell of lesser treasons

There was roadkill in the neighbourhood.
On the sideroad and the highway, dead skunks too.
We were at war with skunks.
No one knew why.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

1048. Private games

Out there, right about where you'd place the Rover, is a plastic lawn chair.
It's owner is an old man.
At six each morning, he walks to the diamond and sits in the chair.
The games he watches are privy to him alone.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

1047. In the Kingdom of Bhutan

In the Kingdom of Bhutan there is a house out of place.
It looks like a bungalow you might find in 1950s Hamilton or Burlington.
The house is empty save for a Tim Hortons Roll Up the Rim To Win coffee cup.
It says, PLEASE PLAY AGAIN/R'ESSAYEZ S.V.P.

Monday, February 20, 2017

1046. Law of averages

Am I an average person, or just uninteresting?
I was having this debate while throwing luggage across the department store while Drake played overhead.
Who even is Drake?
I wish I was special.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

1045. The ocean laughs back also

Monique made up her mind to quit believing in the ocean.
She went down to the shore to laugh at it in all its unrealness.
A monster wave knocked her off her feet, spinning and turning her before finally depositing her some twelve miles up the beach.
The ocean, it seems, laughs back also. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

1044. The scrubman

"Soon, Dearest. Soon." he whispered to the toilet brush.
Soon, he'd rule this community college.
He hadn't had much luck with the morning or afternoon maintenance crews, but Brenda from the cafeteria sounded interested.
That just left the details.

Monday, February 13, 2017

1043. The great whale

The great whale circled the deeps of the world's oceans - always moving, never stopping.
It was hunting.
It was hunting for men and women.
It was hunting for men and women to carry inside itself to be complete.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

1042. Six more weeks of winter

It was February.
The countryside was a mix of fallen snow and dead agriculture, like the landscape had hunched up its shoulders and resigned itself to whatever remained of the winter.
Out there among the cornstalks, was a solitary billboard, blank.
A man was there, running up a new advertisement - for hope.

Monday, February 6, 2017

1041. Heat shimmer

I was sitting in the car listening to an audio program about the Cold War.
The window was down, so I could see the shimmering heat escape into the cold as a man on the radio talked about the likelihood we'd all be killed by a nuclear bomb.
I lit a cigarette, smoked it, and tilted my seat back for a nap.
I don't recall the year, but I think it was 1958.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

1040. The lightning

It was dawn, or so.
Anneka and Ted, Kate's friends from college, were asleep.
So was Kate.
Bobby was trying to find his boots and coat so he could replace the toothbrushes he'd wrecked.


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Friday, February 3, 2017

1039. Confession regarding my 1996 perfect attendance award

Fellow members of the Class of 1997, I'm glad we're all gathered here on the occasion of our 20th high school reunion.
I don't want to put a damper on the festivities but I have a confession to make.
Due to a clerical error, several of my absences went uncatalogued by the Main Office.
Deborah, I hope you'll accept this trophy, which has been rightfully yours for twenty years.


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Thursday, February 2, 2017

1038. Aces up his sleeve

He had the poker hand tattooed on the inside of his bicep.
It was, according to his father, the poker hand that led to the dispute that got his grandfather shot and killed.
That was bullshit, of course.
His grandfather had died of consumption after years as an itinerant farmer in one Dakota then the other.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

1037. The power of the water cycle

She typed out, "I'm not good at anything, but I will be next time," on her typewriter.
The typewriter and the sheet of paper went into her car, which she drove out to the dock where she heaved them into the ocean.
She drove home knowing that time and tide and salt water would break the typewriter and the paper into their constituent compounds and spread them throughout the sea.
Then the power of the water cycle and the consumption of sardines would eventually take her message to the world.

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