You can read this if you wish although it consists of thoughts and fragments as I attempt to free write 750 words every day. Some of this may end up in a Story or a Conversation. Anyway, this is how one learn and shapes up The Craft.
According to my new writing goal, I am supposed to just write down whatever comes to my head and finish up in 750 words. The whole thing sounds a bit of a waste of time, frankly. I don’t have the luxury of writing nothing; there is so much more to write and get done.
Yet, here I am just writing. And counting time.
I wrote a poem yesterday, Old Age Whispers Rather Than Screams, after I hung up my proclamation from the judges on the wall of my new office. I’ve been writing public relations and other things for nearly 30 years. I still see myself as being in my twenties. Most of the people who retire and move on from a job indicate the whole business seemed to take no time at all, yet they worked on a project for multiple years. Imagine looking in the mirror and suddenly seeing the lines of age gathered around your eyes. As Frost said, “I’ve got miles to go before I sleep,” and I am not eager for this chapter to end.
From My Window
She stands on the corner seeming to read out loud the words on the paper. The recitation sounds like the text of an eviction notice. A second lady watches from the corner. This lady shrinks back as the orator shouts “Shit” and “Fucker” in her direction. The shocked listener nearly runs away. The reader smiles a satisfied grin and continues her oration. A distinct smell of urine invades the space. A small child grabs the hand of an adult as they hurry by. The lady smiles at the child and says nothing. As the two turn the corner, the woman points her finger in their direction and yells “Assholes.” She returns to the paper. More gibberish; something about the IRS and the federal tax code. Most of the walkers ignore her and she ignores them.
An entire homeless city lives underneath the Las Vegas Strip. Locals never think of them and tourists never see them. Flash floods are the only time anyone remembers they are under the street. Beds, shopping carts, pictures, and fluff float out of the storm drains into the Las Vegas Wash. Sometimes fast-river rescue has to pull the homeless out of the channels of water. You never hear where they end up. Nearly clean, they start over collecting more stuff to be washed out again.
Everyone stole something from their neighbors. A trinket here, a trinket there. As fast as an item vanished another appeared in an endless cycle of renewal and change. Nothing stayed for very long and no one came to expect their things would still be there when they opened the door.
At the farmers market, Bob found a few radishes and a straggly head of lettuce. He added these to a small hen and a sprig of sage. The television monitor flashed and glitched as Bob stuffed his money into the checkout. A smiling face popped up on the screen and the receipt shot out below. Bob nodded and stuffed the receipt in the bag.
At home, Bob dropped the shopping bag on the counter, washed his hands at the sink, and turned around toward the stove. The frying pan was missing from the burning plates. Bob looked in the oven and the dishwasher. Nothing.
“Hell, somebody took the damn frying pan,” Bob said. He rummaged through the other drawers, shelves, and the pantry. All he found was an crushed foil baking sheet. He rolled out the wrinkles to create a flat sheet then turned up the corners to create a small bowl. It would have to do for cooking the hen. He rubbed oil on the bird and laid the sage next to it in the bowl.
Tomorrow he would look for a new frying pan.
What would happen if all electronics stopped working? I think this idea was explored in the TV Show Revolution. They tried to show a band of revolutionaries trying to put things back to the way it was before the blackout. But they never showed why the past was superior. For instance, the writers alluded to someone still having power, but we never saw it expect in flashbacks. It might have been better to show the haves enjoying electricity and the have-nots struggling to cope with mechanical solutions. Or the corruption of the power. Or why living without a cell phone/computer attached to your hand would be a better life. Just some things to think about.
© 2017, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.
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