Perfect Perspective (Weekly Writing Challenge)

Perfect Perspective (Weekly Writing Challenge)

 (C’mon folks, it’s Saturday afternoon.  If you haven’t looked at The Daily Post and their suggestion for the week, you’re kinda lagging behind.  Hop to!)

Let me just begin by saying that there are two sides to every story. This is my side, the right one. “ –Easy A


“I can’t believe that jerk almost killed me.” 

a3500_einstein1_gCarlos tore off his ski mask angrily and stormed in the door.  His hair raged like his temper; clumps of brown follicles thrust this way and that in an unintentional homage to Einstein.  The rest of his body was not keen to rest either.  His tempest of frustration surged.  Carlos tore off his gloves and jogging shoes.  He paced back and forth in his living room as he pulled of his jogging pants and shirt.

Making his way for the shower, Carlos still couldn’t calm himself down.  He stepped into the hot water and felt the moisture stream down on him.  Normally he turned the hot water on and then tempered it with some cold for the ideal amount of heat.  Tonight, Carlos let the shower spray out stinging pellets of scorching water to fuel his fury.  His sore body yielded and relaxed under the showerhead.  The physical exhaustion was ebbing, but not Carlos’ indignation at the event.

Carlos had thought going for an evening run would be a nice source of relaxation.  He had a ski mask that he wanted to break in for the ski trip that Connie and he were taking for Christmas.  Also, it had been getting colder outside and the thought of not having dribbling snot and sweat freeze to his face held an appeal for him.  In his dark-shaded attire, Carlos had made his way around the city streets.

The first few miles had been the same as they always were.  It took Carlos a bit to get his legs warmed up and loose.  In another mile, his lungs had adjusted to the thirty degree chill.  The only problem with Carlos’ chosen route was the lack of sidewalks.  The residential streets where he lived had nice little paved strips for him to travel on.  Besides the occasional garbage can that waited patiently to be picked up by early morning sanitation workers or mailboxes that took up permanent residence at the edge of the curb, the route was obstacle-free.  However, further away from the houses and mowed lawns were the city streets.

Back when the area had first been established, jogging was probably the furthest thing from the city planners’ minds.  No one was buying running shoes or meandering about the town for exercise seventy years ago.  So it was that the sidewalks soon gave way to vehicle lanes.   Carlos loathed racing in the same lane as cars, but he hadn’t seen any viable alternatives.  He wanted his ten miles and there were only so many routes available to him.  He wasn’t about to jog the same block over and over just because some moron on his Bluetooth couldn’t yield to a pedestrian.  Regardless of his stubbornness and his determination, Carlos would have admitted that the whole thing made him nervous.  The man had long been worried about an incident just like the one that happened that night.

For the first hundred yards on the street, things had been fine.  Carlos hugged the edge of the road, trying to give the cars as much room as possible.  Some cars honked at him, others swerved into the middle lane at the last moment.  All these activities were rather normal and the intrepid runner was able to take it all in stride.  That was before the blue four-door.

In the last stretch of the street route, Carlos noticed a car coming up behind him.  The headlights cast an eerie glow over his shoulder.  Unlike the other double-lit signs of approach, these were unyielding.  As the circles of light 549787_3225555432071_1788332779_nbecame more distinct, Carlos’ fear became greater.  To his left was the inside lane of traffic which was heavily populated with more vehicles.  To his right, Carlos saw the concrete barrier that kept him from falling off the edge and plummeting down a hundred feet to the lake below.  The car continued to approach Carlos.  He knew his escaping unharmed was entirely on him.  He scurried up onto the foot-wide perch on the top of the barrier and tried to keep from falling either down the steep drop or back into the path of the car. 

Suddenly, the blue four-door noticed the pedestrian.  It honked, swerved to the left, and screeched its brakes all at the same time.  The vehicles in the middle lane also stomped on their brakes and narrowly missed the other cars when they darted across the double-yellow line and back again.  The blue four-door somehow missed colliding with any other cars.  A man threw the passenger door open and screamed to Carlos who was lowering himself from atop the concrete wall.  He ignored the curses and angry shouts when he realized that the car wasn’t going to stop and apologize.  Sure enough, the car door slammed and the blue four-door sped away.

Carlos turned off the shower and dried himself.  His anger had almost entirely dissipated, but he still couldn’t understand why the event had happened. 

Cars are supposed to yield to pedestrians.  Yeah I was a little hard to see, but that’s the social contract people sign when they get behind the wheel.  Why couldn’t they stop gabbing at each other and focus on, I dunno, the road?  There was a time when joggers weren’t required to wear headlamps and reflective gear.  What happened to letting people not die?  There are too many distractions and too many displays in cars these days.  I’m sorry, but once you start putting DVD players in vehicles, you’re just asking for trouble.

Putting on a t-shirt and his most beaten up pair of jeans, Carlos decided to relax on the couch.  He knew he wouldn’t have the television to himself for long, so he pulled out The Three Stooges.  His wife never understood the comedic brilliance that they were performing.  Carlos got it though, and he was in the mood for some laughter.

Sure enough, as the credits started to roll, the sound of Connie’s car was heard as she pulled into the garage.  The car door slammed.  The door to the garage slammed.  Finally, Connie walked through the living room and threw her bags on the counter with a mighty thud.


“Honey?  Connie?  Are you okay?”

“You would not guess what happened to me.  Morons, Carlos.  We’re living in a world of morons!”

“Tell me about it.  I mean, just an hour ago…”

“I’m sorry dear”, she interrupted.  “Do you mind if I go first?  I want to… I mean… I’m so angry!”

Carlos nodded without saying a word.  He had pacified himself and his wife was clearly still incensed at her day.  He turned off the television, waved her over, and let his wife collapse onto him.  Connie sighed, slumped onto the soft cushions, and let her head rest lazily on Carlos’ shoulder. 

“It’s good to be home”, Connie said with an exhausted tone.  The relieved attitude didn’t last long.

“I still don’t see how anyone could be so stupid!”  Connie leapt to her feet and started pacing in front of the television.  Nothing that flickered across the screen could dare be as animated as the enraged woman was and Carlos gave her his utmost attention.

“You remember how Stan and I had to make this presentation downtown tonight, right?  That’s where I was for the last few hours?”

Carlos only nodded, knowing the questions that would be thrown out were only rhetorical.

“Well the whole thing went great.  I expect them to offer us a contract in the next few days.  Stan and I are happy little coworkers.  We head for his car since I left mine parked at the office.  We’ve talked about his hybrid before.  I wanted to know how it handled.  I mean, how much have I spent on gas in the last six months?

“Anyway, Stan offers to let me drive his car.  He takes the passenger side, I slide behind the wheel, and we make our way back to the office.  Traffic was awful.  There was some accident by the first intersection.  It blocked things up for I don’t know how long.  Then… then came the real kicker.

“I think everything’s going to be fine.  I figure we’re through the worst of it.  But no.  I’m driving along the city road and the most incredibly asinine person gets in my way.”

Carlos started to feel a tingling down the back of his neck.  He didn’t understand what it meant at that precise moment, but he soon would.

“Someone, some complete buffoon who’s too stupid to run on a track like a smart person, decides that the street is the perfect place to get his jollies.”

After that, Carlos could only stare on in horror.

“I mean, he wasn’t even smart about it!  Was he wearing white?  No!  Was he running in the opposite direction of the cars like he’s supposed to?  Of course not.  And why would he be out jogging at night time?  Is he suicidal?  Do joggers have some sort of death wish to offset their need to be healthy?  I mean, c’mon!”

“Uh, Connie?”

“So there I am.  I’m driving a car that I’m still trying to figure out, and there’s this jogger.  In the road!  Not off to the side, not on some sidewalk.  He’s in the flippin’ road!  Doesn’t he know that there’s a massive cliff on the other side?  Of all the asinine behaviors…  And he’s wearing all black!  Who wears all black anymore?  Emo-running is the hip new thing now?  I just, I can’t even believe it.  I need to take a shower and calm down.” 

Connie sighed and stopped pacing.  She looked at her husband, took a deep breath, and kissed him. 

“I’m glad I’m home.  Would you be a darling and cook dinner while I scrub this atrocious night off of me?  Thanks.”

“Uh, honey?  What kind of a car does Stan drive?”

“I told you”, she said as she made her way down the hallway.  “It’s a hybrid.”

“What kind?”  Carlos could feel himself twitch with fear as he asked the dreaded question.

13203533121548009075ski-mask-psd7675-md“I don’t know, Carlos.  It’s a hybrid.  His is blue.  It’s a four-door.  What do you want me to tell you?  And why is that new ski mask I bought you on the floor?  What have you been up to?”

Ever So Friend-ly (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(I may be taking a break due to National Novel Writing Month, but I can’t shrug off the pull of The Weekly Writing Challenge.  This week, we’re supposed to talk about, “I wish I were”.  Sorry it’s not much of an anecdote, but it’s what I’m supposed to write today.)


It’s like you’re always stuck in second gear
When it hasn’t been your day, your week, your month,
Or even your year…”  –Friends theme song

I do my best to live a fairly introverted life.  Over the forty-eight hour weekend I spent about three of those interacting with fellow church-goers.  The rest I devoted to my couch and my cat.  There were Halloween parties, there were lectures; the world was wide open to me.  However I like my free time to be occupied with a quiet that my living room and my furry sidekick create.  Not surprisingly, friends still find a way to sneak their way into my heart.

Somehow I seem to have gotten a free pass in the ways of the world.  I don’t have any serious problems.  Everything that’s wrong with my life merely rates as a hiccup.  My life, in a nutshell, is ninety-five percent perfect with a high contentment rating.  I don’t have the exact existence that I pictured for myself, but it’s pretty darn nice.  The cat is alive, the jobs pay the bills, and those around me let me have my wacky moments.

It seems that everybody else has things harder than I do.  I’m on the West and the East is living with a storm barreling towards them.  I go for a morning jog and dry my socks over an electric fan while I warm up.  Only blocks away, homeless people shiver in doorways and constantly wage an unending battle to stay comfortable and fed.  Friends around me are undergoing stresses in the relationship, sometimes taking up completely opposite stances on the exact same issue.  I don’t think my friends are suicidal, but we all struggle to be happy now and then.  As I sit on my comfortable chair in a peaceful area, I don’t always see those quick and convenient roads to a better tomorrow for my pals.  They share their frustration and all that appears before them are roadblocks that stand much higher than any of my pithy speed bumps.

I wish I were able to help my friends wtih all their woes and worries.  I wish I were wise enough to give each of them the advice they needed to make the choice that was right for them.  I wish I were in control of each situation that seemed to be tormenting them.  Guess what?  I’m not.

As I come across people that I care about with their own sets of struggles, I’ve only found one trick that works with a darn.  I do my best to shut up and listen. 

Sometimes I can do more.  There are occasions where I can buy a hungry individual a meal.  I’m pretty quick to hand out hugs or rides here or there.  I’d like to think that the loved ones know that I’m praying for them and that I have their back.  But usually I just try to be the one person that won’t judge and won’t shove my solutions on them.  I wish I were the friend that others need me to be.  Hopefully, more often than not, I am.

Too Young to Patronize (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(Oh Weekly Writing Challenge; how you often save me from falling into a writing rut.  This week, we’re asked to take a side on whether or not children are welcome out in public.)

Babies love theater.  Bring them, no matter how young.  It is perfectly acceptable to give birth in the car on the way over and then bring in the baby, still dripping, into the theater.  Babies love theater. “–Eric D. Snider (More comments on theater behavior can be found here)


Pic from here

As the neon marquee sign glowed overhead and the street lights did their best to bring visibility to the outdoors, patrons hurried into the warm theater.  A group of seven males high-fived each other, careful not to jostle their buddies’ thick glasses or bump into their vintage t-shirts.  The thinner, cooler males pulled their girlfriends close and made fun of the nerdier set.  Then, coming out of some darkened corner that only births Greek tragedies, came The Woman.

It wasn’t The Woman herself that terrified all that she came into contact with, it was her small child.  She pushed the high-end stroller in front of her.  Other moviegoers sneered and shuddered at the presence of the wheeled contraption.  Like the Bubonic Plague or an Obama sticker at a GOP gathering, the monstrosity was to be avoided at all costs.  To the people around it, there could be no greater sin in the practice of watching a new movie than to bring an infant with you.

The Woman was either unaware of the criticism being shot her way by eye-daggers and mental threats of throwing popcorn, or she didn’t care.  She was on a mission.  She strutted through the crowds, giving no heed to those around her, and made her way straight to the ticket-taker.

“I ordered my tickets online.  They should be waiting for me.”

“Okay then.  Just head over to that kiosk behind you there and it will print them up for you”, the usher replied.

“Ucccck.  You mean I have to walk all the way over there?”

“It really isn’t that far.  See those restrooms about twenty feet away?  There’s a computer right there that can take your credit card and pull up your reservation.”

“I know you’re not gonna make me walk my stroller all the way there and all the way back?”

“Well miss, there are an awful lot of people here and it is impeding their path.”

“I’ll lose my place in line!”

“Actually, I think those folks right there were first”, the staff person gestured.  “Also, there are no strollers allowed inside the theater.”

“No strollers?”  The Woman’s face lit fury.  Her expression showed that not only had an ice cube been dropped down her shirt, but the ice truck driver had run over her foot as it drove off.  “Why can’t I take my stroller inside?”

“It is our policy that strollers be parked outside the theater.  The fire code demands that all walkways be clear, so we can’t have them inside.”

“What about wheelchair spots?  Don’t you have those?”  The Woman’s demanding tone showed no sign of backing down.

Meeting The Woman’s determined mindset, the usher replied with a tone that showed their long history of answering such questions.  “Yes, ma’am”, they said, purposefully upgrading The Woman from a pleasant “miss” to a troublesome and irritating, “ma’am”.  “However, as you yourself have just pointed out, those are for wheelchairs.”

“Why can’t I use one of those?  What if there’s room?”

“Ma’am, this movie has been advertised for months.  It has been talked about for years.  This may very well be the biggest picture of the summer.  There will not be room for your stroller.  Even if there was, as I explained to you, we can’t have them inside.”

“That’s preposterous”, The Woman exclaimed.  “What am I supposed to do, put this kid on my lap?”

“If you didn’t buy ‘this kid’ a ticket; then yes.  That is what we would ask you to do.”  Other employees had noticed the line behind The Woman growing.  They moved in to help, but the senior staff person sent them away with one quick look.  The usher had started this fight, and they were determined that they were going to settle it without any help.”

“What are you, ageist?”

And this pic’s from here

“No, ma’am.  In the right settings I think kids are adorable.  However, I personally feel that when you bring a child whose hearing isn’t fully developed into a three hour movie full of loud explosions, then there is a health concerned involved.  Additionally, I would question your child’s ability to maintain their composure and not cry or scream during all the darkness and loud noises.”

“That’s only your opinion.”

“Five bucks says it isn’t”, the usher offered.

“Come again?”

“Let’s take a vote.  If you can find three people in this line of, what, forty folks all waiting to see this movie?  Looks about right.  Yeah, if you can get three of these people to say they’d rather see a new film, on opening night, at midnight, with your child than without?  Then I’ll give you five bucks.  Shoot, I’ll make it twenty.  However, I’m willing to wager that everyone here just wants you to take your kid home and come back when it’s a more age appropriate movie and time.  You know, a kids movie.  What do you bet?”

The Woman’s face turned a deep shade of red.  She pulled her stroller close to her.  The Woman looked at the crowd behind her.  On their faces she could see them all smirking and daring her to take the bet.  Her teeth clenched as she pushed her stroller away from the usher. 

“Of all the… I never…”

“Well now you have”, one of the nerds said as he puffed out his large chest and even larger belly.  The logo on his shirt was made prominent by the new posture, and also by the swooping cape that fell behind his round shoulders.

The Woman took her child and returned to her double-parked car.  After a few minutes of bustling and fumbling with the car seat, she returned home.  There, without disturbing anyone else, she let her child fuss and squirm as she watched a movie on her television.

Deathly Pale (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(Monday means a much needed Weekly Writing Challenge.  And seeing as how The Walking Dead came back on T.V. last night… well, you get the idea.)

I also have always liked the monster within idea. I like the zombies being us. Zombies are the blue-collar monsters.” George A. Romero


Outside, the thick layer of gray clouds was not to be permeated.  Only a month ago, an early morning setting of bright blue skies joined by puffy white clouds would have offered up a promise of hope.  However, in the thirty days since September had waved good-bye and exited off stage, things had changed dramatically.  Gone were the picturesque sunsets.  There would no longer be beautiful sunrises flooding one’s windows with orange and pink hues that danced and melted into each other.  The mountains that looked so majestic and daring off in the distance were covered by an intrusive layer of dismal color.  The grayness was so absolute and so all-encompassing that it even began showing on the denizens of the world.

Rick, trying his best to keep warm, looked at his roommate.  Earlier in the year, Robert had been the picture of health.  He had spent his summers working at the beach.  His bronze tan had served as proof of the countless hours that the golden sun had shone down on his muscular skin.  Running around in only swim trunks, Robert had portrayed an image of perfect health.  The men had envied him, the woman had smiled his way; Robert had looked as majestic as the sandy beaches and the clear blue ocean that he stood watch over.  It seemed ironic to Rick that a man who had spent so much time being a lifeguard now personified the cold visage of decay.

Once again, Rick found himself standing back in horror.  The normally bright green eyes of his friend had gone dim.  A low, “nnnnngh” sound was coming out of Robert’s slack jaw.  Weirdly enough, Robert’s teeth were still as white as ever.  His tongue even retained its purple-red color, like a plum that had been left out in the afternoon heat.  Clearly, some rich blue plasma must still be pumping through the man’s veins.

Pic from WP Clip Art

The pallid skin tone, however, told another story.  The formerly tanned face was now ashen.  Deep lines masked any freckles or smiles that had once decorated Robert’s face.  It wasn’t enough to describe Robert as pasty.  His face now seemed the very absence of life or spirit.  Robert was at the halfway point between lively human and stagnant corpse.  Even his brown hair had joined in with his face and had gone completely dark.  Robert was not entirely lost to the world of the living, but he certainly had packed his bags for the trip.

Rick tried to look away, but couldn’t.  The newly added creases under Robert’s eyes haunted Rick.  They sagged and drooped under the depressed state that Robert had sunk into.  The man’s eyes, no longer charged with glimmering or shining, had taken on a vacancy that was horrifying.  Rick couldn’t take it.  There needed to be some color added to Robert’s morbid features.  With a dab, he drew a long line running from the blackened lip and traced it down to the chin.  Rick stood back and looked at the trail of blood.  He gasped.  The contrast of the deep, dark-red streak only showed just how desolate Robert really looked.

“Dude”, Rick finally said.  “That is messed up.”

“Really?  The makeup works?”

Rick nodded as he stared at his work of art.  “The face is frickin’ perfect.  We just gotta get you some tattered clothes.”

Robert clapped his hands.  “First prize, here I come!  No more losing to guys dressed like TeleTubbies.”

Less is More- Weekly Writing Challenge

(One more Monday, and again I look to the Weekly Writing Challenge abyss and wonder if it stares back.  This time they encourage writing about something different.  I don’t normally talk too much about my opinions, and I try not to rant, so this will be some sort of amalgamation of the two.  The fictional stories are coming later this week, honest.)

Plain question and plain answer make the shortest road out of most perplexities.” -Mark Twain


“’Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to be free.”  That’s what I’ve been taught for years and years.  The older I get, the more I find it to be true.  At the same time, I’ve noticed that there are more voices than before shouting at me in defiance of that notion.

I like to consider myself a fairly simple guy.  Okay, my work schedule with four jobs at three places is completely insane.  Everything else is normal though.  Honest.  Sundays are made for jogging, church, and if I’m feeling fancy; a visit with my best friend.  Breakfast is normally cereal or oatmeal; scrambled eggs with ketchup if I have extra time to lounge about.  Kim Kircher offered up a quiz on her site to see how much of a thrill seeker people are.  Out of a possible score of forty, I scored a three.  What can I say; it takes very little to keep me content.

Now, I know that there are different ways to approach things.  Some folks like to keep up to date on all the new stuff.  I am aware of people that buy a new car every few years or purchase a computer to keep their gear top of the line.  Nowhere is this more prevalent than with cellular phones.

I use my phone for two things; texting and phone calls.  If I’m having trouble staying awake at work, maybe I’ll play Carmen San Diego.  (It turns out that my memories of high school geography are still accessible when ushering an eleven p.m. movie.  Who knew?)  I do not need internet access.  I do not need a program to tell me when the bus is coming when I can simply memorize the schedule.  And I don’t need to get updates from people I haven’t seen for two years.  That sort of thing can wait until I’m sitting in a comfortable chair with a computer that has a reasonably sized screen.  Again, that’s my preference.  My newest phone is the only one that my provider offered for free without having to sign up for a data plan.  Clearly I am in the smartphone minority.  The lines at iStores have proven that.

Part of why I raise an eyebrow at people increasing their possessions, is that I have seen how much it really costs them.  I know people that have a tablet, a smartphone, and a laptop, but have problems paying their bills.  Folks will come up to the register with an armful of merchandise and lament how they shouldn’t be buying as much as they are.  A new trend that I’ve noticed are consumers that will pay part in cash and part on a credit card so that their spouse doesn’t realize how much money they are shelling out.  I start to wonder about the issue of self-control that we, the buying public, have over our wallets.

Bumblebee says, “Hand over the dough!”
(Photo from Wikipedia.)

The less is more approach didn’t always come easily to me.  In high school, I bought pretty much every country CD that I came across and had even the slightest interest in.  (I’m looking at you, Garth Brooks and Tim McGraw.)  For some reason, my parents decided to pay my way as long as I was in college.  That meant that all the funds that I got from work could go wherever I pleased.  So, once upon a time, I spent over a thousand dollars purchasing old Transformer toys on eBay.  Not my proudest moment.  I later sold them all to others online for a fraction of what I paid.  It didn’t take me long to buy a clue; purchasing more knick-knacks didn’t make me any happier.

At the end of a long work week, I don’t wish that I had more cool things in my apartment.  Come and visit; you’ll see hand-me-down furniture, used books, and a cat that wants nothing more than a bowl of food and a warm pair of jeans to knead.  I still have more things than I like and try to think of ways to get rid of them.  My friends know that my hundreds of DVDs are available to loan, as are the countless comic books.

Any gal that enters into a long term relationship with me is going to quickly find out that I’m no sugar daddy.  I will never be rich.  I’m going to be working multiple jobs for a while because the thought of a high-paying office job, complete with the corporate stress and “earning your outrageous salary” holds absolutely no appeal to me.  I want enough of a paycheck to keep the debtors away and the cat stocked in kitty litter.  That’s all I really need.

Take a look at my workplace.  People come and see movies at my theater because it has a big screen.  Sometimes I look at what we’re showing and tell myself that it really doesn’t need such a fancy presentation.  I didn’t really love Titanic the first time, and I sure didn’t think that Titanic 3D was any better.  One of my favorite movies is How to Train Your Dragon.  The last time I visited my nieces, they strongly suggested that I simply had to watch it in 3D.  I did, and I still like the 2D version better.  I don’t need seats that movie in synch with the action of the film, I don’t need custom 3D glasses, and I certainly don’t need some waiter coming up to me and offering me another beer during the film.  I just want to watch a movie without any frills.

For those folks out there that enjoy the finer things in life; I get it.  I do.  New and shiny things hold a great appeal.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having nice things.  If you can afford to upgrade your lifestyle every so often, then you’re certainly allowed to.  My family thinks their 3D T.V. was worth it.  Speaking for myself, my ’97 Dodge works just fine, my original Kindle is still souped-up enough for me, and I have no problem patching holes in my clothing.  By all means, do whatever makes you happy.  Personally, I’ve slowly learned that there’s not a lot for sale that makes my life any richer.

Fresh as a Daisy (Weekly Writing Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told.  Some will be fun, some will not.  Some will be great, some will be less so.  Some stories are true, some are merely possible.  This is one of them.

(This post is once again made possible by The Daily Post.  Much thanks for the idea.  I like painting pictures with metaphors.)

Fresh as a Daisy

The path of a good woman is indeed strewn with flowers; but they rise behind her steps, not before them.” -John Ruskin

It had started off with the older males.  The retired fellows in the coffee shop would see her in line and call her “sweetheart” or “darling”.  They didn’t bother to ask her name.  They never introduced themselves.  The elderly fellows thought that their old-fashioned attitudes would somehow win a soft spot in her heart.

At first, Daisy did her best to brush it off.  The older gentlemen had their way of expressing their affection and she wanted to accept the compliment.  Yet, there was a limit to how many coffees these grandfathers could buy her.  In truth, the drinks (supposedly meeting every definition of a complimentary beverage) came at a cost.  “Give us a smile”, they’d goad.  “Hey Doll, how about giving us a peck on the cheek?”  Eventually, Daisy ended up buying a coffee maker and avoiding the affronts on her person.

Yet, it was the men that she worked with that created the most difficulty for Daisy.  She was raised to be kind and courteous to all.  With her pleasing curves and ready smile, many men interpreted her attempts at politeness as flirting.  Daisy tried to temper her natural tendencies towards being outgoing, but it was a delicate balance.  If she was too cheery, the men took it as an invitation to hit on her.  When she tried to be strictly business oriented, whispers circled around about her being “frigid” or “a tease”.  It didn’t matter what she wore or what environment she was in.  There always seemed to be one or two guys that took the whole thing too far.  Daisy was done with all of it.

On a Thursday afternoon, Daisy was putting together a series of reports that her boss had asked for.  Having previously requested a three-day weekend, the pressure was on to deliver all the work before the end of her work day.  The sooner Daisy finished, the more time she could spend in Hawaii celebrating her friend’s wedding.  She had tickets for an eight thirty flight, but she had hopes of making a six o’clock one.  All she had to do was complete the tasks that had been placed on her plate.  Of course, that was the time that Bradley showed up.

Bradley had been following Daisy for months.  Ever since she had been introduced to the staff, Bradley had gone out of his way to take Daisy under his wing.  In the beginning, his advice had been helpful and Daisy had appreciated how he went out of his way to guide her through the office floor plan, policies, and even the politics.  However, as time passed, Bradley kept talking less about work and more about his designs on her.  Daisy felt the muscles in her jaw tighten and her teeth clenched together.

“Hey there, Dearie.  How’s your wonderful self today?”

“I’m actually quite busy, Bradley.”

“Too busy for me?  I don’t believe it.”

“Well”, Daisy said without looking up from the papers, “it’s still the truth.”

“Look, Daisy.  We’ve been dancing this little routine for far too long.  Why don’t you just give in to me?  I’ll show you a real good time.”

“Three reasons, Bradley.  One, I like my boyfriend just fine.  Two, you started off using charming phrasing; now you’re crude.  Third, I’m busy.  So off you go.  Please.”

“Daisy, Honey, it’s dangerous to deny that which you clearly need so desperately.”

With that, Daisy snapped.  That little switch in her mind that she’d tried to keep her itchy trigger-finger away from for so long finally flipped on.  Her limit had been breached.  Throwing down a pile of papers with a slam, Daisy fixed her eyes on Bradley and stared him down with a determination that added a foot to her perceived stature.

Photo from Wikipedia

“Bradley, have you ever had a mole?”

“What?”  The formerly charming fellow was easily confused.

“A mole.  Not a little garden pest that can be turned into a cute creature in children’s books.  I’m referencing a growth or discoloration on the skin.  Got any moles, Bradley?”

“Uh, no.  I don’t think so.”

“See Bradley, moles sound all kinds of fun.  At first I thought that a mole would be a nice little addition.  You know, it would add a touch of character.  If my face was lovely before, wouldn’t the mole make things a little more interesting?  I could dress up the mole.  Take it out on the town.  People would notice my tiny tagalong.  When if first comes onto the scene, the mole is something to celebrate.  Ya with me so far here, Bradley?”

“I guess…”

“Great”, she continued.  “Next is the second stage of coming across this new mole.  It starts to become irritating.  One has to wonder if they should cover up the mole when they go out in public.  The mole thinks it has control of what the rest of you wants to do.  You go to wash up at the end of the day, and you wish you could just rub that silly mole right off.  The allure is gone.  The mole has started to grow hair.”

“What does that have to do with me?”

“Maybe it will become clearer in phase three.  See, that’s when the mole has worn out its welcome.  The mole is now a worry-inducing pest.  Moles can show signs of cancer.  The bigger the mole is, the easier it is to see on your face, and the less you like it.  Even your coworkers start to mention things.  ‘I think that mole is diseased’, one gal says.  ‘I once had a mole like that.  I got rid of it and my life’s only been better.’  See, it turns out that moles are more trouble than they’re worth.  In the end, it’s really just best to excise them, forget them, and go find better things to occupy your time with.  Moles are nothing but an annoyance.”

Daisy looked back at her files and saw that she had nearly completed her work.  She only needed a little clarification from her boss and then she could finish quickly.  A glance at the clock confirmed what she dared to hope; that early flight was possible.  She’d have to call Joel and see if he was packed yet.  A charming boyfriend, Hawaii, and three entire days without work; it sounded like paradise indeed.  Daisy gathered the final piles of papers and made her way to the glass door with its ornate lettering.

“Wait”, Bradley called out as Daisy put her hand on her supervisor’s door knob.  “I don’t get it.”

“Neither does the mole, Bradley.  That’s the whole point.”

E-maling to Efficiency and Effectives (Weekly Writing Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told.  Some will be fun, some will not.  Some will be great, some will be less so.  Some stories are true, some are merely possible.  This is one of them.

(Once again, I have to thank The Daily Post for suggesting that we write about e-mails.  However, I still refuse to post by e-mail.  How do I show gratitude for them Fresh Press-ing me last week?  By rebelling.)

E-mailing to Efficiency and Effectiveness

Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day, filling out useless forms and listening to eight different bosses drone on about mission statements.” –Office Space

Howard parked his car and glumly looked around the parking lot.  A sea of four-door cars, all of them silver or white, looked back at him contentedly.  The cars knew what they were supposed to do until five o’clock.  The paragons of domestic accomplishment were tasked with sitting out in the sun, warming themselves, and generally relaxing in the clear blue sky.  Their drivers, on the other hand, had work waiting for them inside.

Howard sighed, heaved his heavy briefcase towards him, and got out of the car.  He reached in one last time to grab his coffee cup from its resting place in front of the shifter.  He could already feel the warmth of his car’s interior increasing.  Howard shook his head, sipped his coffee, and chirp-ed his car alarm into action.  Howard often wondered what good it did to have an alarm that he couldn’t hear from his desk, but it made his insurance bill lower so he chose to play along.

Walking in the glass door, Howard held his ID badge up to the time clock and listened as the familiar be-deep acknowledged his existence.  The man dressed in a black suit, black tie, black slacks, blue shoes, and a gray shirt, reached inside his briefcase as the kitchen rose into view.  His attire, much like his office space, was dull and lifeless.  Howard took the Sharpie that hung by a piece of yarn from a refrigerator-magnet, wrote his name on his brown paper bag, and then added a frowny-face to voice his displeasure.  Howard was not thrilled about being in the office today, and he would share his frustration and annoyance with anyone who would even think about pilfering his meager lunch.  He closed the fridge door and hoped that his food would be waiting for him later.

Upon leaving the sole communal area, Howard looked out at the office.  As always, he was greeted by the impersonal and blasé sight of dreariness.  Standing at five-feet tall, the cubicle walls were not imposing, not harsh; they were simply there.  They had no aspiring qualities.  They were merely there to be divisive.  They were there to separate the accountants from the advertisers.  The supervisors were walled off from the underlings.  The only thing that the beige and gray walls didn’t section off were conversations.  Every phone call, every moment of casual interaction was overheard and oftentimes commented on.  Howard’s solution to that conundrum was to e-mail everything.

At the far end of the room, Howard could see a large, picturesque window that let the cubicle-clan catch a glimpse of the real world.  The last of the morning clouds had burnt off.  He could feel the veins in his neck tightening already.  He sat down, glared at the calendar on his carpet-covered wall, and turned on his computer.  As the fan whirred to life and the supposedly amusing tones echoed from his tiny speakers, Howard knew he had to break free.  As soon as his wallpaper came up, a happy view of Howard and his family standing on top of a mountain, Howard pulled up his e-mail program.

Quickly clicking on the “new” button, Howard typed the first three letters of his coworker’s name into the subject line, tabbed down, typed in “lunch” as the subject line, and began his first e-mail of the day.  The other seventy-four messages that had wondrously appeared in two and a half days could wait their turn.

“Hey.  Going to go crazy if I don’t escape today.  Lunch?  Outside?”

Howard clicked “send” and took another sip of his coffee.  His cup felt worrisomely light.  Howard tilted the cup back the entire way and the last few drops fell into his mouth.  Great, Howard thought to himself.

Ba-Don, came the noise from Howard’s computer.  He opened the newest letter from Jack.

“Yes.  A thousand times yes.”

Howard clicked “reply”.

“Where do you want to go?”

This time, Howard could hear the Ba-Don from his coworker’s desk.  Scant seconds later, the sound resonated from his computer.

“Outside.  Not here.  You?”

Howard typed, happy to have a cohort in his great escape.  Only four hours remained until they could be free.  “Hawaii.”


Howard chuckled at the audible response that resonated over the cubicle walls.  He could imagine Jack’s embarrassment as the others wondered what he was up to.  Soon, Jack’s response hit Howard’s screen.

“Don’t think we have time for Hawaii.  Maybe a park?”

“A park?”  Howard frowned as he typed.  “Parks are crowded with small children.  I’ll have enough of that when I get home.”

“I suppose”, came Jack’s response.

“Besides, I stepped in dog poop the last time we went.  Never again.”

Again, Jack’s hardy laughter burst from his cubicle.  Howard smiled at the comic relief he was getting out of his colleague.

“Stop that!”  Jack’s note was followed by several angry emoticons.  “If you keep making me laugh, we’re both going to get in trouble.”

“It’s not my fault you have no self-control.”

“That’s what she said!”

“Ugggh”, Howard tossed his head back and groaned out loud.  He took his gaze away from the buzzing lights that were recessed in the ceiling and typed out a vexed reply.  “Stop doing that.  The rest of us stopped seven years ago.  It’s done.  Move on.”

“No.  I’m bringing it back.”

“It hasn’t been gone long enough to return!!!”  Howard hoped his extra exclamation points would get his exasperation across.


“Nice caps-work, tool.”


“See”, Howard typed gleefully.  “I’m instructing you already.  What a productive morning we’re having.”

“That’s it.  Stand up”, demanded the newest e-mail.


“Stand.  UP.”

Howard could hear an office chair creak and the casters roll as movement sounded from the other side of the wall in front of him.  He stood up himself and looked his cubicle mate in the eye.

“Good morning”, the man across from Howard said.

“Good morning, Jack”, Howard replied.

“Nice to see you”, Jack said as he extended his right hand.

Howard took the man and shook it.  The awkward barrier was still separated the two, but they greeted each other across the obstacle like two pros after a tennis competition.

“You too”, Howard replied.

“Shall we head to the waterfront for lunch?”

“That sounds dandy”, Howard answered.

“Swell”, Jack said.  “See you then.”

“Looking forward to it.”

With that, the two men sat back down.

Ba-Don.  Howard grinned at the newest arrival to his in-box.  He opened Jack’s note and read, “E-mail’s for ineffectual morons.  We’re still humans, darnit!”

“What, you’d rather have a real conversation than drag this out for ten minutes?  Where’s the technological advancement in that?  Luddite.”

“I hate you.  See you at noon.”

Howard looked at the clock.  Eight seventeen.  Howard headed to the kitchen to make himself a second cup of coffee.  Twelve o’clock was going to be a long wait.

Stealing from Mamet (Weekly Writing Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Stealing from Mamet (Weekly Writing Challenge)

(This week’s Weekly Writing Challenge was aping style.  And I’ve already tackled Roald Dahl, so I thought I’d take a crack at David Mamet.)

It’s only words… unless they’re true.” –David Mamet

“It was crap.”



“You said that.”

“I know.”

“You know?”

“I’m aware.”

“Why don’t you elucidate upon your point?”

“It’s the thing.”

“The thing.”

“The thing that was supposed to go down last week.”

“It was supposed to?  So it didn’t?”

“Well, it did.  But it was a mess.”

“A mess like a cat makes on the kitchen floor when it’s been neglected by some high school girl?”

“More like the splatter of goo when a watermelon is dropped from a falling airplane.”



“That kind of mess.”


“What was the play?”

“Haven’t you heard it?”

“I might have.”

“Jackson couldn’t keep his mouth shut if it was stapled shut and then vacuumed up tight by those guys that freeze dry beef.  I thought he’d have spilled it all by now.”

“Not so much spilled as dribbled.”

“He would be a dribbler.  He drools all over himself.”

“But you trusted him.”

“Not really.”

“Enough to help with your scheme.”

“Only barely.  Mostly it was that I knew he couldn’t scheme a way to stab me in the back.”

“So what went wrong?”

“The escape.”

“The exit?”

“The getaway.”

“Jackson ruined it?”

“Like a batch of cookie dough left out for two days.”

“But what about the snatch itself?”

“The snatch worked.  Just only.”

“How so?  Who was your alarm guy?”


“The alarm guy was a moron?

“The alarm guy’s name was moron, far as I was concerned.  He had moron brains and moron fingers.  Tells me he cut the wires.  Moron says that we’re all clear to go.  Somehow moron didn’t notice that the wires to the panel were wired with an alarm.”


“Dang is right.  Dang is the sound the prison door makes as it slams shut and leaves us all looking at the vertical window dressings made of pure iron with drugged up failures for roommates.”

“That wasn’t what did you in?”

“This wasn’t my first time having a faulty screw on my sidecar.  I still had the controls, I just took over.  While moron was working to silence the alarms, I went to work.  I knew where the diamonds were.  I knew what I was after.  And lemme tell ya Saul, those diamonds loved me.  They shined, they glittered; they all jumped into my hands like little bugs looking for food.  The diamonds and I, we were all chummy.  I grabbed ‘em, they smiled, and I ran outta that room.”

“The alarm wasn’t going off the whole time?”

“Oh, it was.  I left moron there trying to figure it out while I ran out to Jackson’s escape car.”

“That’s where it took a wrong-turn?”

“That’s where it slammed into a blasted cement wall.  You know who Jackson’s girl is?”

“Not really.  He told me she works for the city.”

“Yeah she does.  As a cop.”

“No kidding?”

“Not even a little.  Jackson said she was sick of bringing home squat.  She’s gotta pay for her gun, her uniform, and take abuse from bums like Jackson.  Thing is, she likes the dangerous side.  Y’know, why spend your nights in a cramped apartment all by yourself when she can hang out with a certain crowd.  A crowd she knows where to find.  Jackson said this woman was all kinds of trouble and she liked to deal that way.”

“So she was in on it?”

“That’s how he told it.  Even arranged a nice getaway vehicle.”

“You mean?”

Pic from Wikipedia.

“You ever see police men stop a squad car when responding to a burglary?  You don’t, because they don’t.”

“That’s quite a set up.”

“It’s a real nice set up.  From the tax-funded gas in the tires to the detective-repellant flashing lights on top.  Plus being able to drive sixty in a twenty-five ain’t a bad speed for a getaway car.”

“So what’d she do, get lost?”

“Oh no, she knew exactly where she was going.  She had the route all memorized.”

“How’s that a bad thing?”

“When she’s driving a couple of cons in the back of a police car to her station, it’s a very bad thing.”



“She turned you guys in?  Went all two-faced?”

“Apparently she was only trouble for cops.  Her bosses told her put on one face.  When the heist was done, she should pull an about-face.  Jackson was just dumb enough to believe a guy like him could get a dame like her.”

“So she gave you guys a nice pair of handcuffs?”

“I wasn’t the one going out with her; I had no qualms escaping.  Let Jackson take care of his own relationship problems.  If he wants to give the gal a promotion as a parting gift, that’s his affair.  Me, I took off.”

“Outran her and those other cops?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe.  They were there, those big fancy stairs leading to the station were there, and lots of guns were there, so I decided that there wasn’t a place I wanted to be.  I may be good at running a scam, but I run from bullets even better.”

“So you got nuthin?”

“I never have nuthin’.”

“How’d you make off with the jewels?”

“Shoved ‘em in a little travel belt I carry with me.  If it’s good enough when abroad, it’s good enough to fool a broad.”

“The cop didn’t know you made off with the loot?”

“Nope.  She saw me toss a bag in the backseat and figured that was it.”

“What was in the bag?”

“Moron’s dinner.”

“How’s that?”

“The moron likes to snack while he works.  I took it from him because his fingers were gettin’ all slippery and he couldn’t hold his moron tools or manage the wires.  Morons don’t get to eat if they ain’t gonna do the job first.”

“Did the moron get picked up too?”

“Haven’t checked, haven’t heard.”

“But Jackson got arrested.  That’s how he tells it.”

“Yeah.  I’m pretty sure he’s not enjoying the girlfriend’s handcuff skills.  Probably thought it’d be fun when he first hooked up with her.”

“Maybe he’ll find a new girlfriend in there.”

“Nah, he’s too ugly.”

“You’re sittin’ pretty though.  Got all that swag, and no one to split the profits with.”

“This is true.”

“Quite the thing.”

“A close thing.  Still a thing I can live with.”

Creaky Chairs and Those that Love Them (Daily Post Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

Creaky Chairs and Those that Love Them (Daily Post Challenge)

Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” -Epictetus

Asking a person about their favorite possession can be tricky.  My first notion was to answer, “My cat”.  However, there are some, including my cat, who would state that a cat is a roommate, not a possession.  I don’t own her, especially since she was free.  (Mylar would also state that she is no one’s “thing”.  She is her own creature with plenty of attitude to show off.)  So I must share an anecdote about my favorite possession, one which Mylar happens to approve of.

Not my chair, but you get the idea.
From Wikipedia.

I once made a point of mentioning that I wanted my Dad’s rocking chair.  There are plenty of grand things in my parent’s house, but all I really cared about were the grandfather clock and rocking chair.  I like wood furniture.  Give me a bookshelf that I can hammer back together over a rusting metal rack any day.  However, waiting for my father to pass on is both morbid and requires more patience than I have in me.  So I went out and got my own dang rocking chair.

There is a furniture shop a few miles from where I live and they specialize in wood furniture.  That fact alone makes it my kind of place.  I stepped into the glass door and right near the front entry was a nice collection of rocking chairs all lined up like The Rockettes.  I was a happy camper.

Now, even as a young college student, I knew enough to respect the classic rocking chair.  I have no use for gliding chairs.  Chairs should sway back and forth soothingly on two long and curved slats of wood.  A rocking chair should not pivot to and fro on a parallelogram assembly.  Two horizontal pieces and two vertical pieces attached by metal screws constantly creating and changing angles as the wood yields weekly?  No.  That is not a rocking chair.  That is some cute little chair for tea parties.  I need solid wood construction.  I don’t want some pithy little twigs that are going to snap if they get bumped the wrong way and throw off the entire functionality of the chair.  Give me a classic rocking chair or nothing at all.

I’m a writer, not artist. Clearly.

I admit that I may be biased.  I was raised with a rocking horse that was really just one big runner with a flat seat and the wooden head of a horse attached.  In some morbidly macabre act of practicality, the handle for children to hold on to was not a piece of rope, but a pole crammed straight through the horse’s head.  “Hey kids, let’s all take a ride with Phineas Gage!”  Regardless, the seated see-sawing motion on this generations-old toy got me hooked on rocking chairs from an early age.

The salesman at the store was quite helpful.  I’m not sure what he thought of a guy in his early twenties buying a rocking chair, but he helped me find a simple one that I could afford and even carried it out to the car with me.  That’s when his skepticism began.

“How were you planning to get this home?”

“Oh, I’ll just put it in the back seat.”  I hadn’t actually thought the whole process through.  I somehow assumed that a four-foot tall piece of furniture with ski-like runners and no disassembly allowed would magically fit into my compact Dodge Neon’s rear area.  I knew it wouldn’t fit in the trunk, so it had to situate itself in the back.  What could possibly go wrong?

“I don’t know about this”, the man said as he turned it on its face and pushed.

I locked the front car seats as far forward as they would go.  The actual seat and back had plenty of room around it, but those runners that I cherished were troublesome.  Somehow, someway, the chair was the exact length of the back of my car, and the runners just barely fit inside the frame.  Okay, so the car window was pushed out a little bit.  It didn’t break, so I was content.

“That is the first time I have ever seen a chair like this fit in anything but a truck.”  I’m always glad to happily surprise seasoned salesmen.

That chair and I have bonded.  There is a blue scrape on its armrest from when I moved from one apartment to the next and my dresser got a little too frisky with its advances in the back of the truck.  I could try to scrape off the paint or cover up the abrasion, but why not let the chair have its war wound?  My cat has tried to show her affection for the piece of furniture by sharpening her claws on the lower pieces.  Happily, the finish is so slippery that she can’t get a good grip.  Her paws, much to her annoyance and my delight, just slide right off without leaving a mark.

I make it up to her though.  Whenever I am having my quiet time in the rocking chair, Mylar gets to hop up on my lap.  Together we enjoy the guaranteed world of calm.  She gets to have her ears and back scratched.  I get to blissfully rock back and forth.  Sometimes I let my head lean back on the highest point of the frame that is in the perfect position to rest comfortably on.  Other times I sit up straight and put my free arm on the armrest that rises up to meet my sleepy arm at exactly the right height.

If it’s good enough for Twain, it’s good enough for me. (Photo source: here)

No matter how I sit in it, my rocking chair gives off the proper amount of “creak”.  Everyone has heard the sound that should emanate from a well-made rocker.  It should softly and reassuringly greet the user with a “creak-crauk”.  One backward movement provides the “creak”, and forward movement creates the “crauk”.  Like the cousin of a frog, it sings you to a simpler, more peaceful place.  Gliding chairs don’t have that sound, and therefore they are less worthy in my sight.  Then there are the shabby, abused chairs that make nothing but sound.  Every gesture and adjustment in one’s posture creates a symphony of noise.  I can’t handle that.  I may live on the ground floor, but I still have neighbors (and my sanity), to think of.  No, a rocking chair should only make two different sounds; three if you count the sigh of contentment from the user.

Bean bags chairs are great, but hard to get out of.  Recliners, back-massagers; they all have their place.  But for me, when I want to escape the trials and tribulations of the world, nothing is more relaxing than closing my eyes and swooping to and fro in my reliable wooden rocking chair.  That is, except for the one time my cat put her tail under the runner.  (She’s fine; her lesson was learned.  Both possessions have learned to respect the other.)

Feeling Emp-T (Daily Post Challenge)

In “Anecdotal Tales”, stories will be told. Some will be fun, some will not. Some will be great, some will be less so. Some stories are true, some are merely possible. This is one of them.

(Yes, I already answered the call of The Daily Post’s challenge this week.  However there was the suggestion that we write a story without using a certain letter.  And I just couldn’t pass that up.)

Feeling Emp-T

A woman is like a hot tea bag, you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

Sue was in dire need.  Her morning had been cruel.  Her work day showed no signs of being any kinder.  One drink would make her capable of being sociable.  One beverage could refill her sleepy soul.  However she had a feeling of doom; for her drink of choice was simply gone from her cupboard.

Sue dressed for work in a grouchy manner.  She picked a blouse and dress slacks, hoping her fashion-sense remained serviceable.  Her choice of dress was reasonably pleasing and so she made her way from her bedroom and approached her car.

Radio was normally relaxing for Sue.  She enjoyed hearing over-bearing people converse while never agreeing on any issue.  On such a morning as Sue was undergoing, she only desired silence.  She imagined a world where everyone disallowed speaking.  A cheery lack of dialog would rule over all.  Considering her highly congenial office pals, Sue knew such an idea was impossible.

Her coworkers were exceedingly chipper when Sue walked in.  Liz explained how well her children had performed in a church play on Sunday.  Brad was obsessed, finding any gap in discussion and seizing on said span of seconds.  He believed everyone would enjoy hearing a prolonged saga regarding his sea-faring vessel.  Caroline, as always, bemoaned a degree of loneliness in her life and asked for her friends’ indulgence.  She was a single woman, always on a grand search for a hunky and compassion-filled single fellow.

Sue lacked any degree of concern for her workplace chums.  She yearned for caffeine.  She had files beckoning her which she knew would be dull.  Sue’s chores which lay ahead of her called loudly and obnoxiously.  Several phone calls needed answering, none of which would be cheerful.  Sue pined for her fluffy pillow and a bed which required zilch from her.

Of course, her dreary morning was due for a sudden surprise.  She walked by her minion’s desk, discovering a memo had been placed haphazardly above his screen.  Sue read in Sharpie scribbling, “I’m gone.  See you never.”  Sue could hardly comprehend Brad resigning.  She always assured of her kindness concerning him.  Only now did she see signs of a vexed employee who had seemingly escaped a promising job eagerly and angrily.  Sue lacked a response, choosing her pile of work as her mind’s focus.

Door closed, her screen glowing in her face, window shades drawn, Sue had a workspace conducive for success.  Work could be accomplished.  Calls would be made.  All her problems would be addressed.  If only she were more awake.  Coffee was overly harsh on her inner workings.  She was considering an errand.  A purveyor of drinks was only four blocks away.  Surely she could finish her chores more readily if she were fully conscious.

Sue pushed herself away from her desk, removed her eyes from her e-mails, and pulled securely on her purse.  She had cash, she had many goals she should accomplish, and she had a plan.  Walking away from her office, her self-assuredness rose.  Sue had no need for a lackey.  She could make do and face her unwieldy missions all by herself.  However she did feel her morning was lacking one crucial piece.  Sue walked across her office’s lobby unyielding in her goal of acquiring some caffeine.

Really, all Sue desired on such a morning was a splash of help from her friend, tea.

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