That was the fourth time she had stubbed her toe on the Damien Hurst diamond encrusted skull that month!
The person he imagined he would see in a mirror when he was twenty-four was the same person he imaged he would see in a mirror now.
All week he lived for Saturday morning, but when it came he had no idea what to do with himself.
He put two bowls of chips on the coffee table but before anyone could reach in, he bowed his head and said, “let us pray”.
There was a cross-cut wormhole on the surface of the coffee table that was good for catching runaway pens.
According to the infographic meme, the opposite of a vampire is a mailman. He was a mailman, and he definitely didn’t drink blood for sustenance. So he was definitely not a vampire but maybe not the opposite of one either as he was growing a bit of a vandyke-shaped beard. But it made him think. On dark overcast days the lack of UV seemed to drain the life out of him and prevent blood from pumping to his brain in the way it should. He wondered if that was how a vampire would feel on a sunny day in July, or if sunglasses could alleviate most of that.
On his first night home after the trip, he woke up in a deepest dark of the early hours to pee, and shuffled into the closet instead of the bathroom. He walked into a wall that should have led to the toilet, then couldn’t find his way out until his wife turned on her bedside lamp to see what was going on in there.
The golden doodles had the same dad (a typically awkward and pretentious silver poodle). They had first met as puppies at the summer company picnic, and were reunited once a year at the same time and place: the weekend before Canada Day at a field in the industrial park that nobody seemed to venture into the rest of the year. They would immediately begin playing and wrestling in grasses that only smelled like there, while their human moms chatted about this and that… conversation that ventured through the fences of their typical office chat.
Sixteen dogs in one house was too much.
He had a to-do list of random Saturday items that are seemingly un-groupable. How many could he get done in the next 20 minutes if he had to? What if he was hyper about it? He set a timer and began.
He knew his dentist was in a synth-pop band, but he didn’t know that band toured two months a year.
He began, “Are Biographies and Autobiographies just an old-fashioned, fleshed out version of the extraordinary TikTok / YouTube captured moments we are so addicted to, and humbled by? There are thousands of published biographies, but are there not thousands of seemingly impossible moments ready to watch on YouTube? Moments that amaze in their improbability? So how can we put thirty years of life into a book and have it flow, and have it be interesting? By collecting the stand-out moments and accomplishments, and then editing out any of those moments that counter the overarching thesis or lesson we’re trying to achieve in the telling of it all. It’s editing. We focus on 1-10 years of action and failure and progress, and leave out the other 70 years of normal humanity. And even in that 1-10 years, we’re leaving out the part about how the guy didn’t have enough closet space, or bought too many cookies, or took out the garbage. This is why it’s so important to resist idolization and instead meditate about how the blanks left out might be so much more akin to your life, with it’s strengths in some area and weaknesses in others. How do these moments we’re reading about skew towards business success, and completely omit the hours in which their partner ran their home like a single parent in their absence? Or the hand-picked (because they’re interesting) moments related to the aftermath of trauma, with the omission of the hours spent paying their taxes and driving their kid from gymnastics to piano or just staring at YouTube. This man laid his head on a pillow at night just like I did. That woman took a shit 1.2 times a day just like I do.”
His neighbour was a master artisanal bread baker but couldn’t eat any of it because he had celiac disease. He had gone to high school a kid who became a career barista but hated the taste of coffee.
Rain or shine, black bears like apples.
It was snowing on the first day of school that year. The neighbourhood kids were throwing around the kind of early-season snowballs that have plenty of gravel hidden within.
He considered how his consciousness is the watcher of mind and body. Then he got distracted by a metaphorical squirrel.
On the way to brush her teeth after watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, she asked if it was all real. “No”. “But, if you drink blood do you get hypnotized?”
In hopes of keeping his shoes dry, he steadied at the lip of the asphalt walking path. His hand gripped the loop of the bungee cord leash, arm fully extended. The dog’s neck muscles contracted, and he leaned his weight outwards to drive his snuffling muzzle into the droplet-covered tall grasses. The elastic tension between them brought a momentary, perfect counterbalance of opposing wills, before they were pulled back together, and on their way again.
Everything had to have a purpose. That was possibly his biggest problem with getting started, he thought. What little time he had for creative output must surely contribute towards a neatly defined finished product? Defensible time spent. But he had held a meditation practice, and an exercise practice that had no goal beyond longevity. Why not a practice of writing? Not a journal, but a little bit of fiction every day with no audience, no metrics, no planned threads, no end in sight.