A Day of Rest

It was fun for a while Donald, your bumbling, your guffaws, your shenanigans. We enjoyed opening the paper or turning on the TV to see what mischief you were up to each day. Would you tweet the end of the world? Grab sweet liberty by the pussy? Use the same self-referential words—tremendous greatest smartest—over and over and over afraid that if you stopped, you and your words would vanish. We watched as you got deeper and deeper into the shit with nothing showing but two tiny hands grasping for higher ratings. It’s been fun, but suddenly we’re tired, we’re tuckered out, we need a break, a day of rest, a reprieve. Time to catch our breath, a shower to rinse off the stench. We’ve been going 24/7 for months; we can’t take it anymore. All the breaking news is breaking us. We’re not as strong as your minions encased in their coconut shells. Please Donald, click your polished oxfords and return to the Trump Tower or wrap your gorgeous silk tie around the 54th street bridge and jump. Leave us with a whimper, not a bang. It would be great it would be tremendous it would be smart. And we could all take our summer vacations without the Donald on our minds. A real Ferris Bueller’s day off.

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Making the Bed

We just finished making the bed, my wife and I. I helped in my half-hearted way. Now finished, she picks up a scrap of paper from the floor and drops it in a nearby wastebasket. She pauses, she looks at me, she says: I’m going to have a coke and a smile. I look at her. I smile—she smiles back.

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Thrill Me: Essay’s on Fiction by Benjamin Percy

I’m undisciplined and lazy, and so long ago I decided I should learn to write by osmosis. I would read—voraciously as is my custom—books on craft, novels, short stories, essays, poetry and the secrets would fill the cracks and crevices of my mind and voila I would be a pro.

Since that day I’ve followed that course and discovered dozens of excellent books and have even absorbed some of the wisdom in them, but reading alone doesn’t do it. One needs to practice the craft, one needs feedback from others, and one needs to persist.

But being undisciplined is like believing you’ll win the lottery and is not often a route to success. I’m currently reading Benjamin Percy’s Thrill Me: Essays on Fiction I’m sure it’s the magic bullet I’ve been looking for, and if not it’s provided insights I haven’t consciously recognized before. I recommend it.

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Trump World

You buy a ticket, you board the bus, and then you discover that you’re on the wrong one. You thought you were going north, but you’re going south. This bus is headed for Trump World. You’d like to get off, but it’s too late, and so you sit back and try and relax, but it’s like reading a Stephen King story you know things are going to get worse.

You arrive in Trump World, and it doesn’t take long—I mean a day or two—and you see lies lining up to be told while contradictions are being served on cornflakes at the White House cafeteria, and conspiracy theories are flowing from the drinking fountains.

Dunning and Kruger are awarding certificates of merit to the White House staff. Raffles award cabinet positions to the highest bidder. And there are the Russians—they’re everywhere—chatting it up with the raffle winners and purchasing condos from the president’s family.

Now you’re back on a bus on our southern border, with Donald driving and honking the horn. Eric and Don Jr. are there shooting coyotes and other critters out the window. While Kelly Anne and Bannon are arguing in the back, Jared and Ivanka are back at the White House watching the store.

And Donald, thinking he’s a rock star, starts singing and the wheels on the bus go round and round, and the others join in, and the wheels go round and round followed by a chorus of lock her up lock her up. They’re laughing, and they’re singing “Ninety-nine bottles of beers on our wall. Ninety-nine bottles of beer. Take one down, pass it around, and Mexico pays for it, pays for it all!”

Donald takes out his phone. He’s tweeting again, and soon his pants are on fire, and the bus is filling with smoke. Flames are growing bigly. Donald pulls to the side of the road jumps out and panics for a moment when he realizes the only water to put out the fire is in the Rio Grande. On the other side of our wall. He jumps out and rolls around in the dirt till the flames die down, and again back on the bus driving, and he’s still tweeting—“just foiled a terrorist plot to destroy your president and America.” And now we’re on a roundabout, and all the exits are off cliffs.

The wheels go round and round, and Mexico pays.

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Four-Leaf Clover

He searched all afternoon for a four-leaf clover and finding it in a glimmer of late afternoon light ripped one leaf off leaving three and good luck for another day.

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The snow is falling again today, and the walks need shoveling, but summer is just months away and spring mere days. The temperature forecast is sufficient to turn frozen glittering solids to liquid, then vapor, then clouds that move to the east. My snow, that still needs shoveling, is somewhere else.

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Hammers and Stuff

This is a story about too much stuff. I thought to call it hoarding, but that's too disagreeable.

We can't find the hammer. It's not in its designated place, which means it is at the last place it was used or near there, or stolen by someone passing by. Not likely, but we don't have time to look for the hammer and it is needed now. It may be easier to buy another.

Now we have two hammers. Both are claw hammers, one with a hickory handle, the other a composite. The first hammer has been missing for some time and so we say it's lost. We look but don't find it. It's a mystery why we don't find it, stumble upon it, run across it. It's not in its designated spot. The second hammer, we say, has been misplaced.

We don't often use a hammer so it's not a big deal when we can't find either hammer—old hickory or the other—and eventually we buy a third hammer, not another claw but a ball peen that looked enticing on the rack .

This losing and replacing happens with other objects: spatulas and books—ordinary stuff, and so we have duplicates of many things, perhaps even most things.

We really should clean and organize, but instead we sit and accumulate. We're getting older and no longer have the energy we did when we were younger. And so we continue to accumulate. We don't call it hoarding because only crazy people hoard and someday, someone, will have to deal with it but probably not us.

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