The barbed wire kept them separated, animals in cages that could see and speak with each other, but that had no physical interactions. Too much had passed between them to sever their mental connection, and yet they fought against their bonds in an attempt to find a way out. Or a way in, whichever one accomplished their goals for them most expediently. It had been a long, hard year living in the camps, with the green and gold lights turning on and off in synchronous rhythm, and with the dogs howling nonstop until all hours of the night. And that’s when she came.

They were staring at the large clock on the main retention building at midnight, together, yet apart, as they often were at the dawning of a new day, the man and the boy. Illuminated by giant fog lamps, the building took on a ghastly yellow glow not unlike sickly skin. They weren’t staring because of the view, however. They stood in those exact two spots, facing East, every night because it was when the second moon traded places with the first and could be seen with the naked eye. Even though the retention building only offered a partial view of the moon juxtaposition, it was the best they could aspire to, and they treasured it as if it were iron.

The woman emerged from the shadows to the North, which is why they didn’t register her presence initially, when she stepped out of the shade into the full light of a glow much brighter than their world had known before or since. Continue reading “2100”

Various & Sundry

Jell-O shots. I’m thinking yes.

You know those kinds of weeks when everything seems to happen at the same time, almost as if the rules of the space/time continuum has bent to accept the incongruency, much like Neo eventually bent the Matrix to his will because he was the One? And it seems like the second you sit down to relax something rears its head and stares at you, as if to say, “What do you think you’re doing? There’s something else on the schedule.” Then night comes and you’re so exhausted that you can’t even think straight to enjoy a small amount of down time. You find yourself falling asleep to your favorite show, and you drop into bed, worn out beyond belief. Only to do it all again the very next day, with no relief in sight. Yeah, I’m having one of those weeks. Continue reading “Various & Sundry”

Water Cooler Musings: On Traveling

Kristin: The farthest I’ve ever traveled was South Carolina for my aunt’s wedding.

Jed: That’s nothing. I flew to San Francisco before.

Tyrone: Yeah, but have any of you been outside the U.S.?

Leah: I’ve been to Mexico.

Me: That doesn’t count. It’s like Canada. Also doesn’t count.

Leah: Why not?

Me: Because they’re, like, connected to us and stuff.

Leah: That sucks.

Kristin: Yeah, going to Mexico is what sucks. Don’t drink the water.

Tyrone: I drank tequila once.

Jed: So what.

Me: I’ve been to Ireland. Twice.

Kristin: Why would you go to Ireland?

Me: Because I’m Irish. Duh.

Tyrone: No way you’re Irish, dude.

Leah: He can be Irish, if Mexico counts as another country.

Me: Mexico is totally in.

Leah: And you’re Irish.

And the conversation continued, but I had to leave before it was done. I’m sure they argued about what constituted actually leaving the country beyond what we already talked about because they do love to argue, but I had heard what I needed to hear. It seems like most people from this area don’t do any real traveling. Maybe they drive out to Syracuse to see the basketball team play, or they take a day trip to NYC to peruse the shops in the Village. Or maybe they even visit relatives every once in a while who live out of state, but that seems to be the extent of it. They thought I was a consummate world traveler because I had been to Ireland once. Much less twice.

Which is fine, but I’ve found that the more you travel the more you experience. I know it sounds simple, and you can experience a full range of things right where you live, but traveling exposes you to so much more of the world, to so many people who are different from you, who live in cultures that are so different from yours. I wish we could charter a plane and just go wherever we wanted whenever we wanted. It would be amazing. Paris for a month. Marseilles for a month. London for a month. Istanbul for a … week (I heard it gets boring after a week), and the list goes on. It would be amazing, if we had unlimited funds and great company.

Because that’s another thing about traveling. It’s just not as fun or as exciting if you don’t go with other people. To see them experience what you’re experiencing, but in their own way is phenomenal. To have those memories to look back on together is also incredible, and it creates depth to relationships that not much else can do in so short a time. Traveling is amazing if you can do it. Even if it is just to South Carolina. They’ve got cool stuff there too, right Kristin?


Water Cooler Musings Archive

Poor Man’s Golf

They played poor man’s golf
Where a stick was like a club
And the men wore overalls
Driving cars with no windows
In the pouring rain
And they all had hats
Wide-brimmed and festive
Multi-colored and spotted
So they stuck out like sore thumbs
But they never minded
Those markers of history
Those forget-me-nots
Drunk on their own mortality
Stained by caustic mud
Yet smiling all the while

They played poor man’s golf
When poor men died daily
In alleys twice crusted over
With filth and genocide
And they rode in carts
Oblivious to what should have been
Where they were expected to be
Who needed them there
Girlfriends and mistletoe
Dream-staged and ready
But they were in the fairway
200 yards out and moving
Pants frayed at the edges
Skimming the tended ground
Just like their fathers did

They played poor man’s golf
While war raged in the background
It was a separate world
Divided in black and white
With a line down the middle
Thick and unending
Parallel to their reality
While they struck the ball
And it took massive flight
It seemed to pause in midair
Then to disappear like rain
In the twinkling of an eye
Then they walked after it
Following the path of destiny
Before fading away

They played poor man’s golf
As if they were rich men
And no one told them different
Because they were.


Gift Horses Have No Mouths

The siege of Troy.

“Never look a gift horse in the mouth.” This would be good advice if you were a resident of Troy, or if you were given a horse that looked a little sick around the withers. It could definitely turn out bad for you in either situation. The phrase means, of course, that you should doubt people’s motivations, regardless of whether or not they appear pure. I completely disagree with that.

Yes, I know that there are many people out there who are less than genuine, who smile in your face while they talk about you behind your back. And I know that you shouldn’t trust anyone who tells you to “trust me.” But I can’t help giving people the benefit of the doubt. Does that make me weak or too trusting? Perhaps. But I wouldn’t want to imagine a world where I was constantly on guard.

I know a lot of people who live on the defensive, always getting themselves ready for those hordes of Greeks to pour out of the body of that enormous horse. And do you know how they always look? Frazzled, as if they’ve been fighting an ongoing war for the majority of their lives. Continue reading “Gift Horses Have No Mouths”

Sunday Shuffle

The old-school iPod Shuffle.

I thought I would try something new on here, and do something I saw someone else do a long time ago. My first MP3 player was an iPod Shuffle. You know, the small device that was the size of a pack of gum, had no screen, and held probably about 300 songs at most. When I first got it, I was ecstatic. I mean, up until that point I had been using audiotapes that held only 45 minutes worth of music on each side. A device that held nearly 300 songs was like heaven at the time.

The glory of the Shuffle was that it allowed me to — go figure — actually shuffle the songs, so they would play in random order, making it a surprise every single time. I even took to guessing what would be coming up next, and every once in a while I would actually be right. It was such a fun time, discovering that Shuffle and its amazing capabilities, until I realized that 300 songs wasn’t nearly enough. You see, at the time I had an iTunes library of over 40,000 songs (it has since grown to nearly 250,000 songs) and there was no way I could get every single song I wanted on that Shuffle.

What a Classic!

So, I got an iPod Classic, with 80GB of space, or room for nearly my entire iTunes library at the time. That way, when I put it on shuffle there was a chance I would hear nearly every song I owned, eventually. Continue reading “Sunday Shuffle”

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