Posts Tagged Inspiration Monday

Medicine World – II

My brother and I were hanging out in the basement more and more frequently, hustling and toiling stylishly with all of our paper constructions, mastering life in our Medicine World. Imagine the most elegant model train set and then multiply the beauty and the power by millions.

My brother was the most indurate and serious risk manager of the two of us, so my job was to show him the potentiality, the dynamism, and the blessings of our new world. I too hate taking any risks, but everything is relative and I suppose I am not 100% risk-averse.

The neighbors would get worried because we shut out the nasty world with our curtains and they wouldn’t see us for days, seeming like weeks, and they would think we might be rotting dead all over the hardwood floors, turning the wood black and smelling up the city’s water system. The neighbors would have been exhilarated if my brother and I had died because then they might have been able to get some brand new neighbors who like to chat about dog shit, the barometric pressure, and weeds, acting officious over the fence line while peeing in their pants.

In those days, I didn’t need to sleep, and importantly, I felt great! I used to have dreams, but of course, dreams are yet another thing that’s not required in Medicine World. Imagine if everything that happened in your day were perfectly in accordance with your wishes. That, friends, is Medicine World, and that is why there is no reason for dreams in Medicine World.

Some might also ask about nightmares, but we didn’t need those either. Nightmares may encourage us to have caution, to use care, to work through irrational fears, or to inspire logical fear of some things, but in Medicine World, you get do-overs at anytime for any reason – nothing bad happens that’s not completely reversible.

You got it: There was nothing to fear. It was a miracle, but my brother still worried. He bobbled his tummy about as if it were reacting to him twisting his ponytail as he ruminated over the unknown unknowns. My brother and I were great at picking out unknown unknowns and remediating or handicapping for known unknowns, but I kept telling him there were no unknowns, known or unknown in Medicine World. It was just pure, miraculous bliss.

One day, my brother could not take it anymore and he poisoned himself. I wanted to get him to the hospital, but his method was lethal and there was no chance. He only had time for a couple sentences. I asked him why the fear had driven him so, and he explained that the loss of time as a structural frame in his life had caused him to go insane.

In Medicine World, since everything can be fixed, time is of no consequence. There is no history by which to be troubled nor is there any future about which to be worried or hopeful. This had not disturbed me, but after he educated me, I started going insane too. I was not as sensitive as my brother, but it is my time now, and I plan to use the same poison. There are no regrets – I was able to experience heaven before the insanity and that fulfilled my only longing.

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This is my trinket for Inspiration Monday XIII (I know, last-minute). I chose the prompt “I used to have dreams.” You’ll notice that I used the same wacko story set as with the “paper towns” prompt from last week, this this is Part II. Check out the other fine contributions at the be kind rewrite site – It’s a blast!

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You Believe I Believe Nothing (Incorrectly)

The folks at work don’t know The Other Me. I’m paid to be skeptical. People at work stay away from me. Most people think everyone is good. I’m paid to presume everyone is bad. When the sales folks say, “I know this guy; he’s fine,” I get my guns out because something is wrong.

In the end, of course, nearly all of our customers are good, but I am ready for every single one to go sour. You should know about some of the angels I’ve seen turn sour, and when they turn sour, they curdle and grab our money, cutting our profits, or more likely increasing our losses. Some people get away with this shit and it gets on my nerves because it only hurts all of the good folks. I can’t tell you why I’m sensitive about it, but I am, perhaps even passionate about it.

I’m so skeptical, most people stay away from me and only contact me as a last resort or if there is some procedure which requires contacting me. Most people think I don’t believe in humanity. I let them think that. They look at me funny and I grump at them, but as soon as they have difficulties with an Excel spreadsheet or an Access database, I am the nicest guy on earth and I feel as though my value quadruples. I love it when I can be a helpful human, but this only happens once every few months. One time, a goofball lady told me that I should be a teacher because I’m so good with talking about how things work, but she knows the work me. I sit at my desk all day and chant, “I know you’re lying; I know you’re stealing.” You wouldn’t want me as a teacher with that kind of skepticism.

When I’m away from work, The Other Me comes out to play. I believe anything and everything. Mr. Gullible. I think it is that way because I am tired and it is easier to believe things. I read novels and poetry when I’m away from work. I don’t ever remember reading something and thinking the author was lying to me. The characters love me and respect me and they keep me company as I do nothing at all but read. The books I read are more real world than my workplace.

So you see, away from work, I trust everyone and I believe the most beautiful things about humanity.

A while back, a guy from work came over to watch the hockey playoffs. We watched and he talked about world economics and politics and windmill farms. I remember thinking he was full of shit, but I felt as though I was acquiring a battery of new truths. These new truths might make me more conversational and more agreeable as a person. We watched several of the hockey players take violent hits to their bodies. My buddy from work told me that I could take abuse just like those hockey players. He convinced me to walk off the peak of the roof of my third story. He convinced me that I wouldn’t be hurt. I believed him. I believe everything.

I sit here in the hospital coming on my third month because he wasn’t right, but you know what? I believe every single visitor, every nurse, and every doctor, and I think I believe that there is not one rotten person in the whole hospital. I even believed the janitor when he said he would bring me a half gallon of Jack Daniels, which I needed desperately because they painkillers never worked.

When I get back to work, I’m going to nail some bad guys.

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I am enjoying Inspiration Monday X. Go check out the contributions! There are some great writers over there.

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Life in a Box – Three Portraits

I.

My pieces swim around mirthlessly. I say I am homeless, but really, my life is in a box, my home is in a box. My home is a box.

I hear of those in prison cells. Every person is left inside a box. Each of us makes his own box. Mine is cardboard, yours is brick, hers is padding, his is cinderblock, and hers is a cow hide tent that loves to act like a box. All of us are restrained by our boxes. Our boxes keep us from doing what our spirit wants us to do.

One time I was in a room with many people and I felt my box literally disappear. I thought I might be leaving earth, perhaps dying. But I didn’t die.  My box came back. My box is consistent and my box always comes back.

Today, I will look for a special blanket. I’m looking for forest green, or perhaps army green. When I find it, I’ll know it. It will soften the box so much, the box will fly away as dust.

II.

I need a home, something like a pine box with a mattress. I see the box every day, but I never see a home. With a home, I might recover.

III.

If I walk alone, down the haunting, overbearing hallway, with my hands clasped and my head bowed, will all of the shit fly above my head and swirl around like tornadoes in the high-peaking, diamonded ceilings with little receptacles? The  hallway is my home where my gods speak loudly and tell me to be me. It is a special box. They tell me there is value to living. I need no bed in my hallway. I need no sleep.  The portals in my hallway have no windows, so I breathe in the good of the world and as I exhale, I share it with the gods who help me live today. I see beautiful flowers in thousands of colors and gentle pathways when I look out of a portal, and when I smile, I can feel my gods smile. They do – They smile. I float about my box and I wait for someone who might need my help.

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It’s Inspiration Monday IX at BeKindRewrite. Lots of great work over there and I love the prompts.

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My Name Is Harry

My name is Harry, AKA Harry-Barry, Harry Canary, Prince Harold, Harry-Barry-Barry, Barry-Boy, Bare, etc. My humans are crazy people. They love dogs but they don’t treat me right. I need my exercise every morning. I’m not talking about some polite jiggle on a leash and the sidewalks. I’m talking a real hunt. My humans keep repairing the fence I break out of because they are afraid I’ll get lost or get hit by a car. They’re really stupid about these things, probably paranoid. Most days, the closest I get to hunting is dreaming about it as I stare out the living room window. Ever day, several times a day, there is this black cat who roams the neighborhood. He doesn’t have a leash or humans and he must not have a good fence like mine. I bark at my humans but they tell me to be quiet instead of letting me go get the black cat. I try to ignore the black cat, to act above it all, but he is such a bloody tease, and he has the better life. He’s free. All of the squirrels are free too. They fly through the trees. If I was off my leash, I could fly through the trees.

One day, my humans took me to the dog park. I know it sounds stupid, but it’s better than the sidewalks. The problem with the dog park is that there are far too many dogs, so most of the prey has long vacated the area. But this one day, you would not believe my luck! There was a black cat at the dog park! It wasn’t the same black cat, but I was off my leash and off I went. Oh my, I tormented that cat on a long chase. He climbed the tree, but I was smarter. I acted like I didn’t care anymore and started to strut back to my humans. When he thought the coast was clear and came down, I pounced. My humans are really stupid, and they were grossed out when I brought them my gift. I wanted to prove to them that they could let me free in our neighborhood – Look what I can do! I can clean up the neighborhood! But they were grossed out. They seemed to be mad. I don’t know what to do with myself.

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One last entry for Inspiration Monday VIII: In response to “A cat in the dog park.” Check out the other pieces over there…

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Musikverein, Better Imagined

Wiener Musikverein

Musikverein in Vienna

As soon as descent started, my ears started to shoot severe pain through my jaws and back into the middle of my brain. Then the nose bleed started. We did all the things you should do with nose bleeds, but it would not stop. I thought my brain had exploded.

I’ve seen pictures of American hospitals from the 1940’s, and after we landed, they hurried me into a large room that looked just the same. In my semi-conscious state, all I could see were these massive metal instruments and these men speaking German, attacking me with the instruments. Finally, they informed me that I had an ear infection on both sides. Part of their treatment was to use one of their long metal pipes that narrowed, stick it in my ear and pour near boiling water down the pipe and watch run back out my ear into a harsh metal bowl that might otherwise be used for mixing deviled eggs. They stared at me. Poor little retarded boy.

My high school orchestra from Colorado was on a ten-day European tour. I was on the program as a soloist in a concerto for my instrument and orchestra written by a relatively unknown but fiery Italian composer from the 18th Century. It was my moment in front of the world. It was the beginning of what I foresaw as a momentous career as one of the best musicians in the world.

There was no warm-up show – We started the tour with a concert the night after landing in one of the finest concert halls in the world, the Musikverein, and we were to be on Austrian public radio with a purported listener base of around two million. This was the music center of Western music – Heaven for musicians. I get stage fright anyhow, but this was closer to panic when I continued not to be able to hear in all of the hours leading up to the concert. I told our director I felt as if I was underwater, my ears hurt like hell and I couldn’t play, but he was unsympathetic.

We played a lovely Rossini overture as the opening piece. Then it was my turn. I came to the front of the orchestra. A huge, red, radio light sitting on a stand by our director turned on, letting us know that the radio mic’s were hot and we could start. I remembered shutting down my brain, and hoping to trust my feel of the instrument while stealing an occasional glance at the fingerboard. I could not hear my tone, so I counted on feel. I could not hear my intonation, so I counted on feel. There was a sea of people and I knew why they were staring at me as if I was a foreigner.

It was a blur. During the wild cadenzas in all three movements, that short portion before the end of a movement when the soloist improvises without the orchestra in a manner like a drum solo in rock, I heard the sound with my underwater ears, and it was a glorious sound, but I attributed that to the magical nature of the hall we were in.

People told me how good it was but they were not falling over themselves saying how great it was, so I knew it sucked. I tried to enjoy the rest of my trip feeling as though I had failed, bitter that I could not be the musician I wanted to be. I remember reflecting peacefully. Thinking is the best way to travel. I remember practicing in my room until late into the night, waiting for my Mother’s three foot stomps upstairs to indicate quiet time, dreaming of playing in the Musikverein, being labeled as one of the greatest musicians to grace the Viennese air waves. Dreaming in my room, I created the best musical tour ever, one that was far better than the one we had.

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This is another contribution to the Inspiration Monday. This is #8. Go check out the marvelous output from others. This one was done in response to “Thinking is the best way to travel.” I am barely in under deadline, and no matter how much cutting I did, I broke the word count rules by quite a few words.

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