Blessed Oblivion

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Daily Prompt What a Twist! Tell us a story — fiction or non-fiction — with a twist we can’t see coming.

The night was dark, not in the least surprising, and the leaves, shunted about by the wind, spun like small dervishes outside her window. However, since no one saw this, it never really happened. Tricia slept, dreaming of the beginnings of a migraine. “I’ll shake it off,” she thought in her sleep and because it was a dream, she did just that, and slept on. A line of red began to show across the cloud-streaked horizon, and still she slept.

—————-

As the red tinged the sky, Tom was unlocking the door to his sprawling studio apartment overlooking the park, after yet another night of debauchery and remorse. “This has to stop,” he thought, again, as he tottered into the bathroom. He turned on the cold water and splashed some on his face. “I ain’t livin’ long like this,” he thought, looking in the mirror.

—————-

There was frost on the grass in the morning and snow was still a distinct possibility, but for now it seemed spring had come in earnest. The red light of the rising sun painted the faraway snow-peaks pink. Remembering Homer, *ῥοδοδάκτυλος Ἠώς, Annie said softly as she stretched and smiled. “Summer sheets. I hope it’s not too soon,” she thought. *Rosy-fingered dawn

—————-

Don was up before light, worried about death. He’d had one small heart attack and was on meds now and taking better care of himself, but he’d also developed anxiety over his funeral. As night retreated, Don was typing furiously on the local community Facebook page, writing his rant about the Catholic church. “I need to plan my funeral,” he wrote. “The Catholic church used to be $150 to rent the basement for an event. Now it’s $250. The church is greedy.” Did he anticipate the backlash and the trolling that would ensue? Among the chain of comments, was, “The church is corrupt. What about all the child molestation the church is paying for to the tune of $2 million?” Here? In this small town? The Parish of St. Joseph the Worker? All followed by a long litany of misspelled factual information from the secretary of the parish explaining the costs of repairs and maintenance in an economy where everyone — including God — struggles to make ends meet.

—————-

When it was over, these four last moments and many others, were hurled into infinity by the red flame of apocalyptic justice, sped into the interminable memory of the universe.

—————-

—————-

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/what-a-twist/

Chiles

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Daily Prompt Food for the Soul (and the Stomach) Tell us about your favorite meal, either to eat or to prepare. Does it just taste great, or does it have other associations?

I’m not a “foodie.” I don’t find food intrinsically interesting. I like it and there have been periods in my life I’ve been a good cook but food as a subject of contemplation, reverence and enthusiasm? No. In fact I think it’s kind of weird the fetishism around food these days, but there are many things I don’t understand.

Food has a different importance in a country where it’s not easy to get and where you cannot be sure what you will have to eat. Food was interesting to everyone in China when I was there because most people alive then (1982) had lived through at least ONE period of lean times if not real hunger. Famine has been a problem in China for millennia. This is why the Chinese do NOT greet each other with “Ni hao, ma?” (You good?) but “Chi baole ma?” (Have you had enough to eat). That says everything.

I grew up eating Mexican food. I’m “white”, but, as some of my Mexican friends have said, I have a “Mexican heart.” I also learned that food becomes important when you are a long way from home. In China, I was a little homesick for Colorado — only at times. I think when we are in situations of rapid change and a steep learning curve, as I was in China, we want to retreat to our normal life for a while. I missed green chile.

We shopped in an open-air market in the village of White Stone (Shi Pai). Fish hung from strings as advertising. Vegetables — picked and carried in on trains by peasants in the early morning — were spread out on boards under blue, pink and white striped plastic canopies. It was a scene from National Geographic. Our meat was allotted by the Central Committee (meat was rationed) but chances are that sometime during the week we heard, off in the distance, our future pork being slowly bled. It is not the kindest way to kill a pig, but as our meat had lived its life untethered and roaming freely around the village and roads, its last moment was the one dark moment in its life.

Chinese pork is great. There were chilis in abundance in the market. I had a good recipe. But what could we eat them with? No tortillas! We begged permission for a trip to Hong Kong with empty backpacks filled on the return trip with cheese, white flour (no cornmeal), dried beans and some other “normal” food. As soon as we got pork, we went to buy chilis. I set out beans to soak and then boiled them. That afternoon, after class, I came home and made chile verde. Then I made flour tortillas.

I always bought chilis from one woman. I don’t know why, exactly, but I liked her. She was funny. Most of the peasants working in the market spoke a dialect of Cantonese. I didn’t speak even Cantonese, only Mandarin. Most of the peasants were illiterate. Well, for what it was worth, when it came to Chinese, I’m pretty illiterate as well. I didn’t know that what I was saying in Mandarin might as well have been English for some of the people selling vegetables, but that was so. I don’t even know if my favorite vegetable vendor understood me at all — but I think she did. Money and numbers make sense to everyone and there was (is?) an underground in Chinese culture of people who had fine educations hiding in the countryside to avoid the PLA (Peoples’ Liberation Army) during the Cultural Revolution. “My” peasant could have been an intellectual.

Then, one sad day, chilis went out of season. I had never lived in a world that was dependent on nature like that. NOTHING goes out of season in the US, though I remember when one couldn’t buy strawberries in January except frozen and then even frozen strawberries were not in giant bags but in small white boxes that cost a lot and were only for dark moments of strawberry desperation. My vendor was there, and when I approached, she said in Mandarin, “Mai yo! Mai yo la jiao!” — “I have no chilis.” She attempted an explanation that I could somehow understand and I knew I’d have to wait for more chili verde, but how long???

Three months. A season passed. Then a day arrived that I arrived in the market and she called out, “Ma Sa! Ma Sa! La jiao! La jiao!” holding out both hands filled with Serrano chilis! I wasn’t just thrilled by the chilis, but by the fact that she knew my name! I bought 5 mao worth (1/2 jin, more or less 1/2 pound) and went home and made chile verde.

I wonder how many homesick Americans have gone to China and eaten Mexican food?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/food-for-the-soul-and-the-stomach/

Second Place

Pikes Peak with Sunflower

Daily Prompt But No Cigar Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t. What happened next? Would you like the chance to try again, or are you happy with how things eventually worked out?

I’m an also ran. No, no, I’m speaking factually. I’m the runner up. Life needs such people as I or there would be no winners. I personify “Close but no cigar.” I could here recite the litany of second place ribbons and trophies that landed on me in my youth, most prominent is the Second Place in Original Oratory for the Colorado State High School Forensics Tournament. That was no second place trophy for me. That was amazing.

I am terrified of speaking in public. As a 12 year old, given the task of giving the invocation in my church one Sunday, after I walked down the aisle and turned to the congregation, I fainted, flat on the floor, wearing the very ugly frou-frou dress my mom had bought me. People rushed down to be sure I was OK, so when I came too, a row of faux Chanel suits and Jackie Kennedy look-alike-pillbox hats were staring down at me. I wished it had not just be a fainting spell. I wished it had been death.

I never made it through a piano recital. The keys would vanish, my hands would shake, and there was no thought of remembering my memorized song. My wonderful teacher, Mr. Hans Baer (resquiescat in pace you kind and blessed soul who taught me to love Chopin beyond his music, who braved refugee threads from Berlin to Shanghai to — of all places — Nebraska) thought if I played in a duet it would be better for me but I knew I’d ruin the other girl’s recital, too.

By high school I understood that if I wanted to do anything cool in my life I had to get over this terror, so I tried out for a play. I got a non-speaking part. I was not quite good enough for another role. My drama coach said I should go out for competitive speaking after I told him my goals. I did. In competitive speaking, one is in a room with four other kids and a judge. It felt, to me, completely different from speaking in public. After all, I’d been stood in front of a judge every time I talked to my mom. Nothing new here.

My junior year I did “Interpretation of Humorous Oratory.” It was actually fun to get on a school bus with a lot of other kids and travel around the state of Colorado speaking competitively. I had a funny piece (I don’t remember what it was). I wanted to do debate but I don’t have the temperament for it and, anyway, back then girls seldom debated. It was a “guy” thing. It was fine. They were arrogant dorks, anyway. I did make it to State, though, which was, I thought, a miracle. I didn’t get far at State, but I was there and it was an enormous surprise.

Senior year I wrote a speech. I can still remember how it started. It was a speech about caring for the environment. It was 1969/70 so there were few if any fish in Lake Michigan and one seldom saw the sun in LA. I practiced and read and presented it with a slide show to the Kiwanis Club (arranged by my coach, Mrs. Stautde). A slide show back then was also a major process (probably why I fell instantly in love with programs like Keynote and PowerPoint). Every weekend, I traveled to a random high school somewhere to compete against other kids who were hoping to “make it to State.” And then I did. And then, I made it to the finals.

Most speeches back then were about the Vietnam war. It was a hotly contested issue and everyone talked and thought about it. In my age group, the lottery was in force, so when the guys turned 18 they got a number that pretty much told them their odds of being called up. Lots of my classmates went to Vietnam and even more from the classes ahead of me. It was something that had an impact on us directly. I couldn’t talk about Vietnam because, 1) my dad worked for the Air Force as a war gamer, 2) I didn’t think I really knew (or anyone really knew, except maybe my dad) what was really going on there, and, 3) the topic bored me. I couldn’t change the situation, but as far as clean lakes and skies, unpolluted streams and open nature, I could do something to change that. Besides, nature was my best friend. It was always there when I needed guidance, answers to questions, my soul soothed.

My speech was well-written and passionately presented. I was learning (unaware of it at the time) that the secret to overcoming fear is overcoming the self. I believed in what I was saying, so my fear of embarrassment receded in the importance of my message.

When I got my trophy and brought it home, my brother actually said, “Close but no cigar.” I didn’t get the scholarship the first place winner got. I didn’t get the hoopla. I didn’t “get” to give my speech to the entire assembled competition (thank God). The girl who won was very charismatic, beautiful and extroverted; she, naturally, spoke on Vietnam. I don’t know for sure how it was for her to win. I don’t know if she’d overcome obstacles like mine or if it actually was as easy for her as it seemed. I knew I was an “outlier” in a way, speaking on a topic that was not in the mainstream at the time. Looking back all these years, I see my mom and Aunt in the award audience. I see myself walking across the stage to get my trophy in a green and white, wool pinstripe suit I made myself. I was probably a funny looking little creature though I imagined I was sophisticated and unique. I managed to stand up there for the photo-op and smile and the photo appeared in the newspaper, another crowd of high school kids doing good. We weren’t demonstrating or doing drugs or anything. We were just a bunch of fresh-faced kids on a stage in a high school auditorium in Denver holding trophies because we had spoken well. The newspaper mentioned this; it was part of the times.

That was no second place for me.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/but-no-cigar/

Word…

Truffle and Molly in the Medicine Wheel

Daily Prompt Third From the Top Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.

Comprised mostly of arid rolling terrain devoid of trees, the main feature of the park is the Eagle’s Nest rock formation, which soars up from the surrounding landscape. Pursuit of Life

“It’s not “comprised of” it’s “composed of.” Comprise is a transitive verb.”

“Everyone makes that mistake, Lamont. Let it go. “

“It makes my teeth itch and I can’t help noticing it. He could write ‘Comprising mostly arid rolling terrain devoid of trees’ and that would be correct.”

“You’re no grammar Nazi. You surprised me!”

“We all have our little ‘grammar buttons’, Dude. For some of my friends it’s ‘its or it’s’ for others it’s ‘their, there, they’re’ for me it’s ‘comprise’. I have no idea why. I guess I think it’s a show-off kind of word anyway.”

“You don’t use a lot of big words when you write.”

“That’s true. I noticed that reading through the draft of the Schneebeli Bros Go to Church. I think that’s one reason that lady said I didn’t write like Henry James.”

“Could be. Why is that?”

“I might write my fiction differently if I were writing about Americans, but I’m not. I’m writing about Swiss people. I consciously try to use Germanic words and words that have existed in English since the middle ages. I got into that habit with Martin of Gfenn. I don’t know why I made that decision, but it seems to have paid off because Swiss German people who can read English find the book easy to read. Those words in English are not complicated or intellectual. They’re the normal words we use most of the time and I think that makes them beautiful. They’re words for communication, making ideas clear, learning about each other. I was inspired to do that because Martin of Gfenn is set in the little Swiss town of Gfenn. That word, in medieval Swiss German, meant ‘marsh.’ The word does not exist is German any more, but it still exists in English, ‘fen’. I found that charming. Then I read some Medieval German poetry, minnesangs, and found it very similar to Middle English poetry. It was easier for me to read than modern German. So…yeah.”

“But what about the post you quoted up there?”

“I like it. I like everything I read on that blog and I don’t care if he uses ‘comprise’ or ‘compose’ — but I will notice that. I can’t help it.”

“What blog is it?”

Pursuit of Life. One of my favorite blogs because, you know, Dude, I can’t really hike any more. But I’m starting to take heart in the fact that there are cool young people who are out there pretty much like I was and writing their thoughts and experiences, taking pictures, drawing, sometimes writing poetry. There’s no way around the fact that the cost of our life is our life and I ran hard for a long time. I have no complaints. If I hadn’t done all that, then I’d be sorry now. Sometimes in my dreams I am running on trails with Dusty — poor guy wasn’t around when I was running on trails — but in my dreams we’re running on trails in the late afternoon light. When I lived in California, I used to dream that it snowed on my chaparral hills, and I got to X-country ski there. Absolutely impossible, except in dreams. I really enjoy Pursuit of Life, Scuffed Boots and Trail to Peak. Anyway, the important thing is that I went and these guys are now out there, going, running, hiking, looking. Our world is amazing. I’d feel really sad if I thought no one was out in it looking at it. I guess I felt like it was my job for a long time, you know, to go out and look at the world.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/third-from-the-top/

Angel or Devil?

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Daily Prompt Weaving the Threads Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

The gate was easy to open, finally. The frozen ground under the cracked concrete had thawed and sunk back in place. For the first time in two months, there was no ice. Just dirt, small rocks, dead leaves, some detritus from construction. Everything said, “You need a rake.”

“Go to house,” she said to Dusty, who immediately leapt from the back of the hatchback Focus and ran to the back door of the house. He loved it when he was given a command and got it right. There were so many things he could do but she hardly ever asked him. He wanted to learn more things and during the big snow storm when the gate couldn’t even open, he’d learned “Go to garage!” on the first try. He was very proud of that.

She wondered what the big black dog remembered of his life as a puppy. Some of it had been grim, she knew that. “He’ll never be a pet” and it was true that as a pet, he was a little problematic, but mostly he was just an immense, affectionate, graceful, loyal and obedient dog who wanted to do the right thing.

“No one wants a black dog,” said the animal control officer. “We euthanize more black dogs than any other colors. I have no idea why. A dog is a dog is a dog, right?”

She learned later that black dogs, especially being followed by a black dog, signify bad luck.

————————

The story starts with an Easter walk. The villagers have all gone to church and from there they go, arm in arm, on a spring perambulation over the hills and dales, finding destinations that charm them. Christ is resurrected and all is right with the world. On a hillside sits a grumpy old man, Faust, and his student, Wagner.

As he and Wagner walk back to his house they are followed by a large, black dog.

FAUST
Yon black hound
See’st thou, through corn and stubble scampering round?

WAGNER
I’ve mark’d him long, naught strange in him I see!

FAUST
Note him! What takest thou the brute to be?

WAGNER
But for a poodle, whom his instinct serves
His master’s track to find once more.

FAUST
Dost mark how round us, with wide spiral curves,
He wheels, each circle closer than before?
And, if I err not, he appears to me
A line of fire upon his track to leave.

WAGNER
Naught but a poodle black of hue I see;
’Tis some illusion doth your sight deceive.

FAUST
Methinks a magic coil our feet around,
He for a future snare doth lightly spread.

WAGNER
Around us as in doubt I see him shyly bound,
Since he two strangers seeth in his master’s stead.

FAUST
The circle narrows, he’s already near!

WAGNER
A dog dost see, no spectre have we here;
He growls, doubts, lays him on his belly, too,
And wags his tail—as dogs are wont to do. (Faust Part 1, Goethe)

The dog is playful and chases sticks thrown by the grumpy old man. There is something charming about a gamboling canine even though Faust sees that the dog may not be just a dog as Wagner insists. But when they reach he house, the dog will not come inside with them…

————————

“Nothing going on. That’s good. Just checked. Everything is fine out there. I know she’ll go out with me to get the trash can. I always ‘stay’ when she tells me to. She worries I’ll get out of the gate while she’s doing her chore, but I won’t. I wouldn’t leave her for anything. I’m proud of the way I ‘stay’. I’m good at that. I’ve even learned to ‘stay’ in the back of the car when she tells me. I hope she loves me. If she stopped loving me, I’d be lost. I can’t believe I got to come home with her! But I did and I’m still with her. I wish we went on more walks, though, but if we don’t, it’s still OK. I like to visit my friends in Colorado Springs. I have some dog friends there and some people friends, too. They’re her friends, too. They like me and pet me and we go for walks on a place called ‘the mesa’. I saw deer there. They ran when I barked. I wanted to chase them, but if I had, I might have lost her. What would she do if she didn’t have me? I’m going to have to go back out soon to check everything again. But for now, I think I’ll lie down here beside Mindy and enjoy the sunshine on the carpet.”

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/weaving-the-threads/

Hiking…David Brendan Hopes

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Ghostwriter If you could have any author –living or dead – write your biography, who would you choose?

Actually, I’d like my life to be told as a video game. But, if someone has to ghost write it, I’d choose David Brendan Hopes. I learned of him from the writer of Scuffed Boots.

I think Hopes would understand a part of my life, an element of me, that is, has been, important TO ME but which I have lived largely in solitude. That is, has been, my relationship with nature. Any biography of me should focus on that, particularly the time I spent in California’s coastal sage and chaparral. There may yet be other hikes and other experiences, but at the moment I think it’s doubtful that anything like those years of daily hiking in all weather in one place will ever happen again. I think David Brendan Hopes would understand those journeys and write about them, and me, well.

Here are some of his essays/stories.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/ghostwriter/

My bitch with journalism… (NOT addressed to anyone writing a blog)

It seems that the anecdotal opening (which I remember beginning sometime in the 70s or 80s) has taken over the entire piece until a person has to wade through all kinds of personal experience crap (“this is how it was for me”) before reaching the “meat and potatoes.” I hate it. I’m truly NOT interested in random other people’s personal experience. Not in the least. It doesn’t impress me or move me or persuade me. I know how deluded I am. Why would I think other people are LESS deluded? (Or is that a delusion???) I’m trying to write a synopsis for my novel. I’ve read now something like 8 articles purporting to tell me “how” or what is necessary in a synopsis (no, I don’t think about synopses constantly) and in EVERY case I’ve had to wade through overwritten confessional drivel to (finally) reach the thing I need to know. Yes; an anecdote can pull on heart strings and make a valid point better than any other stragedy (“Little Johnny never imagined that playing in the ditch beside the corn field near his house would result in his getting cancer…”) but, dammit, not ALWAYS. That inverted triangle? Powerful little piece of geometry.

Life’s Labyrinthine Chaos Course

Giardino Giusti

Daily Prompt Hello, Goldilocks! Write about a time you had a Goldilocks experience, exploring different choices and finally arriving at “just right.”

“No one knows that, Dude. It’s impossible.”

“What?”

“What’s going to happen when they make a choice. And Goldilocks? Look what happened to her? BEARS, Dude, bears.”

“Whoa.”

“Exactly. Sure, we remember the oatmeal and beds, but it was really BEARS. Whether that bed fit or not, she had to run away. Choices are a lot like that. Looks good and a few winks in, BEARS. Goethe was right.”

“As far as you’re concerned, Goethe was ALWAYS right. It’s so boringly predictable.”

“I know, I know, a little hero worship there, but you know what? I wouldn’t ever have READ Goethe if I hadn’t made a BAD choice. I probably would never have gone to Europe — and certainly not Zürich — would never have seen the little church at Gfenn that changed my life and awakened me. Good choices, bad choices, no one knows. A comfy bed is as likely to lead to BEARS and, well, what I did, might lead to LIFE.”

“So what did Goethe say?”

“It was a theme with him, the labyrinth we live in. The first time I encountered it in his work, though, was in the prologue to Faust. He wrote ‘Des Lebens labyrinthisch irren Lauf‘.”

“And that means…?”

“Life is a labyrinth of error. Life’s labyrinthine course of error. Something like that. But a labyrinth is a labyrinth because one moment we’re making a choice — this way or that — and in the next we’re reaping the consequences of that choice. We might be lost, we might not be lost, we might be lost and not know it, we might be fine and fear we’re lost. Maybe we enter the labyrinth looking for our friend or lover who’s gone on ahead. Maybe it’s a game. Maybe we just want out. But at some point, we enter that labyrinth. Choice? Biological inevitability? I don’t know that. I could CHOOSE to believe one or the other, but…”

“The labyrinth.”

“At that point, our parents chose. There we are, entering the labyrinth.”

“What’s that picture up there?”

“It’s Giardino Giusti in Verona. I took that picture. Goethe wrote about it in Italian Journey and I made the choice to go to Verona to study Italian because of Goethe. I figure if you find a competent guide through the labyrinth, you should take advantage of it.”

“You were following a dead guy?”

“Yes and no. I mean some 200 years have passed since then and I’m not Goethe, but I needed to choose a destination (turn a corner in the labyrinth) so I decided to go where he had gone. There are beautiful, old cypress trees in this garden (you can see one on the far right facing in the photo) and Goethe cut some of the branches to carry back to his apartment. He didn’t know that cypress branches were a symbol of mourning and was surprised that the people he met on his way expressed condolences. Lots of confusion in the labyrinth, that’s for sure. You just have to be fearless and humble at all times. Actually, something happened to me there that proved that.”

“What?”

“My schoolmates didn’t like me much. My Italian sounded good but wasn’t. It’s badly mixed with Spanish which I’ve spoken poorly most of my life. One of the schoolmates — an Austrian woman — actually began ‘shunning’ me because, I guess, she thought my Italian was contagious. It was OK with me. I had other things to do besides hang out with a random bunch of non-Italian speaking Europeans and Japanese. I did make a friend; a woman from Manchester with whom I really enjoyed hanging out, but generally, I was ostracized. Partly, too, I think because of the US invasion of Iraq for which I was personally responsible. Ha ha.”

“And then?”

“So the Austrian girl/woman knew I loved Goethe but she didn’t believe I had read Goethe. She — as do many Europeans — believed Americans are endemically fake. So we were on a school field-trip at the Giardino Giusti and walking through this labyrinth which was more difficult than it looked. I said, ‘Des Lebens labyrinthisch irren Lauf.’ She said, ‘What’s that?’ I said, ‘It’s a line from the prologue to Faust.’ ‘Well it’s wrong,’ she said. ‘I don’t think so,’ I said. ‘I think I’d know,’ she replied.”

“What happened then?”

“A couple days later she found me and apologized. We got to be friends after that. A characteristic of the labyrinth is that you don’t know what you’re looking at until you LOOK at it.”

“Like Goldilocks?”

“Maybe. I was always on the bears’ side in that story. After all, Goldilocks was trespassing.”

——————

Here’s a photo I wanted to share with yesterday’s prompt, but I couldn’t find it. It deals with surrealism. It’s me in Zürich in 2005 standing beside the Cafe Voltaire — the birthplace of DADA (father of surrealism). I’m pointing here at the Navel of the World.

Me pointing at the navel of the world

Birthplace of Dada, Cafe Voltaire, Zürich

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/daily-prompt-4/

Surrealism Doesn’t Exist

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Daily Prompt Whoa! What’s the most surreal experience you’ve ever had?

“Sigh. I don’t feel like airing my surreal experiences in public. I think I’ll just go do something else. Anyway, here’s the take of a cool new artist I learned of yesterday. He goes by the name Butcher Billy. The featured image is his Legion of Real Life Supervillains

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https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/whoa/

Continued Adventures in Reincarnation

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Daily Prompt Fly on the Wall If you could be a “fly on the wall” anywhere and at any time in history, where and when would you choose?

That was one of the worst incarnations, though it was relatively hygienic, you know, constantly washing my little hands. For me anyway. For anyone else? Godnose what those little hands of mine were carrying.

But you probably saw a lot of interesting things while you were hanging on the wall. What was the most interesting wall you remember?

Walls are not all that interesting.

I was thinking that as a tiny little pesky fly, you must have heard some interesting things in some of the rooms into which you flew.

I like the artful way you did NOT end that sentence with a preposition. Gives me hope that all is not lost in the current educational system. Maybe you’re not all going to end up talking like Yoda. Barns were always the best places. Lots of chances to hide and lots of gross good stuff to eat. Well, I was in an interesting barn once.

Where was this barn?

No idea, but as happened sometimes, a young girl gave birth. Her husband was with her. Back then — well, for most of the time humans have had domestic animals — people lived with their stock, their cows, pigs and so on, so it was not at all strange that the baby was born in a barn. I’ve been born in a barn several times. The recent fastidiousness and horror expressed at this is a bit of bourgeois amnesiac fiction.

Had you seen it before?

Of course not. A fly’s lifespan is about as long as his wingspan, especially as people are constantly trying to swat us. There was a movement to stand up for our rights in this regard as respected cogs in the machinery of decay and rebirth. But when the flies got together to protest, all that happened was that the swatter had the mother-lode of swattees. Definitely a bad plan and against our “survival of the fittest” imperative, but then, maybe those flies were just stupid and it all happened for a reason. I don’t know. It was before some of my times and definitely before my time as a fly. It’s part of fly legend.

Was the baby, you know, was it…?

No idea.

What happened then?

I went over to check out the kid, you know, as any curious fly would and that was it. The mother freaked out and waved her hand to shoo me away. She nicked me, bent my wing. I could still fly, not well, but well enough to get out of there. I went over to the horse — horses are often pretty tolerant, I mean, yeah, they’ll stamp their feet or flick their tail but that’s about it. I stayed off their ears, though. There’s NO peace on a horse’ ear. That’s when I realized, the horse was Lamont.

No.

Yeah. Almost every iteration I have run into Lamont somewhere. Glad of it, usually, though sometimes we did find each other on the wrong side of the kill-or-be-killed imperative. We did a little catching up, but, I wasn’t a young fly and now I was damaged. I knew I was at the end of my life cycle. I’d mated, laid my eggs — lucky to find a dead rat in the corner of that barn. It was just a matter of a few days at most. I asked Lamont about being a horse in this era — we’d both been horses in the Eocene and except for being prey, it was a lovely experience. He told me that this go around, his life as a horse was hard, but Lamont said he’d had worse. We both laughed ruefully thinking of our time as small mammals in the Pleistocene. Dark times, dark times and COLD. And LONG. I think Lamont and I showed up half a dozen times during those eons of frozen waste. But, we’ll save that for another day.

Thanks for being on the show.

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This is a continuation of two of my favorite posts (and funniest) from back in the day. Worst? and Nobody Walks in LA 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/fly-on-the-wall/