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Sweet Sleep I slip out of bed, trying not to make a sound, despite the fact I live alone. I used to sneak downstairs in the dead of night when I lived with my parents, that was more than ten years ago but old habits die hard. I have to force myself to turn on the light, afraid I'll wake my non-existent neighbours. A clock on the wall with a knife and fork for hands informs me that it's 3:15 in the morning. I look for paracetamols first; I always keep painkillers in the kitchen, even though I only ever need them when I'm in bed. In my half asleep state I decide to dry swallow them. One sticks to the back of my throat, causing a horrible taste to fill my mouth. I guzzle water straight from the tap until it goes away.
I contemplate going back to bed, but know that I won't sleep now. Four hours sleep is the most I've had in almost a year. I open the fridge and look at its barren interior: I forgot to go shopping. Again. That's the problem wit
The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
FFM10 - Sound BubbleSheldon Napier was a very ordinary man.
He would wake up at 5:30 every morning, hit the alarm with a light tap of a single finger and rise out of bed with a yawn. He shuffled into his slippers and robe and descended into the kitchen where the coffeemaker was waiting for someone to begin the morning rituals. He complied; the coffee gods demanded regular sacrifice, lest they take away his sense of alertness and polite demeanor.
He cracked two eggs as the coffee brewed and buttered a slice of bread to be ceremonially immolated by the toaster. He gathered the pieces of his meal and sat down at the altar to eat.
Soon the sun would rise and Sheldon would look out the window to see the birds chirping and quietly finish his meal. He would shower, shave, dress, and be out the door by 7:00 sharp, ready to complete the daily pilgrimage to the Tower where his tomb was waiting to be excavated of mounds and mounds of paper.
Yes, Sheldon Napier was very ordinary indeed. Except for one thing.
Too Many Clever BuggersThere were too many university applicants.
A theory for the clever bugger influx was that previous generations of university graduates went forth and multiplied. Another was the rise in opportunities for the peasant classes. Whatever the reason, there were now legions of heartbroken students feeling quite miffed. Touched by their suffering, the government voted to triple tuition fees so that many of the peasants wouldn't even try to apply.
Apparently that didn't work so well, making all the politicians very sad. They consoled themselves by claiming second homes with taxpayers' money, because even if you lived less than twenty minutes from the workplace, having two homes was just nice.
Using paper money to wipe away tears as they sat in their second homes, they wondered what else they could do to discourage the clever buggers from fulfilling their potential. Eventually, an idea came to them.
Testing. They needed more tests.
Unfortunately, it was known that clever buggers had a certain a
Coffee-Stained LetterDear Stranger,
You don't know me. And I don't know you. Maybe it's better that way. But then again, maybe we would be happier if we did know each other.
Right now, I'm sitting at my desk, with the sunlight streaming in the window, writing this letter for you. Hopefully I'll finish it by tonight, so that tomorrow I can take it to the coffee shop on the corner and drop it on the floor, or in your lap, or maybe in the lap of the person next to you so they can give it to you...because they don't seem like the type to read it, so they'll obviously just pass it on.
I like music - except terrible rap. And I love the written word more than most, it baffles some of my friends sometimes. I wonder, do you like to read? I have the tiniest tattoo I've ever seen, it's a tiny fairy on my ankle, but you can't see her unless you're looking for her and know where to look...like a real fairy, they're good at hiding too you know. I saw a fairy once. She was hiding behind the strawberries in my garden. I t
Monte CristoI had dinner with my dead father last night—
A grand feast of sins, lies, and cranberry sauce—
And he asked me if I knew
How to properly falsify a life.
So I lifted the mask from my face in reply,
And he said next time I saw him in the mirror,
He wanted me in full costume.
When I closed my eyes and the glass was blank,
I headed for the magnificent ball,
Where I danced with queens and witches alike
And maybe a prostitute or two
And carried on a conversation with a jester
Over how much gold was in my back pocket.
It was decided on a fool's fortune,
And my greed had never felt more starved.
Before going to bed, I drank deeply
From the fountain of youth in my backyard,
Watching my hair turn silver in the water.
And my father dropped by
To read these words in my eyes
And hand me a blindfold with unraveling edges.
I tossed the weight on my shoulders upon him
To send his façade crumbling down,
But the shockwaves were not enough to shatter my own.
So I resigned myself to slumber
And fought the
Eulogy For A HeroHe did not hold a mighty rank
his name is yet obscure.
But for us few who stood by him
the memory endures.
He did not falter, but stood strong;
nor gave in to his fear.
And others took their confidence
from knowing he was near.
He didn't fight for riches,
for glory, or for fame.
He swore to serve the nation,
and when they called, he came.
He did not choose the nature
of the war he went to fight.
He did his duty day-to-day,
tried to sort wrong from right.
He went as he was ordered,
and countered every threat.
He studied lessons of the past,
that we should not forget.
He made new friends at every step
And never lost the old.
He did not let his purpose turn
his heart and mind so cold.
He tried to be respectful,
though his mission might invade.
He never failed to answer for
mistakes that he had made.
A better friend I never knew,
the chance I think is slim.
But let me tell you why I'm here
today, instead of him.
That day was brilliant, dry and hot,
the distance, a mirage.
Our thirsty, tire
Teenage TaoismGiving birth is the closest I’d ever felt to dying.
Before that, my near death experiences had consisted only of my silent announcement of pregnancy—silent, being that my social media accounts were all deleted almost simultaneously and I never returned to school in the fall, saying without really saying that I had caught the malicious disease of “teenage pregnancy”. I’m sure the whisper spread in the hallways like the Bubonic Plague. That September, sitting at home on what would have been the first day of my senior year, I imagined friends I’d never talk to again saying “she was only seventeen, and so full of life!” at my absence in the cafeteria tables, as if they were attending my funeral instead of talking about me behind my back.
"Full of life," I had snorted then, folding a never ending stream of what had once been my own baby clothes. "Literally."
I walked around like a zombie for the months of my pregnancy, deciding t
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