[Estimated reading time: 3 minutes]


It's a great night. We've just finished up the steak and veggie dinner out underneath millions of visible stars. I'm already reclined into a lying position in my camping chair, for all intents and purposes I am completely detached from the conversation. Millie might give me shit later, I wonder, then glance in her direction. Nah, she's good, she's in her element, my presence isn't required.

We're camping with Tony and Elizabeth. Elizabeth's a long-time friend of ours, and Tony is her current boyfriend. They've been together since Christmas, so about eight months now. I give them another four, but can't see Elizabeth settling down with this guy. They're too dissimilar. Which can be exciting. But I've seen her with a few different types, and this seems pretty obvious.

Tony's discussing some mildly-political topic, one which is passingly-interesting to Millie and very important to Elizabeth (judging from their postures), so I tune out once again.

I hold up a large focus disc and look through it. The distant planets are enlarged and stabilized by the internal system of lenses. The disc is a cylinder, about half an inch thick and about three feet across, two hand-holds sit opposite each other. I hold it a bit over my head and pan around. It's like looking up through a lifesaver, one of those circular red-and-white life-saving device.

A flick of a finger turns on the labels, and now I'm looking through the ecliptic, the plane of the solar system that holds most of the matter within it. It's very obvious, once you see it all laid out. Of course the Earth orbits the Sun! Just look at it!

Continue reading


[Estimated reading time: 3 minutes]

[Author's note: this is a work in progress]

"What are you willing to heal?"

We pass the tall sign as strong hands hold me up. My feet drag across the bleak-colored floor. I alternate between looking straight up at the exposed wooden beams and back to the floor, as the muscles in my neck refuse to work and my head jostles this way and that. It's dizzying and I want to throw up. Correction, I do throw up. The orderlies call out "clean up in aisle 4!", but don't stop.

The tunnels twist and turn and it feels like we're shimmying up a teal-colored colon, deeper and deeper into the bloated carcass of hope and happiness. The deeper we go, the more unsure the florescent lights become, flickering quicker and leaving us in the darkness for longer each time. I wonder what depth of hell we've reached. Except we never take any stairs or elevator. The orderlies just keep walking and drag my increasingly uncooperative body down miles and miles of depressing hallways.

Continue reading

A day in the field

[Estimated reading time: 2 minutes]

I stand in the field and watch the world wander by. The high flat clouds come in and leave, bringing with them merciful shade for a short while. A few flocks of birds come and I manage to scare them off.

He walks along the field, checks the drainage ditch, clears out week-old clogs. He waves to Diana as she heads to town in the truck, then continues walking even after she is beyond view, around the field and toward the warehouse at its edge, pulling clogs out of the drainage and random uncaught weeds from the soil.

He drives our ignored-yet-trusty tractor outside and takes close to two hours cleaning it out, spraying out a metric ton of dirt that has accumulated within. Diana comes back around sunset, before he is done, and the surprise in her voice breaks my heart. I want to scream...

Continue reading


[Estimated reading time: 3 minutes]

After work I head in the direction of downtown. It's a familiar walk, so I'm half paying attention. It was a hell of a day and I'm just trying not to explode.

Mark honks to break me out of my reverie. He's in his always-shiny cabriolet. I open the passenger door and hop in. It's just four blocks to the bar, but I don't mind his company.

"Hey man, you doing OK? Looking kinda tired, or something," he says as we peel off down the street, at a whopping twenty mph.

"Long day at work," I lie. Mark nods along, he knows the grind. He knew the grind. I look around. "New upholstery?"

"Yeah," he says, dejected. "I left the fucking roof open!"

"In Seattle."

"In fucking Seattle."

Continue reading