There is no loneliness like that of a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon alone in memory of an ocean of good times that have come and gone before held within the happiness of the company of another. All those routine little trips to and fro with the folks. Those long country rides holding hands with that special someone who just told you once again how much they really love you. Now no longer that sort of ‘good time Charlie’. An emptiness surrounding one fully illuminated sublimated beneath the pressure of utter stillness. Being by one’s self and feeling totally abandoned by old events that have so long ago run their course. Eclipsing any hope of a bearable present without the cloak of the clinging past being dulled by trying to forget. That bitter instant when one realizes that they have been praying for the balm of a shadow over all they really loved about being alive. That indelible dream of what things must have been like way back then. And what they should have been like if you had been a more loving and less selfish as a person. That escalator of remorseful knowledge and impotent regret for the inescapable fact of being yourself. All those remaining songs and pictures from eras now extinct having one believing too occasionally that it is simply there as it has always been in the other room around the corner somewhere just behind you. But then, don’t bother to look or you’ll be certainly disappointed. Your heart heavy like some cheap gangster’s chain bound body, feet stuck in cement, below the bay. The world of life ongoing all around just above you. But no prayers left for anyone to utter. Only inadvertent mumbles trailing from your own lips. Mouthing words from those long familiar authors who gave birth to you but can no longer speak. What remains is no longer yours. But an outdated approximation of a future that might have been but that is now assuredly obsolete. Is it easier to close your eyes and enjoy the occasional appearance of intervening instants that lead back to the momentary crescendos of too often forgotten former hyperbole’s. Exposed in feelings inescapably mislaid betwixt too many other uncountable throwaway minutes of the prison bars of today?
Old friends rediscovered in a trash heap or a junk store. That one eyed wink of the dingy clothed doll that sits on that dusty shelf recounting those decades long gone by of yesteryear. In a sense, I died last Fall along with my mother. We all die in a sense when bereft of the underpinnings of immortality that once supported everything that we thought right with the world suddenly collapses into thin air. Any lingering hopes for that eleventh hour Fall/Winter romance extinguished in practice by the knowledge that at this advanced age, all one could do is balance their desire by previous bountiful expectations. And not a present tense sense of slim to meager offerings. Cynicism always stopping now by that all too favored chair resting before the television. Where reruns take care of topping off your angst in a swift movement like a butter knife across the top of a ice cream Root Beer soda! No it’s just a game. A renewing arcade of modern toys and follies that signify the fact that we are all too lazy or simply afraid now to come out of our warrens to confront. Better this interface of the Internet, who though knowing all our names and habits affords us that modern dignity of remaining strangers to each other as we toy totally alone back and forth with other similarly beset phantoms. No spills or muss and fuss to clean up when it is all said and quickly done. Cheap and easy mental sex. And for those few still hanging on to the traditions of the past, their bellies still up to the bar and grunting that resounding obligatory “Fuck You!” after every single phrase? Nothing but scorn. No one bothering to keep and even score with these mental degenerates. The best escape for all to plan at this point in the game is a short lived tour sitting peacefully upon the second level of a double decker bus somewhere else. And a nightly Manhattan to help one sleep through the coming night from that time of their embarkation through to the early hours without disturbance. A solitary wish that when death comes, like Dorothy returning from the Wizard, we are transported to those few remaining good times of our childhood now past.
Bernie was a ‘somafabitch’. All throughout his life when a girl liked him he made her life hell. His reputation could only be matched by his wife, Esmerelda. A woman who throughout her existence had played the innocent but had a long and prodigious record of enticing suckers and then taking them for all they had. How the two of them had initially met, much less tied the knot was beyond anybodies comprehension? It just happened that one day some ten years previous one was seen in the other’s company for more than time to time. The boys, Rocco and Hans, who worked as muscle for Bernie at the BimBamBoom club, that slightly sleazy gentleman’s club figured that attraction came in the form of the virtual ‘gold mine’ of this place raked in a prodigious amount of cash from select locals and conventioneers. Certainly, there was no doubt that fresh smell of green that the squares laid down each weekend when their wives went back home to see their mothers. The game was as old as time. That original first business that Plato had mentioned where when the customers were looking the wrong way at the shadows they got fleeced. It seemed to be an agreeable arrangement as the customers rarely came back to complain if their feathers got a little overly ruffled. The cops for their part took their cut twice a month and looked the other way.
Bernie may have not been the easiest guy to work for but one thing he valued was loyalty. Anyone who would take his guff and come back for more must have been an all right guy. He and his Frau used to chuckle sometimes at the end of the night about the crap they had pulled upon some unsuspecting mark. Esmerelda coming on to him just short of a lap dance and then Bernie entering the scene screaming and yelling like the irate wounded husband waving his discontent in the form of the chrome nickel plated .380 he kept in his coat. Usually this was followed by a flow of hundreds and a not too pleasant escort by Rocco and Hans to the back alley door. It was bad for business if the local regulars saw this kind of stuff while they were occupied in other ways slugging down twelve dollar watered beers and seventy dollar bottles of rotgut champagne. The two of them sometimes talked with genuine amazement of how a few of the fellas could come back night after night after drinking that swill and where the likes of some of them got that money. All Bernie could figure was that somebody’s dear mum’s pension check was all but gone each month?
The arrangement seemed to work well over the years as it yielded a new top of the line caddy and periodic trips to Vegas for the couple where they both unloaded a fair amount of the cash they were accumulating. To Esmerelda, this was a heavenly match. One even her nagging bitch of a mother had to keep mostly silent about. Things were going pretty well for someone who was substantially past her twenties but sure wasn’t telling. Bernie presented little trouble for her. Perhaps the rarified atmosphere of all that female flesh roaming around nightly had dulled his sword? If not that, then perhaps the overpowering funky reek of human sweat and cheap perfume that seemed to have settled in permanently throughout the back stage area where the girls changed costumes? Maybe the hard pecker crowd of degenerates out in front that the girls were draping themselves upon dug it. But her old man dug another scent. The wafting acrid odor of stacks of government green. When she thought back about it, with the exception of a couple days when they were first together she had never seen his hard-on? Something that didn’t bother her in the least as she indulged her occasional diversions discretely and far away from him.
The disjointed union of the two of them seemed to continue on interrupted for another decade or two far past the era of Elvis through the reign of a spook named Hendrix and all those Hippie shits. But now, decades past and up to the present the customers had thinned down to bare minimum of previous ‘better days’ . The kinds and qualities of girls that they could once easily corral had diminished to a few old reliable pros who demanded more scratch for a lot less profitable youthful attractiveness. The two old hellions that ran the place had taken on a shared communal visage of what one might have expected upon a cheap plastic mask at Halloween. Rocco was gone, killed some fifteen years back on a car wreck with one of the girls after work. And Hans could barely keep on his feet for more than an hour and had to keep a chair by the door. Even the cops had given up on the place only demanding a third of what had once been their non-negotiable end. The customers, such as they were were old timers who came their only to get it up to simply watch what had become the same old predictable routine of bump and grind.
Occasionally a small party of college kids would come in for a laugh. Something that would drive old Bernie nuts as there wasn’t much that he could do to intimidate then with rheumatoid arthritis and a cane. The fun of it all had gone out of it for him years back. He had lost his pistol years back in some forgotten card game. He was simply a scarecrow that loped about the bar area with one hand on the back of the chairs to steady himself on his back and forth journeys. Esmerelda was generally no where to be seen. She mostly sat in the back office watching re-runs of soaps and old movies of Anthony Quinn when he was young. “He was the man I should have been with all along”, she would quip dreamy eyed in private. “Instead I ended up with this old crud!” No love was lost at this point between them. All the piss and vinegar had long ago departed for points West. Al that the two of them had to look forward to now where monthly trips to the hospital and perhaps a good send off to the Catholic cemetery down the road.
The jest be not in the purloin
without a single trace
but by the simple fact of me
with death upon her face
that perfect mirror of waning life
frozen twixt reflection and dire gloom
a moment of merciful departure
from earthly cares to waiting tomb
when that breath of life is summoned not
and then exists without a trace
what terrible ecstasy in knowing rots
how truly alone one can finally be
when left for a trifling favor
for that uncaring endless infinity
I want to feel white again
and all the colors of the sun
and I’m through with all your blackness
and the untold damage that it has done
I wanted to offend and slake you
for all your boundless rage
of not embracing charity
or being on the same page
of that Christian foil that supports you
of that old Moslem’s fork tongue dialogue untrue
in that Jewish question that ever haunts you
as to who did what to who?
beat that burdening beast that butts you
pull down that honky town that forever spins
those diverging words that part you
from where you’re at and where you been
for love is not a wholesome crime
when lavished on those never strange
and perfidy being no excuse
when encountered in its mange
that dirty tale is told again
of no special status gained
by climbing into a pit of Hell
and claiming you’ve been framed
Everything comes at a price
the price is your life
the price is your home
where you live
what you’re thinking
where you hope to be
where you’ve been
and who you live with
there’s nothing considered free!
That eternal lock step towards oblivion.
Don’t fall out of line!
or you’ll be risking everything!
Never being allowed to see the inconstant wonder of the back ahead.
Just a whinny.
Just a wail.
Just a wall.
Just wait until the morning!
When you’re feelin tall
Until that mighty fall.
of all your wrecked illusions.
and Finzy’s damaged call.
that eternal lock step to infinity
connecting us one and all.
It was a bright blue beautiful day outside in the high season of Midwestern weather when he approached the morning. At sixty plus and a recently widowed bachelor to boot, there were very few days that gave a sense of promise beyond the usual cynicism of ‘all the better days for him having now gone by’. Where in the past he might have been up early to go for an extended walk for the sake of the rapidly ‘rusting’ aspects of his aged physicality, the recent cold snap had encouraged a more ‘cabin conscious’ lifestyle that as of late found him cemented into an old purloined office chair sitting for hours before his computer. Mostly out of ennui but equally out of his current sense of stunted masculinity he had taken the plunge into the world of online dating sites. There were an abundance and perhaps more so to choose from initially. But a friend had tipped him onto one in particular. And not well-versed in the ‘Patou’ of online conversation in these matters he felt confident that his friend was steering him to something reasonably navigable. Though he had heard some pretty compromising tales about the real efficacy of the online dating thing, he figured it must be essentially harmless as another form of diversion.
The first week with within its milieu had been a trial and error experience of expressing himself in text with the help of the site’s algorithmic ‘whizbang’ based matching system whose questions seemed to lock one into identities that were less than accurate to the intended fact. “How could anyone express one’s self in these glib cliches, much less at a party, or job interview in such a way to convey anything close to real sense of their existence anyhow?”, he thought. The more queries he was confronted with to respond to the more he plied his relatively efficient dexterity to the craft of expository writing. No Hemingway, he had in the past been given a positive nod by a boss or two for an ‘above the usual’ ability to express himself more precisely than some in routine business communications. Perhaps this talent had its lineage in the long wide room length bookshelf of volumes that he had refused to dispose of as an ‘on again off again’ avid reader?
In any case, by the second week of the back and forth ritual of verbal fencing with some the other more likely looking female candidates, he felt pretty confident that he was getting the right message across. Albeit in a standardized round about manner that structurally only a prisoner of an ‘oublee’ in a remote French prison could truly comprehend. No ‘Comte d’Monte Cristo’ in the sense of unbounded faith in the transliteration of the subtle niceties of old world face to face in-person dealings as converted digitally into that of virtual avatars, he assumed that based upon the increasing number of interested replies by any given ‘Cyber Maiden’ he must be doing something right? Though in time over the intervening hours and the nights, many of the discerning females would by their own eclectic tastes appear in the messages column and sometimes unexpectedly depart. By the conclusion of each of the extended sessions, many leading way beyond what might be considered as a usual time to retire, he had begun to find this exercise as being something more than simply ‘play’ for the sake to alleviate boredom. There were a couple who seemed genuinely interested in the repartee that he offered. And, slowly, he began to find himself coveting the idea that there might actually be the possibility of an uncanny somewhat unexpected romantic match between himself and one of these ever less mysterious strangers?
One of them in particular had caught his eye. An unconventional beauty seeming particularly attractive not only for her set of enchanting images but for the (virtual) paper account of the portrayal of the current state of her life. The messages seemed to go on and on and on between them. Most evidencing a waning sense of formality suggesting that each might be genuinely excited with the prospect of taking that tremulous next step of a cup of coffee or two in each other’s physical presence. Where his level of stamina had begun to peak in making the usual rounds of newer candidates, he found himself cutting these sojourns down to merely checking for her latest messages alone. And finding them or not quickly leaving the dating site to hyperlink off to some other contemporary topical site until it seemed likely that she might again resurface. This had gone on as of late until he had to confess on a couple of the ‘next mornings’ that the unrequited expectations of same were being to become exhausting. Still, like all closet cinema affected romantic’s, he felt deep within that in this case, “Love might find a way!”
The current morning had begun in the same corollary of ‘cloudless sans gray’ hopeful of a potential for something blissfully extraordinary. In the back of his mind was the expectation that he would soon be responding again to one of his mysterious partner’s teasing responses. Impatience somewhat getting the better of him he decided to ‘prime the pump’ by messaging he coming days events within a moderately humdrum tone in hopes of fostering a bit more interest on her part. Enough so that they might possibly make a date to meet in person. He wrote a brief somewhat playfully deprecating note about his status of being ‘spoiled’ as the only offspring and then added a notation about his geographic intentions for travel for that day. The weather overnight had been at the level of ‘pipe bursting’ status and he added a bit about going to his rented space further in the inner city. He referred somewhat irreverently to it as his “museum”, rarely using the location for more than simple storage. This despite it’s very public local reputation as a hangout for working artists. He figured to let her in a little more about himself that he too was an artist if not perhaps a little dormant. “I’ll be catching up on my stuff today watching the steam billow over the frozen horizon from my museum cum loft.”
Sometime later while assembling himself for his excursion into the cold, his computer chimed that there was a new message. With a couple of button clicks he logged into his portion of the dating site expecting with some well suppressed excitement that her reply from the night before had arrived. But to his shock he found another message with a completely unexpected tone. “Cum loft….I do not think that was necessary. …as it did not paint a pretty picture of the loft or you.” He stared on at her response not quite sure what was going on partly out of equivalent surprise and shock. Another loud ‘bing’ of his computer brought an equally jarring followup. “I’m not naive or prudish but. …I think this is goodbye.” He sat there incredulous as if it had not fully dawned on him what terrible infraction he had committed? “Cum loft?” “Cumloft?” “Museum cum loft?” “How did his words relate?”, he wondered. “Wasn’t it standard to use the word “Cum” in the sense of expressing a certain sense of class by referencing that remaining bit of Latin?” “Magne Cum Laude!”, for instance he quipped. He picked up a Webster Dictionary and hurriedly paged to the offending word, “A temporal clause beginning with ‘cum’ must contain an indicative verb.”, the wrinkled pages under his index fingers declared. He went back to the offending message that he had previously sent out and read and reread it, mentally conjugating the different possibilities of the phrases use. A pang of abject horror struck him! It was clear that in light of the present irreverent sense of the sex obsessed no hold’s barred media trampled society, this phrasing was just what one might expect from a equally disrespectful degenerate sex offending male poseur!
He felt stunned and immobile like some dessicated insect pushed upon cardboard by a pin through his abdomen. Was he so blind and stupid as to make such an unflattering combination of words? Was she so paranoid as many women were encouraged to be by the constant ceaseless media bombard of passive aggressive Feminism? Or, even worse, perhaps had something Freudian slipped out from under the covers? He immediately typed off an, “I’m sorry, but I respect your wishes and good luck!” to her out of ‘knee jerk’ accommodation. It was not his way to so quickly leave the field of battle. Especially when he felt that he was equally innocent of the offense as the resultant meaning taken was never in his conscious thoughts. “My Goddamn loft doesn’t even have a bed in it!”, he angrily quipped to himself. The more he thought of it, the more the whole situation seemed completely absurd. The “main hook” of the situation in some typically farcical Hollywood production. He paced back and forth considering all the angles and running the scenario again and again through his mind. “How dumb they both were! “, he exclaimed after many moments. He for not seeing the proverbial ‘forest for the trees’. She for being all to ready to quickly pull the plug before considering that there might be some reasonable explanation! How stupid all this was! “And who in the end was to blame?”, he looked up at the ceiling. The computer unexpectedly chimed again, its monitor inscrutably turned towards him with its screen leeringly announcing the arrival from the dating site of of yet another dubiously cynical female’s message.
The temperature had been spiraling down for several days bringing brilliant blue skies but waning any desire to be out of doors to a bare economy of necessary tasks alone. Waking up that morning seemed drudgery in having to return to that same set of diminishing possibilities. His consciousness strolling back down that dark connecting corridor where the dreams of the night before was judiciously cloaked. “JimmyJet53” roused from his heavy covers pulling himself forth reluctantly from their warm friction like an ineffective bag of bones rescued from a warm savory insatiable palate. He dragged himself through his house haltingly like some B-movie reanimated corpse caught halfway down life’s passage. The heat plume coming out the next house over seemed through the window as it was as thick as steam. He thought of that permanent resolute expression upon his dead father’s face. Something that seemed like a pillar that held up the family. A man of few words for his family who tended to reduce everything in his experience to its bare bones simplicity. Those times now far past gone. Its only remnants in the dusty contents taking up space around him. The coffee bubbled angrily forth jealous of his inattention. A deep breath or two and a hot slug of coffee brought him finally to his full senses for another day.
It had been a couple days of being back to his regular routine of working through the early evening and turning in early. The 3;00 AM porcelain visitation had been mercilessly brief and sleep came back flooding over him again. The prospect of the continuum of nightly online having come to a screeching halt with the overload of emotional adolescent paranoia that seemed beneath ridiculous for any aging adult. It was simply another speck of video wallpaper one pixel thick that was masking the impotent frustrations of a lot of lonely life challenged women. What promise for understanding could come from the ever elusive unfulfilled promise of nightly games of courtly cyber love. Life had to me more than simply sucking off the deflating tit of fleeting hundred dollar bills? Or the meaningless supplication of that hungry little furry looking awkward animal appendage that rested impatiently dormant and voracious underneath. Where really was the anchor to his dreams that kept him struggling to find oxygen just below the surface. He spoke out loud sometimes as he sat in the kitchen by the rapid chill of his empty cup. The voices of the dead came unexpectedly forth to his ear sometimes in the certain choice of phrases and intonations that had been previously derived from decades previous when everyone was alive and far from the thought of anything else.
“Maybelle54” seemed at wit’s end. One of her daughters had called the night before and told her that she was late might have to have something taken care of? It seemed obvious that the choice of a weekend companion with little or no prospect of commonality beyond a late Friday or Saturday night had run its course for her poor little darling. A bad start to any relationship and certainly not what she had hoped for with her youngest. The two of her girls were growing up and finding out unfortunately that life and the best intentions of the opposite gender were ever counted upon to be unreliable especially at the start of one’s adult life. What sort of outlet did that place her just opposite of? Sitting here amidst the growing silence of her latter years too far past a throwaway by the standards of everything today ‘hopelessly young’ to expect much if anything more out of age. All her choices seemingly now behind her. The fact that the computer had been turned off for a couple of days seemed the only thing that made her feel better about herself. The customary rituals of cleaning the house, reading the morning paper and pilling down a half-read book seemed once again to positively reaffirm her existence. How empty each morning seemed to her? The cupboards seemed fully stocked, hopelessly so but she felt that it was hungry, as hungry as her, maybe for something different. It didn’t take her long to gather herself together enough to brave the cold and head out to the store.
“JimmyJet53″ had his basket half-filled. Lazily sauntering down by the produce section after having run the gauntlet of the shopper choked aisles in-between he found himself before her. The one thing that they initially shared in common was a the pause in terms of what to say next. Neither could gather much in the moment beyond the prolongation of an indeterminate glance and a loss as to what proper words might sound like. It was obvious to the both of them. ” ” looked down at her purse as if she was going to fall into the ploy of having been interrupted in mid-course retrieving something. But her hand wasn’t steady enough to understand the unconscious mental instructions to follow through. For his part, he did not exhibit any of the irreverent cock-sureness that she had built up around her rapidly descending mental picture of him. It was almost like her impressions of her regard of him had momentarily come to a halt and were waiting for some sort of sign to proceed. Perhaps a sign from him? A move in some direction. A word with a telltale intonation as to whether there was something about her that he felt desirable, worthwhile enough to act upon? The flash of a scene of them within each other’s arms broke through her reserve but she neatly tucked it back down into oblivion. He had turned his head slightly away from her as if diverted by an errant thought providing an instant o relief from their encounter. That seemed the expected sign that she had been waiting for in a resolution to extricate herself and she began to turn her cart with the inertia that might be expected of an ocean liner clearing the quay. As he, for his part walked away, his noncommittal expression now fully sunken into anonymous indifference burned itself into her being. The entire exercise of the last week seemed as naught but a physically perceptual extension of some forgettable popularly recollected rerun that one regularly used to mark the time during those empty hours before one habitually retired alone to bed. She pushed forward past the cantaloupes, her own face automatically sinking into empty recognition of naturally being part of the simple routine of another day.
“JimmyJet53” had checked in from time to time through the night. He’d even given a peak at the middle of the night water stop. No response from “Maybelle54” in the message section. And no online messages over her picture. Maybe she got tired of this whole game? God knows it was tiring! Sleepless even. AS a matter of habit he perused past her pictures to find a new crop of candidates that might provide a clear alternative. But for the most part, it was the same old usual suspects but simply reshuffled. The old dowagers looking for the love they couldn’t find in youth. The career girls and spinsters who didn’t have time for a man or let their men wander off because they were too busy with themselves. Now they were trying to load additional baggage of plenty of income and security to their otherwise unrealistic host of demands. The more he thought about it, the more he considered that he had been enlisted in some absurd and meaningless game where like Vegas, the house was the only party expected to win. But what was this anyhow but some strip joint for the mind. Instead of untouchable bare bodies he was watching a pasty and G-string version of semi-revealed lives. What did these women expect to get? Wasn’t this like sitting in a Bingo parlor at the local party room of the church or synagogue down the street? You really could see much to raise your Willy about here. He was tempted to search a little farther a field in the age bracket. Young girls seemed more foolish enough to try a relationship with the wrong guy in terms of advancing age while the old dames are too smart for their own good to be able to get the one of their dreams. He had gone on one ‘face to face’ and sat there for an hour and a half and heard one older career bound ‘Shirley’ brag about saving the world. The trouble was that she couldn’t quite save herself as it was all to obvious that, like almost any other available man who had sat in a chair before him, she really had never been able to take the risk of making up her mind. It was “Death and the Aging Maiden.”
The ‘Great Beast’ was sleeping again. “JimmyJet53” had had a full day and evening and as the weekend’s events had placed a heavy toll upon him proverbially looking over his shoulder, he was beat. Now he seemed to be retiring earlier and earlier. Catnapping for a few during the light of day and going insomniac in the dead of night. The damn site and it’s promise of connection was like a ‘Matrix’ that was threatening to attach him to its central hub in New York. Sleeplessness was a wonderful thing. A motivator for one to find out the little details of meaningless dimension posed as being of the utmost importance overall. “The challenge of the approaching surrender to one’s elder years was not to become a prisoner of one’s own regrets!”, he had once heard someone of no consequence lecture. It was obvious that this form of emotional ‘trench warfare’ where you could here the enemy moving around but for the most part could never see them suited the times. The ‘real world’ had been implanted with too many land mines by NGO’s and thin tanks to get one to ‘buy on command’ like one might expect to command a puppy to go only on the paper. There was almost a format to the thinking one embraced in the ways that most of the contestants reinterpreted their life’s content into hackneyed cliche phrases. He knew that he too was falling easy victim to the implicit normalizing self-discipline and the paranoia of possibly slipping out by a phrase or the improper conjugation of a word into the category of pariah. If George Orwell were alive today, wouldn’t he be railing about “Airstrip One’s” competing dating services? The phone harshly banged its momentary awakening and like some nightmare creature straight out of a treatise by Maslow. He reached without thinking to see if someone new had sent him a ‘Like’ or a message, or some form of communication to vindicate his existence in this mostly uncaring world.
The clock on the mantle was approaching four and “Maybelle54” was curled up fetally upon her couch. The television blue danced around the room about her while the long deep shadows caused by the stillness of undisturbed mercury vapor lights outside cast long static shadows before her. The loneliness was getting nerve wracking. She had fallen asleep long ago halfway through the bachelor meets bachelorette. The dreams that she could recall had her back in high school getting career advice on how to follow along to assure the ‘perfect life’. That was the time of course when home economics was being transformed into a dirty word. Now of course most girls merely had to know how to switch on the microwaves and swing the Swifter a bit at the most obvious of dirt. How were her girls really faring. “Maybelle54” was always worried that one of them would get carried away and connected up with some intellectual nobody or some street smart no account. The last thing that she wanted was for one of them to be packing the unwanted baggage of a little bundle of unexpected joy about for the next twenty years without a responsible daddy to go along with. Most of the young men appeared to be duds these days. Narcissistic and interested in little more than preening for their fellow losers. If she ever found herself doubting that then all she had to do was go back online and view their errant father’s and those other old reprobates that were still not willing to give up their over worn dreams of indefinite youth. It was a total time waste to scroll forever into the waving weed patch of aimless males that could only reliably offer the mutual bond of unbroken solitude as a mutually appreciable form of daily existence. Their printed words were broken promises from the first sentence on. The good ones, what few there seemed to be, were still at home. Probably in total ignorance of how to operated one of the contemporary electronic marvels that occupied premiere status just within the first aisle of the local ‘big box’ outlet store. To this small cadre, a computer had no more rival familiarity with the family car. Merely a conveyance like the house to a modicum of comfort for themselves and the one’s that they had made the long term commitment to love not in participles but in continued actions of longstanding record. What had these dispossessed losers had to say to that?
Time was running out for everyone it seemed. The old ways of carefree existence had exited it seemed with the Corvair and the Pinto. Those who were lucking to have only taxes, mechanical upkeep and the lawn work to worry about wee the blessed. The TV was the stump for politicians and their movie minions to excoriate endless hypocrisy in mistruth and unbounded elitist greed. You couldn’t find any ‘Ma and Pa’s’ at the center of town anymore, only strip malls filled with the same few old tired branded facades of continued corporate mediocrity. One sat about the hoard of things that one monthly replenished while sorting out the last crop of same from the year previous for donations to the tip or charity. If there was a shared sense of being mutually alive in this type of world it was one akin the being a nightwatchman keeping tabs on a store. “Maybelle54” had the impulse to get up and fold up the cover of her afghan for the night. But something inside told her if she made this more it would inevitably lead to turning on the computer just to see if anyone had left some form of acknowledgment on her behalf. She had to grudgingly admit that her frustration in not getting many responses had led to rewrites of her profile on three separate occasions. It seemed a self-educating process to keep a periodic watch of the complimentary profiles of new comers and try to adjust her own offerings by virtue of their mistakes. She had considered peeking at the other side of her direct competition and seeing at least if her own posted pictures were reasonably competitive to her other demographically based females rivals. All she knew as she twisted bodily away on her divan burying her face into its cushions and safely removed from the incoherent flicker of the rectangular altar of the LCD is that her life was seemingly becoming no longer her own.