The last thing that I can do is to say that I am a failure. I can acknowledge my mistakes and misdeeds. But I cannot allow myself to not believe that tomorrow I can turn it all around. If I do I am dead. I am my families final chapter. They live within me. I am their history. Their entire lifetime all within me. Does it matter to the world? It matters not. They meant something, their lives and the dreams they instilled within me. I am their future as well as their past and I have gone fallow, Deep down within under the rubble of a life collapsed is the same little boy that would run to the comfort of his daddy’s arms to feel the love that was too quickly extinguished by the rueful circumstances of unstable life. In the end, I found much to our mutual regret that I had not cared as much for him as he did for me. At least not till he was past caring taken away by the inevitable natural cycle of birth and finally death. To late, my heart poured forth once again what it dare not admit while he was alive. Such was the great degree of my latent fear within. A fear that my sense of being in love would no longer be welcomed as an adult. A fear that I would have to surrender to the crushing mark of being a failed son. The one and only that could not outgrow his father long and ever widening shadow. In that I felt that I had truly failed. How could I not? He was a much greater man than ever I could have imagined. Than I found that I ever could be. Great because despite all the bad hands that he was dealt in life, he continued to persevere despite insurmountable odds. Angry sometimes? Sure! But never despairing always heading forward despite sheltering both my mother and I despite his own meandering inner flaws. No monument in my estimation could ever be built high enough to match his humble stature. A man who lived in the shadow of that larger than life personality that he himself created. Someone that despite how brash and brusque his unrefined manner appeared to me at the time would much later elicit posthumous comments of how that same demeanor would be sorely missed. Someone that many from all walks of life felt that they could call friend. This was the pattern that defines the direction of the weave of the cloth from which I am cut. My father. Someone that I so often regret the loss of and harbor that desire to be beside as I once was before. Just to reach up and find his warm hand holding my own yet again.
The small truck came to a halt three streets over just within the field of vision allowed by the canopy of trees that lined the streets far below some ten stories below. The most notable part of it being the yellow flashing lights that had caught his attention. Most of the horizon having been sequestered in Summer green. This was his day to play the role of exhausted past all reasonable possibility of useful activity. The cushion of gray that seemed to despoil the day before noon was barely a memory now. Hazy blue emptiness surmounted all by the faint hint of an airbrushed horizon. It was a different day completely. He was clueless now how to occupy his time as no occupation seemed fit to engage in. All occupations being essentially worthless to change his essential situation. He was old growing older every minute. The notion of attaining success was a topic clouded over by cynicism. A cynicism that was not without a certain degree of factual support. Three different careers had come and gone. The fourth was merely a hint of several vain hopes wrangled together from experiences long past. A sort of archive of topics checked off on a paper list. One that had not turned yellow enough with age to be illegible. The youth within him refused to be evicted. It lived in the here and there like a squatter ever ready to plan its umpteenth takeover of all things downtrodden and depressed. Yet fortune seemed ever elusive not allowing it to take a a foothold. Where was the world of lurking possibility as he had once known it. Now it was simply a bunch of empties littering the street.
While he was amidst his chat the emptiness of the sky just outside his window had birthed some small white clouds that as he caught him with the corner of his eyes were sailing just overhead out of sight. Was his brain boiling up the temperature just above him? It was not an obscure notion that could be discounted that one’s mood was ever the oarsman of one’s fate. No doubt this present tense could not be seen as anything else but being becalmed. The hermitage of this small apartment sequestered format he street a refuge from reality far below. A woman’s nightmare of inflexible orderliness and massing dust balls. The kitchen floor had not received a good scrub in nearly ten years. Carpets stained and worn like the ragged hems of the threadbare black jeans that hung clean upon closet hangers. Smelly old black socks hung out like guest towels.Time had stopped in the last decade. This had become a waiting room for passage to the great beyond. He was just another face keeping busy till his number was called. The previous night after the exhaustion and two refrigerated beers had stopped off the hard shell of his habitual indifference he lay in bed under the cool sheets naked. What did humans really have to look forward to that was not simply a sensation driven experience confused with something vaguely animal. Desire? Love? Companionship? All seemed established and nourished based mainly on the expectation of physical sensations? Desire involved touching or being unexpectedly touched in a manner that one had long repressed. Love was the embodiment of a reliable embrace provided at all costs in any situation. Companionship maybe two hands clasped on into the other? but certainly the calming of anxieties wrought from animal vulnerability to the unknown. Or the paucity of the other two aspects of a closer more intimate relationship. His concept briefly explored his mental focus snapped into itself like the sound of a lady’s compact snapping shut.
The world was to be viewed and the chaos that lurked around its edges respected. Yet no longer indulged in. The sky above him would vary at the whim of fate but there was very little remaining that had not already been charted out long ago. He sat in his easy chair waiting to be proved wrong and confident that behind all the barriers that were long tested that this was not ever going to be a possibility. This was not to say that he had not abandoned the notion of the opposite sex in his mind. The mind is the great builder of proper fantasies that while they may involved drama yet would always end in an expected happy conclusion. Yet this would inevitably evaporate by the next day no matter the positive level of confidence in one’s calming self assurance the night before. This gerbil was firmly locked in a cage of his own design. Such mechanisms ever proving to be impenetrable. Even if one knows where the keys are hidden.
Roy could see it coming from miles away. All his life it was the same? Sitting in a movie theater by himself he felt normal. Once he stepped out intuit he light of day he was lost. It didn’t matter what the movie was a bout or the stars that were in it. Of course, like anyone else, he had his favorites. The world outside of that gave him palpitations. He could feel his heart pumping through his ears. The sheets would be wet from sweat each morning. No matter what he tried he was always back on the same old merry go round. He couldn’t hold down a job. Sooner of later he would get laid off. Not because he was a slacker! But perhaps, he took it so damn seriously enough that he would piss off his fellow coworkers because they didn’t. And that threw them off their game. But once he got back to the shack and shoved a VHS or DVD into the slot he relaxed upon one of this overstuffed threadbare ‘Barqa-loungers’ he was back in a pleasant limbo of another person’s life and not his own. Of course, that person did not exist. It was a very expensive patch of the collective minds and efforts of scores if not hundreds of others. It was always a strange mental calculation to add up the number of movies he had and multiply them by an average cost that was taken from sources that chronicled their making. If one took the number of films that a given production entity handled per year and multiplied that further against the result already arrived at then you might get an idea of what these characters were worth individually speaking. A useless mental calculation to be sure.
It had of late come down to a point of desperation as Roy’s peculiarities had been getting the better of him. Though he had never allowed himself to go so far as adopting the style and dress of any of the current movie avatars that came and went each half decade he would ten to adopt their scripted mindsets. It might be said this made Roy in line with a favored technique of getting into character. But society did not look favorably upon those who reached too far into the collective fictional narrative other that did not truly exist. The average employer wanted workers that were mentally uneventful, slow and steady whose greatest aspirations in life was to show up on time and work blissfully towards that day at the end of a week when they would gratefully received their paycheck taxes deducted. Those were the only waking dreams allowed by the current culture. All others were shown to the exit doors. That shared manifest destiny of the cataclysmic antihero might work on the page but stayed perpetually unemployed. The unintended consequence of this condition being that any lasting relationship with women was removed from possibility. The modern female too independent in her needs unlike the railroad track prone maidens of a century or more past. A solid home powered by a good steady paycheck was all the romance that most women sought though some considered that though all romance was dead in the current era it was no fault of their own. A fit male for breeding their fondest desires should come pre-equipped in both stamina to endure the most tedious of daily regimens and them return home reliably at the prescribed hour with mouthing more than the needs of his spouse predominately filling his universe. To Roy’s current mental mindset, another futile mental calculation.
The daily procedure of life degenerated into one where at a certain point the imagination of Hollywood having gone brain dead for the possibility of producing anything particularly novel that hadn’t been serialized in some was too many times previous had come to an effective halt. The invigorating feeling of stumbling back out into the light of day of old where one was fresh with plot heavy ideas posed in the corollary of the theme of the particular afternoon matinee needed no further mental energy. Too many of the same gambits explored by the big flickering of movie screen illumination. Where was the former bond of vision that he in the audience had once shared without he director in figuring out the novel plot line and being truly amazed or sometimes alternately disturbed by it stultifying implications? Now the cinema was merely a steady heartbeat of explosions on demand anchored betwixt hackneyed dialogue and a reliable twist int he end where the nemesis was reliably scheduled to by some incomprehensible means return back essentially unscathed bearing an increased amount of enmity for a go at round two of essentially the exact same thing. Imagine if in could bearing children that were cookie cutter copies of the first that you have born and raised but differentiated only by suspiciously similar names?
The rhythm of life for most was conducted by amazingly simple standards of routine behavior. There really wasn’t much complexity when one eliminated the inner workings of the assigned tasks each portion of society fell into. Each operated by he demands of inter connectivity to produce a complete organism of a cellular composition that heeded only the demands of the greater collective. Resources were doled out accordingly to a pyramid system in which those who took an active role keeping surveillance over their fellows in terms of monitoring the constancy of behavior and weeding out the deviants was considered of prime importance to keep the great worm of society inching forward rather thank stalling. The macrocosm of same mirroring any given particular example of the species that was in essence descended from successive direct parentage of a similar species over the eons under the phylum of plumbing dependent. The human body a maze of interconnecting pipes and open spaces where the balance of hydraulics reigns supreme. Any tampering with flow leading to a stoppage or inequality of expected pressure having to be resolved. Thus the ‘bread and circuses’ management of social diversion being key to the husbandry of the species. Where the Romans might have solved a problem on terms of the vitality of their empire by providing unwanted captives to die in the arena as a public spectacle. The modern era provided perpetual reliable boredom as an element of fostering both the flow of goods and the dumbing down of the aspirations of the viewer. By the sixth of seventh decades of existence given the perpetual burden of ennui, most were ready to fall away like dead leaves to make way for their children’s children to take up the dully flicking torch of meaningless existence. Given this reality, Roy felt that it was not unreasonable for him to demand a certain base level of entertainment on the fringes. The truth was that you could only bore everybody so far without occasionally adding a little spice to the same old stew.
The dark halls of public amphitheaters suited the nature of a personalized solitary enjoyment of common cultural celebration of the same old same old without endangering the whole with mutual contact. Isolation was after all the best way to hobble and possibility of deviating from the main game plan. So Roy felt as if he was being carried along in a great river of others that like the current of water of a great tributary was rapidly being him towards the inevitability of the falls. He had to wonder to himself how many others like himself in these auditoriums were as fully aware of this fact as he was. The big budget spectaculars were assessed with care based upon the likelihood of their trailers being too suspiciously as a blatant repeat of the same old well worn franchise waypoints of story and plot. Occasionally one might be surprised but the apogee of the reigning superstar too often leaked the fact of the ingrained repetitiveness to be warily avoided. Even the occasional foreign epic that could sneak through the tight network of distribution too often turned out to be a veiled variety of the expected pattern. It was inevitable that the only choice that this discriminating movie viewer had control over was the repetitive recitation of the lines of favored characters that were too often renewed again, and again and again. Roy sensed his psyche was unwinding slowly losing power like a windup toy. There was only this society to contend with or its total absence. Something that could not implicitly be shared with others because of course everyone had been crafted into the same state of hive-like mind. A consciousness that could only be escaped by the extreme poles of death or complete and total chaos. Not much of a choice feeling ones ever chained to that same old set in the twilight of the cave wall.
The last two decades of life have proven to me that I have lost a lot of my own long held naivete about what are now considered foolish notions. I have lost the magical ability to feel any sense of desire for current examples of contemporary women both old or young. Not that it matters to them at all as I know that all women in our time are perfectly happy that the tyrannical yoke of unwanted male interest in them has been lifted from their shoulders and now is permanently erased! Thank god that men can universally embrace their feminine side of demonstrating quiet passivity in public while women may freely strut around exercising their long suppressed aggressive inner nature’s at will without any dominant male society interference or censure. Misguided males have been institutionally exiled to watching dated mental masturbatorial Hollywood epics of women indentured by romance provided by men that only possesses an inherent ‘macho’ male paternal sensibility. The exterior world run be the strict rules of mentally inscribed institutionally governed and workplace enforced principles of dominant feminism.
Of course, this is not the type of world that has any attraction for me! That is totally my own flaw of advancing chronological age. A flaw akin to a previous penchant of being charmed in a way that only women from a long ago bygone detestable era could be. Charmed by the misguided virtues of inherent their care taken in sensual appearance supporting a flirtatious nature equal in overt interest in the other gender. One that inspired the rougher sex to bring flowers or open car doors or show up expecting a frequent unoccasioned kiss might fire up the emotions of that desirable female that fell prey to making him the center of her world. That bygone sense of natural symbiosis when, bereft of lurking LBGT Disney Corporation modern fairy tales, Prince Charming’s courted icy Snow Whites bringing life back to them with a simple passionate heartfelt kiss. Foreign Legion bound Gary Cooper’s could not erase dispossessed French cabaret singers who then might follow them across the burning desert sands in bare feet. All the old poppycock that took away from one’s future haigh paying job or career independence. And saw some men portrayed in the cinema as only wanting the lasting gift of once more wearing a pair of golden earrings to share their remaining lives with smelly unwashed Gypsy maidens as half ‘gadsi’. Foolish notions indeed!
Most contemporary women are unburdened by the lost art of attracting men, of course. Thank god it only now involves dressing up like once was referred to as a slut to ply easy drinks from the exemplary broad shouldered tight abbed man of their choice at the local bar. Ones from recent generations having been properly schooled in the preparatory scholastic environments of childhoods spent in daycare environments with ever commanding Politically Correct female ‘minders’ provided as surrogate ‘mothers’. The fathers far removed living distant from the singular parented household by some pivotal point in time as a lasting lesson that male female relationships were never meant to be permanent only convenient. All this while their saintly mothers enrapture daily existence with the fact of the burden of them them making the unimaginable sacrifice in somehow maintaining both career and motherhood. Young boys growing up properly mannered to understand that they are not important as their own female siblings in a world that values only the promotion of a form of diversity that does not include them or any of their ‘amle’ aspirations. Young men being so much happier now that any impediment to sexual gratification need not be burdened by anything more than demonstrating being handy to a desirable woman or readily available when it is time to pay the check. And of course, when the whim for intimacy strikes their female companion being amenable to the guidelines of sexual satisfaction that favor her. Things are so much better now than in those dark times of before when both sexes never were sure of where they stood in the thoughts of another! When they had to take the risk of exposing their true feelings in hope of some mutuality of life purpose that was not so easily reckoned or accountable to future security. Charles Dickens might have cast his darker tales like Oliver Twist or Great Expectations in a more favorable light if those times had been as equally enlightened as things are today. How far we have all come!
Nothing. No motivation to speak of. The day was nearing the expected transition. Perhaps the hundred millionth one that he had failed to notice? So much much that was new to him as his eyes traced the fleeting direct illumination of the Sun. The clouds passing slowly like derelict prison hulks spewing fractals of cotton candy. The light streaming now like a puncture wound through rays of evening mist. Magnificence blocking the shadows deepening quickly bringing on drama to the otherwise mundane. He held out his hand extending a forefinger to trace the path of the rapidly departing Sun, its chariot galloping West. Struck like an aging toddler reborn back to the previous wonders of childhood yet again.
A solitary soul in a land of vague familiarity. So many hostile stares of young strangers taken aback. “Am I still here?“, he silently choked out in awe of their sour expressions. “Why haven’t you hurried up and got down to the business of dying?“, their malicious glares all seemed to say in an impatient unison. Same places remaining. But not how they had formerly had been. The narrative an accurate voice of family re-pagination. Inner peace disturbed by an unwarranted intrusion of the same old crowd of the impatient. “The world is no longer mine?” Something no longer of my own creation. Something no longer my fault. At least I am not living still in the bloom of accomplishments of a faraway long ago precocious youth. The crack int he world of their self-ascribed fantasy is what angers these self-important immortals. Nothing is more motivating than the fiction of eternal perfection remodeled to reveal a reality of unstoppable chaos! When abandoned by electricity the facts of one’s lack to compensate are too overwhelming to bear.
Soap opera bitches proclaiming, “The third successive decade of endless self-empowerment!” Resonating freely upon all the misplaced holiday’s TV network’s across the land. Is it possible to imagine a real friendship with a female in the current era? Better she run off with my assets as is now the custom. The current era won’t tolerate it. No overt fraternization! Their message running out of accompanying ‘bread and circuses’ to sell it before the impending collapse of society becomes too painfully imminent. All that is planned to be left for the male of the species is to joust imaginary dragons on his X-Box. And for all the women to have all the cartoon men of their dreams to mercilessly berate but still find all of them magically submitting themselves to even more abuse. The parental duty of organized defecation. Essentially the scripted version of the genocide of the modern European. Once the most favored demographic holding the most popularized products un-sellable. Now fools with beanies, the brims turned backwards. All the once great heroes now gone waiting for their few admirers to die off.
Were everything replaced with something absolutely brand new, the absence of the old equivalents still weigh one down. Museums spouting ‘heritage’ now simply categorical homages to older forms of consumerism and consumption. Whenever suddenly ‘over-exposed‘, women grabbing the own breasts not out of propriety but in embarrassment of fostering disappointment. Modern imagery no longer prone to accidents. And the possibility of being privy to creativity because of same gone forever. The most perfect of women incapable of procreation like any other damned long extinct species. There should be a billboard on every street corner, “FUCK UTOPIA!” The last thing in this universe a man needs is a, “Strong Independent Woman!” No more than his opposite needs those same dubious qualities from him. Those kings and queens of long lost empires that never existed outside the fancy of a terminally perverted mind. “Nice guys No Longer Wanted!” Just an inexhaustible universe of lamentable evil pricks that no ones care one way or another if they die.
It is. Like time past yet quiet. And I am alone now. Totally so. The Sun escapes the clouds stretching forth in the latter part of the afternoon ahead of the approaching dusk. It’s brilliance brightens this painfully empty room full and filled too high with a former life’s manifestation of passing memory. Of experiences many and brief with those now finally departed. Dust no longer of a lineage their wanting presence. The shadows are too deep reaching down into that insatiable emotion that I wish hide. Age has been the curse of bitter sorrow. The vows of youth all betrayed.
So many faces long gone from exact representation within and swept into the past. And it will not stop its slow slide into oblivion until I along with all the others are long gone. I am blinded by the last attempts of this Sun to imitate a suggestion of midday. The shadows soften behind the intensity of glare blinding me and yet the plethora of contents of this room have become merely so. They have lost the inertia of their mental continuum and are merely things. Suggesting many others that have disappeared years and eons before them. Objects that now belong to me but are not mine to give. The fruit of my father’s life’s work and the sore pitiful remnants of his tenuous existence. And that of my mother’s endless creativity expressed through its arrangement. Compositions in life as they were upon paper and canvas. Keepsakes that grow ever more dusty, old and inert. Unable to emote. Too late I realize that those human beings that brought them here no longer inhabit them. These artifacts are just dead dumb things that have no name. Things that I have stumbled into along the way to this persisting point in time. I wait for a familiar rustle of another. But nothing. The quiet Sun reaches into my heart with its waning warmth finding only a nervous cold. The ether swims about me. That familiar choking tension significant of fear and regret. Proof that I have been left finally alone at long last.
This unconscious vigil is useless. The old arrangements that I adhere to. The reverence in proper placement of these ritual objects that I bestow in the keeping of them all around me being dreadfully misplaced. The Sun is dying for another day. Is this what it is to mourn? To despise your own blockheaded foolishness each evening as the minutes tick away into insignificance and an accumulation of useless years of them meticulously stacked and sorted? What is left to offer? It is all long spent now. The inheritance squandered. The old fantasies dissipated into thin air. Its truth now inescapable. A firing squad could bring more comfort than this empty knowledge of all this! Where I finally am not. To health to just pass on. Condemned to this lonely cavern where veiled sorrow sucks the life out of one. How much longer? Only charred ashes nearly an hour’s drive behind faux stone in a communal crypt. The simile of the morning of one for the other now compounded with interest by its example. Something that though guilty, I refuse to follow. Escape in the most ruthless of ways. Silent and trying to suppress. The most horrible of tortures! To be buried alive within yourself!
The light fails around me and the room becomes dim. My failing vision scans across the horizon of pictures and faces and objects once revered within of their ceremonial cabinets surrounding cluttered tables and permanently emptied chairs. This place maintained to house ghosts that refuse to make their presence known. Phalanxes of fading photographs lined up of trivial lost instants in time manifested into gold. The crutch of inconvenient recollection. A brief mental outline of their import. A memory of shared experience sandwiched within the last occasion of recollection colored with immediate loss. My own life let out of the hole in this balloon as if in slow motion. Item and incident. Chapter and verse. Each one discarded in a glance. Tossed in a hat like a deck of cards in casually useless hands. An unfamiliar hotel somewhere in a city where no one is known. Some say that all this is inert clay of a type that is dug out of the grave. Each night I dig a hole. But by morning it is filled in once again. I am drunk on my own regrets. I who never enjoyed success and had none o show those that I loved. A rat biting a human heart.
I dare not close my eyes for the light fails as the copper disk grazes the horizon. The empty sky above it neutral. Not beautiful nor dark. Just lackluster and threatening to give way. receding into nothingness. I fear that I am too full of memories that I can no longer share. Incidents that relate to no one else’s life that I care to know. Speaking French to the Indians. Tiny grim silhouettes on the distant horizon in the direction of where I once worked. Incidents blatantly similar in that instant of the moment taken in from another vantage point. Life is like the wind. Something that pushes past but that you cannot hold onto. Or dare not try. No smiles of satisfaction left for any incident. Only the present tense to confound one. I am the only thing that is alive now. A simile to my own metaphors. I light the lamp in the curio cabinet that is no longer lit. Its contents known to have once had meaning in both some significant event or at the moment of purchase? Strangers to me. I wonder to myself how long I will remain imprisoned? Enslaved to impossible hopes of summoning the life of the past and reawakening in it as if the present is just some wild enchanted fever struck dream. Perhaps that unquenchable rage within will begin to smash and destroy all these things? But still the ghosts will not come to haunt or hell. There in the dark, alone.
In this prison, they made you eat a really awful combination made of shredded regrown eyeball cells from some off-world creature that of itself was too terrible to look at lest you go made from the inability to ever sleep soundly again. Laying back in my bunk I could recall a time far past when some Hippies arrived at the North Avenue warehouse that a bunch of us had lived in as a loft. Some hippies had a arrived with a flatbed the center of which was neatly battened down with an eclectic combination of all their worldly goods. My neighbor of longstanding had been good friends even further back with the young silky blonde haired waif gone well into her forties. She spun a slow rambling tale the conclusion of which resulted in a hint that held an empty hand holding the proverbial pan out. I did not respond. But my father still alive at that time had dug deep in his own pocket unnecessarily. At least in my opinion. But that was his way after a long hard life as a child of the back alleys of the Depression. They could market their wares I thought. As I have down so many times before. And as I would find myself doing yet again several more times before fate had found me sequestered here.
I was teaching in a school for youngsters of 10 to 12 years in age myself decades past my associates. One young woman in her late twenties caught my interest of all the others. While prim and proper as one was likely to expect in such circumstances. Though it didn’t stop me from one day pulling her close upon my lap and encircling my arms about her. So swift was my play that she fell willingly into my embrace as if to catch herself from a fall. My lips the landing pad as I had intended and with no hesitation the two of us freely sloshing tongue and teeth. The propriety of the situation coming later of course for though there were no stunts in view the cameras scattered at brief intervals catching our hi-jinks. The conclusion of our encounter leaving her a bit flushed in the face. I had heard about those kinds of women whose bodies became fully flushed in passion. And it was to my loss that I did not have the opportunity to sometime shortly later discover more? It was more in line with my own fate that I would become waylaid by a young associate and his wife who generally running across each other’s paths on a fairly frequent daily early morning schedule. He invited me to his home just over on the next block and feeling caught by the duties accompanying good behavior graciously accepted. To my chagrin his wife had not quite risen for the day and I felt my presence was an unwarranted imposition. Young men being somewhat indifferent to the decor of such situations I found the most neutral part of the house to await her changing out of her flimsy nightgown into something less eye-catchingly flimsy.
The odd thing was that their hospitality was extended to include a rather informal display of local marksmanship with shotguns. I myself proposed with an example of same expressly for bird hunting of the 12 gauge variety. I began the feel a bit off kilter when I realized that though the artifact had been transported in two separate pieces, the shells that accompanied it were not for skeet but for more robust two-legged targets. The fact that they were shooting across the street towards another warehouse as opposed to a fully reinforced backstop made me uneasy. Worse yet was ahead when an overhead door was raised and the contestants were invited to shoot into a room stacked with liquor bottles. The idea being to hit the empties stacked in the midst of other rows or new merchandise. It was all the mischief of some foolhardy mind. But then another worry struck me as I had somehow overlooked the 9MM automatic that I was carrying about outside my home without a license. Somehow I knew I was tempting fate? The afternoon concluded with me upon a massive sand pile within a large half-barrel shaped containment structure crawling on my belly to catch site of something far at the back end of same. The day had descended into endless dares and other forms of spontaneous foolishness. Funny how when you have so much time on your hands and you are perpetually confined to a six by none universe what odd recollections arrive as if from nowhere to occupy your thoughts? Tale after tale of nonsensical anecdotes precluding you from obsessing for the hundred-millionth time on that other all too familiar tale that you tried every waking moment of existence to avoid reliving. The story of how you found yourself here to begin with. A tale that I an loath to recall and will not bother to tell if I can help it!