Fear and courage don’t seem likely bedfellows. Yet, they are showing us every day how they play together amongst the citizenry of Ukraine. When you’re fighting for survival, it stretches the limit of one’s creativity. Some may say that creativity is not even involved in warfare. I disagree.
While creativity in warfare interacts with a much higher level of courage and seriousness compared to presenting an advertising campaign, it requires effort and takes courage, as Matisse says. The Ukranian people are showing resiliency and mucho bravery. Creativity lives within that realm.
Fear and courage impact our creative thinking and expression
Even in a non-combat zone, fear attacks us everyday. Courage is what most of us try and muster to get through a day’s time unscathed by said fear. We may not be fighting to stay alive but we are fighting. We’re fighting our internal demons and our self-doubt. We’re fighting to retain some of our creativity and resourcefulness.
Author and teacher Elizabeth Gilbert admits “the only reason I can speak so authoritatively about fear is that I know it so intimately. I know every inch of fear, from head to toe. I’ve been a frightened person my entire life.”
She points out that “Evolution did well to install a fear reflex within you, because if you didn’t have any fear, you would lead a short, crazy, stupid life. You would walk into traffic. You would jump into giant waves off the coast of Hawaii, despite being a poor swimmer…
“So, yes, you absolutely do need your fear, in order to protect you from actual dangers.
“But you do not need your fear in the realm of creative expression.
Today is a different kind of blog post. I’m using it to introduce my newest piece of short story fiction. It took me a longer than expected amount of time to complete it, but I finally did. Hope you enjoy it!
Welcome! This is a profile in the macabre. It’s a short story about a family who lived in the 19th Century. They lived a rather normal lifestyle back then, aside from a few setbacks in life. They’ve survived but not in the way you might expect.
Introducing the Graybeers: Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan and Priscilla Graybeers, and their two children, Tony and Stephanie, ages 14 and 16, respectively, at the time of death. Tony was shot in the head while Stephanie was downed by an ax. Back in 1862.
Mr. and Mrs. Graybeers committed suicide, each at the other’s hands. In 1863, following a tumultuous year of mental anguish over the loss of their children. It seems mental illness takes its toll.
Looking back, they were a typical northeastern suburban family, college educated, upper middle class, sports-minded.
In present day, they’re like most other families of similar ilk except for one thing: they can disappear. Oh, yes, one other thing: they don’t really have human form; they’re not ghosts, they’re shadows from their former life. They even live in a mansion called The Shadows, which is near a cemetery.
Aside from select social occasions, the family rarely leaves the Shadows. The mansion has been in their family for centuries. And the location next to the cemetery has always been a family favorite, so no one has ever thought of selling the property.
Although on rare occasions, an unwitting realtor will appear at the door only to be “greeted” by Mr. Graybeers himself. But being a shadow, he really can’t be seen so the realtor leaves his card and walks away, seemingly unaffected by the opening and closing of the door — by itself.
Leave it to Charlie Brown and Snoopy to bring out the goodness in all of us. Plus, a chuckle or two as well. As we give Thanks today, let us remember the “small” things along with the larger items on our Thankful List. I’m thankful I can still chuckle! I’m thankful for lunch and dinner invitations so I don’t have to cook. I’m thankful for good cooks. I’m thankful for fellowship with good friends. I’m thankful for meeting new friends.
So as we sit down to Thanksgiving Dinner today, let’s remember it was only last year that most of us couldn’t have an in-person visit with family and/or friends. Today, most of us can. Bring on the turkey and the stuffing along with the pumpkin and pecan pies. Don’t forget the hearty appetites and the good cheer to spread. Enjoy your Thanksgiving. We deserve it. Oh, yeah, leave room for seconds and leftovers!
Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!
Be sure to check out my other blog,Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.
Sometimes death takes on different forms for different people. This is a tale about one of those times.
Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged. Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was.
There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. — Author Unknown
Excuse me a moment. Believe someone’s at the door.
(Hears knocking.) Hmmm, sounds like from upstairs but I don’t have an upstairs.
(Door sounds, squeakily opens.)
“Pam?” I ask. No response.
“Pam?” I ask again.
“I can’t come out but you can come in,” she intones.
“I hear your voice but can’t see you. If this is what I think it is, I can’t come up there now. It’s not yet my time,” I say.
Then slowly I hear a squeaky door closing.
“Pam?”, I ask. No response. Then again; nothing.
Then, faintly, as if In the distance, I hear a door close.
I stand there, frozen and jarred by the experience.
News Bulletin from the Interdimensional News Agency:
Did this really happen? Does life exist that close to another dimension? Does just a door we cannot see separate us from the hereafter? Who knows!
Perhaps in the Twilight Zone it does, but this is not the TZ. Or is it?
Perhaps it’s simply a page-turn at the chapter’s end in the multidimensional book of life and death.
“Pam? . . . Pam?”. . . Fade to black . . .
That was over a year ago and nothing like that has reoccurred. I think back on that evening from time to time wondering if it did, in fact, happen or was I just dreaming.
This particular evening was quiet and I found myself curled up in my easy chair with a good book. I had just come to a stopping point and started to head off to bed when I heard what I thought was a very squeaky door slowly opening. Thinking to myself it came from next door, I went off to bed.
“Joe?” the voice intoned in what was more like a low whisper.
“Joe?” the voice asked again.
I froze. I just stood there, saying and doing nothing.
“Who’s there?,” I asked, not really expecting a reply.
“I can’t come out but you can come in,” the voice replied softly.
Not again, I thought. This can’t be happening.
“Joe?,” said the voice again. “Please come up and join me. I miss you!” she said .
Playing along, I said “Who is this and what do you want?”
“It’s me, Pam. Please join me upstairs.”
“I don’t have an upstairs and you can’t be Pam. My wife died over a year ago,” I said.
“If this is some sort of sick, perverted joke, I don’t appreciate it!,” I stressed.
“It’s no joke, Joe,” the voice said softly. “It is me, Pam, and you do have an upstairs, just not like you know it to be.”
Then, for some strange reason, I turned around and looked back toward the living room and kitchen area. There was a cloud-like haze inside the apartment, almost like a cloud had seeped inside hugging just below the ceiling.
I heard what sounded like a door slowly rocking back and forth on its hinges. I stood there in awe of what I thought I saw.
What was this sight I was seeing. Could it be an actual cloud? No, that’s impossible, I thought. Another dimension?
Then the voice again, “Joe, come join me. I miss you.” This time the voice was much clearer and louder, but not yelling. “There’s a room that’s been made ready for you. It’s right next to mine. Won’t you please join us?” she asked.
“Us?” I said. “Who’s us,” I asked.
No answer. Silence. Utter stillness.
Yet, the “cloud” remained. Was it an entrance to another dimension? Was this voice talking and beckoning to me really Pam? I didn’t know. I just know that during this time the hairs on the back of my heard were still at attention and I was quite uneasy.
Meanwhile, that slow rhythmical squeaking of a door rocking back and forth on its hinges was the only sound I heard.
Until I didn’t. Then the door closed shut, rather startlingly.
A short tale of life and the somewhat perversely humorous after life.
The lantern stands guard over Pamela’s cremated remains until one day magically transforms another living being into the remains the lantern is guarding so that Pamela takes new life in the other living being’s body.
The lantern stands guard constantly overlooking the ornate, Chinese red urn containing Pamela’s remains. Almost like a person, the lantern is always looking from an angle, never taking its stare away from the urn. Its duty is to protect, watch over and remain a reminder that all is calm, peaceful, okay – A little like the eternal flame at JFK’S grave site.
By all appearances the lantern is normal looking, what one might expect at seeing a candle perched inside a window-latticed, red-lacquered, nautically designed portable lamp.
It’s normal looking and serves its purpose as a lamp overlooking Pam’s oriental urn. That is, except for when it decides to act independently and transform a living body’s substance into cremated remains and then swap them out with Pamela’s.
Admittedly a neat trick that not every lantern is capable of doing. Why it performs this rather perverse ritual, if one wants to call it that, is unknown at this juncture. It just does it. Randomly. It’s as if the lantern has a sixth sense about the person with whom it selects to interact.
You might be asking yourself how I know this happens at all. Have I witnessed this rather profane exercise in transformation? Has it happened to me? It has not. Yet! Though I wonder what type of emotional ties does the lantern have with its “subjects”. I sense it wants what’s best for Pam, to bring her joy and comfort in some very strange and weird way.
Assuming this to be true, I’d surmise that my transformation would be soon to come. I am, after all, Pam’s widower.
Can a lantern get jealous?, I asked myself one day. How can it?; it’s not a living being, I reasoned. It’s more of an entity, a thing that lights up. But it’s an entity that keeps watch over a very important vase, one in which my wife’s ashes are kept. Somehow, I think it knows that. It’s seen me take them out of the vase since they’re contained in a large plastic bag within the vase. It’s watched me handle them with utmost care. It knows of their importance.
On the other side of Pam’s urn is a cute little stuffed raccoon I gave her years ago. The raccoon, nicknamed Lil’ Rocky, also stands guard. Pamela is well protected should anything bad befall her.
11:48 pm – that’s when the lantern turns itself on every night. When that happens, it casts an entirely different light on its shelf. Though it doesn’t cast that much illumination on Pamela’s urn, it does cast a lovely glow that brings about a peaceful setting in the darkness.
Every time I get up during the night, I look over to notice the lamp and to make sure all is okay. This night was no exception. The lantern automatically turns off at about 4:15 am and all is dark in the living room. I go back to bed and wake up after the sun’s up.
One morning as I was walking through the room heading to the kitchen to make some coffee, I looked over at Pam’s urn and wished her good morning, just like I always do. After I made my coffee, I started walking back into the bedroom but paused my stride and turned back to glance in the direction of Pam and the lantern.
Everything looked the same but I stood there wondering why I had stopped to glance her way. I even walked up a few steps to get a closer look but nothing appeared out of the ordinary. I just thought I was still asleep since I hadn’t even taken sip number one of my coffee.
I didn’t realize at the time I wasn’t the only one wondering if something was amiss.
As I returned to my work area later that day, I noticed nothing odd at all. I didn’t give it another thought, so to work I went. Towards the end of this day as I was winding down, I went through my routine of shutting things off and getting ready for bed. Upon leaving my study, I glanced up to Pam’s area to bid her goodnight and I noticed something was different, if ever so slightly.
Both the lantern and the Chinese urn were exactly the same but the little raccoon was different; she was now turned to a position where she was looking down at me, where I usually work. I kind of shook my head thinking I was viewing this in a bit of a haze. Upon another gaze, I realized I was seeing things correctly. The raccoon had definitely changed positions. How? I didn’t have the foggiest idea!
I just stood there, staring up at the bookshelf where I had placed her. Without thinking, I reached up and turned her back into her original position at a slight angle, looking more at the Chinese urn than in my direction below. After doing that, I turned around and marched off to bed, turning off lights as I went.
A time traveler with his magic walking stick that, among other things, makes him invisible on demand and also serves as a teleportation device, travels back to 1965 to visit the Majestic Hotel in Lake Charles, LA. Just before it’s torn down.Unbeknownst to him, however, he’s not the only one who made the trek.
Dressed in a three piece, white linen suit with straw hat, the Visitor was no stranger to style. His cane, or walking stick as it is sometimes referred, is black with an ornate, brass top as if to resemble the crown on an office building. A green button is displayed in its center.
He slowly gazes around the elaborate lobby as if he’s expecting someone; either that, or he’s casing the joint for future opportunity of financial gain. Somehow, I rather doubt that.
There seems to be electricity in the air today as if all those gathered here anticipate some grand event. No doubt many a grand event has been held in this majestic old hotel. Yet this day seems different.
He stops a nearby guest and inquires, “I say, pardon me, but what’s all the excitement around the lobby today?” The reply is anything but cordial. “Excitement? What excitement?” exclaims the guest.
“Don’t you know?” asks the guest. “Why the Majestic is being torn down. After all these years the grand ole dame is being reduced to shambles and rubble,” he says. “Damn shame if ya ask me!” he sniffs.
The Visitor sits there, expressionless for the most part. He studies the lobby and its inhabitants. It’s not like they are a vengeful mob about to attack. It’s more like they anticipate the destruction without knowing when.
The Visitor senses this and begins to move about, first, though giving his cane a friendly glance.
Slowly, deliberately he begins to meander throughout the lobby, gradually making his way toward the front door and eventually onto the lobby porch or as it’s more commonly referred, the South Porch.
The Visitor stops and simply stands there, weighing in on the sights in the street before him as well as the few men seated in the many rocking chairs along the porch. It’s a mild Summer day and not nearly as warm as would normally be the case in Southwest Louisiana.
The Majestic Hotel was quite the luminary in its day, having hosted Harry Houdini, the Barrymores, General and Mrs. Eisenhower and Jackie and John Kennedy. It had its own power plant and water system, as well as ceiling fans in every room. It had a popular restaurant and was alleged to have hosted every president from Theodore Roosevelt to JFK, though not necessarily when they were president. Yet despite all this, it was deemed “obsolete” in 1965 and was demolished for parking.
The Visitor gazes down at his cane and wonders to himself, “Hmmmmm . . .”
“Damn shame about the pending destruction of the Majestic, doncha think, Mr. , uh . . .,” queries the porch stranger as he approaches the Visitor. “Can’t you do anything about it?,” he asks, assuming the Visitor is in management with the hotel.
“Sir, I’m just a guest, like you. I don’t know what to tell you. Oh, the name is Curtis, Mr. Curtis,” replied the Visitor. “But I will say I tend to agree with you in that it is a shame about the hotel’s destruction. It’s especially true if they aren’t planning to build another fine hotel in its place.,” said Curtis.
Our Visitor knew and thought to himself that, according to the Space-Time Continuum, the destruction of the hotel could not be changed. It will go as planned here in 1965. Curtis can’t change that nor does he want to do so, even though he does think it’s a mistake.
Perhaps it’s time to return to a period when the hotel was at its roaring best, he wonders, the Twenties.
Gradually making his way back into the lobby, our Visitor ventures down a hallway leading, eventually, to a row of guest rooms. After he makes sure he is alone in the hall, he quietly but directly speaks into the crown of his Walking Stick, “Majestic Hotel, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Lobby Bar, circa 1925.”
He presses the green button atop its face and . . . he’s gone!
I’m sort of numb, sitting in Pam’s huge, upholstered easy chair just staring into space. It’s only been a few weeks since she died and here I am staring at the forlorn-looking black box that the funeral home delivered containing her ashes.
I’m scared to open it. I’ve never even seen someone’s ashes before. Not sure what to expect.
I sit. I stare. I wonder. I need a drink! Maybe two!!
After I return with my Jack Daniel’s on-the-rocks, I put the glass down and notice some liquid residue evidently left over from a glass no longer sitting here on the coffee table. I just mutter to myself that I’ll wipe it up later.
I take a sip of Jack, replace the glass on the table and reach for the black box to open it. Opening is no problem but I see that the bag inside is tightly tied so as to prevent spillage of the ashes.
Or so I thought.
When I lifted the bag from its container and began to remove it from the box, it began to slip from my hand and spill out onto the table. Evidently, the bag was not as securely tied as I was led to believe.
Though startled, and slightly embarrassed, even though there’s no one else home, I quickly apologized to Pam for having accidentally spilled some of her ashes. When I began to wipe up the ashes from the table, I noticed some weird reaction start to take place with those ashes.
It seems that some of them spilled precisely where some liquid remained from a few drinks ago.
I sat there mesmerized as I watched some chemical reaction taking place with the spilled ashes and liquid. To my amazement, it seemed as if some sort of figure was beginning to form.
A blob. Unrecognizable. But then, my God, it’s transforming right before my eyes into . . . a . . . person.
I watch, amazed, not knowing what, if anything, to do. I am utterly transfixed on what is happening right before me. Then to my astonishment, it stands there and speaks, “Hi Joe!”
“It” is Pam, and I faint.
“Uh, Joe,” she says. “It’s me, Pam, I think, though I’m not sure how I got here. It’s kinda fuzzy to me.”
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” I muttered, slowly beginning to regain consciousness.
“Do you remember dying?,” I asked. “You know, you really screwed up my day, not to mention yours!,” I stated as flatly sarcastic as I could.
“I don’t know. I mean, I remember laying on the bed, semi-asleep and then, well, nothing. It’s as if everything went black,” she said.
“I don’t want to dwell on your death, Pam. I’m still in some kind of shock. It was I who discovered you, thank you very much,” I said.
“That moment was my worst nightmare come true,” I retorted.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t exactly plan it that way,” she said. “But enough of this! How the hell did I get back here and what am I doing in our living room?”, she asked.
“Well, I was handling your bag of ashes and they slipped out of my hands with some spilling into a little residue of liquid there on the table. The mixture began some sort of chemical reaction and the next thing I know, you formed into, uh, you” I explained.
“You mean I was sort of resurrected from my ashes?,” she blurted out.
“That’s pretty much it,” I said.
“Well, that explains the gritty taste in my mouth,” she said as she sort of spit out some sandy-like substance.
“Why are you looking at me that way?” she asked.
“It’s not everyday, Pam, that I bring the dead back to life!” I said. “And,” as I stumbled for words, “you’re much younger looking than when you died,” I explained. “You look like you did when we first met, about 30 years ago!” I confessed.
“Maybe your appearance has something to do with your transformation,” I offered. “Whatever the explanation, I’m glad it has taken place” I admitted.
Evidently, unknown to me at the time, the mixing of the liquid with ashes that produced the chemical reaction also transformed the liquid somehow to create a person. This has resulted in forming a human, in this case, Pam, as I recall her from when we first met.
Oh, man, do I have questions, I thought. Does simply mixing a little of the ashes with any liquid produce this magical transformation to a “living being?” Is this magical elixir the solution for bringing the dead back to life?
“Pam, why don’t we take a little walk outside and get some fresh air? You’ve been bagged and bottled up for too long,” I suggested.
She agreed and off we went. However, as soon as we began to walk out the front door, she screamed in agony. We both immediately stopped and I looked down in horror.
She had begun to disappear!
Her feet and ankles were dissolving and were starting to leave behind some dust reside. Thinking quickly in almost a reactive sort of way, I grabbed hold of her and immediately yanked her entire body back inside the house.
Within moments, thankfully, the shape of both feet and ankles began to return to normal appearance.
“Whew, thank God,” I exclaimed in shortness of breath. I was still holding on to her and sort of afraid to let her go. We eventually made it back to the living room where we both sat down in utter relief, she on the table and me in her overgrown chair.
“What the hell was that all about,” she screamed. “I started to disappear,” she said.
“Yeah, I know” I said. “I have a theory,” I suggested.
“Perhaps once the person leaves the house or the dwelling she occupies, she begins to dissolve and then disintegrates. In other words, she can’t venture outside or else she returns to dust or ashes in your case,” I theorized.
“You mean I can’t go outside or physically leave this house?,” she exclaimed.
“Not this way,” I said.
“Damn!” she retorted.
“Well, after all, you’re dead, remember?” I told her.
“As you have said on more than one occasion, my dear Joe, ‘minor little detail!'” she deadpanned.
My now-growing list of questions boggles my mind: Is this chemical reaction trick a way of always producing Pam whenever I wish? Even though this creation is evidently limited to exist within the boundaries of my home, is that enough to satisfy me or to counter my longing for her? Could I bring her back in a different setting if I began the process from a different locale?
I have no clue at this point. The quest for clarification is now upon me. Where will it lead? Am I flirting with another dimension? Where is Rod Serling when you need him?
I think I’ll pour me another Jack Daniel’s and sit, contemplate . . . and chat with Pam.
Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!
Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.
She’s actually from the sixties. Aside from her appearance, I seem to know that for some reason.
She never says her name.
Gazing intently into my eyes, she seems to know what I’m thinking and wondering.
She then proceeds to undress.
She gradually strips off her clothing, asking for some assistance from me. During so, she openly talks about having black underwear but not like the conservative styles of sixties’ fashion for “women her age.”
She embraces me and coyly purrs that she’s ten years older – – how does she know?
The Lady stands there before me, completely nude except for shiny black dress high heels. She appears to be completely comfortable and says she’s always been very open and passionate about sex, and with men of all ages.
We embrace and have a passionate kiss. Only then do I break away to get a drink when I discover the surroundings have changed.
We’re still in a house but not “that” house. Don’t know what’s happened but now I seem to be back in the sixties.
What power has she? Can I get back to my reality? Have I changed? Why has she done this?
“You told me I looked like a lady from the sixties,” she declares. “Well, you’re right; I am a lady from the sixties. And now you’re back in the sixties, too, dah-ling,” she purrs rather matter-of-factly.
She starts laughing slowly; first a chuckle, then intensifying into full blown, hysterical laughter, all the while having a slight but wicked twinkle in her eye.
Then in a flash, she’s gone. Poof!
Startled, I begin to look around when I notice the windows and how pretty a day it is outside. Maybe my reality still exists beyond that window. As I near the window, however, I’m shocked to see that it’s just a painting. That’s not all; as I look around the room, I notice that ALL the windows are paintings.
What’s going on?
I move toward another window/painting, but as I pass in front of what I know is a mirror, I stop dead in my tracks. The reflection is of myself; yet, it can’t be.
Then I hear, faintly but distinctly, her hysterical laughter once again.
It appears I have now become the Lady of the Living Room.
Note: This is a different kind of blog post. It’s my take on a short, short story; a brief tale, if you will. It’s also my take on where my imagination lead me following a dream I had recently. Submitted as a tribute in memory and in honor of the late Rod Serling, whom I regret I never got the chance to meet. Maybe someday.
The corner store. The neighborhood grocery. Every town has one, except there’s no town quite like this one. There’s no store quite like this one. It befits its neighborhood, however. Both are quaint, old and, like the city, both have history.
Some would say colorful. Some, macabre.
By all appearances, this quaint neighborhood grocery store is not unlike many others. The shop owner is friendly, if not a bit surly at times. He stocks a small but ample variety of goods in keeping the interests of his neighbors in mind.
However, this is no ordinary neighborhood grocery. Shelf life, for some items at least, can seem to last longer than the items would like. Whilst sitting on the shelf and being on display, what goes through their minds?
Oh, come now, you say; they’re inanimate objects, they have no minds. Well . . .
Our tale centers around an everyday object in an everyday place; however, this object can’t see; it can only experience and sense. What it “sees” is hazy, blurry. It can sort of “hear” but it’s not sure what the sounds are or from whence they come. It doesn’t know where it is or even what it is. It only knows it is content and happy to be wherever it may be, peering out through some hazy blanket of blur as the world passes by.
This is our brief tale on life’s perspectives from a can on a shelf in a grocery store in the French Quarter in New Orleans . . . as told from The Twilight Zone.
“There’s that blasted ringing, again! For some reason, everytime I hear that, a voice says ‘Hello’. A form of greeting?”
“Why can’t I move? Am I supposed to move? How long have I been here, wherever I am? I don’t seem to have any connotation of time or even what form I’m in. I don’t know why but I sense there are others around and beside me. Are we all the same?”
“Why do I have so many questions? Am I even supposed to “think,” whatever that is. Why is everything blurry? I get a feeling I’m inside somewhere. Wait, I see movement in front of me, but there’s something between me and the movement. ”
“What are those objects? They move in both directions, and some even stop and look toward me. Then they move on by. Why?”
“Whoa, what’s that? I’m moving! I’m being lifted off this shelf-thing. I, I’m being turned on my side. Hmmmm, I didn’t know I had sides. What’s happening to me?!”
“It’s blurry. Some figure is right in front of me and, whoa, I’m being put back on this shelf-thing. Why? What did I do? This figure in front of me seems to be picking up something next to me. But, wait. The figure takes it, emits a sound and drops it in some sort of carrying device. Why it and not me?!”
“Though I can’t quite make it out, there appears to be another figure pressing up against something and looking in. What is that? Wait, it appears to be looking right at me. Should I feel nervous, even though I don’t know what nervous is?
“Wonder what it’s like on the other side of that something? There appears to be lots of movement beyond me, in both directions.”
“There’s that ringing again. And the ‘Hello.’ Am I imagining all this? I dunno. Wait, now I think I see more figures slowing down in front of me. They both have those carrying devices like before.”
“Oh, boy, here we go again! I’m being picked up, turned on my side . . . and, nothing. What’s going on? ”
“Whooooaaaaa! I’m airborne. I’m upside down, then right side up, then . . . OUCH! I seem to have left my shelf-thing. Now, I think I’m on my side. Could it be I somehow landed in this figure’s carrying device?”
“WOW, what a different sensation!
As an aside, our can is now experiencing a sensation it has not “felt” in some time; not since it was first shipped to the store, unpacked and carried to the “shelf-thing”. It doesn’t know how long it’s been in the store nor where it’s next destination will be.
“What’s happening to me? I feel like I’m moving, yet I’m in close quarters with other objects all around me.”
“Wait, what’s that? I sense that I’m in a different type surrounding than before. There are a lot more blurry figures all around. Is this “outside,” wherever that is? I don’t know what I’m feeling but my sides are getting warmer, and things seem to be, uh, brighter?”
“Where are we going? I demand to know! Put me down this instant!”
“What’s this? We seem to have arrived somewhere. There are more blurry figures but I think we’re inside some other place now.”
“Ah, finally, my colleagues and I are getting out of this contraption. Whoa, here I am again, airborne!”
“‘Umph!’ rough landing, there. Okay, I don’t recognize this place but there seems to be a lot of activity here. Good. Maybe I can acquaint myself with some of the others who made this jaunt with me.”
“I’m being shaken. Whoa, this is not good. I, I’m losing something. Oh, my, it appears to be what I’ve been holding inside me all this time. What is that? I can just barely make it out; it’s blurry but it appears to be . . . Ahhhhhhh!”
“I’m airborne again, twisting end over end; getting dizzy and lightheaded. Now, what. All has stopped. I’m not moving. Everything is dark. I feel funny. I don’t like this.”
“‘OUCH!’ What the . . . something just landed on top of me. Where am I? Hello, anyone there? Hello . . .?”
The hustle and bustle goes on. The blurry figures continue with their appointed tasks. This kitchen, you see, is busy getting orders ready to serve their demanding customers. A variety of culinary delights are being prepared with ingredients from all over the city. Even though fresh vegetables and fruit are a vital part of this kitchen, every once in awhile, canned goods are utilized in a mix of seasoning. Simple but tasty.
Our subject in this tale has involuntarily offered up its flavorful contents to please the palate of a waiting and hungry patron. Its journey has ended as it now rests among others experiencing a similar fate: The darkness of despair, which some of us would refer to as a garbage heap.
Postscript: This brief tale is offered up to the everyday shoppers, consumers and others who go about their daily lives perhaps pondering if this is all that life presents. The curious among us may pursue but we suggest one simply enjoy what some may deem merely an imaginative tale from the perspective of a can in the French Quarter . . . as told from The Twilight Zone.