October 1998 Archives


Sometimes I speak in code.

It is rarely intentional.

But my love for music and literature teaches me to notice symbols.

Somewhere in the middle of my day, I began breathing strangely. My heart feels like it stops for a second before it finally gets finished with one or two heartbeats.

A dramatic pause.

It makes me wonder.

One tree on my trip to work is only partially changed.

Most of the tree is still green. At the end of the branches, in specific areas, the leaves are turning bright red and orange.

It is as though some gargantuan artist picks the tree out of the ground during the darkest part of night and uses it as a paintbrush.

Loose October ends

It is a wet and cold night: standard October fare.

I take it as though I ordered it personally. "Please. The cold and wet. Yes, the October. Do you have that in orange, by chance? Oh, good. Next day air? Excellent. Thank you."

I am a satisfied customer.

My finger is healing well. (I feel obligated to let you know. Especially if you took a good look at it on the way in.)

It still looks horrible, but the pain is getting dull, and I expect that it will feel mostly normal by next week. As for what it will look like...

I'm tired, as I should be with less light.

But I'm not unhappy.

And I'm trying not to think about it too much.

Lose the nail, bucko

My crushed finger is warm. The other fingers on my left hand are cold. But that one finger, when placed on my lips, feels particularly warm.

My body is responding to the damage correctly, sending blood to the finger.

It bulges.

I know I'm going to loose the nail. I'm resigned to that.

It is 5:30 and the sun is down.

My finger as sacrifice

Last night I crushed my left index finger in our elevator door.

The elevator is old--manual wood and glass doors that swing open, a gate that slides sideways.

The wood and glass door did the damage. It came swinging toward me and I put my hand out to quiet it as it closed.

The door's corner caught my finger and BANG.

It is still throbbing. The nail is slowly filling with blood.


It is morning in the west and the sun rises into a blue and clear sky. We look up in surprise, though we have read the weather reports, and we understand that they mean it when they say the sun will come.

Sleeping in

The last two days, I've had a very difficult time getting out of bed.

It's the weather, if you ask me.

I mean, I love the overall tone of fall very much. I love the changing leaves. I love the harsh weather. I love the gray skies.

But the fact is, sunlight helps me wake up. Clouds do not.

There is a reason certain animals hibernate.

Though I am not one of those animals. And I wouldn't miss this season for anything.


Today everything is a cardboard cutout.

I walk and things shift at appropriate speeds. To give the illusion of depth.

The clouds are comfortable. I shift my position and they move to accommodate me.

Rain is not far off.

Ordinary is blossoming. It looks as though it may outgrow itself.

I've been working late this week, which I cannot recommend.

My head aches.

Turn off your box

The man across the street is running his leaf blower again. He wanders back and forth with that motor attached to his back and basically makes a lot of noise.

Considering the fact that it is sopping wet outside, he's not getting much done. He does end up kicking up a lot of water. Which tends to piss off passersby.

People do that sometimes. Act without thinking much.

I do.

I've been hearing lately about how surfing the internet encourages depression.

And frankly, I can imagine why it would. I mean, for all of the wonder intrinsic to worldwide interconnectivity, in the end you're still sitting in front of a box, alone.

People published online tend to look excited, connected, happy, together, and full of life.

You, on the other hand, look less than glamorous sitting there in front of your computer.

You've got bags under your eyes.

Your face is pale.

So I recommend a two-step recovery process.

First, find someone to connect with. A real-live person. Even a group of people. There are a lot of ways to do this. One is to post a message at ordinary.

Second, do your connecting quickly, and then get away from your computer. Turn it off. Go outside. Let the rain soak your hair. Jump in a pile of leaves.

Better yet, call an old friend and tell them to meet you at a park.


The circus, stripped down

Two tipsy men wandered by last night looking for change. One of them asked for thirty-eight cents.

"Three plus eight equals eleven and eleven is the number for change."

I gave him a quarter for saying so.

Then the two of them took a good look at my bright orange coat. I bought it so I would be warm when climbing mountains. Once in a while I wear it in the rain.

"You got that from the L.L.Bean catalog, didn't you?" the other man asked.

"Nope," I said.


And they wandered off to do whatever it is that clowns do on rainy nights when they aren't wearing whiteface and when no one in particular is paying attention to their antics.


This morning, I passed the tail end of a conversation.

"Well," an old man mumbled loudly, "I've got to get to that bus".

"Okay," a squat man in a blue shirt and pants replied. He was dressed in some kind of uniform.

His "okay" was directed toward me, I thought.

So I looked at him.

He was squinting and grinning a bit, and I understood what he was saying to me.

"This old guy is a freak, isn't he?"

I don't know this old guy, I thought.

I don't know anything about him.

Super goals

I am a superhero.

Now, I'm trusting you with this information. Don't screw with me. I know where you live. I have superhuman strength.

I can see right through you.

Look, I just need someone to talk to. I confess, I'm lonely. My trusty sidekick died last week in a freak accident. How was I supposed to know she was allergic to the air on Glaxxon III? I would have arranged for some kind of suit before teleporting us there.

And things were getting good. We were just about to have that first hero/sidekick kiss. And she was your cookie-cutter super-female. Hot hot hot.

Anyway, I can't think about that right now. She's gone forever. (Unless she comes back to life somehow. It happens.)

I just need a listening ear.

Like I was saying, I'm a superhero.

You would know who I am, if those tight-wearing pretty boys and over-blessed teenage beauties at the Dome of Justice would just get my damned application processed.

Until then, I'm just a freelancer.

Not much work there, which is why I've been doing a lot of off-planet work.

The major Earth markets are already saturated, and the union doesn't allow certain kinds of work until you're holding your official Dome of Justice SuperCard, anyway. (You can get that in Visa, MasterCard, or Discover, if you like... the plain-old union ID is scoffed at.)

This is one union you don't want to piss off.

Had things gone just a little bit differently, I would probably be a member already, moving my way up the ranks, saving average (and less-than-average... let's be honest... you humans really suck sometimes) citizens from the evil machinations of [fill in the name of an evil nemesis here].

(Oh, I tried to join the Union of Evil Minions, too. Dues are lower, but job risk goes way up.)

I'll tell you something else, too.

The apprenticeship program at Hero State really sucks.

I mean, the schooling itself was totally excellent. Especially the parties. (Man, those were the days, Iceberg Woman cooling down the drinks, Fire Thrower cooking the hors d'oeuvres, Arachnid Man keeping the lawn tents free of pesky insects.)

But the apprenticeship program...

I drew the short straw and got stuck with Ass Boy. I mean, what kind of superhero finds his way to fame and fortune, butt-end first?

And what am I supposed to learn from a guy whose weakness is those cheap-ass anti-gas pills?


I shouldn't be telling you that.

Just remember, if that information gets to his archenemy, Dr. Archibald P. Hemorrhoid, there'll be a serious superhuman ass-kicking going on in your front yard, where the neighbors will have an excellent view of your extraordinary puniness.

Anyway, I'd better get going. I've got to put in a call to Ass Boy.

His reference letter stinks.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 1998 listed from newest to oldest.

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