He flipped the television on again. The cable box showed the time in big red numbers. Three-thirty-eight. He knew that there wasn’t anything to watch at this ungodly hour, but the noise and flickering images made him feel better. He thought about that for a minute. It was probably the sense that he wasn’t the only person up at this hour that he liked. Sure that was it. He didn’t like television. It was stupid and mind rotting. He would rather read, but hour after hour of reading wore him down. He had to take a rest from serious thinking. That’s why he flipped on the television again, he thought.

He noticed a pale gray light easing through the blinds. A televangelist flickered and crackled on the TV. The red letters showed 5:56. “Two hours of this crap!” he mumbled to himself as he flipped the remote button. The television snapped and fried to black.

He sat in the silence for a minute. He felt old and as gray as the light. He was stiff and it hurt to move. Everything finally gets stiff and hard he thought. Trees get old and brittle. Bread gets stale. The eyes get to where they can’t focus. He reached for his book and his glasses and grunted in pain.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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