All his friend and loved ones were there. The party was a surprise. He had appeared to be genuinely happy. He was genuinely older.

He knew he had not drunk too much. That wasn’t going fly. He had to think of something else, but nothing came too him.

Everybody had those thoughts. He knew that. You’re sitting in a meeting with several powerful people in their best business uniforms and are overwhelmed with the desire to kiss the speaker full on his flapping lips. Or you think you just have to stand up and piss in the coffin at some great aunt’s funeral. You look around you and realize that no one there knows you are thinking such things.

He squinted at the clock. Four-thirty-two. He couldn’t get up yet. He shivered and let out a little moan. He tried to rock the bed with his foot and leg. He still couldn’t sleep. Damn.

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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