Sunday, January 18, 2009

Jeffrey's Passion

Jeffrey could hear the muffled, monotonous drone of the old man’s television through the wall of his cave-like room. He thought about Mona. It was hard to force himself to believe much in love anymore, but from what he could remember, he must have been in love with her.

If only he hadn’t given her all those blankets. No moment would pass that he didn’t regret the day they’d climbed up onto the hill together. They held hands and stared at the stars, hoping to find some insight into their relative destinies. He didn’t even know why he’d thought the stars would answer their questions.
If he’d stopped to think about it, it would have been obvious that they couldn’t be trusted; it could be that they had already burnt out and nobody would know for another million years that the light they saw had no source.

He bestowed the blankets on her, piling them one after the other until there could be no doubt that she was warm. He refused to take any. He stared at her face as she stared at the heavens, and shivered uncontrollably as the heat of the day disappeared into them. She turned to him, then, and frowned into his smitten eyes, not saying anything. He smiled in return, standing and slowly peeling the shirt from his body to place on the top of the pile.

She threw off the blankets and left him at that point.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Proverbs

If you are trying to find answers to the big questions, you have too much time on your hands.

You know you are liked when people ignore your eccentricities. You know you are trusted when they start complaining, but stay.

All lives will occasionally fall into shadow. It seems the trick is not to escape, but to laugh in the darkness.

It's not as surprising that we die as that we can tell dirty jokes.

Cynicism is just as much a crutch as any other inflexible system of belief.

A bad singer doesn't sing. A poor singer tries to sing. A fair singer sings. A good singer can do anything imaginable with their voice. A great singer can do anything imaginable with their voice, but does it only when appropriate.

When you inexplicably aren't attracted to a very attractive person, it suggests that maybe we're complex beings after all.


A sleeper should feel weightless and simultaneously immovable. There should be no considerations of time or outside life. The sleeper should be suspended and absolutely unaware of uneasiness. If woken by a noise, the sleeper should smile, roll over and fall back to sleep knowing the source of the sound and its inability to harm. Maybe it is a downstairs neighbor dropping a dish while fumbling for a glass of orange juice in the dark.

The dark should feel like a smooth black envelope, muffled and comforting. The sheets and the pillow should be fresh and white and cool; the blankets heavy in weight, but not too warm at first. A fan should be on, or, better yet, the window should be open and the stars should flicker in and out of sight as the curtains are moved by a light breeze. The space around the bed should be free of flotsam and unnecessary decoration. The room itself must not distract from its use.

If possible, the sleeper should sleep next to someone: a brother or sister, a friend or a lover; someone who will not resent the enjoyment of sleep. A small gust of cool air from the window should find its way to the sleeper's lungs as sleep becomes inevitable and the edges of the sleeper's mind become blurry. As the sleeper inhales, his imagination should fall open and accept all of the wild ideas and desires that have hovered below the surface of wakeful, rational thought all day, allowing the sleeper to fully view their interior.

The sleeper should not wake so early as to feel torn and inhuman, or so late as to need to scramble from bed, guilt-ridden. Morning should come through the diffuse light of the curtain, and the sleeper should lay still for a while, peering from under the covers and reflecting on dreams, before swinging their legs over the side of the bed and re-approaching wakefulness.