The Man

Chapter 10486

Called my biological father. He didn't answer so I left a message about flying out that weekend. Didn't say exactly why because neither reason involved him. Just said something about taking Uncle to our cousin's -- second or first for either of us a mystery to me -- big family birthday party.

Birthday celebrations're stupid, sure. A concept invented by previous generation as distraction or capitalism, same thing: advertisement. Newsfeed debates about far removed political issues or the NFL, reality TV. It's all contrived to keep the masses in factions. Combative and playing monopoly. Labeled, organized, and opinionated about made up things. An egotistical, materialistic public is good for enterprise and autocratic governments.

That's what birthdays do. In a small way.

But, family is important if just for the time already put in by them toward you. Gotta pay that back, at least. To those who've raised and molded us most. Both sides of mine had been there during the greatest grieving and striving periods in my life. Haven't been close with either group in a long time. Still time to try. And I needed to visit Uncle, too, or else he might have nobody. The best reason for a traditional holiday is the chance for camaraderie, anyway. Banal skepticisms and negative attitudes may feel technically correct reflections of the ever-encompassing dystopia but aren't in the end beneficial.




Prayers Up

Chapter 10472

Pulled slowly from the sheets, then sprang off the edge of the bed to speed up, leave my dreams. Skipped, jumped, and hopped in the buff to my laundry lump, leaned against it and lifted the curtain corner. Found outside the world waiting. All in order, reset, and empty of activity. 

What luck!

A full moon's reflection of sunlight shone upon the cul-de-sac floor from directly above, which meant I'd slept in a bit longer than my ego minded. But at least everyone else on the street'd still be asleep this time of night.

Grabbed from the pile loose pants and underwear, pulled them on in two strides trying to regain footing. However, only hurried into a tripping curse to the door, stopped short, grasped both sides of the verticle and hardwareless rectangle and set it aside. 

Utilized the inescapable pause to breathe, closed my eyelids tight. Stood there for fewer than five units, drapes drawn -- voluntarily blind. Blocking out the overriding, misleading, and distracting sensation of sight while finding my spirit. He sat native style and surprisingly at peace inside this bumbling beast. Already ready actually thanks to a night's rest beside a beautiful furnace. 

Could hear her closeby purring.  And sighed at the increasingly cheesy sentences in my head, but smiled as I shook it. 

Snuck quick through the threshold glancing back as milky light gave contour the curves of a half swaddled, half sprawled figure atop the mattress. Rhythmic blue huffs came from somewhere unnoticed moving low within that bump. No bedframe beneath her, no chest of drawers set up, nor tables, chairs, or cabinets. Concrete floor. A room in someone else's basement, but she still stayed on occasion because maybe men don't become lovable if women aren't patient.


Butterfly Effect

Chapter 10453

The machines arrived five hours late with us already working noon to eight. Meant a long night, most likely. Great. Dragging down the week's only Friday. But devoted to the cause because we'd be paid. 

"Hundreds of pounds each, these things," said Bruce, and he beckoned us three -- the painter, Wade; my supervisor, Cable; and the eternal intern, me -- down to see. Team lifted out the truck, brought them up with also two large shop vacs, a red box, and some orange extension chords to start. Last phase of a quarter-century-long project. 

Attempted a mindful idealization of the prospect while silently watching my muted mentors convene shortly over our objects.

Construction requires collaboration from differently minded and alternatingly expertised people, piecing various girthy structures together meticulously for months. And the margin for error often proves quite wide -- perhaps because of the process, but probably also due to the participating particulates. Pre-designed blue lines on white guide just slightly more than suggestion, fickle human hands left to find the final direction. 

Turns out, walls're made of not much but dust. Filled with fiberglass. Then puddied and painted. Prefabs get snagged and cracked upon delivery. Repaired, used as, replaced, or plain sent back. Flimsy materials frame rooms, halls, and ceilings, all held together with jagged metals and angled plastics, velcro, duct tape, caulk, and mastics. Holes might not line up until forced or re-cut. Plumbing, ventilation, and pipe-encased electrical lines get strung and spread throughout like the insane nervous system of a collective idea. Wobbling slightly in the wind, low vibrations where the joints butt, but stable. Trust.