Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stories # 46, # 47, & # 48: "Whatever Works," "Say Cheese," & "Made To Be Broken"

Three random short pieces here. No theme, no particular inspiration. But I think they're at least remotely interesting. What do you think?  ~  JH


She not only didn't believe in going by the book, she didn't even own the book. She'd never even seen the book. She did what she felt was right in any and all situations, never stopping to think, "What would someone else do?" Because it didn't matter to her what anyone else thought. Her way of life was one of trial and error. Try it, fail, and never do it that way again. Try it, succeed, and a method is established. Whatever worked before will inevitably work again the same way the next time, and the next time, and the next time after that. Invariably, she relied on her own experiences exclusively, and created her own new experiences at every turn. One day, she decided to cross a busy street on foot. She'd never done it before, but she was confident that it could be accomplished successfully, one way or the other. She mistimed her attempt by a fraction of a second. She never saw the 18-wheeler barreling in her direction. The truck driver never saw her coming. Well, that didn't work, she thought, as she expired.


I hate it when people take my picture and urge me to say "Cheese!" I don't get it. Is the sound of this word supposed to inherently make me smile -- because it doesn't. In fact, when I even think of cheese or any of its dairy companions, I am more likely to grimace than to smile. I'm lactose-intolerant, you see. Perhaps the whole concept behind saying "Cheese!" is that the way my mouth appears when I'm speaking the word is deemed to be a sufficient substitute for an actual smile. Whatever the reason, I refuse to say "Cheese!", so you may as well stop asking me. And no, I won't fake a smile if I'm not happy at that moment. Because it sort of defeats the purpose, doesn't it? If you insist on my speaking while you're snapping your picture, I will grudgingly say, "Go away!" And if you comply, it will truly make me happy. So, there!


Hearts are like records, made to be broken. I'm like a thought that was never well-formed. You're like a sponge, sucking all the life out of me. We're like a gaping wound, hideous but eminently watchable. I'm all out of metaphors, or similes, or whatever these are. If I could harness this energy into something worthwhile, I could be somebody worthwhile. You could give and not just take, you could do some good. We could sell dreams to dreamers. But enough with what could have been, I'm bored with it by now. Talking about hearts, that's what I was doing. They're fragile, bloody, and yet resilient. They tear apart but somehow mend. I was like that once, but I've gotten too used to the scars and I'm starting to like the pain. You're getting good with a saw, though you never took any lessons. We are like lesions, waiting to heal but covered up in the meantime. Broken, that was my point, which I'm not getting to that quickly. I was broken once, or was it twice, I can hardly remember. You broke my spirit once, and then my tibia. We were in love when we fell down the stairs but clawing at each other's faces when we reached the bottom. It's not easy to climb up from that. I won't go on all day, because there's no good reason to do so. I know, you know, we know, and that's all that matters, more or less. And besides, I have things to do. Not better things, really, but things nonetheless. You should know better than to try and figure it out. That's it.

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