woodstoveThe fan in our woodstove turned on and I suddenly became drowsy as the grating voices of late night TV suddenly hushed into breaths of warm, dry air. The cat with an abnormally long tail leapt onto the mantle, knocking down a thick green candle, then, scared by her own clumsiness, leapt away again into the dim shadows behind the couch. One thirteen AM.
I kicked the loosely crocheted blanket off my feet and reached lazily for the remote, finding the power button with my thumb and watching with relief as the picture was suddenly replaced by black. Bliss. Tiredness is a constant presence when one is an insomniac, but the feeling of sleepiness, of feeling calm enough to actually lie down and drift off, is rare and cherished. Overwhelmed by such sleepiness, I jogged heavily up the stairs and into my cold, uncomfortable bed. The twenty year-old mattress creaked and my blankets rustled slightly as I slid down to the foot and curled into a loose ball, the only position I've ever been able to s
super8Matt's most prized possession was his super eight film projector. He kept it on the floor next to his bed and every night, before he went to sleep, he would smile at it and think of the films he had watched that day. Families in the park, teenagers by the sea, children on ponies at the fair and birthday parties lit only by the glow of candles on a thickly frosted cake.
Every morning, when he woke up, he would pat it right before he threw back the blankets and got out of bed to get ready for work. The commute to work was slow and dull, all buildings and pavement and sidewalk, hardly a tree to provide some sort of reminder of life. Buildings and sidewalk and pavement all just looked like death. Cold and hard and useless and remote, nothing he could walk up to and put his hand on and feel breath or warmth or comfort in. pulling into the company parking garage, locking his car and dropping the keys on their heavy pewter key chain into his right pocket, he strode softly over the dead concre
poor ferdinandYou know, I think the real reason Ferdinand was such a jerk was because his name was Ferdinand. A child can't grow up under the enormous strain of being a "Ferdinand" without somehow toughening himself into becoming immune from the incredulous looks and huge guffaws that ensue once he reveals his name as yes, nothing other than the pretentiously soul-crushing fame of Ferdinand-hood. There is no good nickname for Ferdinand, and nor was his middle name, Rupert, any better. Ferdinand Rupert James. A fairly anonymous last name, yes. A last name a boy would have no problem being connected with, especially with such awkward forenames. The problem with young Ferdinand Rupert James was that when he introduced himself, he couldn't very well say his name was just James, as awkward and confusing name-discussions soon followed, during which his real name was revealed, and you see, that was the problem we'd begun with.
Anyway, Ferdinand was a jerk, excuses notwithstanding. To his credit, he was an