Deeply Shallow


“How did that make you feel?” Sue asked as they left the theater.

“I liked it,” Hal responded.

“I asked you how it made you feel,” she said, “not if you liked it.”

“What do you want me to say?” he asked. “It was good, entertaining, informative. I liked it.”

Exasperated, Sue pressed. “Did it make you feel sad? Happy? Good? Bad? Angry?”

“Sheesh,” Hal responded. “I liked it. I enjoyed it. The acting was good. The storyline was entertaining. It was two hours well spent.”

“Do you even have feelings? Emotions? Do you know what it means to feel anything?”

“Of course I have feeling and emotions,” Hal said. “I feel that I liked the goddam movie. Okay?”

“You are totally devoid of emotions,” Sue blurted out.”

“That’s not true,” Hal said defensively. “I feel very deeply. It’s just that deep down, I’m a very shallow person.”

Written for today’s one-word daily prompt, “shallow.”

Dang Hangnails


For some unfathomable reason, I have recently been plagued by a hangnail epidemic. And I can’t figure out what’s causing it.

Up until recently, hangnails were extremely rare occurrences for me. And yet just this past week I’ve had three of them, two on the fingers of one hand and one on a finger on the other.

What’s up with that? My nail clipping technique hasn’t changed in decades and I diligently keep my fingernails neatly trimmed because I hate when they get long enough to clack against the keys on my laptop’s keyboard or when they get frayed as I pull up my zipper after taking a leak. (Sorry. Is that TMI?)

Pesky little tears

What the hell is a hangnail anyway? Why do these nail strands separate themselves from the main nail bed? Are they akin to rebellious teenagers who break all the behavioral norms just to spite their parents?  Didn’t I do a good job raising my fingernails?

I Googled “hangnail” to learn that hangnails are not even nails. Nope. One site described them “as pesky little skin tears.” They manifest themselves when a sliver of skin splits away from the nail bed. And they can be very annoying and often quite painful when they snag on something. Pesky indeed.

The worst thing you can do, according to hangnail experts, is to pull them off with your teeth, which is exactly how I decided to deal with two of mine. It hurt like hell and blood was involved. I couldn’t grab the third with my teeth so I borrowed a pair of my wife’s tweezers and yanked it out that way. More pain and more blood.

Most experts agree that the best way to get rid of hangnails is to soak them in warm water for five minutes and then use cuticle scissors to cut them as close to the base of the hangnail as possible.

Well fuck that. That’s way too much work. And what the hell are “cuticle scissors”? I think I’ll continue to use my teeth to chew the damn hangnail off, despite the pain and blood.

After all, why did God give us teeth if not to chew off our goddam hangnails?

The Windmills of My Mind


I was sitting in the tall grass not far from the old windmill, watching the large, louvered sails moving in a slow circle around the windmill’s tower. It was almost mesmerizing. Then my eyes moved to the clouds overhead, traveling slowly in their journey from west to east, changing shapes as they moved across the sky.

And I wondered if it was the blades of the windmill that caused the breeze that propelled the clouds in the sky or if it was the breeze that propelled the sails of the windmill to unceasingly rotate.

I must have fallen asleep before my tired mind could conjure up an answer.

Written for Sue Vincent‘s #writephoto prompt. Photo credit: Sue Vincent. I think.

Hidden Truth


What is truth? Is it definitive? Is it fact-based? In an early post on this blog, Facts Versus Truth, I referenced a quote from William Faulkner, “Facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other.”

In today’s post-facts/alternative facts Donald Trump era, I finally get what Faulkner was expressing. Facts don’t matter anymore. Truth has become subjective. Truth is something one believes to be true and anything that contradicts that perceived “truth” must be hidden from one’s consciousnesses.

For example, let’s look at what Trump supporters believe to be “the truth.” In a survey by Public Policy Polling, 75% of Trump voters believe, despite all evidence to the contrary, that the entire story about Russia’s meddling in our election process is “fake news.”

Only 45% of Trump voters say that they believe that Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians to get information that could be damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, even though Trump Jr. not only admitted to taking the meeting, but released the emails setting up that meeting. Seriously?

And 77% of Trump voters believe that Trump should remain in office even if the investigations reveal that Trump is found guilty of colluding with Putin and the Russians.

Is the truth somehow hidden from the minds of Trump supporters? Or are they just willfully ignorant of the truth?

I think it’s the latter.

This post is for today’s one-word prompt, “Hidden.”


FFfAW — Another One Bites The Dust

“Throw these on, grab two mooring lines, and wade over to those rocks,” Max instructed his new apprentice.

Jimmy pulled on the brown, waist-high waders, reached for the ropes, and jumped over the side of the boat into the shallow water. He then slowly started working his way toward the rocky shore.

Standing upright in the boat and pointing to a large rock, Max shouted, “Moor the lines to that large boulder. But be careful,” he warned. “The rocks can be quite slippery.”

Jimmy yelled back, “Aye aye, Captain,” and gave Max a thumbs-up.

Jimmy worked his way to the rocky terrain and headed toward the big boulder that Max had pointed out. He got busy tying the mooring lines around the rock, knotting the ropes just as Max had taught him.

After he checked to make sure the lines were secure, Jimmy stood up on the large rock and thrust both hands into the air in a gesture of success. That’s when he slipped off the wet rock and cracked his head wide open.

This 175-word post was written for this week’s photo challenge at Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers.