Fountain of Sorrow

Jack was looking through some photographs he found inside his bureau drawer. He was particularly taken by a grainy photo of his ex-wife, Melody.

There were others that she would have liked a little more, but they didn’t show her spirit quite as true. She was turning around to see who was behind her, and he took her by surprise. But at the moment that his camera happened to find her, there was just a trace of sorrow in her eyes.

The things that Jack remembered seemed so distant and so small, though it hadn’t really been that long a time. He realized that what he was seeing wasn’t what was happening at all, although for a while, their path together did seem to climb.

When you see through love’s illusion, Jack thought, there lies the danger. The person you thought to be your perfect lover looks like the perfect fool, so you go running off in search of a perfect stranger. And in doing so, you destroy what is nearest and dearest to you.

Jack felt that he and Melody were so close to reaching their dreams. But that magic feeling between the two of them just didn’t seem to last. So while the future’s there for anyone to change, Jack wished there was some way he could change the past.


Written for today’s one-word prompt, “grainy.” This story was inspired by the Jackson Browne song, “Fountain of Sorrow.”

Recurring Dreams

Recurring dreams are those that we experience repeatedly over a long period. According to Google, most people have recurring dreams. Do you?

I do, although they’re far less frequent now that I’m an old fart than they were when I was younger fart. I’ve experienced three different recurring dreams throughout my life.

Recurring Dream #1 – The Final Exam

final exam schedule

It takes place when I was in college, which I’ve been out of for decades. But even today I occasionally have a dream about being ill-prepared for a final exam. It generally goes like this.

Today is the day of a final exam for one of my courses. I had cut most of the classes for this course and hadn’t done any of the required reading. It had been so long since I last attended class that I couldn’t remember the location of the classroom.

I finally arrive at the room where the class was scheduled to meet, but no one is there. I find out that the exam has moved to a different location, but I don’t know where.

I am in a state of panic because I need a passing grade in this particular course in order to graduate, but not only am I totally unprepared to take the final exam, I don’t even know where it is being given.

I wake up from the dream never having found the exam room or taken the exam, but knowing that the outcome was an epic failure. I am drenched in sweat because of the dream, but as consciousness slowly sets in, I feel an enormous sense of relief that it was just a dream.

Recurring Dream #2 – The Naked Truth

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This next recurring dream starts out when I leave my house in the morning heading to the office. I’m stark naked. At first it seems completely natural and I’m not at all self-conscious about having nothing on.

But at some point in the dream, as I interact with others, I become painfully aware that I am naked. It’s an “oh shit, what the hell was I thinking?” moment. I spend the rest of the dream completely mortified, trying to figure out how to cover up my nakedness or to flee the scene entirely with some shred of dignity intact.

As with the dream about the final exam, when I wake up, I am so relieved to find out that I was only dreaming.

Recurring Dream #3 –I’m flying

flying dream

In this recurring dream, I can fly. I start walking, lift my arms toward the sky, and suddenly I’m heading up, floating above the ground, rising above the trees, looking down at the landscape below. It’s exhilarating to be free from the tethers that bind me to the earth below.

I have no idea how I gained this incredible ability to fly, and while I’m up there savoring the experience, I am occasionally troubled by what might happen if this amazing gift of flight were to leave as suddenly and mysteriously as it appeared. But it never does, and, when I wake up, I am saddened that it was but a dream.

Okay. I’ve shared with you my three types of recurring dreams. Now it’s your turn.

Tell Dr. Fandango all about your recurring dreams.

One-Liner Wednesday — Retirement

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David Letterman, former host of The Late Show on CBS, retired in 2015. He recently announced that he would be returning to TV in a deal with Netflix for six episodes of an hourlong series that will combine long-form interviews with reports from the field. His show is expected to debut next year.

When asked why he decided to come out of retirement to go back to TV, Letterman said:

“If you retire to spend more time with your family, check with your family first.”

I retired at the end of last year and was looking forward to spending more quality time with my wife. She told me she was, too.

Recently, though, she’s been asking me why I am “always underfoot” and what my plans for the day are.

And last week she asked me if I had given any thought to getting a part time job to, you know, “give me something to do.”

Perhaps I should have considered Letterman’s quote and checked with my wife before I decided to retire.


Written for this week’s One-Liner Wednesday prompt from Linda G. Hill.