Ursula’s Tell the Story Challenge

3c7d7d43-41eb-40c6-891b-6967924732ccUrsula, An Upturned Soul, offered the drawing above and tagged me to tell the story about it. So here goes.

“I keep having this recurring dream, Doc. I’m trying to balance between two ladders, as if I’m a clown in a circus,” Alex told his therapist. “Each rung on the ladders represents one of life’s challenges, trials, or tribulations. I’m trying to keep moving up the ladders, rung by rung, but my situation is precarious and I fall back down to the ground, at which point I get up, brush myself off, and start, once again, to climb up the from the bottom. But I never make it to the top.”

“I see,” the therapist said.

Alex gave his therapist a questioning look. “You see? That’s all you got? Three hundred bucks an hour and all you have to say is ‘I see’? I want to know what it means. What’s the significance of the two ladders? What’s at the top? Why am I struggling to climb up the rungs? Why do I keep falling? What does the dream mean, Doc?”

“How the hell would I know?” the therapist said. “It’s your dream, not mine. That will be three hundred dollars, please.”

Okay, now, according to the rules for this Tell the Story Challenge, I’m suppose to post a new picture and tag three other bloggers to tell a story about that picture.

So here’s the picture:deebcf03-af0a-4bf2-ae35-523f4bc20a85It’s from Austin Poon at Unsplash.com.

As to tagging three other bloggers, it’s not going to happen. I’ll open it up to any blogger who would like to tell his or her story about this picture.

Repost: Now I’ll Never Know

I originally published this post in August 2017. It only received sixteen views, got five likes, and three comments. But I really like this post and think it was under exposed and unappreciated, so I thought I’d give it a second go. I hope you enjoy it.

I never met the girl in the window in real life. Just in my fantasies. And now she’s gone. Maybe she moved out. Maybe she got married or moved in with her boyfriend. Maybe something bad happened to her. Maybe she died. Now I’ll never know.

I always saw her when I took my dog out for the last walk of the night, usually between 9:30 and 10:00. She would usually be sitting in front of her laptop, facing the window, a small table lamp on her right. What was she doing? Now I’ll never know.

Maybe she was a student doing homework. Maybe she was working on an assignment for her job. Maybe she was an aspiring author and was writing her novel. Maybe she was a blogger crafting a post. Or maybe she was watching internet porn. Now I’ll never know.

I counted on seeing her each night. I only ever saw her face and her hair, as the rest of her was hidden behind her open laptop. She had, as far as I could tell from the other side of the street, a pretty face. Her hair was reddish blonde, or that’s what it looked like in the glow of her laptop’s screen and the light from the lamp on her desk. Now I’ll never know.

I am reasonably certain that she never noticed me and my dog. The sidewalk right across the street from her building is tree-lined and rather dark at night. Although there was that one time when she glanced up from her laptop and appeared to look out the window and directly at me. But she didn’t respond when I waved at her. Did she see me? Now I’ll never know.

I had seen her almost every night for nearly a year. I became obsessed with her. She inhabited my dreams. She was the leading lady of my fantasies. I had to somehow find the courage to meet her. I was sure that if we ever met, she would feel about me as I felt about her. Now I’ll never know.

One day very soon I would call up to her from the street right below her window and introduce myself to her. Maybe she would invite me up to her apartment and offer me a drink. Maybe tea or coffee. Maybe a beer or a glass of wine. Maybe she’d offer me something to eat. Maybe we’d hold hands, embrace one another. Now I’ll never know.

They say he who hesitates is lost. I hesitated. And now she’s gone. Now I’ll never know.

Rory Deals Four Aces

d6aeb5c7-73c1-40f1-9cb5-0ed40604be7aWere I playing poker, I’d love to have been dealt four aces. I’d push all of my chips to the center of the table and, with a huge, shit-eating grin on my face, I’d say “I’m all in.”

But this is not poker. It’s Rory’s The Friday Four, where he poses four thought-provoking questions for us to consider. This week’s four questions are:

1] Do you think our society could exist without laws?

For better or worse, I think we have demonstrated over and over again throughout human history that, in order to avoid anarchy and chaos, society must have laws. Of course, when the leader of the country ignores or breaks said laws (yes, I’m talking to you, Donald Trump), the so-called rule of law loses its meaning.

2] How important is the freedom of speech?

In a free society, freedom of speech is extremely important. But it can also be easily abused by those with evil intent. So there needs to be a balance between allowing people to freely express their opinions without fear of retaliation, and controlling the expression of hate speech or speech that jeopardizes the sanctity and security of a country’s citizens. Remember:ebcd19d0-62e7-4f0a-beea-65d5a39e027d

3] How long do you think humans have left on planet earth?

At the rate we’re going, probably not far into the 22nd century.

4] Using your mind or losing your mind, where is the fine line between madness and creativity?

This seems to beg the question of whether or not there is a strong correlation between an original, creative mind and a troubled one. I tend to think that very creative people sometimes seem to have serious dark sides and suffer from depression and mood swings (i.e., bipolar disorders). But are creativity and madness just two sides of the same coin? Can one exist without the other? I honestly don’t know. I’m not a particularly creative person, but some that I personally know do tend to be high strung, sensitive, and emotional. But madness? Mentally illness? No, I just don’t see that.9dd32475-583a-46e7-987b-a7541ec0def7

MLMM First Line Friday — Stand Up

d53f765b-e2f1-430e-880d-825f69dcbc78“Well I think it’s funny!” Sharon said. “And it’s not a mean funny, it’s, you know, an affable funny.”

“Thank you so much for letting me run my routine by you,” Joel said. “I’m so glad you liked it. You know, it’s always been my dream to do stand up.”

“Well, as long as it’s not a chore, you should continue to pursue it,” Sharon said.

“A chore?” Joel said. “Not at all. I love it. And I have a method to my madness. I’m adamant that I have the power to be a successful stand up comedian.”

“I have confidence that you’ll make it, Joel,” Sharon said. “By the way, I saw a female comedian the other night at a local club. She was marvelous, so funny. Maybe you know her, Joel. Her name is Mrs. Maisel, the same last name you have.”

Written for this week’s Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie’s First Line Friday. Also for these one-word prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (affable), Nova’s Daily Random Word  (dream), Ragtag Daily Prompt (chore), Daily Addictions (method), Your Daily Word Prompt (adamant), and Word of the Day Challenge (power).

Friday Fictioneers — Broken Glass

0c69accd-7a1d-41a5-a75f-c263834bcc78I was just about to go to the glass shop to get an estimate to replace the glass in the door when my wife stopped me.

“No, I don’t want you to fix it,” she said. “Leave the tape on the glass.”

“Why would you want to leave it that way?” I asked. “It looks terrible.”

“I want you to leave it that way,” she said, “so you will be reminded every time you enter our house the damage you do when you come home drunk. This time it was the glass you broke. Last time it was my nose.”

(100 words)

Written for the Friday Fictioneers prompt from Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. Photo credit: Dale Rogerson.