#WDYS — Up On the Roof

Rick wondered what the hell had prompted him to go along with Jason’s hair-brained idea. Jason was a thrill-seeker who constantly challenged himself with more and more dangerous things. He’d been bungee jumping, cliff diving, hang gliding, rock climbing. He was even talking about going sky diving. Rick was nothing like that.

And yet Jason had somehow cajoled Rick into going to the top of the high rise building and to stand on the very edge of the roof. “You need to do this, brah,” Jason said. “It’s better than sex, I’m telling you. When you’re standing on the precipice looking down at the street thirty floors below, your brain triggers an increase in testosterone, as well as dopamine, endorphins, and other chemicals. Your vision narrows, and adrenaline shoots through your body, which increases your heart rate. With the heart beating faster, you get more oxygen. Your body redirects oxygen to the brain as fast as it can. It’s a rush like you’ve never experienced.”

But once the two men were up there, Rick realized that this was not for him. “I can’t do it, Jason,” Rick said. “I’m sorry, but I’m not like you. I don’t crave dangerous experiences like this. I’m fine with the thrill I get from good, old fashioned, and most importantly, safe sex, where the operative word is safe.”

“Brah, you can’t wimp out on me like this,” Jason said. “We’ll just walk over to the edge, look down, and then we’ll be done. I’m telling you, you’ll thank me when it’s all over.”

“Look, if you wanna stand out on that ledge, if that’s what it takes to get your rocks off, that’s your choice,” Rick said, “but my choice is to walk over to that door and head back down to earth via the elevator.”

“Fine, you pussy,” Jason said, “but do me a favor and take a picture of me standing on the edge before you head back down. That’s the least you can do, right?”

“Okay, but make it fast,” Rick said. “It’s cold up here and the wind is starting to whip up a bit.” Rick pulled his phone from his back pocket and positioned himself about ten feet from the roof’s edge.

Jason stepped up on the ledge and inched closer to the edge. He turned around, looked at Rick, and smiled at him. “When I count to three, take my picture.” Jason then lifted up his right leg so that he was balancing his body precariously on his left leg. He had both of his arms stretched out parallel to the ground, almost like he was posing as Christ on the cross. “One, two, three.”

Rick snapped the picture on his cellphone just as a sharp gust of wind swept across the roof. After the shock of seeing his best friend losing his balance and falling, Rick looked at the picture he had taken on his cellphone, which had captured the expression on Jason’s face when he realized what was about to happen.

A few minutes later Rick handed his phone to Jason, showed him the picture, and said, “It’s a good thing that gust of wind was at your back and pushed you forward, because had it come from the other direction, you would have fallen thirty stories to the street below instead of a few feet back onto the roof.”

Jason, whose heart was still pounding in his chest said, “Yeah, brah, and I live to fight another day.”

Written for Sadje’s What Do You See? Prompt. Photo credit: Sean Robertson @ Unsplash.

Friday Fictioneers — The Roadie

Sure, it meant spending months at a time on the road. The hours were long, setting up long before the band arrived and staying long after they finished to pack up the gear and instruments. And when the band hit it big, it was pure adrenaline each night.

But that was then. Now the band was relegated to oldies concerts in high school gymnasiums. The the excitement had turned into tedium. As he reflected back on his life, he knew it was time to quit. There had to be more to life than sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll.

(99 words)

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

Space Sax

When I saw this Photo Challenge from Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie, I was going to title my post “Sex in Space,” but Jim Adams beat me to it. So I came up with a far less provocative title, “Space Sax.”

Lucy was thrilled to have been selected by Elon Musk to be sent into space on his next SpaceX launch. Here she was, a girl from a poor coal-mining family in West Virginia and she was going to soon be joining other astronauts on the International Space Station.

Aside from space, Lucy’s other obsession was playing the saxophone and she was very good at it. All during her training she would entertain the other astronaut candidates with her saxophone playing.

When she learned about being selected for the upcoming launch, Lucy wanted to know if she could bring her sax with her so she’d be able to play in while in the space station. But when, in her thick West-Virginia accent, Lucy asked her trainer if she could bring her sax with her, it came out sounding to him like she was asking if she could have sex in space.

“Lucy,” her trainer said, “I know that you consider West Virginia to be almost heaven, but you’re going to be in space for a number of months, so I think you need to get all of your primal urges out of your system before the launch. I suggest, if you need to, you should confine yourself to sex an Earth.” And then he added, “Just don’t get yourself knocked up, Lucy. There are no OB-GYN docs on the space station.”

Fandango’s Flashback Friday — November 13

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 6th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally posted on this blog on November 13, 2018.

Sex is a Dirty Word

546881D0-E338-4979-AE1D-C5F776C3B257You may have already heard that there is a proposal being floated at the U.S. State Department that could prohibit American diplomats from using the phrases “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education.”

Instead of “sexual and reproductive health” and “comprehensive sexuality education,” the proposal is that U.S. officials would be instructed to use phrases like “reproduction and the related health services” in official communications.

This proposal is being pushed by a handful of conservative political appointees at the State Department and other agencies. Abandoning the use of the word “sex” would be a symbolic move that aligns with other Trump administration efforts to reduce both funding and focus on women’s reproductive issues — especially anything related to abortion.

The problem appears to be that saying “sex” makes Trump’s far-right Republican supporters feel all sad and uncomfortable inside.

I guess that for the 2020 election, Trump is going to change his #MAGA hashtag to #MAPA, for Make America Puritan Again.

Blogging Insights — Sensitivity Training

Blogging insightsFor this week’s edition of Blogging Insights, Dr. Tanya wants to know how we deal in our blogs with touchy or sensitive topics. Dr. Tanya poses six question, the first two of which were from Melanie over at Sparks from a Combustible Mind in this post of hers. The remaining four are from Dr. Tanya. So let’s get a little touchy-feely, shall we?

Melanie’s questions:

Warning “labels”: when one is writing about something that could potentially be ‘touchy’ to some folks — Pros and cons

Personally, I don’t put warning labels on my posts. I suppose I do write posts that some might consider controversial (e.g., politics, religion). But most people who are familiar with my blog know that about me and I don’t see the point about warning people in advance that they might find what they’re about to read offensive or might trigger them. I find Donald Trump offensive and he triggers me, but I don’t see any warning labels before he tweets something or shows his ugly orange face on TV.

Censorship: is it censorship if one blogs ‘sensitively’ (aka soft pedals hard issues)? Should writers have to think of every possible reader their writing might touch, every single scenario where a reader might take offense and so on? I’m not thinking of blatant offensiveness (and what’s offensive to one person isn’t necessarily to the next one in line), but a general trying to cover all bases all the time type of thing.

It’s my blog and I blog anonymously. One of the reasons I blog anonymously is so that I can say on my blog what I really think and feel without fear that some redneck, far-right MAGA hat wearing lemming will pull out a pistol and shoot me in the head or that a God-fearing Christian will condemn me to eternity in hell because I’m an atheist. Do I think of every possible reader who my writing might offend? Fuck no! Should I? Fuck no! Should you? That’s up to you.

Now for Dr. Tanya’s questions.

Do you post about touchy or sensitive topics on your blog? If so, what kind of subjects do you like to discuss?

Yes. I post about sex, religion, politics, and whatever else crosses my mind. My posts can, I suppose, contain touchy, sensitive topics. When one is posting an opinion, there are bound to be others in the blogosphere who will be offended, outraged, or triggered by something I write. That’s their problem, not mine.

Do you respond to sensitive or controversial subjects in the form of prompts?

Yes. Why wouldn’t I? I even have my own weekly “sensitive” or “controversial” prompt called “Fandango’s Provocative Questions.”

Do you take part in controversial discussions as part of a comments thread?

Of course. I will express my opinions in the comments. But when it arrives at the point where either nothing productive will come of it or it gets nasty, I will let it go.

How do you think sensitive subjects should be handled on the blogosphere?

Um, sensitively? Sorry, I was being facetious. I think bloggers should feel free to express their opinions and perspectives openly and honestly on their own blogs. Others can choose to be offended or not and can choose to read or not read other bloggers’ posts. As I am wont to say, “Whatever floats your boat.”