I don’t know what I feel.  I think I’m in between everything.  I’m stretched in the middle of everything.  Life isn’t letting me up, life isn’t letting me down, I’m just hanging.  And because of hanging, I’m stretched beyond what I would like.

I bought a lottery ticket when it was a billion fucking dollars, figuring even if I split it three or even four ways, fine.  I bought another when it was 200 Million.  I haven’t checked, but a snowballs chance in hell?  I know what to expect, even though hope springs eternal.

I went to a mechanic who assessed Mrs. M’s car and said after the oil change, $1300 would set it right.  After looking at my car that was the price he put on tires and something else for my car too, but then add the same amount again for another part that needs fixing.  Add the heat we’ll need to replace whenever it gets cold again.  Add the teeth I need to fix, and we’re doubling down again.  I’m not winning.  And I’m not bankrupt.  I’m between.

I hate this.  I’m angry and bitter that I can’t get out from under the shit that keeps falling apart, I’m happy it’s not worse.  I’m frustrated Mrs M can’t or won’t do what I want.  And I’m happy she’s with me and I don’t want anything different, I just want more of her.  What the fuck?  It’s half a shit storm. Because a whole shit storm would kill me.

I don’t want the other half of the storm to hit.  I want to be free.  Instead of life letting me down some more, or stretching me some more on this stupid rack,

how about let me fly?  Some days I wish I had a few fewer scruples and I could just go wild.  But who knows what consequences would come of that?  OK, it’s not “ultimate suffering,” but I’m getting old while the suckage gets older.  I’m tired of this shit and I can’t figure out a good way out.  Why does the only answer seem to be money, and money I don’t have and can’t get?  I mean, FUCK!  Really.  I contemplated titling this post the same (“FUCK!”)

The HVAC people aren’t doing anything wrong.  The mechanic isn’t doing anything wrong.  He’s only telling me what normal people would be able to fix or more likely just buy a new car.  He isn’t even a cheat like a couple other mechanics I’ve had the misfortune to do business with, back in the day when I had money.


Some mechanics are ass holes.  On purpose.  Ask me why I’ll never go to two specific car shops.  Long to short, one was frisky with my credit card and had my numbers on file because “the machine won’t work and the guy who can work it will be in later today.”  Another left bits and screws out on the engine and lost a fan cover and then the shop acted like the stuff was like that before I brought it in, bull shit, you ass holes. (And then fired one of their mechanics because he was doing this kind of shit to people with money. But the guy I went to see this past time was right and the reason I know he’s right is because we had the same diagnosis from two other mechanics.


It just majorly sucks that it’s all piled up stretching me all at once, and I’m going to tear like Stretch Armstrong after a yard and a half and a double twist, or my stress is going to kill me.  If you pray, pray harder.  For me.  Please.  If you don’t pray, fuck, pray anyway.  It can’t hurt.

To Market

He had never been good at striking a bargain
His mother should have known
Better than to send him to market
Never know what you’re going to get

Worried, he told himself these things,
Not wanting to be a disappointment
He had coins in his bag she said should be enough
But no candy or fluff

He wasn’t smart, he told himself, a lie
But he was strong, willing to learn and try

At the markets’ edge he met a man
Who said, catch the pig, and if you can,
He’s yours to keep, but if you fail
I get your money and the pig, tip to tail

Back at home he talked to animals
So he whispered to the pig about future meals
And shook the strangers’ hand
Who oiled the pig with a grease can

The man was surprised to watch the pig
Jump into the boy’s arms, jiggety-jig

He bought a little candy for him and the pig some corn
The happiest boy who’d ever been born
Walking home with his prizes and the cash
Surprising his mom, dancing  a dance

Look, mum, look at my pretty hog,
Jiggety jig, jiggety jog.



More, 5/28/2016, Deon Mumple
Inspired by Jessica

Her beauty
And terrifies me
And fills me
With intrigue.
I want more
I fear more
The closer I want to get
The more I fear
Doing or saying something
I’ll regret
And yet
I want everything
That she might give
And I want her tomorrow
For her smile
Or her sorrow
Whatever she feels
I want to be there by her side
Along for the ride
To cry
By her side
If she cries,
To encourage her to always rise
On her own power
She can.  She can.
And when she can’t, doesn’t know,
I want to be her story’s hero
Then to watch her grow,
And blossom, you know
For her to find her best, become more
For me to adore
And for her to love me
And be held as much in captivity
As she holds me in
Bonded beyond skin
And yet
To feel completely
To see her beauty
The way my eyes see
The closer I want to be
The more I fear that we
Will swallow everything that’s me
Or I’ll make
A mistake
And lose we
Because stupidity
Trips me
Like, what if I need space
And lack grace, and erase
Something she treasures and needs
Her soul bleeds
Oh, God, what if she leaves?
But she
Is everything I want to see
She’s imperfect
But she’s perfect
And I want her to realize
In my eyes
The whole universe of matter
Doesn’t matter
Without her.


Unknown, 5/28/2016, Deon Mumple

She doesn’t know
I love her so
We’ve never met
At least not yet
I’m in disguise
A life of lies

She wouldn’t know
I love her so
If we did meet
She’s very sweet
I can’t love how
She wants love now

I wish she knew
My love is true
Could I reveal
What I conceal
I hide, afraid
In darkness, fade

It’s innocent
A love that’s meant
To be left pure
So she’ll endure
When existence
Feels like nonsense

I hope she’ll stay
Another day
Another day
Another day
My love to learn
I’m left to yearn

I wish I could
Give something good
A closer dance
Than my romance
At this distance
Were there a chance

Her soul, I know
Sets mine aglow
With every word
I’ve never heard
Her sweet lips tell
But my heart’s fell

She’ll never see
The real me
Since she can’t know
And I can’t show
She doesn’t know
I love her so

Please won’t you say
That you will stay
Another day
Another day
For I adore
And I want more

Death of Heroes

Disclaimer:  This post is rambling, if you’re not up for it, give up now.

When I was younger, the character Spock from Star Trek was a hero to me.  He had superior intelligence, superior strength, and something like psychic powers.  I knew I was smart, but I lacked a sense of personal vision, and I had absolutely NO wisdom.  I envied his direction through life.  I am still the same person I was, with the same self-irritating lackings.  When I was younger, I wasn’t very strong physically.  I was a scrawny kid, taller than average, and lighter than average.  There were bullies.  I survived by my wits and my strong sense of self-preservation.

Looking back, I was an idiot.  Looking in the mirror, still an idiot, just old.

I also admired the way he treated humans.  He was gentle unless force was called for.  He was soft spoken (except in that awful pilot episode).  He was a team player who demonstrated support for his fellow team mates and respect for authority or rank.  He never lied.  And, he controlled his emotions, except in a few awful episodes.

When I was younger, after I was told how weird, weak, and worthless I was by bullies for the umpteenth time, I looked in that mirror, and I was indeed, weird, weak and worthless. I had experienced depression before, and the bullies triggered it again and again.  Fuckers. I wanted to be more, and better, but I didn’t know how.  I still don’t know how.

I thought getting a college degree would help, but fucked if I could find a career I liked in the field.  I missed, because I decided wrong going into college.  It was a coin flip, I gambled, and lost.  I went back to college and in a different direction, and fucked if I could find a career in the second field I chose to pursue.  I’m old, I’m fucked, and I never figured out a way to get unfucked.

I have grown, though.  While I still appreciate the gentle strength of Spock, more lately I envy the character Gary Mitchell (“Where No Man Has Gone Before”).  Hilariously disrespectful, he even put an “R” on Kirk’s gravestone instead of “T” for Tiberius.  And then the plot leaves him supposedly dead in the grave intended for Kirk, as if he wasn’t quite powerful enough to move the rocks like he tossed aside Kirk’s phaser rifle.  I couldn’t stand that he turned just evil, but I also couldn’t stand that they just presumed he was dead and didn’t pursue that further.  I mean, if he could force-move the mountain to fall onto the top of the grave, if he could force-dig a perfect grave by just disappearing the dirt, then certainly he could force disappear the rocks over his head, or just make himself walk through as floating, or appear above, the dirt.  I hear you.  “Suspend your disbelief, Deon.” Well I can’t.  I don’t want to.  Gary let those people go because they were beneath him and not worth the effort.

Just like my aspirations of lottery-winner status, I have a plan.  If imbued with large sums of cash, I plan to fix my own situation and then see about helping others.  I’ve got quite a lot to fix about myself, which is why I’m hoping for a large jackpot.  I don’t usually bother with buying a ticket for the prizes under $200M.  Somehow I have it in my head that that is the magical barrier to life-changing cash.  But if imbued with incredible cosmic powers I don’t plan to live in a damned oil lamp for sure.  Nor a box made of rocks.

If given incredible cosmic cash flow, there are a few people I’ve thought seriously about telling honestly how I felt about their lack of value to the human race.  A guy who lied and cheated me out of what would then be petty cash, but why bother then?  The companies I worked for who paid so woefully inadequately, but again, why bother then?  It’s not like they’d change. Fuck that, it’s a waste of time.  It’s more worthwhile and personally rewarding to fix my shit and then help other people with their shit in SPITE of monsters like these ass holes.  In fact, TO spite those monsters

If given powers, I would have to really hold them back not to end certain people when they irritated me.  After all, one swats mosquitoes, doesn’t one?  With limited powers, (like a cash prize under $200M) I’d be like the pre-reformed Hancock  Except, why bother fixing a beached whale’s problems?  Why bother stopping a train?  If I could fly over traffic, why help?  People need to figure out they are supposed to be considerate on their own, which is why God gave us a free will and doesn’t force us to help others.  If I could Hancock, but felt that humanity was basically all a bunch of morons, it might be too depressing to bother to intervene.  If I could Gary Mitchell, though (which is like the cash prize of $200M or above), then I might be having some fun.

I loved Spock.  Given his powers, he set the standard for what I aspired to in my life: helpful, team player, respectful of rank, humble, strong enough to fix it if strength was called for, smart enough to figure out anything else, basically  merciful, and in control of his emotions.  I grew up appreciating those values in spite of the many and varied villains-in-real-life.

On days when I feel more normal, I’m fine.  On days when I’m depressed it would be nice to just be in control of my emotions.  But if even Spock struggled, I am fucked.

Unless there’s a cosmic field I can walk through.  I wonder if Gary was depressed after his old friend tried to kill him and maroon him, and maybe that’s why he just stayed in the hole.

I wonder what sum of money it would take for me to become sick of money.  I would like to learn the exact number.  The only lesson I have learned about money in my life thus far is that never having enough to pay bills and live an ordinary, average, American (U.S.) life, sucks dirt.  I’ve said it before, and until I’m put to the test, I’ll say it again:  I’m ready for the test of excess.

Wonder if I’d just go on a bender to end all Benders, or if I could actually do what I daydream of doing with the requisite levels of self control and moderation, even though I’d be free to have that bender…

Alas, Spock is dead.  I suppose when one hero dies, if you go in for such things, a new hero will be selected.  Gary Mitchell’s looking pretty good.  If I had that kind of powers, I’d probably still be an idiot.  I wonder if I’d still have depressive episodes.  I wonder if the trigger would be stupid humans.

The best thing to do with excess money may well be to go incognito.  Wonder if anyone would figure it out.  If Gary Mitchell is dead he was far more puny than he let on.  I need a hero who doesn’t die.

Heavenly Serial

responding to a challenge aptly handled by syd7t5, I’m continuing the story I started after promising it wouldn’t be a serial.  You’ll recall I broke all the rules for submitting a story and then said it wouldn’t be a serial, well I changed my mind because… reasons and inspiration, and I’m exempting myself from all the rules Syd7t5 so neatly submitted to, because I’m special. I’m not really special, I just can’t do really really short stories because I tend to ramble…  It’s because I’m not as good as I wish I was.  If I WAS as good as I wish I was I wouldn’t ramble, I could follow rules while expressing brilliance, and when given rules to follow I wouldn’t say “FUCK THE RULES,” I’d instead admit I’m not really good at following them and then I’d labor laboriously to write something that followed the rules and was of real quality.  Instead, this shit:

Heavenly Serial (or, “Heavenly Cereal,” continued, as “Deal With the Devil”)

“It’s almost lunch time.  Is the dishwasher guy here yet?!”  Mr. G was starting to feel less than gracious, and less full of mercy as the minutes ticked by.  Mr. G was known for episodes of holy wrath and righteous indignation.  Some people accused him of being moody.  So He made a guy named Moody to throw everybody off.  And he also gave Moody a great message to share.  Not everybody got it, but it was a great message, and it was all true.

“We called and he’s on his way.”

“Jesus, can’t anyone up here already fix this thing?”

Jesus said “There’s a guy but he’s off doing contractor work already, I’d hate to pull him off that job.  We’re on deadlines.”  Jesus laughed.  “Get it?!  Dead-lines?”

Mr. G groaned audibly.

B.S., in the basement, couldn’t resist a laugh.

“I thought I told you to shut the hell up?!”

“You did.  I’m sorry.  I’ve got a guy if you want to make a deal.”

“I always hate your deals, B.S.”  Mr G replied.  “But it’s not like I have a lot of options here, unless I want to hand wash all of these.  What’s the deal?”

“It’s crowded down here.  I’ve got lots of contractors down here.  Promise breakers.  Embezzlers.  Liars.  Cheats.  So here’s the deal.  I’ll send you a guy, and you keep him.”

Mr G could hear the smile in B.S.’s voice.  “Oh, all right.  We’ll keep him as long as he wants to stay.  Deal?”

“Deal!!”  In a puff of awful smelling sulfur and methane smoke, who should appear but B.S. himself, in all his devilish glory.  Beside him, cowering, but smiling, was the contractor.  The proper documents were signed, triplicates were made, one on file, one for each of the parties (except the contractor, who was just ecstatic to get out of hell free).

“Jesus, (ugh, he still smells!) take this guy to the kitchen.  AFTER he gets a hot shower.  The SHOWER still works at least!”

Jesus took the contractor to the shower, got him all laundered and pressed and even got those little gauzy booties over his boots, before taking him to the kitchen.  “Can you fix it?  We’re on a deadline.”  Jesus chuckled remembering the joke.

“I heard that joke all the way from hell.  Believe me, it should have probably stayed there.  Let me take a look.”  The plumber climbed into the gargantuan dishwasher, swore so loudly it echoed all over heaven, and started making a racket with tools and tubing and solder.  But, he had the  problem fixed in a jiffy, not taking his usual extra breaks because he was so happy he got into heaven after all the wild, wanton sinning he had done on earth, without so much as a moment of repentance.  He had had a guilty conscience ever since his death.  He climbed out and turned on the dishwasher to test it.  He took a look around the kitchen and dining area, and couldn’t contain how impressed he was with how lovely everything looked.

“Jesus Christ!  This is some of the most beautiful woodworking I’ve ever seen!” said the contractor, whistling approvingly.

Jesus said, “thank you.  I did the work myself.”

“No shit!  All this detail?  I’m impressed.  Even though your hands…”

“Yup.  And I did it all without getting a single splinter.  This is, after all, cedar.  And it is heaven.  So it has to be perfect.”

The contractor looked around trying to find anything out of line.  An angle cut wrong.  A rough edge.  A drop of stain.  Nothing.  “I’ll be damned!” said the plumber.

POOFFF!!!  The plumber appeared back in the basement, right in front of B.S., almost scaring him to death.

“Oh, Jesus Christ!”  yelled B.S.

“What?!” responded Jesus.  “It’s not my fault!  HE said it!”

Mr. G laughed so loud the rafters of heaven rattled.  “Just in time for lunch!  Thanks, B.S.!!”

I Thought the Headache, Congestion & Depression Were Enough

I thought the headache, congestion, and general misery of being sick while being depressed were enough.  I thought I was sick enough.  This is a “normal” cold, I suppose. Without getting graphic, getting the crud OUT of my system is the WORST part of this.  I don’t want the flu, where flu-ids are coming out of EVERY bodily orifice, that’s for sure. So thank God for small favors.

It’s mostly only sinuses and chest congestion.  I had the worst headache over the past 3 days, and I just hurt all over.  Thank God the headache is ALMOST gone.  But today it started coming out, worse than before.  This is SO gross.  I hate being human, isn’t there a better alternative that doesn’t involve being dead?  I’m trying not to be mysophobic, really, but everything that comes out is gross.  If I’m made up of the things that come out…  Hair, sweat, blood, vomit, shit, gas, spit, snot, phlegm, earwax, urine, sperm, and dead skin cells.  And occasionally bits of these broken teeth, although that’s been a while I guess.  All tolled, though…  I. Am. So. Gross.

This morning when I was trying to get out of my house, the snot reached a new high, at least it’s not pneumonia or I might be afraid I was mostly dead.  It just kept coming out, yellowed, sticky, like some kind of choking-me-t0-death mucosal demon that had been cast out, and for me personally, altogether too slowly.  It’s not the cute looking thing on the commercials, ohhh, no.  Strings of it.  You’re probably puking a little.  And now, even this late in the day, there’s vestiges lurking behind my nose, and chunky bits hiding in my lungs waiting their turn in the queue.  I feel them.

I’m sitting at work in an office, I even have to spit discreetly.  And I have to talk to people, which just sucks.  I want to tell them all I don’t care.  I want to tell them all to just shut up.  It’s probably the depression speaking, after all I feel this way about the people I have to talk to every day.  I just don’t like forced interactions with people.  Just leave me the fuck alone.  I don’t mind it when I invite it, but when I don’t, go away.

I want a shower, inside and out, to just wash all of this away.  What the fuck causes a random headache that feels like someone is stabbing my brain and my eyes from the inside, lasts for a while and ceteris paribus (nothing being different) just as randomly quits hurting for a while?

And after my shower, I want a week away from everything, just hibernating at home with my friends.  You know a few of them are on this list:

Oh, and Mrs. M and the kids, as long as they’re doing what they’re supposed to do:  kids can clean the house and vacuum and do laundry, Mrs M can be bringing me steak and wine and ice cream, and otherwise waiting on me, hand and foot and everything in between.  ::raises hands to be out of her way::  “Waiting” is a euphemism for something more graphic.  I’ll let the reader decide whether to speculate. I’ll just say, Mrs. M can choose her euphemism, or indulge my favorites… mmmm.

Like that’s ever gonna happen.  Let the reader know it doesn’t matter how sick I am, I still want Mrs. M’s affections.  Even if she doesn’t indulge my favorite euphemisms.

Faithful readers (are there any?) already know damned well that when I got bored I would be up and cleaning whatever needed cleaning, and fixing that stupid drywall patch.  Given enough time I’d be renting the carpet shampooer too.  And changing the cars’ oil.

I hate hair worst of all.  Not the hair that’s where it’s supposed to be.  The odd hair growing where it shouldn’t, and the hair on the floor.  Can’t. Stand. It.  Because it’s always there, it gunks up the vacuum cleaner on the carpet, and it won’t come up when you sweep, and when you mop, it’s still there staring at you and you have to pick it up to be rid of it.  And tomorrow, when my wife and daughter brush their hair, it’s ba-ack.  Like the demons in Matthew 12:44 or Luke 11:26.  And I didn’t even mention my own hair, which is almost as bad.  What the hell causes the hair to adhere to a bare floor, clinging despite the efforts of a good sturdy broom?!  It’s almost worse than whatever’s in my lungs and sinuses.  Almost.

Pardon me, I have to cough.  And probably spit.  Discreetly.  Sorry.



Heavenly Cereal

This week’s photo prompt is provided by TJ Paris. Thank you TJ for our photo prompt!

Guide for Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers

1. A prompt photo will be provided each Tuesday to be used as a base to your story. Please include photo prompt with your story.

2. Linking for this challenge begins on Monday and runs to the following Monday evening.

3. Please credit photo to photographer

4. The story word limit is 100 – 150 words (+ – 25 words). Please try and stay within this limit.

5. Pingback to the challenge post in your story’s post.

6. This is a flash fiction challenge (stories in 100-175 words or less) and each story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Therefore, no serial (continuation) stories. They become too complicated for our readers.

7. Add your story to the InLinkz Link-up (Blue Froggy button). If you need link-up instructions, please email me at mepricelessjoy@gmail.com.

8. Please keep your stories below R rating.

9. Please respect the diversity of our readers and writers in regard to race, religion and life style choices when writing your stories.

10. Remember, half the fun is reading and commenting on each other’s stories.

*** H A V E ** F U N *** !!


Here’s my go at it:

It thundered across the heavens.  “Where are the clean cereal bowls?!”
“Sorry, Big Guy,” came the apology.  “The dishwasher broke down and we haven’t been able to wash anything since Thursday.”
“What did I do to deserve this?!  All I want is my Manna Flakes and milk with my morning newspaper.  I mean, what the hell?”
B.S. let out a laugh that Mr G heard all the way from the basement.
“Stop laughing, B.S.!  I can make it hotter down there, I have the climate control buttons up here, so shut the hell up!”
He shut up.
“I’m hungry, no clean bowls.  Gotta improvise I guess.”  Reaching across a few dimensions, a large hand appeared over Paris.  Cupping Dôme des Invalides, careful not to poke his palm, he gently lifted and inverted the dome.  “Perfect!” He said.  “Oh.  Almost forgot.”  Snapped the fingers of his other hand, He stopped time dead in its’ tracks, at least on earth, so no one would notice.  “FIX THE DISHWASHER!”
“The guy’s on his way.”
“Someone call his cell and tell him to hurry up!”
Big G sat on his couch, ate His frosted Manna Flakes and milk, dipped the dome in the Atlantic ocean, and blew it dry with a mighty blast.  And then, he tipped it back over, set it back atop the structure.  Finger snap, and time began again.  Big G sat back down on his couch and started in reading his newspaper.
“You’re going to upset Napoleon.”
“Why?  I didn’t break it.  If he complains, tell him I said to go to hell.  And WHERE’s the dishwasher guy?!  I’m not eating lunch off a satellite dish, for heaven’s sake!”

Slow Motion

You know the way they show you in the movies, when something drastic or important is happening, they give it to you in slow motion or even replay?

I was falling.  In slow motion.  I watched the ground’s details growing clearer. Green blurs separated into trees and grass.  The details of rocks and river clarified from the steel-greys.  Spinning slowly I was able to see the cirrus clouds in an otherwise bright, sunny sky.  The plane flew away and I could still hear the laughter fading in the distance, exaggerated by the sense of stretching time.  I could feel the cold rush as the air molecules brushed my skin, and leaked through my clothes.  The brushing was hard but felt like slow waves.  I watched my skin ripple weirdly with the continual impact.  My ears heard the plane engine fading last, after the laughter was no longer audible, and then just the rush of the wind, a low roar.

Should I brace for impact?  Surely I was already dead, my body just didn’t know it yet. My mind knew.  They say your life flashes before your eyes in the moments before death, but I saw only the spinning skies retreating, the stretched cotton candy white clouds, the sun, and the earth, approaching slowly.  I reflexively stretched my arms and legs, spreadeagled, fully resisting the wind, and I seemed to slow even more, somehow correcting the roll and yaw until I no longer spun.  Looking down now, I saw water below me, moving slow. Somehow I was positioned between the crushing land masses and directly over a river.  I knew hitting it still spreadeagled would kill me, so as it approached I curled up into a ball and turned myself head-up.  If the shock of being beaten and thrown from a moving plane wasn’t enough, the water was very cold.   I wished it were a dream, but instead I felt the shock of the water and for an instant, time resumed its’ normal course. Alive, somehow.  No broken bones except in my hands from fighting back, although the skin on my back stung from the impact with the water.

Slow motion again, I uncoiled and tried for the surface.  Somehow I had survived, so what else could go wrong?  I broke the surface and gasped for air.  It hurt.  Apparently I’d broken a few ribs either hitting the water or from the beating on the plane.  Or both.  In the adrenaline of the moment I felt nothing until I finally tried to breathe.  The water was cold but my skin adjusted to the temperature.  The air above was tropical and hot.  I swam toward the bank, making slow progress against the gentle current.  My mind traced back to the fishing trips with dad.  I spent more time, he said, scaring the fish than catching and cleaning them. And as I neared the edge of the river, I saw them.  Piranha.  I pushed myself up from the river, feeling the bites in slow motion again, on my arms and legs and torso.  I felt the bites one at a time.  If I weren’t already in shock from the fall and the landing, the bites surely threw me back into a state.  Otherwise I would have been agonizingly aware of being filletted like a dying fish.  The push-up seemed to take forever, finding my feet, another eternity, and stepping out of the water my legs moved like lead.  I shook off the ravenous demon-fish, splashing them back into the water, leaving one flopping on the ground beside me.

I lay on the shore, breath aching, skin bleeding, and closed my eyes.

“Honey, wake up!  You’re gross, and you almost hit me.  You’re sweating up the bed.  That must have been one hell of a nightmare.”

I Don’t Want a Drug That Makes Me Happy

It’s fine.  Don’t get me wrong.  A drug that could make us happy might be all right.  That’s why so many people like heroin or ecstasy or alcohol or whatever.  But for me, just me, I don’t want a drug that makes me happy.  If I have to have something to be happy, Mrs. M knows exactly what I want and she says “good night, sad boy.”  Kidding.  She doesn’t always say that.  Mostly it’s just “I’m going to bed, good night.”  She says she loves me in the morning, but normally doesn’t speak the language my brain needs to hear.  I wish she was bilingual, speaking both her own love language and mine.  Alas, she tries, sometimes, and far too occasionally, but speaks with a really difficult to understand accent most of the time.

I don’t want a drug that makes me happy.  She wishes I did.  If I took a drug that made me happy and feeling fa la la (la la, la la, la la) all day it might be great.  For her.  But what about what’s making me not happy?  Or, what about what I need, or want, that would make me happy?

Needs and wants, needs and wants.  It’s the ongoing wrestling match between me and the world and between me and God if you will, because Paul claimed,

Philippians 4:19 (new international version)
“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”:

Christ followers quickly jump on my case and tell me that if my “needs” aren’t met it’s because I don’t “need” them.  To which, the only appropriate response -or is it inappropriate? – seems to be a hearty “Fuck you.”

If God doesn’t think I need what I think I need then let God fix my brain so I only want what I need.  And further, let God fix my brain so getting what I need is enough to make me happy.

I don’t want a drug that makes me happy.  I want a life that makes me happy.  If I got what I wanted, I might be happy.  I say “might,” because I know a lot of people , a few of which seem to have everything they want, and I honestly don’t know if it makes them really happy.  And there are performers out there, whose lives went under microscopes because they suicided while seeming to have everything they wanted and obviously that wasn’t enough to make them happy.

I’m being a bit selfish, maybe.  In no particular order, here are 10 things that, having all of them, might make me happy, and I do want all of them:

10: reciprocal affections from Mrs. M- top of the list, because I may be old but I’m not dead.  As with the above suggestion of how it would be nice if God made me want just what I needed and provided the same per the written promise, it would also be nice if she wanted what I wanted and vice versa and we met each other reciprocally.
9: freedom to date and romance Mrs. M- next on the list because it would just be nice to be able to go out once in a while without worrying about the bank account.  Dating and romance might lead to #10, I say “might” because she might still be too tired to indulge my whims, not to mention the whole love language miscommunication issue.  I’m somewhat thankful here, that she hasn’t mentioned any plans to kick me to the curb, but the bank account issue brings us to
8: freedom to choose my menu instead of always having to eat on the cheap.  Yes, (fuck you,) there are starving children who don’t have choices, but this is my list and it’s intent is indulging ME.  And yes, there is a dollar menu, I’m acquainted with that and it’s sometimes acceptable, but sadly I am more acquainted with instant cup of soup and ramen than I want to be.
7: freedom to pay bills on time, every time- I’m somewhat thankful here because the electric company hasn’t shut off the power, and the banks aren’t repossessing my shit.  But I would be happy if I were not on the cliff side looking down and waiting expectantly for the next avalanche.  I’m also thankful that more shit hasn’t fallen apart, but with that decay in mind I would currently like to have
6: freedom to fix
-teeth- something I’m somewhat thankful for, I don’t hurt often or much but these cracked teeth are a bitch. It would be nice to get dental implants, but for the moment I’d just like to have the remaining fragments removed properly to avoid infection.
5:   -cars – something I’m somewhat thankful for, they both run and get us from A to B.  We’re both due for oil changes, but it’d also be quite nice to get the chronic check engine light off on her car.
4:   -heat- the heat exchange has cracked, which means CO emissions are possible, potentially leaking into the house if we run it.  It’s currently shut off.  We spent our savings on the damned AC already, something I’m also somewhat thankful for is that we were able to afford that somehow before the global warming fries us all, and also thankful that near the end of the cold season we didn’t all die from CO leakage.
3:  time and energy to
-finish a project.  Those who share my twisted joy that Dexter is still on Netflix will share a grim grin and a slight cringe recalling a quote, “I’m taking on a project.” (Season 4)  So yet another thing I’m thankful for.  But I have taken on a few projects that need focus and inspiration, and time, to finish, and I need time and focus and inspiration to finish them.  Two projects are creative in nature but I just can’t get away long enough to do anything I feel is worthwhile.  I hear you telling me to divide it up and do one small section at a time, and I wish that was how it worked.  In fact, I wish I knew how it worked so I could work it.  The other projects are repair and maintenance projects and they’re ongoing and they steal what energy I might otherwise devote to the creative.
2.  -clean neglected areas of the house.  When I’m on my way to somewhere, the dirty dishes in the sink call to me.  When I’m on my way out, and have to visit my bathroom, I always notice it- the floor looks dusty.  When I’m fixing food or washing dishes, the kitchen floor needs sweeping and mopping.  When I’m headed to some required appointment, I observe that the carpets are really in need of replacement but I’ll settle for shampooing them, and when I’m exhausted and fall into bed I’m aware there is dust on the ceiling fan and on the things in my bedroom, and clutter that needs putting away.  With this in mind, I am grateful to have a home in need of grooming, which brings us to my next happiness inducer, time and energy to
1.  -groom and schedule myself.  It might be nice if my schedule were regimented.  Wake, shit, shower, shave, breakfast, write, work, exercise, dinner, chores, errands, projects, write, sex, sleep, sex, sleep.  But even if I tried such regimen there would be interruptions and denials of access that would drive my compulsivity batshit.  I realize the trip to batshit is a short one, shut up.  So maybe regimented with the freedom to lapse if I need to, or if I choose to.  Also, there are things in life that one can’t schedule, which makes the whole idea impossible to achieve until or unless I am free to do “what I want, when I want (to whomever I want,” another Dexter reference that just popped in my head to make me laugh at myself-season 3).  And then, if I were free, would I do it?  So I’m grateful yet again for a few things- a) that I’m able to laugh at myself, b) that Mrs. M doesn’t obsess too much over my physical appearance or my wardrobe choices and c) hasn’t kicked me to the curb in favor of someone closer to prepackaged perfection in those areas.  I saw a girl (I say, “girl,” but she was in her late 20s or early 30s, whatever, they’re all too young and I’m all too married for any of that) on Sunday who obviously has nothing but time on her hands.  She had her eyebrows perfect, and her eye makeup perfect and her dressy-casual outfit perfect, and she was talking to her perfect friends who were scheduling the perfect lunch after church.  I looked over at my wife, and with no free time on her hands had herself nearer to perfection than any other woman could under the same circumstances.  She rocks.  Damn, I’m a lucky man, how the fuck did I win Mrs. M?
0. Yup, “Oops, I did it again.”  another list of 10 that has 11.  I want the freedom to intervene on behalf of friends who(m? my grammar sensibilities are shut off at the moment, so if it’s wrong, sorry) I know are in greater need than me.  But I can’t because I’m swamped with my own issues.  There’s no money, there’s no time, there’s no extra margin.  So all I get to  do is pray and hope my prayers on their behalf are answered better than prayers on my own behalf are answered.  I bought a $1 fucking lottery ticket, with an exchange rate of 1:203,000,000.  Sounds great, if it pays me.  And when I win, I’ll see about this damned list. And yes, I’m somewhat grateful that I had a $1 lingering in my wallet so I could have my one shot at the jackpot.  We’ll see.  Freedom is a dream devoutly to be wished, and I’m wishing.