Sunday, November 6, 2016

Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.

I thanked Lucien again, before heading back home gingerly holding my mutilated copy of Slaughterhouse Five. How clumsy could I be? I was returning home after a long walk I had set out on without any certain destination. It was quite nice to escape the chaos of the city. I had found a nice park just east of the Rainbow River, sat down under a huge oak, and read. At least it was a Saturday, I thought to myself, so people wouldn't have to juggle work and a water crisis. When I reached The Victorian, the clamor that had erupted in the morning had died down significantly. I walked up to my room, unlocked my door, and sat down in my chair. I had no intent of getting up in the next 10 minutes, but then I remembered something. The words "you owe me one" resurfaced and lingered in my brain before I remembered that Lucien truly needed help.
I am an early riser. This morning when I turned on my faucet, only to hear a dry pumping sound, I quickly booked it to the Exxon station to get some water. Evidently, there were other early risers in this town, but I was fortunate enough to grab one of the last 5 gallon jugs.
I hurried down to the concierge, and, knowing Ellen and the state of the town at the moment, gently asked her where I could find Lucien. "He lives in 404, but he could be anywhere", she replied. I was glad she didn't release her fury on me. She had most likely had her cathartic moment earlier in the day.
I said thanks, and headed up to 404. I knocked, and he opened the door almost immediately.
"What do you want"?, Lucien hissed.
"It's Henry Johnson", I muttered almost apologetically. "I have some water for you".
He realized that I was the guy at the river earlier today.
I had already used about half of my jug, so I gave the rest to him. He took it without hesitation, but I saw the semblance of a smile form on his face.

Monday, October 10, 2016

The Importance of Being Ernest

"Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes..."
Only slightly surprised, I sat up from my book, took off my reading glasses, and rubbed my eyes. I swear to God every time I get to an interesting part, the world shoves a stop sign in my face. Nonetheless, I was quite curious. I headed toward the door, and when I opened it, I was greeted by a man who seemed to be wearing a little too much makeup. I looked outside of my apartment to see if I was a special case, but I saw a file of similarly-dressed people either furiously knocking on doors or furiously entering them. It was a scene reminiscent of the scare floor from Monster's Inc. Haha! I shouldn't be laughing, though. My scanning eyes were unfortunate enough to lock with Autumn's; she looked as though she had just been captured by the antagonist in one of those slasher thrillers, while I still had the chance to escape.
"May I ask you a couple questions? I'm Michael Bessemer with Southern Living."
"Yes", I replied, not seeing the harm that my neighbors so clearly expressed.
The dude seemed nice enough, so I granted him entry. Besides, this must be the biggest thing in this city since that rat outbreak at Los Tacos back in '09. I retreated to my chair, and Michael assumed a neutral stance in the center of the room.
"You can take a seat if you want", I offered. I was surprised to find a reporter as shy as this one, but he accepted my offer and we kicked off the interview.
Rather, he noticed my copy of The Old Man and the Sea and said, "I'm surprised to see a book in this apartment building". Ok. So he was a bit snobby, but what else can you expect from a guy who writes about living in the South? 
"Well for the same reason, I'm just as surprised to be sitting here talking to you right now", I sighed. 
"I can understand where you're coming from, Mr. Johnson." 
I didn't question that he knew my name. I just wanted to start the interview.
Instead of asking me about what I do on a daily basis, or what I think about this "turn around" town, Michael told me what he thought about Hemingway. We ended up conversing about Hemingway's strange style, the motifs of his novels, and even some conspiracy theories that I wasn't aware of. 
We were so deep in conversation that I hardly heard a knock on my door. 
"Henry, are you ok?, shouted Autumn".
I replied at a similar volume: "Yeah I'm ok what's up"? 
"It's 4:00!"

Time sure flies when two literarily-inclined folk strike up a conversation.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Being and Nothingness

I thought I had escaped the power outage in the confines of this train, but it turns out everyone is receiving equal punishment today. Talk about a commute. It's pitch black in here; no light is coming in from the town and the lights on the train just shut off. Needless to say, the passengers on this scantily filled train are a little more restless than they already were. Nevertheless, as I sit in the dark, I try to take my mind away from the present trouble.
I rest my head on the window-- a quite uncomfortable position-- in an effort to fall asleep, and just in this moment, I remember something: I had just been accepted into Mensa! I suddenly feel better about myself, especially compared to this dump of a town I live in. This isn't the kind of town that raises geniuses; it's the kind of town where you do what your parents did. It's the kind of town where if someone leaves for good, it's a miracle. And that miracle might just be me.
Although it might be at times limiting, I like my town. I've grown especially close to my neighbors living at The Victorian, who seem to fit the mold of this town just about as well as I do.  I feel as though The Victorian is an intermediate residence for some strange people, and because I'm one of them, it may be my duty to go out into the greater world. For now, though, I'm just stuck on a train.
In this instant, I jolt up. The lights flicker back on, and the train lurches forward. My attention moves to the dull hum of the train and the nothingness of the ride, and I think to myself: tomorrow might not be better than today.