All Stories, General Fiction, Short Fiction

Week 332: At War With Reality, and The Apocalypse A to Z

At War With Reality

I like to create an artificial sense of order. To achieve this I write a To Do List everyday. I neither accomplish nor consult the thing after I make it, but the act of creating a To Do List and peeling it off the pad and sticking it to the wall behind my monitor temporarily places me in control. It makes me feel like I’m doing something; that I am in charge.

I write my daily list on one of the dozen or so multi-colored sticky pads that may or may not have at one time been inside the office supply closet at my workplace. I use one of the fifty or so black “Precise Rolling Ball” pens that may or may not hail from the same source as the sticky pads to write my To Do Lists (used to do them in a fine point Sharpie until the supply dried up). I take heart from the pastel squares of Great Deeds to be Done accumulating on the wall like coral. Many have given up the stick and have fallen into the slim space between my desk and the wall, down amongst the spiders. But looking up at those which hang in there gives me the artificial sense of order that I crave.

This behavior is the weakest of the three methods I use as weapons in my war on reality. As far as I can tell reality is messy, random, smells bad, makes annoying sounds and is out to get me with armies of marching morons, bad weather, politicized agendas and grossly out of shape persons who criticize my smoking through a mouthful of third donut. An especially irrational part of my mind believes that if I can somehow control reality in a small way that I might learn how to rule all of it some day. To date the results have been disappointing.

The use of attitude adjusting substances is my most often deployed, albeit second strongest, weapon against reality. Everyone knows about these items, so there’s no need to list them. They are beloved and highly effective, yet, sadly, all have one weakness in common: They wear off.

Patiently waiting for To Do Lists, mind altering chemical reactions, laughter, winning moments, ephemeral sighs of contentment and dreams and youth and the absolute lightness of being to wear off is reality’s only weapon, but it is enough for it to continue its domination of the one sided war. And it all would be too depressing to consider if not for the best weapon there is against reality: By name, “Insolence”–or “Fuck It.”

No, not love, nor the children who are our future, nor Captain America, nor art, nor the creative process, but Fuck It. Fuck It is expressed through the bloody, loosened tooth smile of a freshly punched face: Is that all you got, punk? Fuck it is what moves us from one day to another; but it cannot do the job alone, hence the sticky notes and the liquor cabinet.

Writing (and creating in general) is a form of insolence. It takes daring to describe the world, for you risk offending it with your words. Five persons appeared on the site this week and launched an assault on reality. We already know too much about one of the writers, but the other four deserve special mention.

Monday featured the welcome return of Marco Etheridge, with Sonny’s Shadow. This wonderful bit of strangeness effectively applied to bad guys by even badder guys is Marco’s thirteenth LS story. Marco is a valued force against reality.

It wouldn’t feel right if Yashar Seyedbagheri didn’t show up during the week. He does so consistently that I can now write his full name from memory without having to double check my spelling. Yash’s Rewind appeared on Tuesday. Once again he displays an enviable talent for phrase making and inner description.

Toronto’s Gabriel Munro made his site debut on Wednesday with the best title I’ve seen since “I Spit on Your Grave.” Shut Your Hellhole is an awesome attitude to show the forces of reality. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

Towen Meeting is my responsibility. It wandered into the yard like a neighbor’s dog on Thursday.

One person we see plenty of and are better off for it is Frederick K. Foote. Frederick is nearing his seventieth appearance on the site, and shows no signs of slowing down. His well observed and thoughtful Somalia highlighted Friday. It bolstered the class of the site that Thursday’s entry had put in jeopardy.

I close with an example of the kind of list I enjoy making most: the utterly pointless. I suppose it is a To Do List only to the eyes in Heaven, but what is a war on reality without a little recreational blasphemy? Behold an alphabetized list of signs of the Apocalypse. Not all the things on the list are necessarily evil by nature, some are already happening while others have varying degrees of likelihood. I’ve omitted my entries for the vowels in a feeble effort to encourage audience participation.

Signs of the Apocalypse: A-Z

A:

B: Butterless Pound Cake

C: Corporate Wrestling

D: Dental implants for “Vampires” (Yes, you can have fangs installed)

E:

F: Fat Albert in the Can

G: Ginormous Taken Seriously as an Adjective

H: Hello Kitty in General

I:

J: Jumping Jehoshaphat’s Return to the Idiom

K: Kid Rock at Fifty

L: “Like” Becoming, Like, The Ninth Part of Speech

M: Meatlessness

N: Non-alcoholic beer

O:

P: Pope Mel Gibson I

Q: Queen Meghan

R: Rampant Employee Office Supply Theft

S: Superhero Dress-up After Age Ten

T: Turkey Bacon

U:

V: Vulcanized Chicken McNugget Golf Balls

W: Webinar For How to Attend a Webinar

X: X-Crement Men

Y: Yahoo a Respected News Source

Z: Ziplock Colostomy Bags

Leila

16 thoughts on “Week 332: At War With Reality, and The Apocalypse A to Z”

  1. Paraphrasing a saying, “It isn’t if you’re any good at the game, it’s whether you play it,” I offer the following:

    A: All the celebrities talking about their political beliefs.

    E: Elvis has re-entered the building.

    I: Indigo buntings massing on Alfred Hitchcock’s grave

    O: Open-ended questions responded to with open-ended answers.

    U: Uranus crashing into Neptune causing a giant, fiery gas cloud to envelope earth. (Timing TBT.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David. I have long worried about the gas giants mashing together and causing doom. If some nefarious hand were to squeeze Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus together, there might be enough mass to flare up a second sun and we would be toast, literally.

      Leila

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are so many things that could signal the end. I don’t think we’ll recognise them. We’ll probably like the pretty red sky and give it a cutesy name. Anyway :-

    A: All the tomatoes ripening at once, therefore forcing canning which I can’t do and will probably lead to death by poisoning. That may only be my family but still.

    E: Eyes in the sky – it has to be – great big googly eyes appearing out of nowhere and scaring the bejassus out of everybody.

    I: Ipanema running out of girls.

    O: Orange actually being found to rhyme with something. Well if Cohen could get away with Hallelujah and Do ya – anything is possible.

    U: Ukuleles being recognised as a weapon of war on a par with bagpipes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We must all beware of orange googly eyed ukele strumming tomatoes from Ipanema. If I had a nickel for Everytime I have thought that.
      When I was very young a grocery store in town got busted with swollen cans of stewed tomatoes on their shelves. For some reason that stuck in my mind. I will eat fresh ones every day, but never canned.
      Thank you for your End of Days vowels.
      Leila

      Like

  3. Refreshing post! I’m not a list person but wish I could bring myself to be so disciplined. I make grocery lists and then aptly leave them on the kitchen counter or lose them in my purse. Lists and I are not a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Monika.

      I make lists but I never read them. It is a strange habit, comforting, but in all other ways useless. I create grocery lists and never pull them out at the store. The lists are made when I say today is the day I begin eating healthy. They are fantasies.
      Thank you,
      Leila

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Leila,
    Great post as always.
    I have a few lists, films I watched and books I’ve read and it was fun composing them as any that I sort of remembered I had to research to find out what they were. I’ve let them lapse though. Books I got to 273 and films 1213. Maybe I will update these someday and try and remember the ones that I’ve missed.
    Regarding your End Of Days vowels –

    A – Another ‘Fifty Shades…’ book
    E – Exterminating Daleks
    I – Igloo Timeshare
    O – ‘Ozone In A Bottle’
    U – UK winning The Eurovision Song Contest

    Hugh

    Like

    1. ‘Tis sad that the UK has yet to win the Eurovision, but that is hardly due to a lack of trying. I once saw a strange film about a “saddest song” contest. Isabella Rossellini (I think I spelled that right, despite the red line I see) was in it. Maybe I will make a list called Ten Films I Watched and Did Not Understand But Watched Them Anyway. The first film to bamboozle me was 2001. I had to have it explained to me.

      Thanks again and always.

      Leila

      Like

      1. Hi Leila,
        Most bamboozling film for me was ‘Videodrome’.
        Also, for the first time in my life I started watching ‘Citizen Kane’ – Which many regard as the best film ever.
        That bamboozled me.
        I gave up an hour or so in. Maybe when you know the old pub quiz question of who or what was ‘Rosebud’ it loses it’s appeal.
        Black and white films that I adore are ‘White Heat’, ‘Angels With Dirty Faces’, ‘Psycho’, ‘The Longest Night’, ‘Bad Day At Black Rock’ and any old horror!
        Lists are groovy!!
        Groovy – We should start a list of underused, once overused words. I will add in two Scottish ones – Gallus and Gemmie!
        Lists are addictive.
        Maybe we should start a list of weird addictions??
        Lists, Swiss Rolls, Funyins, Kitchen Roll and sarcasm.
        I will stop now.
        Although I am now thinking on lists of things I should stop!!!!
        Hugh

        Like

    2. Love Cagney. He was such a wack job in White Heat. I think that’s the one he asks a guy ihe has in a trunk how he;s doing and says “Oh, it’s stuffy in there” and empties his gun into the trunk while eating chicken. Top of the World.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Fellow Curmudgeon – .

    It is mike to me not mic
    Walk it back, flex and pivot are an odd exercises
    A man hung is not the same as a man hanged. The first is much better.
    Pre means before not early Precambrian not it just got started
    I won’t be tasked or impacted and I don’t have big asks
    A person with testiclse is almost certainly male

    There is a curmudgeon audience, so I’m working on Curmudgeon 2

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Mr. Hawley,

      There are no dumb true Curmudgeons (capital C, intended). They are wizened cynics and ought to be listened to, not only more often, but “at all.” Your contribution to observations pertaining to the End of the World are appreciated and duly noted.
      Take care.

      Leila

      Like

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