Mirror rirroM – Three

STOP! Did you miss chapter two? Check it out here.

3

The weekend came and went; Seth was happy to get back to school and get a break from work.  He had made more than enough money for the moped; they had been busier than expected.  The last thing that he wanted to do was look at another slab of cheese and dough, luckily, he had most of the week off.  At school, Seth met up with his two best friends Chris Fitch and Brian Lee.

“Where you been all weekend bro, we didn’t hear a peep from you?” Chris asked.

“Just working, it was a rough weekend, nothing but flour and dough up to my elbows.” Seth answered.  “What did you guys do?”

Brian took this one, “Just wait until you hear, we went to the midnight showing of Star Trek.  You should have seen some of the costumes these fools were wearing.”

“These fools?” Seth answered, “You guys were there too, you know.”

“Well…yeah” Brian said, “but we didn’t have costumes or anything, so it was different.”

“Yeah, and you should have seen some of the chicks in there tight Trekkie uni’s…real nice I say!” Chris added.

“And there you two were, standing there staring at ‘em the whole time I bet,” Seth laughed, “They probably thought you guys were on a date!”

“No way, you’re crazy Seth.” Chris said.

“I bet you even shared popcorn, oh that’s funny.” Seth joked.

“So…popcorn is stupid expensive at the mall.” Brian said defensively.

“Wait, you really did share popcorn, you guys are ridiculous, that’s awesome.” Seth was really laughing hard now.

The warning bell sounded, and the trio started to go their separate ways.

“Hey, I’ll come by and see you guys after school, I’m going to get that moped this afternoon!” Seth called out as he backed away towards home room.

“Nice! See you later, man” Chris called back.

Seth hustled off to history class hoping to see Jessica; maybe break the ice with a “What happened to you this weekend” type of line.  Only, she wasn’t in class again that day.  Strange, he thought to himself, maybe she really came down with something bad.  He overheard her friends talking in the corner of the classroom.

“No, I didn’t talk to her all weekend, did you?” he heard one of them say.

“I called her house, her mom said that she hasn’t been around all weekend, and if I see her to give them a call.  She didn’t even know where she was, and she sounded worried.” Another one said.

“Well that’s strange, why would she just disappear like that?”.

Seth had heard enough, his intuitions were apparently right, something really was up with her. Did she run off with some guy? Seth had never heard her talking about a boyfriend or anything before.  Just then he heard something from the corner that really caught his attention.

“My dad said that the cops were at her house, like all Sunday morning!” one of the girls said.

Wait a minute Seth thought, the cops now this could be something serious.  Is she in jail, a runaway, kidnapped?  Seth’s imagination was starting to run away on him a little bit.  Wait, wait, slow it down here he thought, I’m just jumping to conclusions here.  It’s probably nothing, something totally unrelated I bet.  Seth tried to put it out of his mind for now, but between thinking about Jessica, and his soon to be moped, the day dragged.  

“Slowest day, ever!” Seth said to his buddy Chris in passing.

“Tell me about it!” Chris answered.  Apparently, he was having a long day himself.

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Everything Bagels

The Least Minimalist Food Ever

The description alone screams maximal and a haughty claim it is, “Everything Bagel”.  As if this one item could be the answer to all of our dreams and desires. Would you like a glass of orange juice?  No thanks, I already have EVERYTHING that I could ever need.

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I ordered an everything bagel and the kid at the counter asked what I would like on it.  I was like what’s left to put on it? It already has everything!

I am such a fraud – I regularly enjoy everything bagels AND I even put toppings on it, sometimes cream cheese, sometimes peanut butter, sometimes regular butter.  I even toast the bagel, it’s an everything bagel; plus; plus. Everything plus, is that even possible? How dare I call myself a minimalist, sure a warm toasted bagel with my coffee could lead to a hygge moment, but minimal?  Nay.

From here on forth only plain or single ingredient bagels will be allowed to be consumed by anyone who has the audacity to call themselves minimalists.  Plain is good, Onion is fine, Cinnamon Raisin…that’s two ingredients and therefore, no sir not allowed. The same goes for the most popular bagel topping, cream cheese.  Original or one flavor only, there is a standard to uphold here!

Everything bagels…pffffttt…I dare say how dare they!

This was written in jest – everything bagels are delicious.

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Nomatic

Mirror rorriM – Two

Need to catch up?

Prelude

Chapter – 1

2

The next morning was Friday, and Seth was looking forward to the weekend.  With any luck, The Pizza House would be busy and he would make enough to go get his Moped after school on Monday.  He had slept on it and decided, the “scooter” as Jessica called it was what he wanted, and screw John if he gave him a hard time about it.  He had also decided that Jessica was going to be the first one to ride it with him, enough wasting time, he was going to bite the bullet and ask her to a movie.  Only…she wasn’t in his history class that morning, no big deal, maybe she skipped class. He would see her at work for sure, everybody likes to make some extra cash for the weekend.

Seth walked into The Pizza House after school and Ed Simmons was at the counter, Ed was never at the counter.

“Hey Ed, what brings you into the House today” Seth asked warily.

“Seth…nice to see somebody showed up to work today!” Ed half said half yelled.

“I take it Jessica hasn’t shown up yet this afternoon?” Seth asked.

“Nope, she hasn‘t even called yet, Jim called me because he had to leave, Cindy won’t answer her phone.  Paul and Steve just straight up said no to coming in. What’s wrong with you kids today, nobody has any kind of work ethic anymore!”  Ed ranted.

This went on for another half an hour at least, Ed was old and angry and he didn’t care who was around, he would let them know about it.  Seth was stuck with Ed for the rest of the night, which could turn out to be a long night to say the least. It wasn’t like Jessica to just not show up, and not call or anything, Seth was a little worried.  

It’s probably nothing he thought to himself, she just needed a day off, no big deal.  She lost track of time, forgot to call. Maybe she really is sick, laid up in bed and just sleeping the day away.

Seth wasn’t scheduled to work with Jessica for the rest of the weekend though, and all of his big plans about asking her out would have to wait. 

Hey at least when I see her again, I will have my Moped!  I could just pull up all smooth like, toss her a helmet, and be like “Jump on!”  As Seth daydreamed, his night at work slid right by, Fridays are busy days and busy days go by fast, so before he knew it the steady thump of bass from John’s Jeep was beating at the front door.  Seth looked out the window, he had his girlfriend Stephanie, or “Steph” as everyone called her with him.  

“Looks like my ride is here Ed, I better get going.” Seth called out.

“Yeah, yeah, don’t be late tomorrow, and tell your damn brother to turn that damn music down, what’s he think everyone wants to listen to that noise you kids call music?!” Ed was off on a rant once more.  Seth slid out the door while Ed continued to voice his opinion to no one in particular.

“Jump in the back, slacker.” John yelled, “You ask your little girlfriend out yet.”

“Whatever” was Seth’s only reply.

“Hey when you gonna get yourself a car, so I can stop hauling your ass around everywhere?” John looked at Seth in the mirror.

“Actually” Seth began, “I think I am going to buy that Moped up on Skitter Street Monday.”

At that John actually laughed out loud, here it comes Seth thought.

“That rusty old scooter?”  John could hardly contain his enjoyment at this latest revelation “Man, just when I think you can’t get any dorkier!”

“Aw, knock it off John, scooters are kinda cool.” Steph chimed in.

“Now there’s a first,” John jumped in, “for one thing, scooter and cool don’t belong in the same sentence, and on top of that they don’t belong in a sentence involving my little brother!”

“Hey, at least you won’t have to haul me around anymore, like you said.” Seth argued.

“Yeah, unless it’s raining, or cold, or every time that piece of junk breaks down is all.”  John counter pointed.

“Whatever” Seth sulked.

As they pulled up to the driveway John asked, “you got any big plans tonight little bro?”

“Not really, why?” Seth asked

“Just wondering” John smiled, “me and Steph here we got big things going on, especially in my pants right here.”

That earned John a backhand.

“You’re so gross!” Steph yelled.

“And on that note,” Seth climbed out of the backseat and started up the driveway.  John peeled out obnoxiously, and honked his horn the rest of the way up the road. 

Inside, Seth started to think about Jessica again, it was so unlike her to just skip work like that, and not tell anybody.  Seth didn’t have her number or address or anything, so he couldn’t even send her a message to see how she was doing. Maybe, I shouldn’t ask her out yet he started to think.  I don’t even really know anything about her, maybe I can just get her number or something send her a text or two first. A new plan established, Seth settled in for the weekend, a couple days of work, a couple days of pay, and by Monday afternoon his own set of wheels.  Yep, things are turning out just right.

Continue to Chapter Three.

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Cable Has Been Cut

An Unrelated to Anything Else Ramble

I dare say that we are a generation, possibly two away from a generation of kids that won’t know what cable was.

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As hard as that may be to imagine, I am sure that at some point it was unthinkable to conceive of generations not knowing what an eight track or cassette was.  As the cassette industry was forgotten, so went the Walkman. Records were nearly a thing of the past until this latest resurgence, and CDs are on their way out and closely following them are DVDs for sure thanks to the likes of Netflix, Amazon and other streaming movie services.  Not to mention Beta…beta…betamax? I don’t even know if that is right. Well betamax lost a war to VHS…oh yeah, that’s gone too! And never forget the short lived Laser Disc  

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Landlines are something that many kids are no longer aware of anymore as is life before the internet, social media, video games and cell phones. Millennials may recall life before social media, but “Gen Z” is so confused by this article that it’s laughable.  GPS is a staple in new drivers lives now, hand a new driver a map and they are likely to wrinkle their forehead in confusion as they try to figure it out.  I dare say that stand alone GPS systems will be a thing of the past in the not too distant future, after all, it is standard on any new cell phone. Speaking of cell phones, they have virtually eliminated the not so old Ipod and dedicated music storage and streaming device industry.  

Now I don’t imagine that stand alone camera’s are going away quite yet, but I see them being owned solely by folks in the photography business.  Camera film on the other hand is going, going, gone, with the exception of the “vintage” albeit short return of Polaroid.

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Thanks to Post Malone, we have recently discovered that Ozzy Osbourne was someone that was virtually non-existent in today’s youth as crazy as that sounds.  Name a band or entertainer from before the turn of the century and there is a 50/50 shot that anyone under the age of…gulp… 20 will know who it is…yikes.  If you stop for a drink on the way home, there is a good chance the kid next to you sipping his, limited release, locally brewed, cherry tinged, craft IPA won’t know who the Doors are let alone who Jim Morrison was.

A bit of a mind blower is cursive writing.  It is no longer taught. There is a good chance that cursive writing will fade away.  How are the future generations going to sign their name onto anything? Hand in hand with learning to write cursive is learning to read cursive writing.  If I want to keep a secret from my oldest son, I can just write a note to my wife in cursive and he is stumped. We are looking to remedy this ourselves.

But cable?  Can it be so?  I myself cut cable many moons ago, but thanks to my parents my children are still in the know about it.  Will their kids know about it? I doubt it.

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Mirror rorriM – One

Need to catch up?

Prelude

1

Football season was over, and Baseball was in full swing for John.  Seth was working after school at The Pizza House, trying to save for a car of his own.  He had his license for all of about six months and couldn’t stand trying to borrow a car every time he wanted to go anywhere.  John’s Jeep was out of the question, he had made that clear, and Mom and Dad’s respective vehicles were more often than not, in use.  He was two or three hundred more pepperoni pizzas away from a used Volkswagen, but he was seriously debating a Moped that was only about 30 pizzas away.  If he ended up going for the Moped though, John would never let him hear the end of it, dad couldn’t care less, and mom would be a tough sell but he knew he could convince her it was safe enough.

“Hey, you awake over there?” Jessica asked. “You have been staring at that half-made pizza for like 15 minutes.”  

Jessica was the counter girl at the Pizza House, she was a cute, girl next door type, black hair, blue eyes and in Seth’s history class.

“Huh, what…oh…I guess I just zoned out there for a minute.” Seth finally answered.

“Oh yeah you did, what did you zone out about, Sethy?” Jessica smiled.  

Seth could tell she liked him a little, but he had no idea what to do about it.  John would know exactly what to do he thought.

“Thinking about that Moped again”, he said, “and don’t call me Sethy!”

She was the only one that ever called him Sethy, well her and his mom once in a while, but moms get a pass on that sort of thing.

“Why don’t you stop thinking and just go buy that silly little scooter?” Jessica rolled her eyes at him.

“First off, it’s a Moped, second I don’t have enough money yet, and third, what do you have against “scooters”?” Seth threw up some air quotes.

“Nothing, I can see you now, little half helmet with aviator goggles, brown leather jacket and white scarf flowing in the wind behind you.” She giggled.

“What am I, Charles Lindbergh now?” Seth smiled, “well, I will add you to the list of people that I will NOT be giving a ride.”

Jessica was about to reply, but the bell on the door jingled. “Saved by the bell”, she said instead.

Seth just shook his head, anytime he started getting a good conversation going at all, customers always seemed to show up.  Maybe he should just ask her out already, a movie, coffee, anything. The Moped did seat two, perhaps she wouldn’t be going on the “don’t give a ride list”.

“Two large cheese pies to go, Sethy!” Jessica called back to him.

Seth shook his head and smiled at being called Sethy again. “That’s two pizza’s closer to my “scooter””, he called back.

Closing time at the Pizza House came quick, and before Seth could come up with anything more interesting to talk about he heard John’s Jeep pull up outside.  He always had the top off of the Jeep and the music up loud, so there was no mistaking his arrival. Now there was no chance of him asking Jessica out tonight, once John is in the room, Seth ceases to exist. At least, that’s how it feels to Seth anyway.

“You ready punk?” John poked his head in the door.

“Hey John” Jessica waved shyly

“Oh hey, c’mon loser, I haven’t got all night.” John yelled into the kitchen.  

Jessica was not quite up to the standards of the starting halfback and center fielder.  What could be expected though, Jessica was two grades behind John and he had a girlfriend already anyway.  A cheerleader at that, could he be any more of the stereo typical jock? That didn’t stop Jessica, or any other girl for that matter, from trying to flirt a little though.

“See you tomorrow Jessica” Seth said in passing

“Bye Seth” Jessica answered.

“So what’s up with you and that chick?” John asked on that way back to the house.

“Jessica, nothing, I work with her” Seth didn’t want to talk about it.

“Well, she’s not ugly, and she knows your name, you gonna ask her out?” John asked

“No I’m not going to ask her out, and why do you care?” Seth answered defensively. 

“Hey, relax man, I’m just asking.” John smirked “Besides, it’s obvious you like her, you’re about as red as a stop sign right now!  Seth and Jessica sitting in a tree.” He sang.

“You’re like a two year old, you know that?” Seth turned even redder.

Continue to Chapter 2

Mirror rorriM

Prelude

“It blinked, he…er…me, I blinked!” John gaped.

“What are you talking about, weirdo, of course you blinked, we all blink?” Seth answered.

“Yeah, but I saw it happen, in the mirror I swear I saw it!” John was amazed.

“You probably just imagined it, you can’t see yourself blink, that’s just ridiculous” Seth scoffed. “Don’t you have something to do besides staring at yourself in the mirror all day?” 

“What like sit around all day and read books like you…nerd!” John shot back.  “I’m embarrassed to call you my little brother sometimes.”

“Sometimes?” Seth asked

“Alright…all the time” John answered.

“I’d rather sit around and read all day, than stare at myself in the mirror, flexing and ranting about blinking at yourself.  Just so you know, I’m not exactly wearing an “I’m John Matthews little brother” shirt to school every day.” Seth pointed out.

“Enough of your mouth, I’ve got places to go, people to see, a life to live.” John ended the conversation as he walked out the door.

Brothers, not quite two years apart, but as different as night and day, John and Seth Matthews.  John was the athletic, popular, good looking Jock. Seth, the smart, quiet, bookworm with a smart mouth.  Senior year for John put Seth firmly in the middle of his high school career at Stratford High. Football season was coming to a close, and baseball hadn’t started yet, which meant that John didn’t have practice or a game of some sort just about every single day like he usually did.  It was Seth’s least favorite time of the year, hardly any time to himself, and he just couldn’t seem to get enough alone time. He wasn’t a recluse or anything, he had friends, two or three really good ones, not like Johns seemingly hundreds. Next year, John will be off to college on some sort of sports scholarship, and Seth will have an entire school year to himself, just the thought of it made Seth smile.  His thoughts immediately returned to what John said before he left though.

“I saw myself blink…hah, what a weirdo.” Seth said out loud to himself.  Being a fan of science fiction, and having an active imagination, Seth starting thinking about this possibility.  What if something like that really did happen, what would it mean? Your reflection wasn’t you, but just someone that looked like you.  “That would make a good movie I bet.” Seth said out loud.

“You still talking in here, Jesus, do you ever stop talking, you know I left the room like 10 minutes ago!” John poked his head back in.

“First off, it was like 2 minutes ago, and I wasn’t talking to you.  I thought you had “a life to live”, or did you have to fix your hair first?” Seth rebounded.

John didn’t even acknowledge that with an answer, just walked down the stairs and out the front door.  Jumping in his Jeep and throwing the book bag that he always seemed to have with him in the back seat, he started his Jeep up looked in the rear view mirror and paused when he saw his reflection.

“Nah…” he said shaking his head.

With that, seeing himself blink in the mirror was forgotten, and life rolled on.

Continue to Chapter 1

Mirror rorriM

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So…I wrote a book a while back.

I did not get it published, but I am proud of it. It is a fiction story tailored towards young adults with a touch of science fiction. I would like to post a few chapters – if there is interest I will continue to share the story with you all.

Seth Matthews is a high school student in a small town. When one of the girls in his grade goes missing, Seth, his brother and his best friends decide to do some investigating of their own.

What they uncover forces them to question reality, and threatens to destroy this otherwise peaceful town. As two worlds collide, Seth finds himself in the middle of a civil war in search of his friend.

Will he be able to survive both worlds, save his friend and return order to his small town?

4 a.m.

A few weeks ago, I opened up a blank Google document…and this fell out.

I don’t know anything worse than being jolted awake at four o’clock in the morning by an absurdly loud and incessant alarm clock.  Well, maybe I know a couple things that are worse than that, but at four o’clock in the morning I will be damned if I can think of anything worse.  You would think that in the times of iPhones, virtual reality and flexible LED screens we would find a better way to signal to our body that it is time to get up and get going.  Actually, I am willing to bet there is a hundred products out there that claim to do just what I am talking about, but who has time to find and try them out? Certainly not the people that are using alarm clocks to get up at four o’clock in the morning that’s for sure.  We are so damn busy that we can’t even wait until a decent hour to rise and shine. You know who the real villain is, the people that decided that they want to run a business that starts operating before the sun comes up, before the shine part of rise and shine actually happens, that’s who.  Sure, when you’re in the coffee hawking business I guess it makes sense to start early, but what about all those people stumbling in when we unlock the doors with one eye still closed begging for a cup of the high octane like Oliver Twist asking for another bowl. They aren’t selling liquid cocaine, they are selling things like tires, knick-knacks, suit jackets and cable subscriptions.  Who am I kidding, nobody subscribes to cable anymore, not in this streaming, instant gratification, I want my money and I want it now society. I want really good movies and shows to be available for watching when I damn well feel like watching them, and I don’t just want one or two episodes I want the whole season at my fingertips. Then every other week there better be another season available for me to watch, you want me to wait a whole year for another eight or ten or thirteen episodes?  That’s downright un-American I say.

Jesus, how long have I been in the shower?  Sometimes my mind just wanders you know, I’m not sure that my brain realized that I got up.  Did I get up? Am I still sleeping? Please don’t tell me that I have to live through my alarm clo… BRRRT BRRRT BRRRT. 

“FUCK!  I hate my life.”

As I rinse and repeat the morning shower routine, that I already lived through once this morning, I can’t shake a couple lines from the Twenty One Pilots song “Stressed Out” out of my head, “Used to dream of outer space, but now they’re laughing at our face singing wake up, you need to make money!” This seems to be an accurate mantra to start my day with. I can’t for the life of me, remember the line before or after that though, isn’t that how it always goes, just enough of a song to stick in your head but not enough of it to keep it from being mind-numbingly annoying.  I turn off the water and stand in the steam for another minute and take a deep breath.

“Well, I guess.”

As well as resorting to mantras to get me through the day, I’ve also taken to talking out loud to myself lately.  I’m not crazy, I only do it when no one is around to hear me doing it. Maybe I should get a dog or something then it would look like I was just talking to them, that wouldn’t seem as unusual I think.  You know, on the off chance that someone snuck into my house to observe me in my natural habitat and caught my solo conversations, they would just be like, “he has a dog and I can only assume he is talking to his dog, perfectly normal”.

Today feels different, it’s not but it feels like it could be.  I mean, every day is different but they are all the same as well.  Not deja-vu the same, but more or less similar. I am wearing the same color khakis and blue shirt that I always wear to work. I am going through the same morning routine that I always go through, hence the term routine.  I take the same path to work as I have been taking for the past five or six months, at the same time that I always do plus or minus a minute or two depending on how far my mind wanders during my morning shower. I inhale a deep, crisp breath of fresh air through my nose and it’s almost cold enough to give me a headache, but that’s nothing new.  Yet, there is something else there, paranoia, premonition, foresight, who knows. Call it what you want, I call it “another day another dollar” and remind myself, “I get paid by the hour.” Well would you look at that, another out loud solo conversation, and two more mantras all rolled up into one.  I’m really on a roll today.

Segues & Excerpts

I like to write.  Just in general, I enjoy the process of writing.  I even enjoy the sound of the keys tapping on my tiny little Chromebook.  Taking what is in my mind and trying to articulate it into a web of words that is appealing to the eye is an endless source of satisfaction for me.

While writing about my daily life is satisfying, occasionally I get an itch to write something completely different, typically a fictional short story or essay.  I have even completed a full length fiction novel, unpublished but written.  

I will occasionally post these random stories and essays here for everyone’s reading pleasure.  Perhaps even a few chapters from my book will find there way here as well, who knows.