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BY Michael

01/01 Direct Link

Blue-30

It occurred to Blue that he had a small life now to match his small life.  He would go into work with his friend Fred on some days and wander the small university town there.  Fred attended the university and wanted very much to be a doctor.  It seemed to Blue that it had something to do with Fred’s mother, although it also seemed to him that no one but Blue spent very much time with her, even though it was a very large family.  Blue found himself comparing his life to Fred’s.  Fred seemed to have so much.

01/02 Direct Link

Blue-31

Blue met more of Fred’s relatives.  Fred had many relatives. They had so much energy.  Many of them were angry, like Fred. Some were not.  It seemed they were like trees, or blades of grass; each one unique in their own way.  One was named Suzy.  She kept saying, “That’s not the way it happened, Blue.”  She was angry about this.  Blue wanted to explain to her that his life was not big enough to hold the real Suzy, but he felt she would not be sympathetic to this. Yet he gave her a whole day of his life.

01/03 Direct Link

Blue-32

It occurred to Blue that his life was perhaps moving too fast, was lacking detail.  He was unsure how to deal with this, or whether to worry with it at all.  Indeed, should someone with only 68 days of 100 words each spend any time at all worrying?  To be sure, he had once considered that it made sense to plan his life to get the maximum out of it, but something had happened.  Almost immediately, life itself had gotten in the way, distracting him, and he had forgotten all about his plans if he had any to start with.

01/04 Direct Link

Blue-33

Blue casts quickly about his room for detail.  He looks at the floor boards and the tight lines between them and the grain in each board.  He looks at the boards running up the wall, and the barren window framed by four more boards.  He looks at the wooden door hung on either side of his room, the doors that touch his bed if they are opened too far.  His bed frame is made of iron.  The mattress sets directly on a web of springs.  Life is passing by too quickly.  It is squeezing him out of the room.

01/05 Direct Link

Blue-34

Blue grabs a jacket and rats out of the house.  He doesn’t know where he is going.  Outside it is night, ut there is a full moon lighting the neighborhood.  He grabs the handlebars of his bike, his right foot landing on the starter.  The engine kicks over and he wheels out into the street, onto the road, picking speed, following the river.  He is riding into the mist swallowing the road, not sure whether he is running away from or toward something.  Somehow it seems that it has him either way.  He twists the throttle down and screams.

01/06 Direct Link

Blue-35

Blue is concerned.  He is at 35, over one third of his life passed by, and he has not accomplished anything.  He has not had a life he tells himself.  He is wasting what precious little time has been given to him.  How can this be? He has not even established a plan or a goal.  He has not even tried to do anything.  All he has done is react to what has been presented to him. He may as well have been a twig or a leaf hanging in the wind, he tells himself.  What good is he?

01/07 Direct Link

Blue-36

Blue wants to stop everything while he figures it out, but he cannot. If he tries then his life becomes about figuring his life out, and he is not sure that is what he wants his life to be about.  It seems to him that life should have a purpose.  Maybe not. After all, it is a temporary thing, an infinitesimal spark lost in an infinite void.  That makes Blue feel small. But when he considers all the possibilities carried within infinity, he realizes that there is no such thing as possibility, that all things are certainty.  Blue toys with the idea of certainty.

01/08 Direct Link

Blue-37

Blue looks at the other 100-word entities around him.  He notices that some of them appear to have continuity from day to day as he does.  Others do not. None of them seem to be concerned about their existence. Sometimes their writers are. It occurs to Blue that if something happened to his writer that he would not get his full 100 days, that not even that is guaranteed to him. His writer could just go away tomorrow and Blue would cease to exist.  On the other hand, his writer allowing, Blue could exist much longer than 100 days.

01/09 Direct Link

Blue-38

Blue talks to his friend Fred that evening about the writer.  It seems the writer is a god in many senses, and he wonders what kind of god would create a self-aware being and then snuff him out after 100 short days for no apparent reason at all.  Blue feels angry.  Blue notices Fred is looking at him strangely.  “What?”  asked Blue. 

Fred is dirty from working his shift at the gas station. His hair is slicked with oil, and he is carrying a large stack of textbooks.  “You created me, you fuck!  Look what you did for me.”

01/10 Direct Link

Blue-39

Blue felt badly about Fred, of course. It had not occurred to him that he was responsible in any way for Fred. He has assumed everything was the writer’s fault.  He decided to do something nice for Fred. Fred wanted to be a doctor.  He would make Fred a doctor.  So what if he was a little young.  He would make him a regular Doogie Hauser.  Fred liked motorcycles.  He’d give Fred a whole garage full of motorcycles.  Fred was still a virgin.  Fred would have a new girlfriend, who adored Fred and loved sex. And Fred would live!

01/11 Direct Link

Blue-40

Fred moved out of his mother’s house, Doctor Fred that is.  He took his mother with him.  He was very happy, and he was especially happy with his new girl friend Susan and his new motorcycle collection.  He was very grateful to Blue, and made sure there was room for him at his new house.  It wasn’t long before Doctor Fred was making plans to get married to Susan and of course Blue was to be the best man.  Doctor Fred worked long hours, and his mother, Susan, and Blue spent many days discussing the nature of the world.

01/12 Direct Link

Blue-41

Blue began to feel restless, taking longer rides on his motorcycle. He decided to go up north for a week. When he told Fred and Susan, they looked at each other grimly.  “It’s just a week,” Blue said.

“You can stay here as long as you like,” said Susan.

“You know you’re always welcome,” said Fred.

“Nice for you,” said Fred’s mother.  “You know what happens to us while you’re off looking for America, doncha?”

Blue knew.  But given the choice between being a prop in Fred’s story and living his own, he was coming to a quick decision.

01/13 Direct Link

Blue-42

The writer gave Blue a father who had a hunting cabin in the Upper Peninsula.  Blue absorbed his new father.  At first, he was happy to have a father.  Then it occurred to him that he now had more responsibilities. He was responsible to his new father in the same way he was responsible to Fred, Susan, and Fred’s mother.  There was something worse.  He felt that he was no longer enough. He had always felt that a little, but now it was much worse. There was some expectation larger than life that he was not living up to.

01/14 Direct Link

Blue-43

Blue packed his motorcycle for the trip.  It was sixty degrees when he pulled onto the freeway, the sun beginning to burn the dew off the road.  His mind seemed to roll into the beat of the motor, and the easy movement of the bike beneath him.  It was nearly hypnotic in a way, and the thoughts that had bothered him until now seemed to recede as the towns gave way to hills and solid forest. He crossed the Mackinac Bridge just after 6, making a right down 134 toward Hassel and Cedarville, heading north again out of Cedarville. 

01/15 Direct Link

Blue-44

It was getting dark and cooler as Blue got to the cabin. There was plenty of wood, he noted as he unlocked the door and went inside.  He lit the single lantern and took off his backpack.  Tomorrow he would have to go back into town for some food and water.  It might take him two or three trips, because he might need ice depending on what kind of food he got.  Tonight though, he would rest.  Maybe he would eat breakfast in town, so he wouldn’t have to wait until he got back to the cabin for food.

01/16 Direct Link

Blue-45

The next morning, Blue lashed the green water jug to the back of the motorcycle for his first trip into town. He stopped off for breakfast at Ang-io’s, filling the jug at the local gas station, and topping off the BSA. Then he rode the fifteen miles back to the cabin, taking off the jug and filling a wash pan for a quick sponge bath.  Then it was back on the bike and to the grocery store. He was hungry again by the time he got to the store, but kept his focus on what he was there for.

01/17 Direct Link

Blue-46

Blue took his food and some ice back to the cabin. He had wanted more food, but there was a limit to what he could carry on the motorcycle.  He would have to make more trips into town than he had planned, or he would have to start hunting. He considered fishing, but there was nowhere nearby he could fish.  That was in town too. The cabin was the highest point in the county.  Blue fixed himself a couple baloney sandwiches and drank water from the green jugs.  He felt like he hadn’t accomplished much, but he was tired.

01/18 Direct Link

Blue-47

Sleepy blue crawled onto one of the bunks in the back of the cabin and fell asleep, waking nearly two hours later.  He lay there feeling the evening sun baking through the cabin door onto him.  He was still tired it seemed.  All the morning’s activity—it hadn’t been strenuous, but it had somehow been different.  He really hadn’t gotten any exercise.  Getting up, Blue decided to take a walk, so he put on a light jacket, grabbed a compass and headed in a general southwest direction along one of the old logging trails that crisscrossed the woods here
01/19 Direct Link

Blue-48

Four days later, Blue topped a rise by an old cemetery, the highest point in the county someone had told him. He sat down near a now nearly mature spruce his father had planted for a rest and pulled some dinner and a drink out of his backpack.  It was odd how this simple life filled up his days.  There was getting food and water.  There was staying warm, which meant cutting wood and keeping the supply up.  There were the daily walks in the woods, eating, and reading at bedtime. There was sleep.  These things defined his life.

01/20 Direct Link

I look out through the branches of snow and the icicle fangs hanging from the eaves above.  I close my eyes.  Something stops me.  Something stops me from moving, from writing, and from seeing.  A wheel turns within a wheel, a cylinder. A tooth falls into place.  An unlikely door swings open and I begin breathing again as my feet touch the sand and I see the waves washing against the beach.  The door has closed behind me.  I am here alone this time, and the blue water washes out over the horizon blending into sky. I am breathing again. 

01/21 Direct Link

I remember when she was a newborn sleeping in her crib.  I had the crib upstairs stored in one of the many unused rooms.  My father had made it.  It was a lovely thing, and she fit in it perfectly.  I had taken to not leaving the house for weeks at a time, and then only at night to go shopping for food.  She showed up on the front step, wrapped in rags, with that strange growth on her head.  I wonder what would have happened if I had not heard the bell ring. It was well below freezing outside.

01/22 Direct Link

In the days before electric refrigeration and chest freezers we had dogs.  We kept many of them around. They followed the people from camp to camp and we would care for them. Our children would play with them.  They would pull sleds and guard us at night.  They would help us hunt and keep us warm in the cold. When the hunting was good and we had plenty of food, they ate well and grew fat. They would eat the spoiled meat. When the times were lean and there was no food to be had, then we ate the dogs. 

01/23 Direct Link

When I boot my laptop, a message pops up saying “battery needs replacing.”  I have a mental image of a long metal object lying in my laptop, possibly designed as a structural member, gasping for air. “Colonel, we have exhausted the air from the compartment.”

I have a mental image of this object embedded somewhere in me, surrounded by pink meat and fiber. It is brightly colored in industrial flavors, and has very little rust. I am hearing my father tell one of his favorite stories that ends with the moral, “Nothing lasts forever: not you, not me, not anything.

01/24 Direct Link

There are moths living in my trouser pocket.  I knew that if I continued stealing my first 100 word sentence from the person at the top of the list from the previous day, something like this would happen. No matter.

There are moths living in my trouser pocket. This is why I have not washed my trousers for a while now.  My mother would be unhappy about this.  My ex would roll her eyes in a knowing way. My daughters would shake their heads.  My son, the older one, would probably come over and encourage me to do my laundry.

01/25 Direct Link

Blue-49

Ten days after this, Blue is again sitting at the top of the rise.  It has occurred to him that something is missing from his simply defined life, something beyond, food, water, shelter, heat, and the daily activities.  He was lonely, to put it simply.  He wanted someone to share life with.  This seemed to stand out in some contrast to the cabin in the valley below.

That night he packed up his motorcycle, closed up the cabin and rode home. As he felt the bike rumbling across the big bridge, he wondered where he would find this person.

01/26 Direct Link

I have a dream in which we are walking along a dock to a ferry boat. In this dream I do not know who the you in the “we” is. I only know the me. Yet the “you” seems significant. The boat is empty, and has been newly painted. The large windows have been freshly glazed. Even as we walkout to board her, we can smell the fresh paint. I don’t know why we are going here. It takes a long time to get on the boat. By the time we are on board, it has gotten dark and foggy.

01/27 Direct Link

“I can’t believe January is almost over already.”

I look at her.  “January IS over.  We are several days into February.”

She raises her eyebrows.  “It isn’t my fault you are running so far behind on your hundred words.”

“Shit happened.”

“And you are the one who decided to begin each entry with the first sentence from the previous day’s entry.”

“I had no idea that some of them would be so inane.”

“Yes, I’ve noticed you cheating. Why didn’t you cheat on mine? “

“I tried; they were all useless.”

“This entry isn’t going to make you very popular.”

01/28 Direct Link

I got back to work this morning, or yesterday, or maybe the day before.  I’m thinking it was yesterday. I’m not sure what caused the change. It could be like the doctors say, a swing in the chemical balance, a mood swing from plus to minus, something I have learned to have a little control over, but which can still sweep me right off the deck and into the foamy brine whenever it pleases.  I don’t want it to be that. I don’t want that to be the key to my life. I want to be in control: the author.

01/29 Direct Link

As I shuffled towards the doorway, the nerves went. I think that’s what it was.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been there before, and the best we seem to be able to offer is metaphors. Because nothing went. If I had turned around there would not have been a hairball of raw nerves lying on the floor, possibly hacked up by my boss, because I was already phased out of existence.  I wasn’t going to hack up anything. I wasn’t going meet him downstairs after work for a Bass Ale. I would be checking in to a mental ward that night.

01/30 Direct Link

I left school early today, complaining about my knee.  I never leave early.  Sometimes I don’t leave at all, so I really didn’t need an excuse.  And there was nothing wrong with my knee. There is nothing wrong with any of me. I am in boringly good health all the time.  I was just tired of being there.  I felt like going home.  I felt like sweeping through the entire building like a piper from hell and taking everyone with me, emptying the place out, piping them all up the stairs and off the roof onto the parking lot below.  

01/31 Direct Link

300ft to go and I had practiced my PLFs- Parachute Landing Falls. I had practiced them. They had assured me that I would never need them, but that the practicing was part of the required training. It was vestigial, like an appendix, a part of this job that would never be used.  Yet here we were.  Here I was, because I didn’t see anyone else and 300 feet at this speed didn’t last very long, and it looked like I was landing in some kind of muck field or something.  How the hell was I supposed to tuck and roll?