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The common thought is that there are four dimensions: length, height, depth, and time. In today's society though it would seem as if there are five. The fifth one, I would have to say, is money. Money makes the world go 'round. The world would figuratively stand still if it was not for money. Where would society be if it was not for the ancient Libyans creating the idea of coinage? Back then, as in today, money could buy you anything. Life, death, power- anything. There is only one thing that I can think of that money cannot buy- rebirth.
It is amazing how humans work the hardest to be independent. They will do everything that they can to not work as a team, and then later they complain about how the "team" is not working out right. They take "team building" workshops to "learn" how to do it. Socrates once said groupings of humans is natural. Why is it that humans yearn for company, but then only to push it away? They marry and then divorce. They have intercourse, only to leave the person in the morning. Humans need to take a leaf out of the book of animals.
Lately people have been arguing that organic foods are no different from "traditionally" grown foods. This is completely wrong. They say that pesticides are on them. True, but the pesticides that are left on them are organic (vegan soap) or pesticides that drifted from the neighboring over-sprayed field. No nutritional benefits are gained? Wrong. There are studies to prove that there are. USDA labeling is the best? No. It is the most recognizable, but this is not the strictest labeling system. Go with the California act. Remember- just because you saw it on the television does not make it true.
It is disgusting to think what goes on without your knowledge. You take a person's word for something because you have nothing else. Trust is the largest thing a person has to give and keep. There is nothing bigger. When one goes into an establishment, they have to TRUST that everything is to their liking. When they walk into a room and it smells of rotten milk, it makes them worry. When a person blinks a lot, it makes it hard to trust them, but trust they must. There is no other way.
If we could store time in a bottle it would be the world’s most sought after commodity. People would spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for it. But then again, time is limitless so it would be cheap to produce. Or would it not be because of our modern money-greedy world? So what do you think? How much would you be willing to pay for time? Or would you not pay for it at all? Fables tell us immortality is not something to seek; take the ancient world’s Gilgamesh for example. Perhaps we should leave the world as it is.
There is a trait that most web surfers share. It is the hope that someone will learn something about them. Many have a blog or personal websites. Some even write 100 words a day. The greatest satisfaction these people recieve is that someone reads what they write. They are practicing their rights of free speech. Many of these people talk about only themselves. Some of them talk about the world. Some of them write a combo of the two. And the best thing: no one has a face on the Internet.
I hold her long, brunette hair as she wretches her guts into the white porcelain toilet. Her skin is the same color, but not nearly as bright. She's just a shadow of the person she had been. Nothing is left of her. Even her deep brown eyes are dead and glassy. The bathroom is filled with the putrid smell of stomach acid. It burns my nose. I used to throw up with her when she first started doing this. It was not for the same reason, but because the action of vomiting made me sick enough to do it myself.
She climbed to her feet, using the sink for support. I watch her as she washes her face with cool water, spitting out the chunks that her stuck in her teeth. The same sour taste is in my own mouth. Looking into the mirror, she gives a sigh. I put my hands on her shoulders; I so want to kiss her. "I want to be alone." Dropping my hands to my sides, I leave the room. In a few minutes she comes to the living room where I sit watching TV. She stands in front of the television, her hands on her hips.
She's making sure that I listen to what I say. She doesn't understand that I always listen to whatever she says. I hold onto her every word, each is precious. She is frowning, but I smile, hoping that she will mirror my face. She doesn't. With another large sigh she starts, "I think the time has come." The ends of my lips droop. I knew this was coming. I just did not know it would be today. "We need to spend some time apart." Closing my eyes, I nod my head. Warm air flows out my nose, and I rise to stand.
Walking to where she is standing, I take her into my arms. I bend my head to kiss her, but as my lips grace her forehead, she pushes me away. "No." she whispers. "No." I do not give up, and she gives in. Blood pounds through her heart and mine. We made love one last time. She said that she is leaving in the morning. I am to send her things to her mother's. She will go there to pick them up sometime. It is hot in the bedroom, sweat trickles down my forehead. The fan in the window sits still.
There is no comforting breeze outside. I push myself out of the bed to turn the fan on. Cool air rushes into the room, and I turn, silhouetted against the light gently filtering through the shades. I know she is having one of her nightmares because she is stirring in her sleep. The cotton sheet slips to the ground revealing her tan buttocks. Her legs bend, curling up into the fetal position. I whisper, "She needs me." My brain tells me better. I need her. The nightmare ends, she relaxes. It will be an hour before she awakens. Then she will leave.
Half an hour later, I am dressed. I give a faint whistle, an Irish Setter slowly creeps around the corner from the back room. I clip the lead onto his collar. "Let's go for a walk; it'll give her time to leave," I whisper to the dog. My mind is running. It's a reason for her to come back; she won't leave her dog with me forever. We bound down the stairs of the musty stairwell, onto the quiet street. It will be busy when we return. The baker a block away is also up, the smell wafts through the air.
Barking at the early birds, the dog runs around the park. This was where I met her. It was the same scene. We were the only people in the park, each alone in heart. We sat on separate benches, each starring into one another eyes, not caring about things such as names. It felt like love. It was love for all we knew. Neither of us had been in love before. We thought love was being able to be happy sitting in silence. Perhaps love really is that, but that is not all love truly can be. Silence is not enough.
I whistle to the Setter. I am the only person besides her that he will listen to. He doesn't like very many people. I clip the lead back on. We walk down the street. The flower vendor is unpacking today's merchandise. I hand the woman a five and pick up a bundle. I will give them to her if she is still there when I get home. I unlock the door, she must be gone. I had left the door unlocked. I fill a glass with water in the kitchen, placing the flowers inside, and putting them on the wooden table.
I wander around the rooms, visiting the bedroom last. She didn't leave a note. A few of her things are gone. Her favorite sweater, a pair of jeans, her makeup. I doesn't look like she had left for a long time, just a night, but I know she won't be back. Stooping over, I pick up the sheets to make the bed. There is browning blood on them. She is so fragile. I was too hard with her. She always bled afterwards.
I cram the sheet into the wicker hamper. I'll wash it later. Looking into the fridge, I pull out the oj. I drink out of the carton. I don't care too much anymore. It looks like day-old donuts from a cardboard box for breakfast. When they were fresh, she was still here. The chocolate icing has a thin dried out layer on top, but the inside is still good. Donuts are sweet, too sweet for me. I take another sip of orange juice. I don't like orange juice with my donuts. It always makes me sick. It's time for work anyway.
I toss the donut in the trash and pour the oj down the sink, not forgetting to rinse the glass out. I grab my jacket and leave. I work in a box factory, fifteen minutes away. I take the number 2 bus at 7:50 every morning, Monday through Friday, getting off at 5. The bus driver is named Stan; Stan just like half of the other bus drivers in the world. He says that he has three children, all girls. I've never seen pictures, but I take his word for it. You have to when you live the life I do.
There are always regulars riding the bus. The man about my age, he works for a law firm and spends all his money on his suits, living a sham. There is the old woman who plays bridge at the senior center downtown. She gives me cookies at Christmas. Then there are the children, two of them. They pretend they go to school, but they never go into the school when they get off the bus. I've seen them walk across the street toward the yarn factory a block away. The yarn factory is always getting in trouble for hiring children.
I'm the first to work today, ten minutes early. It's not uncommon for it to be like that. I hang my coat in my locker and take out my sports bottle. I walk to the break room. There is a water cooler in there. I fill it, drinking half of the bottle, and refill it. I walk to my station, the rest of the "team" has started to arrive. I put my water on the shelf across the room from the silent machines. We're not allowed to have drinks near them. The familiar hums starts somewhere else in the building.
Bill is joking around with Amy. He's wanted to go out with her for a year. She's the only woman here that hasn't yet. He's gotten two former employees pregnant. Only one of them had the baby. He says that next time he's going to marry the "lucky one". I know it will end in divorce. Most marriages these days do. Amy is laughing now, she has a pretty laugh. I don't understand why she works here. I suppose she figures she is making good enough money not to care what the job is. It gives her time to pursue her interests.
She likes to paint and play with colors. I've told her to bring in some of her work so I can buy a couple, but she always insists that I wouldn't like them. "They aren't good enough." I know they must be good. I've seen her sketching during break. Sometimes they are beautiful scenes of meadows and little white houses, but sometimes they are dark and angry and meaningful. I guess we all have a dark part in our hearts. Some of the shadows are just larger than others. It seems like the more light there is, the larger the shadow.
The machines are all running now. It won't be quiet until lunch. It is my turn to be the stamper. I push the button to stamp the logo on the flat box. One after another, they come down the line. Amy is working next to me, she takes the finished boxes off the line and stacks them on a pallet. Sweat is trickling down her brow. It's hot in the factory today, and she has hard work. Her golden hair is flat with the sweat. There is no time for talking here. I don't even know where she grew up.
Finally it is time for lunch break. Most of us go to the deli next door, but some go to the bar. Amy and I are the only ones that always go to the deli. I order an organic ham and sprout sandwich with honey mustard. She orders a vegan garlic hummus wrap. She has that every Monday. She says that it is because it is the last day they keep that week's humus, and that is the best day to have it. "The flavor is strongest." We sit outside on the iron bench, taking turns in-between sandwich and juice.
It isn't long before our half hour is over, and it is time to go back to work. The afternoon always goes quickly, and soon it is time to go home. Once again Bill asks Amy out. She tells him she doesn't go on dates on Mondays, always a new excuse. It's a game. I ride the bus home with the same people I always ride home with. I say goodnight to Stan and hop off the bus. On my way up the stairs, I grab the mail. A couple bills, an ad, and a postcard from her pen pal from France.
Her pen pal is in Cairo this week. They always send a postcard. I'll give it to her mother when I take her stuff. Sticking it on the fridge so I won't forget, I look at it. Pyramids are on the front, while the graceful scrawl in French is on back. I don't even know if the pen pal is male or female. Maybe it is a man, and all this time they've been planning for her to get away and live with him in Paris. Perhaps he's not even in Cairo. The postmark tells me different. He's in Cairo.
Maybe I won't return the postcards to her. I'll learn French. I'll know what they are writing about. That is a plan. I take out the yellow pages. What should I look up? French school? Education Francias? I decide the community college should have classes. I call the number. There is a class starting in two weeks on Saturdays for ten dollars a week. I sign up. That night I dreamt that I showed up in Paris and found her. I start speaking to her in French. She starts kissing me, and we make love under the stars in a green park.
I packed up her things last night. They are sitting next to the door. I am still planning on keeping the postcards and dog. If she wants them, she can come and get them. I bought a French dictionary. So far I have one of the first postcards halfway translated. It is a man, he described himself in one. He's 25, brown hair, six feet tall. Sounds a bit like me. It would make sense for her to run away with someone like me. The nights have been long. Time seems to go slowly when you have no one to hold.
It is finally Friday, the end of the week. My favorite day. The week was slow. It felt like two weeks. I've decided to ask Amy out today after work. I don't see why she would turn me down unless she is a lesbian. Even then, she probably would go out with me. No woman has ever turned me down. Gay or straight. I even asked out a guy once. He said sure. Too bad I had to stand him up. She had put me up to it. She wanted to see if I was irresistible. I guess I'm not.
I am not irresistible. Amy turned me down. She said that she already had a date for the night. I don't know if she is lying, but if I was irresistible she would have stood the other guy up. It hurts a bit that she turned me down, but I'll ask her next week. I'm going to keep on asking. I really like Amy. She's nice and very pretty. Tonight I plan to go to a bar and pick up an easy bird. I don't want to be alone on a Friday night. It's been too long since I was.
My head hurts, and I didn't get any action last night. All I got was dead-drunk. I don't have much planned for the day. We were going to go see the new movie, but I don't like going to the movies alone. I guess I'm going to go to the bookstore. When I was a teenager I always went to the bookstore or library after dumping a girl. It was probably the only way I kept my grades up. There weren't any girls I felt were good enough for me. I am starting to think that they don't even exist.
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