Work Work Work

I try to look my best every day. I brush twice and gargle in the morning. I clean my ears. Trim and clean my nails. I check my toes and pay close attention to the most intimate aspects of personal hygiene. I use body powder so I smell as fresh and clean as I look.

When I get to work I look and feel great. Ready for a power meeting in the largest corporate board room or brunch with the kings and queens of high fashion.

I could have been a record producer. I worked on a few records in the 60’s. That’s a tough job. Keeping the band all on the same track and focused, high, but not too high, just the right food, paying the studio guys.

It’s rough, but rewarding, and it pays very well. I could have stuck with it. I’d look as good at the end of the day as I do in the morning, at least to the band.

Instead, I get all fixed up for work like always, but after wrestling elephants all day I look like shit. Blood and dirt under my fingernails, scales all chalky and scuffed up. And I smell like sour peanuts and dung butter.

I’m just so damn good at wrestling elephants.

(Image from 20,000 Light Years From Earth).

Reflections in Solitude

 

When the lake is calm and tranquil. I like to get up early and go to the pier. The sun rises. The fog recedes. The purple sky slowly turns blue. The water becomes a mirror. I gaze at the scene, chilly, early in the morning. Everything covered with fog and dew. I am aware of the delicate and sensitive balance of the camera in my hands as moisture condenses, fresh and clear as spring water, on it’s body. I wonder if a picture is worth a thousand dollars.

As the sun rises and dries the worn and splintered boards of the pier.  I walk barefoot to the end of it. A fishing rod trembles as a fish struggles, confused at its inability to swallow the meal or swim away. The cork handle is dewy, wedged between a plank and a post. The rod belongs to the kid who took the last sausage at dinner the night before.  I instinctively want to set the hook. But I  decide to take a photo first. The camera is wet. The shutter fails. That kid laughed when he took that last sausage, I remember. I kick the rod into the water as I look toward the cottage on the hill.

I reflect on the fish. He has gained more than a meal. He now has the means to catch more fish, his own fishing rod. I look on the calm water and feel proud that I did what Jesus would do. The kid who ate the last sausage only gave him a minnow. I gave him a fishing rod.

I reflect on my life, the fish I’ve caught and the worms I’ve sent to their deaths. Some of them are under that tranquil mirror before me, wet, peaceful. Their bodies broken down and recycled like old appliances. I smile at the beauty of nature. In my camera the shutter releases. It was in timer mode. I take a photo of the sunrise over the calm peaceful water. I think “I’m hungry for sausage.” I don’t like fish.