A Lincoln Encounter

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I was pretty sure this morning that I hit Abraham Lincoln with my car.

I was futzing with my coffee cup and the radio and trying not to be late on the very first day of a new month. Especially this month, November is a big month at Magnical. Starting it off on a bad note by being late would be a disaster, so I was rushing a bit as I made the turn onto Marshal. All of a sudden there was Lincoln and a Ninja Turtle in the road in front of me. It was immediately clear I was going to hit one of them, so I swerve, trying to miss them, but I hit Lincoln anyway and there is a sickening thud and crack as he goes under the front end of my jeep. Of course, the Ninja Turtle was able to react fast enough to get out of the way.

I came skidding to a stop and peered through my rear-view at the stovepipe hat and the scatter of candy all over the pavement. It was the candy that set me off. Why on earth would the sixteenth president be walking down the street in the early morning carrying a bunch of candy. This was ridiculous. “This obviously isn’t really happening,” I said to myself aloud, rationalizing that I had been under a lot of pressure at work recently, “perhaps I’ve snapped?” I wondered.

I looked myself in the eyes in my mirror and took a deep breath. “Get your shit together and get out of the middle of the road before you cause a real accident,” I said. I was going to be okay as long as I destressed a little, unlike the weird Lincoln vision who insisted on continuing to ooze red all over the pavement behind me even though I knew he wasn’t real.

As my car started crawling forward I noticed something dark near the corner of my eye and reached up to wipe it away. I had missed a spot, just a little bit of eye liner left over from my Halloween costume from the night before. “Good catch,” I thought as I cruised towards the on ramp, “wouldn’t want anyone to think you’re crazy.”

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Sink Full of Dishes

20131016-204330Have I told you about why I was looking for a place to live before I started my ever so pleasant stint as your roommate?

You see, one night I walked into the kitchen to find some dishes in the sink. I said to myself, “Those aren’t my dishes, they are Derek’s.” Derek was my roommate at the time, we were both in school but Derek’s workload that quarter was a bit bigger than mine, and I knew this, so I said to myself, “You know what? I’m not doing anything else right now, except reading a book I don’t like anyway,” It was some piece of crap about vampires or something. “Derek probably left those dishes in the sink because he is super busy. I bet he is coming back to deal with them later.” I thought about it for a minute, the banana that I was planning to turn into a snack still loosely sitting in my hand.

“Wouldn’t it take a load off his mind if he came back and those dishes were done for him?” I asked myself, being the sort of man that always puts the needs of others before my own. “Yeah, I’d appreciate it if someone did that for me, so I’ll be a nice guy.”

I put the banana back, thinking that I’d get a chance to eat it after just a few dishes. Unfortunately that banana never would get eaten, by a person anyway. Being home alone, I put on some music, to make the dish cleaning more pleasant. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate doing dishes, but honestly, who loves it? Putting on the best of the Proclaimers, I sang about walking 500 miles while scrubbing the first of many fewer than 500 dirty dishes. I only made it a few dishes before coming to a pan that had some- something plastered to it. I scrubbed a little, but it didn’t want to budge. You know what I did? I filled it with some water and put it on the stove, then turned the stove on high. Let the heat and the water do a bunch of the work for me, you know? So I planned to let it sit for a few minutes, then it would just wipe out nice and easy, or at least easier than otherwise.

So I turn back to the sink and over the next couple songs I make the remainder of the sinks contents sparkle. I’m not the kind to half ass a job, if I’m gonna do it at all, I’m gonna do it right, you may have noticed that about me already. No? Ah, you will.

What was I saying, oh yeah, so I made the dishes sparkle, it was beautiful and I think “alright, only, just that pan left,” and I turn around to find that it hasn’t even started boiling yet, which is weird, because it was a pretty hefty gas range. I don’t really like gas stoves, because they tend to be a little too hot, but I have other reasons too, you’ll see.

So, anyway, I notice that the surface of the stove is a little messy too, just a little grease here and there, no big deal, but I figure since I’m waiting around anyway for the water in the dirty pan to boil, I might as well clean it up, right? See, I’ve got awesome time management skills too, right? So I grab a paper towel, I’m just planning to wipe it off real quick then throw it away. I start wiping and what do you think happens, I get a little too close to the burner. Only thing is, I hear the whoosh of the edge of the paper towel catching on fire, but I didn’t realize what was going on at first. I pick up the paper towel to look at it, like the idiot we both know I’m not, usually.

Well that’s when all hell breaks loose, literally. It burns my hand pretty bad, still have some scarring from it down here on my palm. Anyway, the thing bursts into flames and my hand burns so I drop the towel. Well there must have been more grease on that stove top than I thought, because it went up. I’m stunned and my hand hurts, before I know it, the wall is on fire and One of the Reid twins from the Proclaimers is singing “I ain’t got no cigarettes!”

Well, long story short, the whole apartment complex burned down that night. It wasn’t a good night. Anyway, THAT, my fair and generous roommate, should serve as ample background to my response to your initial question. Yes, Yes it might kill me to do some dishes every once in a while.

Why I Write

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It’s a burning desire, a need, a nagging obsession. People think I write because I like it. They aren’t wrong that I like it, but that’s not why I scribble fiction onto the page. I write because I have to. I write because I need to. I write because it’s the only way to feed the demons in my head; feeding them is the only way to make them stop wailing for nourishment. When they are yelling in there, they are all I can hear. I know feeding them only makes them stronger, but with them yelling, how am I supposed to get anything else done? It doesn’t even need to be good, all I have to do is write and they quiet down for a little while.

Thus, I continue to feed them and every time they demand attention, it is with a stronger voice. I see the trend. I know I’m setting myself up to be consumed, but what else am I supposed to do?

Swap

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Every other sci-fi show had one, so the other writers and I decided it was time. The middle of season three was as good a place as any for the obligatory body swap episode. Unfortunately here on Paradox our two main characters are identical twins. Nobody noticed or cared that they switched bodies, so we never put them back.