The Thoughts of a Frumpy Professor

............................................ ............................................ A blog devoted to the ramblings of a small town, middle aged college professor as he experiences life and all its strange variances.

Monday, October 05, 2009

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Double Trouble

In pursuit of my new hedonism, I am giving you the "bonus" of a second post today. This second post is a brief piece of what is called "Flash Fiction" that is part of a project highlighted here. The basic notion is that we are given a starting sentence. Then we have a timeline in which complete a short piece of fiction. I decided to give myself 10 minutes of creative time for a post. Here it is:

* * * * *

Start of Flash Fiction Participation for the October 6th Due Date.

The Road to Nowhere & Everywhere

Hanging on with one hand, he considered his alternatives... he could try to let go completely and allow the motorcycle to navigate him down the road (hopefully). It was to be a test of his mettle and resolve. Were his “cojones” big enough, his bravado large enough and his mind in enough of a stupor to not give a damn and to let go?

Although if you dug deep enough, you could see the vestiges of his professorial self in Michael (now preferring the name of “Mike”). But at the same time, you could see the transformation as well. His graying beard was unkempt and shaggy, his demeanor had more of a “I don’t give a sh*t!” swagger. Yet, deep inside, he still felt like a failure, a miserable wretch of a human being. Pointless and useless and horrible.

Of course, in the end, he was too chicken-sh*t to let go completely from the handlebars. So, after a while, he saw down the long, lonesome stretch of highway in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, a bar. It was pleasantly seedy in a way that both attracted Mike’s wanderlust, but made him queasy in the stomach. The queasiness resulted from a mix of not knowing what sort of trouble lurked behind the doors of the bar, and yet some of it also resulted from the greasy food he would undoubtedly find as well, to which his stomach had not yet acclimated.

Inside, he saw a rather emaciated looking waitress, perhaps nearing the age of thirty. Her hair was as straight and lifeless as a ruler.

“What’ll you have?” she asked without glancing up from her reading of a Harlequin Romance novel.

“A beer, and a double-shot of Wild Turkey.” said Mike.

She got up, poured the drinks and then brought them to the counter where Mike sat. Reaching into his vest pocket, he extracted his well worn, briar pipe and proceeded to fill the bowl with dark brown crumbles of raspberry tinctured burley leaf. He knew this was not particularly “biker” or “hedonistic” in the traditional sense, but dammit, it was what he enjoyed, and THAT was what hedonism was all about.

Lighting his pipe with his lighter, he took a long pull from the stem, inhaling the rich smoke deeply. Then he took a long slow drink from the beer, and then dropped the double shot of whiskey into the mug and took another long drink. It was not long before he had finished the first round and ordered another.

The muddiness to his mind brought about by the alcohol and nicotine was beautiful and to him it felt akin to his mind being able to see life as surrealistic painting. The hard, harsh edges were worn away and the beautiful colors began to blend.

Glancing up from his mug, his eye askew, he saw the television on the wall was playing CNN. Taking his pipe from his mouth with one hand, he then pulled his other hand across his lower face, across his mustache and beard, he averted his eyes back down to his mug.

“Sh*t!” he cursed softly under his breath.

Salty tears fell from his eyes.

* * * * *

End of Flash Fiction Participation for the October 6th Due Date.

However, even with this second post, I am hopeful you will read the post I wrote earlier in the day. There are a lot of similarities between my flash fiction and my flash of reality, I dare say.

PipeTobacco

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