WEDNESDAY: On the Way Down


Copyright is held by the author.

IT SOUNDS like a heavy weight falling on wood. Or someone tumbling down a flight of stairs. I know she lives alone and weighs over 300 pounds and can barely get around on her feet as it is. She mentioned before her difficulty with the 13 steps from her apartment upstairs in that old house to the front door on the main floor. We’re neighbours, not friends. I really can’t invest too much energy on noises and speculations.

My wife Mona was committed two days ago. Everyone’s being committed these days, for one reason or another. And the reason does not have to be logical or indicative of anything other than being a conscientious human being. Living these days, trying to make ends meet with three jobs, is brutal. People are brutal. Brutality is necessary in just about every aspect of your life. How did we — I use that word loosely and without amicable connection — come to be this way? Since when is a slap more acceptable than a handshake?

Mona once tried to kill me. She hated my pacifism and was afraid she’d be found out being married to someone so far against the common grain. Marriage no longer has value. Love, no influence.

“I feel sorry for you,” she once said to me.

“Me? Why?” I was confused.

“You’ve taken on a life where you have to choose your own path. You have to use your free will. Every decision you make will be yours, for yourself, no one will tell you what to do.” She looked at me then with the saddest eyes. Like I said, I was confused.

Poor, safe, comfortably numb Mona. She’s with her kind now. There’s so many of them. A society of committed.

I once helped my heavy neighbour up her stairs. It was hard for her, I noticed, to accept my assistance. She’s figured out a way now to be totally independent. I hope the fall does not hurt too much on the way down.


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  1. Where have all our best storytellers and critics gone: Hannah, Charles, Michael, Frank, Bev to name but a few..?
    I miss you….!!


  2. Thanks, Jazz. I am working on a 50,000 word story and a couple of 600 word pieces of flash fiction. I’m trying my friend. I’m trying.

  3. Finished the second draft of a historical novel, writing short stories which may never see the light of day, and enjoying my 70th summer. By the way, I’d seriously love to have you edit my work before I make a complete fool of myself in print. And thanks for the plaudits.

  4. Michael,
    First off, congratulations on your four score years and ten…
    I’ve decided to take a sabbatical from writing and critiquing and editing. I’m revisiting an old passion — fitness.
    Don’t look for me in next month’s Ironman in Hawaii, but maybe in next year’s Terry Fox run.
    Good luck with your novel — it’s been lovely chatting with you.

  5. OOPS….!!!

    Sorry, Michael, that should read 3 SCORE years and ten. I rather aged you there. But may the gods grant you those extra 2O years.

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