The river without banks is a flood,
covering and soaking everything
and not going anywhere
and, thus, is no river at all
A breeze raps a branch against the window. This wakes Frank a bit before his planned alarm.
Frank slips in and out of a bliss–enjoying the sounds of the morning mixing with thoughts of
work deadlines and dread of driving. Finally, the alarm blares. Frank leaves bed.
He leaves his bed and stumbles around the house while he awakes. Frank made a habit of
checking over the house while he was half-conscious even though he could hardly distinguish
between the colors of the walls let alone notice a leaky window. Limping throughout the house,
Frank looks outside. The sun rises over the trees across the street, sneaking between the
branches signaling the world to “wake up!” The warm light filtered through the grass to the
ground in the park nearby. Franks decides to go for a walk.
He slips on a pair of slippers and walks out the door, crosses the street and finds himself in the
park–like changing scenes in a play. The park has the shape of an “L”. Trees surround a big
grassy field, protecting the sanctuary of green from the outside cluttered world. The park is a
nice size, crossable in minutes though large enough to sink into its beauty. Franks stands in the
center, inhales deeply and looks around him.
He looks back at the house he came from. Between him and the house, a blinking light sits
above the street. He thinks of a poem to himself.
Traffic flows under a blinking yellow light.
Next to it a sign reads
“Busses and right turns ONLY while flashing”
The light blinks yellow.
The light blinks continuously
Regardless of whether or not drivers drive under it
And even if drivers are there, not one is guaranteed to see it
The light blinks yellow
The blinking light fulfills its duty,
regardless of it being received
Blinking for those who see it
and for those who do not
the light blinks yellow
Cars, bikers, pedestrians pass under the blinking yellow light
and still it keeps blinking
Fulfilling itself ad-infinitum
blinking endlessly into space
For the driver who sees the light and switches lanes
because he knows he is not a bus
nor is he turning right
The light blinks yellow, yellow, yellow.
Frank returns home, refreshed from the cold stroll. The sun rises steadily to the East, filling his
kitchen with warm-golden light. He prepares coffee–scooping eight spoonfuls of grinds into the
french press and fills the press with near boiling water. After some minutes, he presses the
press and pours the coffee. Steam rises from the coffee as a wispy spiral.
Frank prepares food, eats, drinks the coffee, and dresses for the day. While getting ready, the
sun warmed the air outside from brisk to less than brisk. Frank lives twenty-four blocks from
work and walks today. He starts on his way and observes the natural world around him. The sky
reflects a translucent blue. A few clouds stroll through the sky. Frank listens to the birds in the
trees. He listens to the flutter of the wings beat air as the birds take flight. Walking past the field
he previously walked in, he stops to watch some geese and listen to their honks. He thinks,
“perhaps they honk because it sounds cool or because they think it’s annoying. Or maybe they
do it because that is what they do. Regardless, one third of the Canadian goose’s purpose must
be to annoy other animals. No other conclusion makes sense. Their honk rattles the world.
Despite their nuisance, the world would not be the same without them.” Frank continues
thinking, “and I would rather have a goose that is annoying and knows it rather than have a
goose that is annoying and does not know it. The goose is the same in both cases but what
changes is its understanding of its role in the world. The knowledgeable goose is less
confused… whatever it means to be confused as a goose. With its honking, it is playing its role,
like fitting a cosmic puzzle piece by being what it is–an annoying fucking goose. The less
confused goose creates a sort of presence, a presence I can make a judgement of if I so
choose. And while the judgement of the goose as annoying is not ideal, at least it is a stepping
stone for the goose and much better than having never left the original stepping stone. So an
annoying goose is better than no goose at all.
While contemplating the goose, an ominous cloud covered the city.
It starts raining eggshells. Frank notices a cafe approaching and steps in. He orders a coffee to
pass the time.
“Excuse me, if I may ask, what would you like to drink sir?”
“I’ll have a coffee please, medium.” Frank replies.
“Absolutely. I will be delighted to help you. If it is not too much trouble, could I ask you for $2.50
for your coffee?”
“What if it was too much trouble,” Frank responds slightly confused.
“Well I am sorry sir, then I cannot give you the coffee.”
“No no. I want the coffee. I was just curious.” Frank says as he hands the barista two dollars
and fifty cents.
“Thank you very much,” the barista smiles as she takes the money.
Frank looks around the coffee shop for a spot. He finds a small table in a corner. Eggshells
continue falling from the sky and rapping on the shop’s windows, tap——–tap——-tap——tap– —tap—-tap–tap–tap-tap-tap-taptaptaptaptap and rapping on the ears, drawing Frank’s
attention from the coffee. Tap tap rap rap, the sound of the eggshells bombards the ears, and
thus the mind, rousing some anxiety like a fear potentially derailing the future, like a check
engine light that stays on regardless of two mechanics having checked on it or waiting for a
reply after sending a letter to a lover–the reply marking the decision between moving, the lack
“What strange weather,” Frank thinks to himself.
His attention shifts from the eggshells rapping on the window to a conversation between two
men behind him.
“Like sht, a straight dude made a gay joke. I did not know there was this societal “thing” about being gay,”
“I guess… I only notice those who are super anti-gay.”
“Yeah! And isn’t it funny when you find out that the super anti-gay people are actually gay!”
“Yeah!! And you always find out in a not wholesome way, like learning that he blew some dude in the airport bathroom.”
Frank thinks to himself, chuckling a bit, “funny bunch. I agree with them as well. Not about how guys find out that they are gay by blowing a dude in an airport bathroom. I actually have no idea if people learn that they are gay like that. That would be a helluva way to learn that you are gay… But why is there a stigma around being gay. Besides those who are intolerant, I do not notice people who swing too strongly. And why do we let the intolerant folk influence the way we see the world? People? It causes undue sensitivity towards a subject from a group of people we should not even be listening to begin with! If we let those who seemingly do not want to see reality dictate a part of reality, we, I think, are giving them too much power to construct the walls! Besides, it’s clear that they are battling the minotaur already which is not something I am particularly fond of doing.”
The raining eggshells lightened. Frank returns his attention to the smell and taste of his coffee to avoid losing himself in thought, which brings his attention towards the shop. The cafe plays soft piano music which juxtaposes the energizing effects of the caffeine! The shop is fairly empty. Few customers leave or enter. He looks to the windows. The eggshells pelt the window panes, cracking into pieces as they do. He returns to the coffee; steam rises into the air whirling around aimlessly-hypnotically. Without aim, the steam flows, like a dance, into the universe, to be swallowed by the universe. But, just before it passes into the stream of endless tending toward entropy, it passes by an observer. A gift that is always there, whether or not the observer is observing.
A steady stream of people enter. Some wear jeans, other shorts, some sweaters, and some t-shirts. One wears a hat. The eggshells pelt harder.
“Would it be so much a bother for you to pour me a cup of coffee please?” a man with jeans and a white polo asks the barista.
“Of course, I can pour you a coffee! It will be my pleasure,” replies the barista. The barista hands the man his coffee.
“Could I ask you to please pay for the coffee you ordered please? If it’s not asking too much!”
“No no, you’re more than okay. I will pay for the coffee,” the man replies with a gleaming smile. The eggshells rap against the window.
A woman in a full suit follow behind the man, “Could I have a cup of coffee please, small?”
“I will be delighted to! It will be two dollars if that is not too much of a bother.”
“Here you go,” as the woman pays for her coffee. The eggshells rap less strongly.
Frank listens behind him to the two men conversing behind him.
“Are you doing okay? I know you liked her. Nobody is a fool when she lies to you like that,” the man says to the saddened man.
“I will be fine. Thank you for caring. I am just glad to feel something. It was a dark week.”
“Yikes man, I feel that.”
“I feel naive is all. Like I could have seen it coming. But I ignored it. Made room for it. And it’s not like she truly means it.”
“I hear ya. She’s probably doing the best she can with what she’s got.”
“But now the question is for you my friend, TRULY why did you like her to begin with?”
The eggshells lightened. Noticing the lightened load on the window, Frank looks to the door. A homeless man cleans the outside window. He sprays a bottle of cleaner across the window and takes a rag and wipes it– working from top down. The barista brings the bum some coffee in exchange for his work. The eggshells float down landing calmly on the ground. Shortly after the man finishes, two women attempt to pass through the door at the same time and spend minutes attempting to apologize over each other. The eggshells pick up again–rap rap rap.
An Australian man and his friend walk through the door, buy a coffee, and sit at a table near Frank. The Australian man starts talking, “Thanks for inviting me out to Colorado mate. Its fcking lovely out here. Beautiful!”
“I am glad you enjoy it.
Sitting at the table, the Australian lets loose on the American.
“I just do not get it though. Y’all seem some kind of fcked up.”
“What do you mean?”
“What do you mean? What do I mean? How do you not see it? You Americans are like a dog chasing a childhood dream, filled with unicorns, rainbows and pots of gold. Does your lens need a cleaning mate? It’s like you’re: mistaking powdered sugar for flower, a baby giraffe walking for the first time, engineers putting the dam in the mountain corridor, a blind archer, fish trying to climb a tree, a deaf mozart, com-pren-de a-mi-go?”
“No,” the friend replies–peeved.
“Mate! Your country’s lens is in need of some seriously powerful cleaning solution. Fuck it may
be worthwhile to just replace your spectacles. Source new glass. Get some of that good stuff.
I’ve got a guy. But do not trust me! Go learn a thing or two about lens crafting. And do not
sharpie all over the inside of your new seeing devices this time mate. You block yourself off
from the world. I do not get it, I think y’all used some sort of opaque glass or something. And
why y’all think you’re something special or something. Nearly half your population is horribly fat.
A solid chunk are depressed. An even more solid chunk are lying about their depression and
you just keep switching your addictions… news flash my friend switching from cigarettes to e-cigs does not cure your tobacco addiction. You get me?”
The friend sits, glossy eyed, “That was a lot. I am going to sit with it.”
“Whatever mate, lets drink this coffee.”
The eggshells stop. Frank rises and heads for the door to continue on with his day.