[ Chapter 1.1 is here. ]
Hope and despair will be mistaken for each other. But, in fact, despair is the opposite of hope. It is a vice that stirs men and women to terrible action. Murder. And not just sometimes. Because despair pleads with us to explore the empty promises of gluttony, greed and all the other deadly sins. By any and all means necessary.
Because the road of hope is longer than the legs of our pride, folly and wicked designs.
Some will mistake a road of despair for a road of hope because, for most of us, the roads wind together in our braided journey. The former is a violent and noisy road. It is a dark, angry and lonely road. That road of despair is paved with the unevenly worn and broken cobblestones of envy, jealousy and bitter disappointment.
The road of despair wearies the foot, cracks the heel, turns ankles, stubs the toe, and consumes our feet with dust and painful reminders.
“We have no bread!” Cristina reminded him.
“No milk too,” John said outloud as he looked in the refrigerator.
“I’ll go,” he added.
@Faryna Thanks for stopping by yesterday and leaving a comment…
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“It’s not safe. It’s midnight.” she replied.
“It’s just across the street,” John answered.
“K-9. Buzz Daniel Stoica.”
“Ok. Buzzing Daniel Stoica.”
“What’s up, John?”
“Got bread and milk?” John asked.
“How much?” John asked.
“Special price for you! Today only! Ten Euros. Delivery is two.”
“The Bulgarians down the street want twelve. Not including delivery!”
“KK. Be there in five.”
The new slum lords. Steps in the stairwells of Manhattan’s highrises renting by the night. link #slumlords
More UFOs Sightings?! Join us for our chat about the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. link /via @NASA
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After John pulled on his jeans, he grabbed a duffle bag and Hachi’s leash. Hachi was already waiting at the door.
At the bottom of the stairs, an old man put down a book and greeted him.
“Yeah. I’ll be back in 10, Costi.”
“Boss, you want me to come with?”
“No, I’m cool. Get some sleep.”
“It’s too hot to sleep… Bring me a bottle?”
Costi handed him a one Euro coin, unbarred the door, and returned to his book. C.S. Lewis’ Abolition of Man…
For the power of Man to make himself what he pleases means, as we have seen, the power of some men to make other men what they please.
A cool breeze was blowing. John saluted the military guards across the way, then crossed to the other side of Stirbei Voda. Hachi stopped briefly at a tree.
A drunken man stumbled toward them down the sidewalk. Hachi barked and the man made an arc into the street to walk around them.
John and Hachi passed the courtyard coffee shop where backpackers were drinking beers and getting stoned behind the fence. It sounded like they were having a good time. John understood them to be French by their words.
Character never goes out of style.
Finding New Things in Old Friends, today on the #OtherEsteem vlog! link
#RIP Huffpo. Gameover for the Huffington Post’s decade of cheeky misinformation. link
John turned the corner and saluted his neighbor, Delia. She was a prostitute by night, a bank cashier by day. She lived upstairs with her husband. He had cancer in his stomach. So they needed the money for an operation and bribes. So much for state sponsored health care and health care taxes…
Close at hand, Delia’s fish (pimp) was hanging out with his friends. This wasn’t really their corner, but the fish was pimping Delia close to home because he found it ironic.
“Hey, Americano. Your neighbor is delicious. Like a Mango! Two Euro and you can eat her all.”
John ignored him and knocked on the store’s metal plated doors. The doors opened. John and Hachi went in.
“Imagine what things would be like if this was a bad neighborhood!” laughed the fish.
The fish had a PhD in electronics from MIT. He used to design APUs (Accelerated Processing Units). He worked for AMDG in Sunnyvale for five years until they sent him home. The semiconductor giant just couldn’t recover from 2013. People used to call him, ‘Doctor’. Some, ‘Genius’. But that was ten years ago. Now, they called him, Fish.
As John and Hachi came out of the store, Fish pointed up at the night sky. John looked. Hachi barked.
There were shooting stars. Dozens of them. Like unripe figs shaken from the trees by a furious wind. They seemed to be falling overhead.
“K-9.” Call Dad.”
“Ok. Calling Dad.”
“There’s no answer. Do you want to send Dad a message?”
“Ok. What is your message?”
“It’s the end of the world. Again! Attach VID060423. CC. Group 349. Send.”
“Ok. Message and VID060223 sent to Dad and Group 249.”
“What is that all about?” Cristina asked as she took the bread and milk out of the duffle bag.
“I’ll show you, baby.”
John took the solid silver state CPU out of his pocket, pointed it at the wall, and projected the video of the shooting stars.
“That’s so beautiful!” Cristina gasped.
“You have one reminder scheduled for this hour. Do you want to hear it?”
“Mass in an hour.”
“Duh! You need to get fixed. I mean, you need to get your phone fixed.” Cristina laughed.
“I know what can fix me,” John said with a smile as he took Cristina’s hand and led her to the bedroom.
The good thing about the other side is that the lights are always off. I can wear underwear all day long and nobody notices. In fact, I don’t even have to change my underwear.
WTF! It’s not my fault that Comedy Central couldn’t find someone witty, charming AND HANDSOME to replace me. RT@bummingouthard The Daily Show is so zombieeeeee
John lay there in bed next to Cristina. He looked over at her and smiled. Then he stared up at the ceiling. On the ceiling was a painting of the baptism of Christ.
What did his father tell him about the significance of that baptism?
And just as John was falling asleep, he remembered what his father had told him. That God is here. God is with us.
“Ok. Playing Phil Collins. In the Air Tonight.”
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Jesus freaks flocking to Jerusalem in waves. Says Minister of Tourism: Revenues for tourism were never better! vid
Sticker on car: warning to little girls I’m from upper Egypt. pic
According to the World Health Organization, the AIDs Epidemic in Somalia claimed 250,000 lives last year. Experts are concerned that number will double this year. link
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Jennifer Lopez blow-up doll on the recall. Don’t get your junk stuck in that famous fanny that outsold her CD by 5:1. vid
“The water smells really bad today!”
John looked up from the bed. Cristina was in a towel. She was getting ready for work. She was the Commercial Director for a Green Energy company.
“What color is it?” he asked.
“That’s ok. Must be an algae bloom. But I’ll check the filter,” John replied as he grabbed K-9 off the bedside table and slipped it on.
He selected “Film it” with a glance.
“I’ll call Mr. Toma. He can sell us one of those used filters. You know how the rich people change them every month. Better to spend 20 Euro than 100 for a new filter replacement.” Cristina explained with a big smile.
She was very proud of her frugal skills.
“What would I do without you?!” John said with grin.
“Ah-ha! So you know how lucky you are!”
Cristina threw off the towel, jumped on the bed, straddled John and swooped down for a kiss. Just as quickly, she rolled off, sat on the edge of the bed and started to pull on her stockings.
“I’m late for work.”
“I love you,” he said.
He made big eyes at her.
“I love you…” he started again.
Much too much,” she finished with a smile.
She leaned over for a kiss.
“Forever,” he said.
“And ever,” she replied.
When Cristina was done dressing, he closed his eyes and fell back asleep with the scent of her perfume mingled with the beginnings of dream. Bulgarian roses. Just like heaven.
John woke up again when Hachi jumped on his chest.
“I’ll kick your fluffy, bunny tail!” John shouted.
Hachi grunted like a pig and jumped off.
“K-9. Play messages.”
“24 Voice Messages. 42 Social Messages. 1 Video Message. 12 Emails. 3 Documents. 2 Pics. 1 Vid. What messages do you want me to play?”
In the Air Tonight, Phil Collins
The next chapter section (1.7) is [here]. Enjoy!
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24 April 2011
Copyright 2011 by Stan Faryna. All Rights Reserved.