Skip to main content

The Way It Is



            The whistle signaling quitting time was always his favorite time.  It was the high water mark for the rest of the day, representing that first moment of freedom matched with the highest level of energy he’d have for the rest of the night.  He turned his dirty earth-moving machine off, ceasing the rumble in his seat and in the engine.  Quietly, he pulled the earplugs from his ears, and collected his gloves and cooler.  The cooler held remnants of his lunch which had consisted of two ham and cheese sandwiches, a dill pickle, a bag of chips, and an apple.
            Each step back to his truck, parked four blocks away, ached down into his core.  Shifting his weight right, he could feel the burn on his ankle and knee.  Shifting his weight left provided the same effect on the other side.
            The cooler dangled from his neck by a scrap of black and orange nylon rope and the heft of it swayed back and forth across his chest with each heavy step.
            The truck, in a sea of trucks, was moved toward with the slow, exhausted steps of a soul lost in the desert, inching its way to an oasis.  Once in the car, once the key turned over the ignition, and once the air conditioner quenched the hot, flushed feeling on his face, he began the long drive home.
            Getting home safely was always a challenge though that five o’clock lull.  He could feel his energy waning.  Being at rest, settling into the plush driver side seat, his eyelids grew heavy.  He sighed and snapped himself back into wakefulness.
            Every few moments his head would droop with his eyes and he’d awake with a jerk, almost over correcting the wheel of his truck into another car.
            The closer he got to his home, the more his body ached for his easy chair and his booted feet yearned to decompress in the open air.  As he pulled in to the driveway he could almost feel his soft, comfy easy chair conform around him, and before he knew it, that was the case.  He kicked his shoes off, pulled the remote from his side table and clicked on the television.  With two hundred channels, there was still nothing on, but that was okay since his brain wasn’t on either. 

The rest of this story has been collected in a three pack of stories called "The Whiskey Doctor and other stories of the New Great Depression".  It's available digitally for Kindle and the Nook.
16 comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Symbiotic Relationship Between Art and Politics

Art is inherently political.

Let's just get that out of the way. We all have things we want to say (or things we want to not say) in our personal lives that shape the art we make. And artists, more often than not, are trying to say something with their art, even if their goal is to not say something.

There is no doubt that this has been a turbulent week in the country I live in. There are many of us that are confused and shocked and afraid of what might be to come in the future. That's understandable. As artists and writers, I feel like we're typically more empathetic than the general population. It's easy to think about what it's like to be in someone else's shoes because we spend so much of our creative time almost literally in someone else's shoes. And we need to pass that understanding on to our readers or viewers or however else they're consuming this art.

I've seen this troubling idea, though, that art needs to be purely for escape and that p…

Anatomy of a Scene - City Lights

We're going to break down another scene this week, and it's one of my favorites in cinema history. It comes from the ending of City Lights by Charlie Chaplin, which I think is the greatest romantic comedy ever made. 
It's a touching film from 1931 and I would make it mandatory viewing for anyone who wants to learn to tell a story.
The scene we're going to be breaking down comes from the very end of the film, so if you haven't seen it, I don't want to spoil it for you. Go watch the film. You can rent it for $3.99 in HD on Amazon or for free on Hulu with a free trial or plus subscription. You should just buy the Blu-ray, though. You're going to want to revisit it.
For those of you familiar with the movie, or for those of you who are going to ignore my pleas to watch it and go ahead with this post anyway, I'm going to set this clip up a bit before you watch it.
City Lights tells the story of Chaplin's Tramp and how he falls in love with a blind flower …

Salt Lake Comic Con 2016 Schedule

It's time again for Salt Lake Comic Con and I have another packed schedule. This is where I'll be occupied for much of my weekend. I would love for you to come out, see me on a panel, catch me at my signing, or just say hello.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

3:00 pm Fixing Fandom and Ending Bullying and Gatekeeping :: 150G

4:00 pm Fauxthentic History - Star Trek :: 151G

6:00 pm Star Wars Trailer Park :: 151G

8:00 pm The Life and Times of Ahsoka Tano :: 151G

Friday, September 2, 2016

12:00 pm Palpatine's Rise: The Cautionary Tale of the Star Wars Prequels :: 255C

1:00 pm Star Wars: The Life and Times of Han Solo :: 251A

3:00 pm Jeremy Bulloch :: 250A

5:00 pm Stuff You Missed in History Class Live: How Does Historical Fiction Get Made? :: 250A

6:00 pm Bryan Young Signing :: Shadow Mountain - Booth 1807

7:00 pm Adventures in Podcasting :: 251A

8:00 pm What is the Balance of the Force? :: 255F

Saturday, September 2, 2016

11:00 am Famke Janssen :: Grand Ballroom

12:00 pm The Many Fac…