Today I will change."Today I will change," he announced to no one in particular, "I am tired of being a slave to custom. No longer will I start my day with a bowl of oatmeal, onto which I have cut five slices of banana and sprinkled one teaspoonful of brown sugar. My life will be different!" You may laugh. Initially, Change does not ask much of her followers; a small offering is all she needs. She may not even take possession; humans are so fickle, saying one thing and meaning another, reverting to habit at the slightest opportunity. "My life will be different," he told the grocery store clerk, as he purchased a box of Multi Grain Cheerios and a basket of blueberries. "Excitement and adventure await me at every turn. Nothing can stop me now." It is not that she is alluring like Luck or sensuous like Love. She is fun at parties, sometimes, but you can never tell what she will do next. That one initial step - taking a different route home from work, stopping at a used clothing store, buying a black cape with red lining - who knows where it will lead; encounters with vampires enter the range of the possible. He ate his new breakfast - lightly sweetened, it needed no added sugar - the following day and ventured off to work, humming the theme song from Annie as if it was an old friend. The day's news included several routine muggings, both hopeful and pessimistic pieces about the direction of the economy, and one little 'bright' about a child who had saved the life of a drowning kitten. "I have decided, that I need more protein," he told the Denny's waitress the next morning, "I will have the Hollywood Grand Slam." He gladly paid extra for four sausages. A safe didn't drop on his head on his way to work. There were no checks for three million dollars in unknown inheritance money or lottery winnings in his mail. He didn't even buy a ticket. A beautiful stranger with sharp teeth did not fly into his life. He was a pin pointer. He ran the machine that sharpened pins with a sure steady hand. His work was never perfect, but always reliably within quality limits. One day he produced a set of perfect pins. On that day he had breakfasted at a Persian restaurant in the South end of town. He hadn't even ordered, allowing the waiter to choose for him. They gave him an award and a bonus. He donated the bonus money for support of the kitten, which needed surgery for complications arising from the amount of water it had swallowed. The waiter at the Persian restaurant could not remember what his strange customer had for breakfast, even as the customer implored him to recall. He continued pointing pins of reliable quality, trying everything on the restaurant's menu (perhaps it had been a special?), then branching out to other Persian restaurants, other Middle Eastern food, and finally, after gaining 100 pounds, and gorging his mediocrity in every restaurant in town, he went back to the grocery. He bought: instant oatmeal packets (plain), three bananas and a box of brown sugar. The next day he produced another set of perfectly pointed pins. He admired them in their box, glowing shiny and perfect, and, with deliberate care, emptied the box into the trash.
12 Oct 2009
Copyright © 2009 Truck Smith