Deal 378: Voices 2

With my afternoon nap now completely disrupted, there was little else I could do but argue with the cause of the disruption. Clearly I wasn’t about to wake up from a strange dream. No, this was just another example of why my life is wall to wall weird. Assuming I am alive. No, wait. That question is the start of a very bad garden path, and I don’t want to go down that particular slippery slope. I am alive. All my senses say so, and at least as of this morning I spoke to other people who didn’t run screaming at the ghostly apparition. I am alive. It is my invisible, but unfortunately audible visitor that is no longer among the living.

“Ahem” the voice said, clearly annoyed at being ignored.

“Excuse me?”

“Oh, not this again. Haven’t we beat that horse to death? I’m not really alive, you are clever enough to notice, and I still have a message to deliver.” It was clearly getting annoyed with me.

“No one said anything about a message,” I said. I was still a touch snippy from losing my nap, and it may have been audible in my reply. Ok, perhaps I was more than a little snippy. “All the arguing about the chicken, and I missed the key point. You were told to come here and get my attention. Well, you have it now, so please do explain yourself or deliver your message.”

“Not my message, and it is still true that I don’t really know why I am here. But here I am, and the evidence is that I told a joke and you noticed. But, as you imagine, there is a message and I assume it is the reason I’m here. Because I’m still murky on the whole why am I here part of things.”

“Please, oh magnificent disembodied voice, may you never grow hoarse, please deliver the message you bear to these worthless and undeserving ears.” There. That is about the most grovelling I’ve put into a single sentence in a long time.

There was some stuffy silence.

“Well?” I asked in due course.

“Now you are mocking me.” It sounded a lot more petulant.

“Only a little. Please, deliver a message. We’ll decide the great questions of the meaning of life later.”

“Well then. The message is this: Love after. Life plurality.”

“Does that make sense to you?” I asked. “I mean, that seems more than a little strained.”

“I don’t know. Perhaps I’ve said it wrong. Try this: Love aft. Early people a little.”

“That doesn’t sound any clearer.”

“Well, I have to agree with you there. But I don’t have anything else. I’m not a tape recorder. That is what I was told to say. Figuring out what it means must be your problem.”


Deal 377: Voices 1

“Why did the chicken cross the road?”

The question startled me out of my reverie. I looked around. Good. I was still at home, so I wasn’t (yet) a victim here.

“Excuse me?” I asked to kill another moment as I continued to look around, and continued to not see anyone to talk to.

“Why did the chicken cross the road?” asked the voice.

“I don’t know, why?”

“Purple, it says here. Was that supposed to be funny?”

“Excuse me?”

“The illogical response. Was that a joke?”

“I suppose that in a pinch, it could pass for a joke.”

“Good. I can cross that off my list.”

“Excuse me?”

“My list of things to do. Even if I didn’t accomplish it in life, it still counts if I’m still me when I do it, right?”

“So you aren’t alive.”

“What is life anyway? Just a bunch of cells that think they are so smart, pretending that free will exists, or that it doesn’t exist. So what if I don’t seem to have any of those pesky hanging around. I’m still me, right? I think, therefore I am still applies here, right?”

This was beginning to get a tad too existential to handle in the middle of the afternoon, at least without warning. “Why are we having this conversation, exactly? And who are you?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know why we are having this conversation?”


“Who are you?”

“I don’t know.”

This was getting weird. At least it was increasingly clear that this was really happening, it was clearly too weird to be some episode. I tried again. “I was (am?) alone here. Then you imposed. There must have been a reason, disembodied voices don’t typically interrupt my afternoon nap to audition for a standup routine. Not least of which because I don’t do standup, and you clearly aren’t good enough. Why did this occur?”

“Oh.” The voice sounded almost thoughtful. “I’m not good enough to audition? But you just said you don’t do standup. How do you know I’m not good enough?”

Still weird.

“Whether or not I’m actually qualified to judge the art is immaterial. That isn’t what I do. So why is my afternoon nap now an argument about the quality of humor possessed by the voice that is interrupting it? The voice that has yet to introduce itself? The voice that would rather argue philosophy than answer a simple question?”

“But I wouldn’t at all.”

“Excuse me?”

“I don’t want to argue philosophy. There’s nothing to argue about.” Now it was obviously trying to provoke me. And, to be fair, it was succeeding.

“Methinks the oddly gender neutral stranger doth protest too much.”

There was a puzzled silence. “Excuse me?”

“There! Was that so hard?”


“That was all you really had to say at the beginning. Instead, you lead with a joke.”

“Oh, so it really was a joke? I was successful?”

“What? Yes. No. I don’t know. Let’s not go there right now. You are distracting me from my point.”

“What was that?”

I tried not to get too distracted. “All you had to do was to knock on the door.”

“I can’t do that. But I can talk. So I did that instead. Doing what I can do seemed far superior a way to get your attention that to fail to do something I can’t do. And at least part of the proof is that it worked.”

“Excuse me?”

“It worked. I have your attention. I do, right?”


“I’m curious. I really want to know. Did I succeed?”

“At what?”

“At telling a joke to get your attention. I’ve never done this before, I appreciate any feedback you might have.”


Deal 375: Haiku 2

TEMPORARY, fly by night helps
Ephemeral memories flee
Mortal so nowhere to hide
Passing Death’s door daily
Once healthy now not
Rarely revives

Illusions of will
matter more than actual
free will, to free will

X’ed out
Adz chops and shapes
X marks what’s to go
Eviscerating chips
Abort by free will’s demands
X-men cannot save everything
Evergreens survive another day.