Daily Prompt; Ordinary

Daily Prompt; Ordinary

He woke at 6:30, just like every other day.

He scooped a spoonful of Folgers Freeze Dried Coffee Crystals into his Kelly green cup. The one that said “Kiss me – I’m Irish” in gold letters around the middle, just like he did every other morning. He topped it off with water, a spoonful of sugar (as he hummed the ‘Mary Poppins’ song to himself), and a minute in the microwave. It used to take a minute and a half with the old one. The new one was much faster and he had saved a pretty penny by buying it on line at Walter’s. Free delivery too.

He shuffled through yesterday’s mail as he sipped his coffee. Nothing ever came in the post anymore except bills and advertisements.

Shit, shower, and shave.

White, short sleeved dress shirt.

Grey pinstripe suit with the blue tie today. He owned 5 ties, each a different pastel colour. No prints.

His silver Chevy sedan got him safely to work again. It was three years old. He traded his cars in every five years. Nothing but Chevrolet. His dad had driven Chevrolets.

His was parking spot 365, on the middle floor of the multi-story lot at Hitchens, Hitchens, and Brown. He worked on the third floor, in a cubicle almost as far from the elevator doors as he was from the windows. He waved through the window of Miss Johnson’s office and mouthed her a good morning. She frowned, turned her head, and reached for the receiver of the phone perched on the corner of her desk.

He didn’t like change. He didn’t like flash or bling. He liked being an ordinary guy with an ordinary job, an ordinary apartment, and an ordinary life.

Carefully he draped his suit coat on the wooden hanger he kept at work. He hung it on the hook he had taken from the empty cube when Marty had been fired. Marty wouldn’t care. Marty had abandoned it.

He powered up the desktop, turned the monitor so no one could see it if they glanced in at him working. He opened up the three spreadsheets that he had been working on for the last weeks and opened up his browser.

He typed in the url for his favorite porn site, cracked his knuckles and leaned back in his chair while waiting for it to load. He knew if Miss Johnson stopped by he could have the spreadsheets blocking the girls before she could get through the door. Miss Johnson was the only one who came by anymore, and that wasn’t very often. When she did it was ordinarily to change a deadline or hand him additional assignments that required hard copy documentation.

He smiled to himself when his login screen popped up on the monitor.

The Devil Eats Pasta

Just for grins!

I saw him just this afternoon

He came to the restaurant and sat in the front window

He didn’t look like Lucifer, but he is

About 5 – 4

with wire frame glasses

round, heavy lenses

A little pudgy but not what you’d call “fat”

Bald, with what hair he has

on the sides and back of his head

worn long, like the fringe around the bottom of a bedspread

His chubby cheeks smooth

like a baby’s bottom

Pasta, he ordered penne pasta with a meat sauce and

Red wine

and, I did the math,

he left a 2.4% tip


I wanna tell you guys something, put a bee in your bonnet, tug on your coat a bit…

I walk slowly down the passageway with a careful eye on the people who pass me from behind and the people who pass me the same way that ships pass on the open sea, going opposite directions. Everyone is flying their colors. It’s kinda an unwritten rule that. To identify yourself when you are in the building – kinda helps to break the ice, kinda serves as an unspoken introduction, kinda helps you find your peeps.

The place is full of veterans. I see WWII vets, Korea vets, Vietnam vets, Desert vets from the clashes in the Middle East. I see Navy and Army vets, Air Force vets, lots of Marines and even a couple of Coasties. Today I wore a simple watch cap with a submarine insignia patch sewn on the front.

I see vets of every race and gender, homeless vets, disabled vets. I see vets from all over the country, all over the world. We all have some things in common:

Obviously, we are all veterans and; although it’s not always obvious, we’re all sick.

I haven’t talked about it here but it’s time for me to bring it up. Last September, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. In early October I had surgery, and in November began chemo. I’m still doing it, too. Have about 12 more weeks to go. I have great doctors and wonderful support at home. The prognosis is good and I am convinced that 20 years from now I’ll be telling stories about all this shit.

It has taken a big bite out of my life though.

I don’t have a lot of energy, I sleep a lot, I don’t write as much as I would like.

I’m still working but I’m working shorter days.

I used to be invulnerable. I will be again!

I don’t regret this bump in the road – I am celebrating! I haven’t become spiritual; or embraced any new, or forgotten, gods – but I am learning. I think I might even come out of this a better person.

Maybe more tolerant, maybe more empathetic, understanding, patient, accepting…

New and improved?


The prompts:

  1. Well, that’s just delightful
  2. Spindly, embroil, charlatan
  3. Crying won’t help you

She was long and lean, spindly. She walked with a gangly gait.
She kept a small pistol within easy reach at all times and; she didn’t own a car.
She was a con and a charlatan, who ran a three card Monte game. A different corner every day

on a cardboard box…
easy to fold away…
easy to move if it got too hot…

We became embroiled with one another when I was sixteen.
She was twenty-one.
She gave me my first kiss.

She tasted of rye and cigarettes.
I was smitten.

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