Yesterday I cleaned up the apartment. Except for setting up a Linux server, I can’t think of anything else more dull than that so you all didn’t get anything for it. The only mildly amusing thing that happened was that I forgot that my dishwasher was working again and I did all the dishes by hand. It was only when I was nearly done and I thought, “Boy, I wish my dishwasher was working!” was when I realized that it had been fixed a couple of months ago. That’s all right, though, because it builds character. I can always use more character.
Doing mindless and tedious work does allow me to think, though. Sometimes it’s not a good thing; I think about people I used to know, things I wish I could have done differently, wishing I hadn’t eaten a keg full of really hot chili. Stuff like that. Other times, though, I think about wild and wacky stuff. Time travel, nano technology, quantum physics, big foot and all the conspiracies that haven’t amounted to much. I also consider TV shows and movies and why I think they could have been better and wondering why nobody in Hollywood listens to me. The fact that I never contact anyone in Hollywood, and that I don’t know anyone in Hollywood, never enters into it.
I finished watching Voyager yesterday. I feel like I’ve lost my mean old grandmother, but that’s the nature of television shows. Especially ones that have been off the air for a decade or two.
The other day io9 had a ‘rant’ about how the author wanted another “Star Trek” show and how it should be light and airy. I have to disagree. I think the franchise is played out. I’m not going to go into the original Star Trek because, frankly, I don’t care for it (go ahead and send that hate mail). All the “Star Trek” franchises are mostly the same. Same characters with different names, same story lines with minor differences, same this and same that. It was played out even before it got started. Voyager could have been a good start because they sent the ship out to unknown territory, a chance to discover new things and get into new situations. And they did at the start but then they devolved into the same old ‘time’ and ‘hologram’ stories. So much so that even the finale was a time travel story.
Enterprise, which is probably my favorite, was hobbled by having to pre-technology itself in order to fit in before the original series. Even then a large portion was based on time travel. They even had to meet a race that introduced them to ‘holodeck’ technology.
Even the reboot Star Trek movie isn’t enough to re-start a series because they really have to get away from the time travel, the holograms taking over their ships, and the non-life form fighting to be treated as a life form stories. And then what’s left? I don’t actually remember the reboot movie that well because I really hated it. I’ve seen it twice and only remember the idiotic opening scene that had nothing to do with anything.
That’s my take on it.
At 6’2” I suppose I could be considered a tall person. I think I’m somewhere around average which makes me wonder why counters are so low. It doesn’t help my back out, leaning just slightly over all the time.
A Box Of Junk
Okay, this is a two-fer but I don’t think I’ll have much to add today so I’m posting it. As a bonus, you all get a new short-short story. Enjoy!
It was a funny sight to see, the man strolling down the street with a box of junk in his arms. I mean funny as in weird, not humorous; it was anything but that. I used to see him at the park when I would sit on a bench and eat my lunch.
He would walk by and sit on the bench next to me. He would paw through his box, lift something out, and tell me about it.
"I remember this," he started, pulling out a sea shell. "Me and Mona, we were at a beach in Virginia. She loved to swim, couldn’t keep her out of the water until she was too tired to float. Boy, was she a good swimmer, too. Like a mermaid. She could have taught the dolphins a trick or two."
Then he’d be silent for a moment, looking blank. Sometimes he would pull out another trinket and talk about that or he’d just stand up, silently, and walk away clutching the box.
It didn’t matter what the weather was like. He and I were alike that way. I wouldn’t miss my lunch on a park bench. I’d even rigged a way of keeping an umbrella over me while I ate. I have to admit, too, that I began to enjoy the man and his stories.
The old man reached into the box and pulled out a dried flower. It looked like it was being held together by will power.
"I remember this," he said, softly. "We didn’t have a fancy wedding. She bought her wedding dress in a thrift store. I just wore my old suit. We went into town after the wedding, just the two of us, wearing our wedding clothes. Everyone treated her like a princess, with her wearing that big dress. She couldn’t get through a doorway but sideways in it. But she was happy that night, like I’d never seen her. And everyone treated her like a princess. The spotlight was on her all the time. We danced and laughed. She didn’t want the night to end, didn’t want to go home and sleep.
"We ended up going to IHop because nothing else was open anymore. Me and her, walking through the dining room with that poofy dress threatening to knock over tables, but no one minded because she looked so regal. The staff fawned over her. My darling was so tired, though, that she put her head down on the table and fell asleep. We all finally got her to the car, though.
He paused for a moment, started to speak, hesitated, then started again.
"She was asleep, but I picked her up, anyway. I was gonna carry her over the threshold, whether she’d remember it or not, I would do it. The next time I did it," he stopped again, took a breath. "She was in an urn."
He placed the flower gently in the box, lifted himself up and walked out into the rain.
I didn’t see him again at the park. I didn’t know him, not really, but I grew worried. I started calling the area hospitals and giving out his description.
I found him, finally, at St. Rita’s hospital. I talked to a nurse there. He had collapsed on the street and someone had called an ambulance and brought him there. He was all right but, you know, pretty old and living on the street. He didn’t seem to know who he was or where he was. He seemed to be suffering from amnesia of some kind. Did I know the man? No, not really. But, in a way, I think I knew him better than anyone else.
"Did they bring a box with him?" I asked. No, there was no box. Nothing but the old man.
I spent my next few lunch hours walking the city streets, trying to figure out where the man would be coming from when he came to the park. I looked down alleys, investigated garbage cans. It wasn’t something I meant to do; after all, I didn’t know him, didn’t owe him anything. But, still…
I walked down an alley and saw a box lying on its side with junk falling out of it. I crept up on it, almost afraid that it would bolt. There it was: a seashell, a postcard yellowing around the ragged edges, a dried flower that had seen far better days. I picked up everything that I thought belonged in the box.
"What’s this?" asked the nurse.
"It’s for the old man. It may help him with is amnesia."
She was skeptical and I don’t blame her. Some guy shows up with a box of trash and says it might cure amnesia is a pretty large pill to swallow. But she took it and I followed to make sure that she would actually give it to him. She did.
The old man poked through the box. He smiled. I heard him say, "I remember" and turned to go.
"Aren’t you going to stay?" the nurse asked me.
No. I didn’t know the man, but I knew his memories. A box of junk it may be to one man, but to another it was a whole lifetime.