Nearly paralyzed by the anguish of despair, the poor Mr. F dragged his feet beneath the warm sun as he pondered whether to beg, steal or forget about a morsel of food. The answer created a struggle of character more than hunger as he walked further from the sidewalk adjoining his school and a gas station. To his surprise, a cherry apple colored car screeched to a halt in a gas lane. The driver door swung open and exposed a well-dressed young person whose thickly heeled shoes tapped the ground with severity. Keen on concealing the extent of his curiosity, Mr. F adjusted his navigation toward the array of cigarette ads and scratched windows to get a clear view of the newcomer’s reflection.
To Mr. F’s surprise, the suave energy and tailored attire of a bearded young lad uplifted his spirits and pushed him to the point of laughter when he reflected on the juxtaposition of gracelessness and elegance of the arrival. It was a change of pace in this part of the city where bursts of expression puncture the stale sensation of normalcy but depart just as quickly. As the gentleman hurried from his car to the entrance, Mr. F straightened his posture and allowed the spectacle to enter first.
Inside, the gas station attendants boisterously debated with a paying customer the previous night’s surprise football victory. The debate ensued with “Yo, bro” strewn throughout the conversation, which Mr. F learned to expect as much as the consistent banana supply at the first register. He sauntered down the chip and frozen food aisle, which led to the fully stocked energy drink display where Mr. F routinely scrutinized lists of ingredients and caffeine contents.
His final decision was the same as always so he let the door slam shut as he went up a different aisle toward the animated sports conversation. Not wanting to be rude, he hovered on the carpeted space and looked to his left to see if the red car was still parked outside. To his dismay, he remembered hearing the clicking of heavy heals exit as he contemplated the origins of taurine but the absence of the car left a foreboding sentiment in the pit of Mr. F’s stomach.
“Alright, I can help next customer right here,” exclaimed one of the cashiers.
“Hi, how are you today?” inquired Mr. F.
“Just fine, thank you. And yourself?”
“Well, thanks. Can I get a,” Mr. F quickly scanned the familiar candy display just below the register, “Never mind. Just the drink will do.”
The cashier rambled something very quickly to his coworker then asked Mr. F as he prepared to swipe his card, “Debit or credit today?”
“Credit will do, thanks,” replied Mr. F.
“Credit, alright. Go ahead and swipe.”
Mr. F swiped his card and waited for the receipt as the cashier greeted a new customer. A receipt was the least of his desires so he waved to the cashier while he turned to the left and made his way back to the school.
Mr. F recognized one of the voices exclaiming, “Hey, Ms. Y,” or “Hey, Ms. G,” blurted out by students who were scolded for not walking quietly in the hallway. He gazed at the desks upon which he laid handouts for his exam review but Mr. F felt certain the afternoon would flow smoothly to review for the forthcoming test. His plan entailed a question and answer competition with opportunities for students to earn sweet incentives. This, in his mind, would influence students to recognize the advantage of a review day and improve their disruptive behavior exhibited in previous weeks.
Just a few minutes before they were released from lunch, he remembered he needed to retrieve the vintage tin (a lengthy container holding sweet incentives) from its hiding place. He snatched a sheet of paper left on the floor while approaching the metal storage cupboard, slowly opened the door and peered over his right shoulder to make sure no one was watching as they passed his room.
He grabbed what used to be a tin for crackers but Mr. F noticed the weight was significantly lighter than when he left his class the day before. As he moved from the rear corner to the front of his classroom where he would place the bribing system, he opened the lid and found only a quarter of the full supply of incentives left in the tin. The only thing on Mr. F’s mind was getting through a successful day of reviewing with his students and while candy was the least of his worries, stealing was quite another matter.
As he walked toward the board of the classroom, one of his more amiable students entered the room and inquired, “Ey, Mr. F, can I have some candy?”
In an instant, Mr. F’s stomach tensed and wanted to remark, “It’s rather difficult to appease you and your classmates’ plethora of desires especially when a simple incentive system can be abused in the manner I recovered it within fourteen hours of leaving my classroom.” However, he decided a succinct note inside the tin would suffice as he continued walking down the hall to return the culprit’s worksheet, which he found in the vicinity of the nearly empty tin.
As a new month begins, making transitions
between cities, embarking on journeys of
professional and artistic endeavors, or
progression with relationships one has with
others, while finding centered moments and
learning to thrive with a third guiding force
of intuition on not only significant matters
but sustaining peace and helping others
achieve the same awareness, seems like
exceedingly practical goals to accomplish.
These days many people seem to be
overextending their skills because they can
identify elements in need of support while
accomplishing requirements of one’s position
but are unmet with support from superior
authorities of seemingly less creativity-inclined
mindsets. The interview with Nicolas Ghesquière
proved the vitality of recycling the feeling of
empowerment within a place of work.
What was clear was the disintegration of
language juxtaposing the eerie immediacy
of information, which one cannot refute
as a sort of ambiguity in establishing
how one can grow when the original
responsibilities of one’s occupation
no longer carry the same intensity while
moments of reflection demonstrate the
cloudiness masks an abusive demand for
one’s skills. Is this the plight of all
creative entities? Perhaps, however, as
aggressively as the wind pushes against
bare tree branches, it seems one must
navigate through cumbersome hierarchies
in pursuit of support for successful
achievement with exceptional stamina in
order to overcome rigidity of tradition.
I wonder how long it will take for Playboy
to move beyond the impediments posed in Goa.
If change incites skepticism from occupied
positions of power, how do creative gusts
of wind garner enough momentum to motivate
a wholesome and effervescent evolution?
Riding the train is one of the best ways to travel because it forces one to evaluate a forthcoming vacation or move and anticipate the risks and adventures. Before taking a vacation or making a big move, there is one inevitable question that may flee past the corners the traveler’s mind: How does one decide what to wear for traveling?
As I was packing, I found an old purple t-shirt with a few discrete nips in the fabric. This was a practical and comfortable shirt, which hadn’t been worn in a while but I felt like this was the perfect time to test its durability. I wanted to pack a more appropriate pair of shoes for the gray slacks and wear a more comfortable pair for the ride but I couldn’t have squeezed a single sheet of paper into the bag–I was told in Toledo the suitcase weighed fifty pounds over the baggage weight limit. I opted to wear the extra pair in addition to wearing a versatile black vest that I couldn’t bring myself to crease.
I met a very kind gentleman who was on his way to Manhattan to reunite with friends as we were waiting to board the train in Toledo. He exuded the casual energy of someone who had grown accustomed to the art of dressing for travel as he sported a black knit hat, thick rimmed glasses, dark wash skinny jeans and an over sized North Face zip-up, which covered a gray or perhaps beige a-shirt. He regarded himself as someone that wouldn’t wear pajamas on any moving vehicle, rather a traveler that dresses for comfort in lieu of form.
After he took a few shots of my ensemble inside the Toledo station, the battery died so I couldn’t take a photo of his look. Even though electrical sockets were accessible on the train, neither of us had the energy for a even a brief photo shoot but I had a delectable view of the outside from my window.