Month: October 2009

I decided to take the stairs.

The elevators at my workplace went out yesterday for a time. I took the elevator this morning and noticed it pause a little on the 10th floor. I work on the top floor, the 11th.

So far today (for coffee, and lunch) I’ve gone up 22 flights of stairs and down 22. At the end of the day it’ll be down 33.

I figure it’s a good source of motivation for me to do something that uses less electricity and gets me exercising a little bit. Let’s see how long I stick with it.

Snoring made her leave

[A story, from the personal archives of gohlkus maximus, c. 2002.]

* * *

“When were you born?”

“Exactly 100 years ago today.”

A slight pause ensued. “Ah. Well. It says here on the, uh, sheet — it says you’re 26.”

“26, 100, what’s the difference?”

“Indeed,” the reply came, with a barely perceptible quizzical smile. “Well, all right.”

* * *

He, non-descript, pudgy, short, sat in a bland cafeteria in a brick office building. He stared pensively at, not through, the smoky plexiglas windows. Brushy shrubs failed to catch his attention as they swayed ever so slightly in the shifting wind.

After lunch and the sports section, both guilty pleasures, it was back upstairs.

“Are you still writing that story?”

“No, I gave it up.”


“It wasn’t going anywhere.”

A slight, uncomfortable pause. “Come on, you’re a talented guy. I’ve read the stuff on your website; I’m sure you can write a decent story.”

“I don’t know. I keep getting caught up in this dialogue between undefined characters. I think the idea is to make it ‘universal,’ but I’m not doing a very good job of it.”

“Huh. Yeah. That is a problem.”

“See? Why go on?”



“Why not? Maybe someone will enjoy it, or understand what you’re trying to get at, or feel something because of it….” The reply trailed off.

“‘Feel something,’ such as, ‘I just wasted my time,” or ‘This guy is a moron’?”

“Yes! That exactly. It’s better than nothing.”

* * *

He snored, which caused him grief. His live-in former girlfriend couldn’t fall asleep next to him; it took her longer than it did him — and, of course, he was snoring before she was anywhere near sleep.

His first attempt to solve the problem was to use Breathe-Right strips. The solution itself was problematic, since it was difficult to remember to apply them every night. Further, the routine that was necessary for the strip to function properly — wash nose, dry nose thoroughly, blow nose, brush teeth, peel backing from strip, apply strip just! so! — usually created such an unusual state of alertness at bedtime that it became difficult for him to get to sleep. The upshot of his snoring and otherwise (apparently) uninspiring lifestyle was that she left him.

* * *

Bar. Night. Wisconsin.

“I think it’s wishful thinking that it was just your snoring that, uh, prompted her to leave.”

“I did acknowledge the lifestyle somewhat.”

“But you minimized it significantly.”

“… True.”

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