• Sam.thumb
    Chris Okum
    Dec 30, 10:55pm

    I'm about to turn 51, which, if I'm lucky, means three quarters of my life is over. I'm a totally average human male, around 5'10, and weighing in at close to 200 pounds. My hair is starting to thin in the back and around the top front, which means that in all likelihood I'll be what's considered bald should I make it to 60 years old. My wife and daughter hate bald men. I dress on the low-end of casual, in jeans and sneakers, t-shirts under windbreakers, and I only dress this way because I don't have the money to dress like I want, which is on the mid-high-end of formal, in expensive suits and shoes. Lately I've been avoiding mirrors. In my mind's eye I'm still somewhere around 30 years old, but when I catch myself in a mirror I'm reminded that I'm basically what others consider an older man, and that I'm ugly, in a relative sense, i.e., no one passing me on the street would even think to look at me because there's nothing exceptional to look at. I can't seem to shake the idea that my life, from here on out, is going to be a slow motion wave of increasing humiliations, ending with the greatest humiliation of all: the body ceasing to function properly, thus shorting out my consciousness and sending me, alone, into the eternal void. And yet I still have to maintain the propriety of being a husband and a father and an employee. I would love to take refuge in the memories of my childhood, but my parents, via the death spiral that was their marriage and subsequent divorce, ruined what is, for most, a last, pathetic (but somewhat useful) defense against looming oblivion. I want to live. I want to die. And yet all I can do is wait. But waiting for the inevitable is no way to live because at some point it becomes the only way you do live. If the point of a life is to always anticipate the end of it, then what was the point at all. I'm wearing two pairs of sock today because my shoes are too big. Good-bye 2022, hello 2023.

  • Darryl_falling_water.thumb
    Darryl Price
    Dec 31, 06:24pm

    And a Very Happy New Year to you, Chris!

  • Erika-byrne-ludwig.thumb
    Erika Byrne-Ludwig
    Dec 31, 06:35pm

    A portrait painted with a self-deprecatory brush. Thanks Chris. I enjoyed it.

    Happy New Year to you and to all fictionauters.

  • Img_5429.thumb
    Dianne McKnight-Warren
    Dec 31, 08:19pm

    Happy New Year! Thanks Chris. I think of the song Raining in My Heart. I haven't thought of it in years. Who sang that?

  • Img_5429.thumb
    Dianne McKnight-Warren
    Dec 31, 08:36pm

    Buddy Holly

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    eamon byrne
    Jan 01, 01:01am

    Hey Chris, that's brilliant. Reads like one of your stories. Actually it's got a sort of a happy vibe to it. At least it made me feel a bit better than I felt last year .. I mean yesterday. Time flies, Chris, and we're all heading into that black hole. You're among friends here buddy.

  • Dscf0571.thumb
    David Ackley
    Jan 04, 11:09pm

    Look at the bright side, Chris, Franco is still dead. Seriously, more or less, Happy New Year, and for what it's worth, your writing contributes to the possibility.

  • Better.thumb

    This is the best thing I've ever read, ever.


  • Dscf0571.thumb
    David Ackley
    Jan 13, 03:51pm

    Smiley's right, it's really good. You should put it on the front page, where it'll be read by more than us diehards.

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