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Hmmm. Looks suspiciously like the beginning
of a new short story. Go figure.

This past month I was reminded for perhaps the tenth time in my life how
easily we can put our hopes in things and how quickly our plans may go
awry. It was a tough month in that regard. Mostly one big, long, slow
slide into disappointment. Let's just say I was happy when the page of
the calendar turned to December 1st. Artificial as calendars may be it
was like a reprieve. A new month. I should know at this point that my
life has these almost fated kind of restrictions in place; and also that
condition is the way it should be. Light and dark combined, the universe
is perfect. No matter how screwed up my own little piece of it may be.

Which is something I wish the people who keep calling me on the phone
would learn. I'll be sitting here working at the text editor and the
phone will ring. I'll pick up, thinking that it may just be something
important or somebody I want to talk to, only to have some guy on a
recorded message at the other end telling me that I should stand by for
an important update on my auto insurance. Which is kinda funny
considering I don't have an automobile. Or a motorcycle. Or a bicycle. I
don't even have a skateboard.

And then there are the seeming millions of credit agencies that keep
calling me about my student loan. A couple years ago, when my student
loans came due, I got an extension and then more recently have been in
negotiation with the U.S. Department of Education to have something or
other done with my loan due to my heart condition — either another
extension or perhaps a complete waiver. But all the credit agencies see
is the red flag that went up two years ago. They're like bunch of
vultures hovering over a carcass being eaten by a tiger. They think all
they have to do is keep trying and they will feed on my carcass. The
other day I even had a woman from one of those agencies lie through her
teeth to me, saying they had my driver's license number and that they
could get my license revoked. They can't, of course. Maybe that woman
has nothing better to do than to sit there all day long with her headset
on and lie to people, but I don't have to put up with that kind of shit.
I told her she was a lying bitch and hung up.

I should mention that I had a toothache at the time. Not that I would
probably have done any different had I been feeling okay. I have no
tolerance whatsoever for liars.

"All we ever hope for…" wrote Kate Bush so many years ago in one of
her songs. All we ever hope for in so many ways, hopes big or small. A
few days before that calendar page turned over to December, I opened a
new file on my text editor. I had been hesitant since the last group of
three short stories to write a new one. Those almost seemed like a set,
and a very good set, stories propelled by the ending of my natural life.
A lot went into those stories and I wasn't sure I could match them. But
now I am at the beginning of a rebirth with the new pacemaker which is
artificially extending my life. And so I opened that new text file
regardless. Perhaps, I told myself, it won't be as good as the others.
But you just can't stop doing something for fear of failure. Just as you
can't stop living as long as there's life left, even if it be one year,
one month, one day.

Unfortunately, where there's life, there is always hope. And there's the
rub. Life is always dragging out these little things in us, dammit.