Against the Odds

Mistakes, impossibly deep and costly, alter the course of the future and bring an end to the illusion that joy is within reach. Nothing can stop the errant, fast-flowing river of time from flooding its own channel, scouring its banks and leaving them bare, like bones picked clean by gluttonous scavengers.


I feel oddly uneasy this morning, as if all my wishes and hopes and dreams had belonged to someone else and they are being recalled. I am left hollow and empty and unable to think of anything to replace them.  Everything around me and within me is dull and lifeless. Even fantasies of road trips and new environs are flat and pointless. This is not something one wants to encounter on waking. Coffee that’s dry and tannic. Air that smells vaguely like rotted fruit and old socks. Ach!

During the night, jammed with disturbing dreams, smoke from a dust-fire spilled from a clogged attic into the room below, causing a commotion among golfers who blamed me for everything that went wrong with their rounds and their lives. I could do nothing to quench the flames nor correct what went wrong with their games. The golfers were arrogant and hungry and quick to lay blame on me for the smoke and their lack of food. Blinding smoke contributed to automobile accidents on surrounding streets. I was responsible for escalating monetary damages, though I had no money to pay them. Scared and angry, I thrashed about, trying to get free from the rope that tied me to a corpse.

I awoke to excruciating pain in my right shin. It was, in reality, a severe cramp in my leg, not the amputation without anesthesia my dream claimed it to be.  Seven hours of sleep; enough to make up for the night before, but not a curative for all that ails me.


Later today we  have plans. But for now they seem years away. I will try to wash away the debris of the night with more coffee; something that tastes better, I hope, than what I’ve had to drink thus far. Where is the promise of cooler weather and all the pleasantness it would bring? Where is the brilliant sunrise that fills the sky with color and light?

Some days just wallow for hours, never quite achieving what they could have been. Maybe this is one of them. My head aches and my eyes itch and nothing seems quite right. I have to drag myself out of these doldrums, if that’s what they are. I am not good company for myself at the moment. God only knows what kind of company I might be to my IC or anyone else. I should hide under a tarp until I morph into someone more tolerable than this.  But I think I must meet my obligations, instead.


Time to face the day. Odds are that the day will win this round. But maybe I’ll beat the odds. Not likely, but possible. I’ll try to go against the odds.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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3 Responses to Against the Odds

  1. Debbie and Mick, maybe you’ve both hit on something. Maybe high-dose caffeine is exactly what we need!

  2. Debbie Kirilov says:

    Maybe you two need a Nespresso cappuccino maker and a frothing machine. Takes little space and a nice, smooth flavor. Carpe diem!

  3. Mick says:

    Given the night you had, you may need something stronger than coffee.

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