This is the sum of forty-seven years on earth. My great achievement. Proof of my existence. Are you ready? Payoff for a life lived. My high water mark. Check it out: I enter Pinnacle Deli, approach the counter, I say, “The usual.” Nothing more.
Like setting off a Rube Goldberg machine, these two words have feet sliding and arms twisting and eggs landing on the skillet, a hiss. Toasters toasting and coffee pouring. The end result: an everything bagel topped with two eggs over easy (yolk runny enough to moisten the bread, not so thin it’s dripping down my fingers) and a large coffee (light, two sugars). But only, “The usual.”
Here I peak. God bless these folk. Who’ve set aside a small piece of their memory (a chunk of brain that could hold football statistics or their daughter’s imaginary friend’s favorite color) for this poor fool’s breakfast.
So if I leave no other footprint upon departure from this sticky planet, let that be my legacy. And when other men dine with wives, families, remember: their meals may be spoiled by argument, or worse, silence. But Winston’s is always perfect at only two words.
As best I can figure, the difference between laws and rules is this: laws apply always. Rules need only be followed in public. Murder is never appropriate, regardless of forum. But letting rip an outrageous fart—acceptable when seated alone on your couch, of immeasurably poor taste on a jam-packed bus. Here is my problem: so many people don’t get the between-the-lines nature of rules.
On the stoop, I watch my breath and I watch dog piss slowly freeze into hazardous ice slicks. Who walks by is this 20-something with a sharp pea coat and a pair of white Velcro shoes. Exactly what I mean. In your private residence, go on and get your kicks. But among the general population, Velcro shoes: kosher only on those under seven or over seventy. Take some pride in yourself. Try not to slip.
Rules, I’ve gone far to abide. Never, not even in childhood, was I to make a disturbance, a scene, a splash. If, in addition to most athletic and most likely to succeed, my senior class had voted on most anonymous, I’d have been a shoe-in. Unless, maybe I’d kept too low a profile.
When typing smack over internet checkers, I follow two rules: first, keep the salty language in check (“fool” not “fucker”). Second, never threaten an opponent’s person (Yahoo! will involve authorities). That said, WinningWinnie61 doesn’t suffer fools.
I will jump and double jump. Sacrifice pieces, set up shots. Triple jump. Blockade. And throughout, a running commentary at screen’s bottom. Your collapse, play-by-play. Sometimes, no response. But you read. Sometimes, a curt reply. You’re fuming. Sometimes, I might just bring out the best in you.
WinningWinnie61: What could you hope to accomplish with that move buddy?
FlyingKingFaLife : strategy
WinningWinnie61: Gotcha. Hey, can I ask you a question?
WinningWinnie61: Faux hawks and you?
FlyingKingFaLife: dude. what’s your issue?
WinningWinnie61: Wait for it…
WinningWinnie61: …you’re both over!
WinningWinnie61: Disappointing effort buddy.
FlyingKingFaLife: whatever man. i gotta go take my lady friend out for dinner
WinningWinnie61: Remember, you need at least a basic skill set before calling your moves a “strategy.” And review my play. You cross a talent this caliber but almost never.
FlyingKingFaLife has signed off