CORAGYPS ATRATUS

They sit on the barren tree staring at what we cannot fathom. They are strangely beautiful creatures and utterly odd looking as well. Their black plumage is entrancing, more so when put on display by extended wings. But inevitably it is their head and neck that draws the eye. Gray against the ebony of their bodies, and wrinkled as if wearing a chain mail balaclava. We can only imagine how strange we must look to them. And with the mutual nod we retreat to the house as they lift into the waiting sky.

WHEN

“When all else fails.” Oh, how I hate that phrase. Plan Omega perhaps, but how do they know all else has failed. Did they make a list? And just perhaps did one else succeed just a little. I mean failure ought to be complete. I know it never is, and if it isn’t tha complete failure then it was at least partially a success in that binary logic. So how do you ever get to when all else fails? God forbid you do, I don’t want to think about hearing “when all failed” for there is nothing to say after that is there?

SOON

They are coming for him and he is ready. He has been waiting for this moment for quite some time. It Isn’t what he wanted certainly, but now it isn’t something to fear. He knows that once they come, he will look back on it and regret the moments he spent being concerned. He will think of all of the things he could have done with that time, moments wasted, enjoyment forgone. And he also knows that he will repeat the entire process again next year. That’s just how it is with the first day of a new elementary school year.

DECLARATION

Someone declared it Star Wars Day, but that is not fair to the progenitors of that series of films and countless spinoffs. Imaging Captain Kirk engaged with a Klingon in a lightsaber battle, Mr. Spock standing by and commenting “illogical.”. And for that matter, why not imagine Gort looking down at Klaatu and saying, “No, I am your father.” On forty-second thought, let’s leave things as they are.

WHY NOT AN ELEVENTH?

The internet, he said, was God’s gift to Satan, but Satan returned it within the warranty period since it didn’t bring him nearly as much business as he had hoped. That, and the broadband in Hell was iffy most of the time, something about the heat, like broadband in Florida in the summer, only worse. God didn’t particularly want it, so he gave it to humans, figuring one more plague might keep them from begging for all manner of selfish things.

MILLIMETER

I would love to work for the Postal Service. I don’t want my own route, and I certainly do not have the right temperment for working at the counter. The health insurance is good, and the retirement would be something to look forward to. But I want one job in particular. I want to the the man who sits all day with the micrometer and measures the mail to see if it is over a 1/4 of an inch thick, so he can send it back for additonal postage.

STOIC

He will do it again tomorrow as he did yesterday and each day before that for as long as he can remember. He would like not to have to do it, but he knows he must, just as he knows the outcome will be almost the same, just the slightest of changes imperceptible from day to day. He doesn’t like the changes, and wishes he could reverse them. But although he has asked, the morning mirror says he cannot. And the mirror is not smiling.

EXPECTATION

They came this afternoon. They were not expected. They tend to show up when thet are not expected. We expect that of them. They did not tell us they were coming. If they had, we would expect them. They do not want to be expected. We expect that of them. They did not do what we expected. They do not like doing with people expect. We expect that of them. They left in the middle of the visit. We did not expect that. We expect that they will come back. But they are not expected.

ARRIVE

She doesn’t arrive. We knew she likely would not arrive. We are not certain why she has chosen not to arrive. She is good at arrivals. She is good at not making arrivals. If she said why she didn’t arrive we would accept that reason. We would also question that reason. She is good at giving reasons. She is good at giving reasons that are not real reasons. So we wait, for perhaps one day she will arrive.

SENTINEL

She carefully noted all of the comings and goings. She dares not miss a thing, that would be unthinkable. She takes mental notes, has no need for recording devices. She will tell you when something is out of the ordinary. She will demand you act when that happens. She will describe to you how that appeared to happen and what she thinks caused it. She is ever vigilant. She has no choice, after all she is a house cat.