Dark Side of the … Movie?

I was in the grocery store today — the same one as before.  I was wearing my Pink Floyd shirt with a prism on the front.  The title of the album associated with that prism was printed across the top.  The courtesy clerk took special notice of it.

“What does your shirt say?  ‘Dark Side of the … Movie?’”

I faltered, but regained my composure quickly.

“‘Dark Side of the Moon.’  It’s one of the best selling albums of all time.  Came out in 1973,” I said.

“Album.  Huh,” he said.

Being the non-violent type, I just walked away.

Honorably Mentioned

There’s a long-running writing contest called Writers of the Future.  I’ve told myself that I would enter for 25 years, and last fall, thanks to incessant prodding encouragement from my friend Charles Anderson, I finally did.

Last week, my wife called and said I had received a manila envelope in the mail.  It contained a WotF Honorable Mention certificate, along with a brief complimentary note from the contest coordinator.  I’ve been told that because there are so many entrants, getting an Honorable Mention is quite an accomplishment.

I’m in good company, though.  My friend Charles Anderson?  He got one, too.


Fibromyalgia: a chronic disorder characterized by widespread pain, tenderness, and stiffness of muscles and associated connective tissue structures that is typically accompanied by fatigue, headache, and sleep disturbances

Allodynia: pain resulting from a stimulus (as a light touch of the skin) which would not normally provoke pain.

My wife has fibromyalgia.  Sometimes, her pain sensitivity approaches allodynia levels.

I took her a glass of soda today, and my arm brushed hers.  She recoiled in pain and snapped at me.  Evidently, my touch shocked her.

I didn’t even feel it.

It’s very hard not to feel guilty or take it personally.

The Decision

$125.36 for round trip tickets.  No luggage.  That would have been $40 more.  No family.  That would have been at least another $165.00.  My credit card only had $127.50.

“Mom, I’m coming out.  I’ll be there when Judy’s there, so you’ll have the family together, like you and Dad want, at least for a couple of days.”

“Good!  I’ll be happy to see you.  By the way, I wanted to let you know … we didn’t intend to hurt Lannette by not inviting her.”

“Well, you did.  That hurt me too.  I’m still not happy about it.”

“I’m sorry, hon.”

The Return Call

“Dad, I need some more details.  It’s not going to work for me to just tell work that I’m going to Vegas to watch movies with my parents.  What’s going on?  Why do I have to be there within a month?”

“I never said anything about a month.”

“Yes, Dad, you did.”

“Well, we just want to see you, and we don’t want you to have any distractions.”

“I have to bring my family, Dad.  I have to help Lannette with her medications.”

“Well, then, never mind.  Just forget about it.  We’ll call the whole thing off.”

I’m still shocked.