The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

No Straight Lines
by Justin Fish

I’m not as young as I used to be. I can tell by the aches, the pains, the white hairs slowly creeping across my scalp like noodles through a cornfield. Every day, more noodles. Every day, fewer ears of corn. And the only way this simile has any chance whatsoever of working is to imagine noodles as white instead of beige and my hair as green or yellow, tall, and full of woodchucks.  But you get the idea. 

I am getting older. That’s what I’m trying to say.

But I’m not depressed about it. In fact, I’m quite relieved. I am ready to embrace the future. For where else but in the future does everything unfold exactly as planned?

Oh, I had dreams. I was going to be a successful something or other, doing this or that, exactly as planned. I was going to travel the world. I was going to give up my career with who on Earth knows and take on a challenge that involved actual work, and then say, Heck with this, and go back to being lazy. I had it all planned out.  

I had fully expected to age gracefully, my accumulated wisdom oozing out of my pores for all to see and smell. I would walk down the street and people would fall to their knees and cry out, “Oh, bless me, please, Bearer of Ancient Wisdoms who smells of gifts to be bestowed! You certainly have aged gracefully, just as we expected, and your lithe suppleness in combination with your taut and bulging muscles inspire me to better myself and my neighbors! Especially my neighbors.”

And I would raise a hand and squint at the heavens, and doves would take flight from my pockets, and elephants would appear behind me trumpeting their praises. I would finally awaken from my self-adoring rapture, and the sun would be glinting off gold and silver strewn at my feet.

This hasn’t happened yet. I sometimes do see bright flashes, but supposedly that’s normal and happens to everyone.

But I’m not disappointed, because that’s a lot of pressure right there, the whole bless the world thing. And I’m guessing it involves a lot of walking, and I’m not sure I have the appropriate shoes. 

So I eagerly embrace future unknowns and uncertainties. I have come to believe that any path worth traveling winds through trees and meanders through meadows. It leads across rivers and under fallen logs. If you are lucky, you will find yourself scaling mountain tops and swimming oceans. And if you’re unusually fortunate, at this point you will be merely lost and not dead, for all that wandering about sounds a bit risky, if not downright dangerous.

But you should feel free to do whatever you like. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.  

I’m going to stick to what I know. The future will unfold as it desires, and I look forward to it. But I’m not making any plans, by golly, because I know better.