Cold Comfort

A tree. With snow. Because winter.

Now is the winter of our malcontent
His frostbitten words ring blue
A glass half frozen
Never boils.

Now is the midnight of our summer's dream
Sheets of ice are cold comfort
Like a blanket of snow
We're all suffering here, buddy.

Now is the basement of our restraint
You can put a sock in it
And a reading lamp
What would Eeyore do?

The Shadow of My Penciled-In Moustache

Good for business, no matter how you spell it. Monday morning. An old song, a new radio, and a pencil behind my ear to show the world I mean business. I don't always say what I mean, so a pencil is a good way to get the point across without coming off as flirty, or ostentatious. Business can be funny that way.

Tapping my foot in time to the mumbling from the radio, I merged into the stream of busses clogging the HOV lane. Just as my other foot was beginning to get the hang of it, a burst of static spoiled the rhythm, leaving a question mark where the downbeat had been. Solar flares can be funny, too, but have no place in business.

Lowering my visor, I noticed that half of my moustache was gone. If I'm like most people, mirror images are useful for reflecting the overall look and feel of a situation, as long as it's understood that objects are presented vice versa, if not always closer than they appear. The mental gymnastics required for translating verse to visum are the stuff of legend, making me all the more grateful for the words of the guy who was always floating around without his cheeseburger, and more grateful still that a song containing those words happened to come out of my radio at precisely that moment.

Yeah, I wish I had a penciled-in mustache, then I could solve some mysteries too.

Drawing my ear-pencil from its holster, I thought about the spelling as I filled in the shadow where my natural hair had been. Would anyone notice? If so, would it become a bone of contention? I laughed, and shifted gears. What am I, a dictionary?



Oh mama Traditionally, this time of year carries the shame of impossible resolutions blurted to strangers during unguarded moments in restroom stalls, where every promise is amplified. Regret is not a four-letter word, and six letters are certainly out of the question where one-ply is the only available medium, leaving verbal communication to do the grunt work. Barring the rapid deployment of anechoic washrooms, I expect this tradition to remain in full force until I resolve to keep my mouth shut, which I cannot do until December. Hence the regret.

As I indulge the new habituations of 2014, it will be with the reasonable expectation of privacy that comes from living in a glass house, which has little in common with the lead-lined bunker I envisioned in 1984. But times change, and the cup-and-string arrangement I relied on in those days has betrayed my agenda more times than the Russians can count, if indeed they even keep track of my movements anymore. Planned obsolescence has come and gone, propelled by the tailwinds of washroom transmissions at frequencies too low to be detected by modern surveillance equipment, too high to pass for swamp gas, and too farfetched to be taken seriously in the brave new light of January's dawn.

This, too, is progress.