Skeleton Life

Falling through the universe at the speed of life

By David Glenn Cox

How’s everyone doing? I’m much better, I’m not talking to myself anymore. Not until I get an apology anyway. Despite all my rage… Four walls, one couch, one fluffy ambivalent house cat. Daily phone calls and emails. I work in outside sales and since that involves meeting people, here I sit. I’m working from home but can only do so much which makes me feel guilty for sitting at home. Work isn’t generally at home, and it’s different when you’re not working for yourself. But the people I call on are out of the office or on an abbreviated schedule or shut down altogether. Everything is so far status quo, most of our customers are still working, but for how long? There’s is a nervousness in every laugh and an unspoken pause lingering in the air. You hear the tires squeal and wait for the sound of the crash.

Like an infant, my days and nights are becoming mixed up. I rise at all hours and sleep until I wake up. I no longer use an alarm or for that matter a clock. Morning daylight, mid-morning the shadows disappear. Evening they return pointed the other way. Breakfast lunch and dinner and at eight o’clock, the daily howl. Neighbors around the apartment complex and housing development choose eight as the appointed hour to stand outside and bark, howl and scream. It is both noble and primal, a cathartic exercise in large group therapy. Support for the troops on the front line. Sympathy for the victims and rage uber allis.

You couldn’t sell this plot in Hollywood. Okay see! It’s an epic! “The Towering Inferno” meets “Godzilla” during “Earthquake”! “On the Beach” meets “The Grapes of Wrath.” Pearl Harbor meets the Crash of 29, during a pandemic while living in the World Trade Center. It’ll be awesome! We’ll get Brad Pit and a blonde from central casting. Ben Stiller can be the wacky off beat second lead best friend. Always quick with advice and more interested in your life than a straight man ought to be. The scene opens at a party, where a woman says, “Hey everybody, there’s a special message on TV from the President!”

Then the camera opens on the Presidential seal then that big wooden desk. Behind it sits a large orange moron! The guys just jabbering barely making sense and he’s the President! Well? What do you think?

It’ll never sell, it’s too farfetched, too hard to believe. That is a suspense picture not an action picture and I’m not Alfred Hitchcock. It’s about what’s going to happen not about what has happened. Besides, who would believe the leader of the free world is a large orange moron? Comic relief can’t play the lead! Maybe you could jazz it up. You know a lot of slow-motion shots, maybe a score by Bonjovi. Instead of a house party a Bikini Contest in Venice. Instead of a large orange moron maybe a shark in joker make up!

And the shark has a drinking problem and doesn’t get along well with his mother. Yeah, I think I’m seeing this!

What about Ben Stiller?

Can he swim?

Or maybe we could do it like “Castaway” with Tom Hanks and the whole are world trapped on this island see, with no one to talk to except a soccer ball. They’re all losing their minds. They don’t have enough to do, and their boredom increases their feelings of anxiety. Feeling locked away, frozen in time, suspended in a skeleton life, the Birdman of Alcatraz watches everything fly away. A Killer shark in orange make up, befriends Tom Hanks and encourages him to go swimming.

And then the shark eats him?

No, the shark is insane and off its rocker. It says lots of crazy things, some funny, some frightening. You begin to understand why the shark drinks and doesn’t get along with his parents. Everything he touches turns to shit. He couldn’t even build a lamp in shop class and had to spend a Saturday in detention for bringing a gun to school!

Nearly seventeen million Americans have applied for unemployment, bread winners, heads of households responsible for others waiting on checks that aren’t going to be enough. Will I become one of them? Will the orange moron save the day? No, we don’t do comedies here. Ben Stiller’s as close as you get.

Bernie Sanders has dropped out of the Presidential race and remember our motto: Keep Hope at Bay! In the midst of a global pandemic, the presumptive Democratic nominee doesn’t believe in Medicare for all. Sort of like FDR not believing in Japan. Thousands upon thousands of hospitalized with days in the ICU receiving an invoice for services rendered while unemployed. Millions, literally millions of Americans facing destitution and the presumptive Democratic nominee won’t even throw us a couple of aspirin and pat us on the head.

The issue of our times is our lives. If they don’t save the people, they can’t save the economy. You don’t need a steel mill if I can’t afford razor blades. They have no excuse, that answer has been displayed by history and time is of the essence. When my lease is up, I will probably leave Denver. Nice place, too expensive for a single man who doesn’t hike or rock climb. I was looking online for Real Estates prices, and it snuck up on me and took me by surprise though it shouldn’t have. Most of the listings were showing large price discounts as the new reality sets in.

You hear the tires squeal and wait for the sound of the crash. Locked away alone with little to do other than worry about an uncertain future. A future led by a large orange moron. I don’t think I’m depressed; the loaf of bread was on my side, but the box of raisin bran said I was depressed. I’m okay, just a little restless in a skeleton life.

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