the lost man chronicles
the daily chronicle

flaying the flavedo

At 6:30 AM I walked outside in my blue shorts and blue t-shirt, and my black sandals. Flip-flop, flip-flop, I carried the garbage to the corner and peeled my morning orange over the can. My neighbor was doing much the same, and so, we waved to each other. Itís amusing to thinkóI donít even know his name.

Almost three years ago I had a five minute chat with him and a few other fellas on our block, and that has been the extent of our interaction ever since. Nobody bothers anybody; no one tries to be too friendly, and thatís quite all right with me.

As I stood there peeling in the silence before sunrise, I believed for a moment that I actually liked this provincial and suburban lifestyle. Of course, it was rather easy to conjure such carefree nonsense considering I was not in a rush out the door this morning, nor hustling and bustling to be obsequious to the egos that be, so that I might humbly make the benjamins to pay the mortgage. No, today I was just taking a little vacation. And so I mitigated this minute of euphoria with a nudge to my senses, well knowing that a few days off will often fool anyone into feeling complacent while lost in repose.

After flaying the flavedo, I walked over to the mailbox down the street to drop in the magic red envelope. I wanted to catch the 7 oíclock pick-up and expedite the process to push out the next selection on the queue. For God knows it is much easier to watch another movie than to try and find a less demanding way to pass the time.

As I walked back, I noticed a sublime jet of petit purple flowers gracing the edge of the lawn. I smiled thinking, ďah, thatís nice,Ē and moved on. For a moment I pined for more garden sense, feeling it would be wonderful to be wise about all the flora that sprouts and sprawls about the house, but then, it occurred to me that this would just entail more yard work.

Initially, I was truly into it Ė mowing the lawn every other week, pulling weeds, moving many heavy rocks, upheaving and replanting a lot, as well as an overall overturn of the land to befit my eclectic tastes and appease my ad-hoc landscape aesthetics.

But then, boredom set in. The ennui inherent in the tedium of manual labor became all too cumbersome and intolerably time-consuming. So now, a college kid does it for meóhe makes a little money, while I buy myself some extra leisure time.

Sure, it is easy to believe youíre happy when there are no deadlines pressing against you, no cuffs that fray and make you so self-conscious that you resign to spend a day renewing your corporate wardrobe. Yes, it is all asinine and easy-going when youíre not closing your eyes, believing for the second time of the day that this indeed may be your last breath before traversing the terrible mile, that long shot through the tunnel of impending doom and a looming death by fire and brimstone.

Of course, Iím exaggerating my feelings of fear a little bit (but than again, Iím not). Amusingly enough, in my youth I often proudly beat my chest believing that life was but a test and that mediocrity was more daunting than my mortality. Now that Iím older and having been through a day of terror I shall forever remember, I think the order of what threatens my sanity and serenity most has completely reversed.

I still struggle with the notion that I am as common and ordinary as my neighbor, but as long as I remain conscious enough to be subject to this innocuous torment, Iím now more likely than ever to choose a boring life over feeling extraordinary and accomplished, as once was the burning impetus of my being.

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