Friday, February 7, 2014

Weights and Measures

I took today off.  Big plans tonight.  But even with a four day week, it felt like I crammed two or even three weeks’ worth of life in.  It was a pleasant change to not have any morning appointments.  I’m safely tucked into the studio learning how to use Windows 8 and Word 13.
I’m not sure how I feel about either yet.  Windows 8 is definitely wasted since I’m not using a tablet and am too cheap to buy a touch screen.  Actually, it isn’t about being cheap.  It’s that I sit too far from the screen to touch it without moving.  Like you care.
Today’s story was not inspired by real events.


      Kenneth – despite a mother who had wished to have a son people called Ken, the name had never taken, he was always Kenneth – rocked slowly on his porch.  It was one of those mornings that made him wish he had a second 80 years to enjoy.
      Then, quite out of the blue, the birdsong was interrupted by a blood curdling scream of rage and a crash from across the street.  The small second story window in Mrs. Peters house exploded outward, shards of glass and wood framing preceding a rectangular box.  The box bounced three times, springs and plastic flying off, though in diminishing quantities each time.
      Kenneth picked up his bird glasses and peered at the wreckage.  It looked like a set of scales.  He put the glasses down and smirked.  He liked the Peters family.  They had a lot of energy.
      A few moments later Mrs. Peters came out of her front door.  She was dressed for speed rather than going out and a bath towel was wrapped tightly around her head.  She looked around, spotted the crash site, and made her way forward.
      Kenneth waved to her and called out, “Good morning, Mrs. Peters.”
      She paused her recovery operation and looked across at him.  Her cheeks flushed.  “I didn’t see you there, Kenneth.”
      “Is everything alright?” he said.  “There was a bit of commotion earlier.”
      “Yes, quite fine.” she said.  “Everything’s under control.”  But it wasn’t.  She was having a terribly difficult time getting all of the pieces together.  And she was on the verge of falling apart herself – a state which precipitated the plummeting scales incident.
      Kenneth stood.  “Well, then.”  He stretched.  Picked up his empty coffee cup.  “I’ll be going along then, if you’re sure you’re alright.”
      Kenneth set his book down on the table next to the rocker and watched Mrs. Peters pull into her driveway.  She had a shopping bag.  Just one.  There was a rectangular box inside.  He waved to her.  She smiled and waved back.
      “Get everything you needed?” he called to her.
      “Oh yes.” she said.  “Can’t live without the necessities.”
      “You know you can’t trust the digital ones.  They’re always getting out of calibration.” said Kenneth.
      Mrs. Peters looked at him.  Shock, hurt, embarrassment, anger, and, had there been more time, a dozen other emotions, flooded through her.  She clutched the new scales to her chest and ran inside.  The scales that promised to help you lose weight by tracking every change and playing a motivational quote by one of four world famous trainers every time you missed your goal.

      This set would be different.

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