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Happy May Day 2017! And may all your pole dancing (ha!), birthdays, half-birthdays, and protests be merry and bright. One year ago, today, I made the astringent vow to try to do a post each day during May, 2016. I failed. Sorry. I missed two or three days. Then I missed two more in June, the 3rd and the 12th. However, since June 12, 2016, I have made at least one post, here, every single day.

This little number marks the beginning of the 47th week in a row of unbroken ramblings – quite a change from the olden days of me taking a week or six months off. Heck, four or five days aside, I’ve been consistent for a whole year. And this May makes 29 months without a …. break. BTW, this one is post number 1,200!

Next month is the five-year anniversary of this website. Volume increases aside, not much has changed since the humble beginnings. I still don’t care for government. I love cigars. I still workout. I don’t get the culture. And you seem to like (or at least tolerate) it all. Sometimes we even have special features like this one:

The Killing Chair

I write in a variety of settings: cigar shops, bars, coffee houses, hotel rooms, parks, jail cells, Interstate rest areas, etc., etc., etc. Still, much of what I do happens outside, amidst the flowers, birds, and critters, hunkered down in a battered old wicker chair. It’s the kind of chair that one picks up on the side of the road at night when one thinks no one is looking. Or, at least, that’s how I got mine.

It’s uncomfortable, ugly, and sorely in danger of falling apart. If it were a truck or SUV, I’d drive it.

The thing works for me. I have a similarly disheveled “table” at my side which holds coffee, water, or beer, and the flowerpot saucer that I call a cigar ashtray. A place for every thing and every thing in its place.

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What follows makes Saint Frances bow his head in sadness…

Like I said, I usually prefer to type out-of-doors. This places me at ease and in close proximity to nature (or what semblance of that we have in the cities). My work is assisted by a number of: birds, bees, spiders, lizards, bats, snakes, stray cats, the infrequent possum, toads and frogs. (I do not enjoy the company of mosquitoes).

My dilapidated chair sits out regardless of whether I’m in it; most times I am not. However it is not necessarily empty. Those aforementioned critters must obviously make use of it during my absences. They, some of them, must like it as I do. They’ve become comfortable with it, in it, familiar.

They say familiarity breeds contempt. In this case it has been downright fatal.

One day – morning or evening I cannot remember – I approached the chair. Come to think of it, it must have been daylight or else I would not have discovered the grizzly scene. In the chair, where I normally sit and ramble half-crazed, there was, that day, a spider. It was a small, brown, wood spider, maybe the size of a nickel. And it was flat – flat as a tiny, nickel-sized pancake.

I surmised that some time prior, likely the night before, the little arachnid had been resting there when I happened along. I don’t look when I sit, I just sit. I sit kind of hard. My butt isn’t nearly as large or heavy as it was five or ten years ago but I still generate some force on landing. Enough force to squash a spider.

Many of you, no doubt, do not care for spiders. I like them. They’re my little eight-legged friends. My consolation is that my little buddy probably didn’t feel anything.

I removed the remains and pondered for a second. An anomaly I concluded. It would certainly never happen again. And it hasn’t. The spiders seem to have wised up following the tragedy. The lizards did not.

Maybe a week after the untimely death of Charlotte my back was hurting. Could have been the day after deadlifts. Could be I’m getting old. Anyway, I placed a small cushion in the back of the chair for lumbar support. It worked well … for me.

Feeling I no longer needed a prop, I picked up the pillow one morning. Murder! There lay a fresh (still soft) lizard corpse. He was a little blue-green fellow, maybe three inches long. I suppose resting between the chair seat and the pillow was warm and comfortable for a cold-blooded beast. Out of the way, concealed from predators, he likely felt at home and happy. He also likely felt the air crushed out of his lungs and the cessation of his heart when I sat down. Unlike the spider, I imagine the lizard may have known what hit him.

I’m an animal liker, not necessarily an animal lover. Still I was saddened by this, another senseless loss. I mourned for the departed the entire half-second it took to chuck him in the bushes carefully lay him to rest.

Now my writing place was beginning to feel like somewhere, something out of a King novel – The Killing Chair! I consulted my daughter about the deaths. She said, “that wasn’t very nice.”

It’s not but it’s not the end of the world. Things happen. Things change. Life goes on – for us at the apex. And I do not have all the facts. It could be that both of these animals were dead before I sat down. Or, they could have chosen suicide by chair squashing. I just don’t know. Honestly, the word count is approaching “1,000” and I need to wrap this up (Congressional stupidity calls).

The point of all this is … well, there is no point. Just a Killing Chair. A place where missives are born and animals go to die.

Perhaps, someday soon, an animal punk-rock band, maybe The Dead Lizards, will come out with a song called “Holiday in the Chair”.

So, you’ve been on the porch for an hour or two,

and you know you’re very small.

Sittin’ in Perrin’s Chair, thinking the world’s fair,

You’ll be dead and you can’t crawl…

You get the point. Wait. There is no point…

Happy May!

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