PASSING CORONA TIMES: write us a interesting essay

DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
in General Discussion Posts: 20,780
We all have our interests and expertise, and even in times of lockdown and whatnot, brainfood is important. This forum prides itself in its many members who know stuff, who write like professional authors and who are not too shy to share thoughts and content with us all.

This thread is an experiment. If it doesn't work, I'll bury it myself. But now, perhaps more than ever, we can use "good stuff" to keep us distracted. So write whatever you have to share, make your posts as lengthy as you want them to be. Essays and dissertations of any kind, in any field of interest, are welcome! Thanks in advance for sharing. :)


  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    edited March 2020 Posts: 3,566
    This is a short story I wrote recently. I have titled it "Timeless". Would be interested to hear your feedback and thoughts.

    The steam rose from the cup in a swirl. The man lifted the cup of morning fuel as he called it. He sniffed the aroma coming from the cup and let out a contented sigh. Damn it still made him so happy to have his cup of coffee.

    The man was dressed casually in a light green top and beige pants. He didn't really stand out, except for his blandness. He was retired now and enjoying this new routine that he had settled into. Every day it included a lengthy stop at this café. His table was always empty when he came in.

    The man didn't have TV or Internet at home. In fact he eschewed all gadgets and technology. His two kids would hound him. Their refrain was predictable.

    "But Dad how are we supposed to reach you if we need you?"

    "As Bell used to say why don't you reach out and touch someone. Call me on my phone." Then they would say why didn't he let them buy him a cell phone. He didn't want to feel controlled by a device.
    The man had seen the way it controlled his kids and even his grand kids. Visits with them became nothing more then him talking and their looking at their screens. For the first few times he would say something, then he would give up. At least they came for visits. The man was convinced if he had a cell phone he would never see any of his family. After all they would share their lives through Facebook.

    The man smiled. Facebook? Who had come up with that name. He chuckled, the guy was probably rich and here he was a retired teacher barely scrapping by. The man pulled out his frayed note book and his pencil. He scribbled a note on a fresh page. He was writing a note to stop by the library and research who started Facebook. Cause for all his indifference to technology, the man had a thirst for knowledge.

    The man looked up and caught the eye of the barista. He smiled, she was his favourite. Always a warm smile and a friendly wave when he entered. Even remembered his name and not only that but the name of his kids.

    "Hey Bill! How's the morning fuel today?" Her voice was full of energy. You couldn't help but smile when Julie spoke to you.

    "It's fuelling me up today! I've got some research at the library today." Bill motioned to his notebook. The pages looked well worn. Julie wondered how and what Bill researched. She had noticed that the man didn't have a phone and never came with a laptop. She guessed that he was old school and probably went to a library to research. Julie pulled her phone out of her pocket and scanned to see if anything was going on today.

    Bill frowned. Even Julie was a slave to the device. The power of technology, it could even take a positive bolt of energy like Julie and reduce her to a zombie.

    "What time are you off work today?" Bill thought he would try to engage her and break her free.

    Silence from Julie. She was intently staring at the screen in front of her. The light in her eyes had gone out.

    Bill thought he could shock her out of her state. "I'm thinking of robbing a bank today."

    "Oh that sounds nice." Julie was still scanning her phone.

    Bill managed to chuckle. This was exhibit A why he didn't want a phone. He was a person not a zombie. He'd seen it time and time again. He shook his head and looked around the café. Yes the coffee was good and the service great. But he came here for another reason. No not here yet. Bill felt himself starting to get anxious. He glanced at his Timex watch. It was still too early. He scanned the café.

    The young man had some sort of device attached to his ear. He was talking loudly and excitedly. Bill was amazed that the younger man would have a phone conversation in such a public space. Not that he minded at all. In fact, sometimes this sort of thing became his entertainment. Bill turned his attention back to the man and the phone conversation.

    "I told him straight out. I wasn't about to lower my price. You either afford me or you can't." The young mans voice was confident and very assured. "Oh hold on a sec I got another call coming in." The man glanced at his phone. "It's okay it's just my wife calling. Probably wants to nag me about something."

    Bill wished his wife was still around to nag him. He had lost her a number of years ago. Bill would now give just about anything to hear her nag him. Nag, such a terrible word. He would never say his wife nagged him. Their love was the great achievement in his life. They had raised 2 wonderful kids and had been married for over 40 years. Marie was the rock of the family and losing her had been tough. A tear formed and Bill sniffed.

    "Now Jeanie! That's a fine lady there." The young man's phone call brought Bill back from his memory of Marie. "Listen bud if I wanted to I could have her. I just choose not to." The nerve of this guy. Bill looked around to see if anyone else was listening. All others in the café were either engaged in a laptop or had ear phones on. Doesn't anyone like the music here?

    Bill perked up his ears. Nat King Cole was telling everyone to "Straighten Up and Fly Right". Bill grinned and thought old Nat was singing to this young buck, who not only thought his wife a nag, but also entertained cheating on her.

    The door to the café opened again and in walked the reason he came to this café. An elderly lady with a younger woman. The elderly lady's face carried a smile and she was talking excitedly to the younger lady. Bill's face lit up and he started to make sure the crumbs from his muffin were cleaned from his lips. Yes, his day had just been made again. Bill watched as the two newcomers got their drinks and a plated cinnamon bun. The young lady looked over to Bill's table.

    "Hi Bill, can we join you?" although it was phrased as a question it was more a statement.

    "I never say no to a couple of pretty ladies." The older lady laughed. Bill lived to hear that laugh. It was such a warm and contagious laugh.

    The two took their seats.

    "How are you today Bill?" It was always the same question to start the conversation.

    "I'm doing much better now Marie." Bill was so grateful that Marie was allowed a morning visit to the café. Bill would go to the facility where Marie now lived but it was sometimes not a good time to see her. She was under good care but at the café Marie seemed to come alive. This same café was where her and Bill had come every Sunday morning. Bill with the Sunday New York Times, Marie with a good fiction book.

    His mind wandered back to that terrible time. They were getting ready to head out to the café. Marie had started to have difficulty remembering basic things. Bill was now packing the book she was reading as their last visit she had brought a book she had already read. Then she had started to forget Julie's name and even one time claimed to not have remembered the café itself. Though they'd been coming for years. Then that one day when an innocent question had brought darkness to their lives.

    "What time is it Marie my damn watch has stopped." Bill was taking off the Timex and getting ready to wind it up. "Marie, I asked what time is it?" Still no answer. Bill went to the kitchen and saw Marie standing there staring at the clock tears going down her face.

    "I don't know. I don't know what time it is." Marie's voice was timid and wavered.

    "Stop fooling around Marie. This isn't funny." Bill knew that Marie loved playing jokes on him.

    Marie stormed out of the kitchen and Bill was left to wonder what was wrong.

    Bill snapped out of the past to look at Marie sitting in front of him. He smiled and took in her beauty. On the outside she looked just as beautiful as the day they said "I do". She was radiant. On the inside Marie had lost most of the memories of Bill, their kids and their life together. Bill often wondered if Marie even knew how old she was.

    "Will you be seeing your children this weekend?" Marie always remembered that Bill had kids, just not that those kids were hers as well.

    "Yes, looks like both are coming out to see me. Even the grand kids are coming."

    Marie just smiled.

    "What have you been doing Marie?"

    "Well, today I was happy when..."Marie paused and looked over at the young girl. "I'm sorry my dear I seem to have forgotten your name."

    "Don't be sorry Marie. My name is Cathy."

    "Well, today Cathy told me we were coming to the café and the first question I asked was if you were going to be here. I don't know if I have told you this before Bill but I always feel like I have known you for so long."

    Bill's heart swelled and broke at the same time. He was glad that she felt comfortable and happy to see him. It broke his heart cause the love they once shared was gone. Not that Bill stopped loving Marie, that just wasn't possible. No their love had stopped the fateful day that Marie couldn't tell time.

    Bill always thought their love was till death do them part. He held on to those memories, both good and bad. He made another note in his book. Bill had been writing their memoir. It was a tale over 40 years in the making. He had been struggling to come up with an appropriate title. He had just been struck by the perfect title.

    Bill wrote one word on the page...Timeless.

  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,780
    Wow, this is very good, @thedove!
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,566
    Thanks @DarthDimi great idea for a thread. I hope I see others contribute.
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,780
    I do too.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,787
    I liked that, @thedove! Bit heartbreaking though.

    Here's something I wrote recently for Hush-Kit, an aviation website, about aeroplanes in art:
  • thedovethedove hiding in the Greek underworld
    Posts: 3,566
    Thanks @Agent_99 I'm glad to pull at the heart strings.

    What a really interesting post on how aircraft have been depicted over the course of history. I loved the WW1 poster!

    thanks for sharing that!
  • DarthDimiDarthDimi Behind you!Moderator
    Posts: 20,780
    Yeah, I agree. That's really cool stuff there!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,787
    Thanks, both!
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