Flash Fiction

How to reach a hundred pennies as a human

I remember the first time I made a dollar. Actually, I don’t, and that stresses the following law like a bored criminal.

The law of not what, but how

You can’t guarantee the output, the result, nor the end. Not in money, nor love, nor a simple acknowledgment of something nice you have done, not even a parking spot close to the store, not even a penny.

You can, however, guarantee the input, the quality, and the quantity of what you do. It may lead you to penny-filled pockets or empty ones.

You don’t get to choose what you’ll achieve, only the work you put in.

A scrub of the heart

“Give it some elbow grease,” Grandma Rita would say as her apple shape pressed into me. Her gaze lasered over my shoulder, inspecting my progress. And I, maybe nine at the time, with skinny-ass arms, scrubbed some ancient baked on Italian sauce from the corners of her soon-to-be gleaming pans.

Her inspection: ruthless. Her cooking: I still talk about it.

(I miss you, Gram)

Was the scrubbing hard work? Not necessarily. When you enjoy things, they aren’t bothersome. I’d scrub a dozen right now to have one more conversation with that scrabble master. We’d put on PBS. She’d have a smoke.

Think of two things that you enjoy doing.

*I’m waiting*

I mean two things that take you away. If your mind is in the gutter, so be it. I’m not judging. I’m just stating a point.

The kind of things… when you look at the clock and think: “Oh, crapola! I’m late!” or “Oh, shitballs, why can’t the clock move this fast when I’m at work?”

Notice the word work.

Sure it can be derogatory. In it’s purest form, according to physics, it’s not. Work is just a transfer of energy. And it doesn’t feel like work when there’s no resistance.

Notice the word resistance.

Often, people place resistance when it’s not needed. I’m sorry it is like this. I’ve done it. I’ve done it to jobs, people, foods, ideas. I’ve done it for an excuse to be lazy. I’ve done it because I’m afraid.

And It hurts when it becomes that kind of work. The hard kind of work that slows time to a grind. The hard kind that tolls.

And I reach in my pocket and come out empty-handed with the expectation of something so much more. And I and exclaim to some grey sky, “why?”

Because I am not really earning them.

Why have I closed perfectly good open doors? And why did I prefer to hang my head when everything was fine.

A Sip and a Gallop

When you freely give yourself into a book, a movie, a desert, a sport, an engaging conversation, a sip of something warm on a cool morning, or a gulp of something cool on a blazing evening, time doesn’t pause, it gallops.

For me, my time sinks are spending time in nature, rolling thunder in the distance, capturing photos of birds, peanut m&m’s, reading side by side with my love, drinking coffee, knowing that I tried, that I allowed myself to find strength in vulnerability.

And I pour these thoughts to you. Yes, you.

And why? So you, sometime in the distant future, may continue to carve the dream.

I’ve started it for you. Take it, expand upon it, give it to someone else, freely, with no resistance, with love and you will find you have so many pennies.

It’s better to give the when you have them. There is no guarantee you will hold them for very long.

And there are so many people who could use just one.

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