What it came down to

He sat down. It was done. Finished. Complete. All the i’s had been dotted and all the t’s crossed. All the major obstacles had been surmounted. And the intermediate, intermediary challenges that cropped up along the way, as unexpected as they were inevitable. All dealt with. All of it. It was done

He tried to feel the moment, here and now, but nothing came to him. No joy, no triumph, no rush of having overcome. Nothing. He was just deeply, profoundly and utterly tired, and had no real idea of what to do next, except sit

Perhaps, he thought, tired counts as an emotion too

Vanishing mediator

She was whelmed. Just regular plain old whelmed, nothing fancy or special about it. The list of things to do seemed to contain ever more things, all of them reasonable and doable. The whelming quality didn’t belong to any one thing, but rather emerged as a function of sheer quantity. Just looking at the list made her realize that thinking about it any further would just lead to becoming unduly tired before getting anything done, and that simply would not do

The only way forward is through, she sighed, and began from the top

The accidental librarian

She looked everywhere for it. It was not in the bookshelves, where books usually hide out. Nor was it in any of the intermediary places where books end up whilst being read. It didn’t even turn up in any of the tertiary places where books probably should not be, but where they nevertheless turn up before being returned to their rightful shelves

At length, she concluded that she had lent it to someone and then never gotten it back. Not just this book, but some two-dozen odd other books as well

Perhaps, she mused, the world was all one great secret library, thinly disguised

Christmas interlude

There was a lull in the Christmas preparations. A thousand things still had to be done, but none of them seemed to be having to be done right this instant, so they weren’t. Someone – unclear who – threw a stream of cat videos onto the living room television screen, a seemingly haphazard collection of cats doing silly things, accentuated by seemingly random Korean music

It hit the spot. The music probably had some pop-cultural significance, but right there and then, all that mattered were silly cats doing silly things. The spirit of Christmas descended, one mediated fluffy furball at a time

Metaliteracy

She had a firm belief that you could tell a lot about a person based on the contents of their bookshelves. They served as a miniature table of contents, as it were. This bookcase, however, revealed nothing. It contained the most generic, least eye-catching books imaginable. The only thing standing out was the high prevalence of crime novels, but that in itself said nothing

Perhaps, she mused, there were some intriguing clue in the fact that some crime authors were present and not others, some hidden divide plain to those in the know. She, alas, could glean no such insight

A categorical move

It’s strange, she thought, how the categories on the boxes packed while moving house only ever appear there. They should be used in other situations as well, as moods or metaphors or shorthands. “DVDs and glitter containers” – now that’s a very specific kind of situation. “Garden decorations and kitchen utensils” – it makes sense if you were there. “Cat toys and roleplaying gear” – the things that make up a life. “Bones and cutlery” – how could it be otherwise?

And then, there were the old boxes. Those packed during a previous move, which have yet to be opened. Surely, that’s a metaphor for something

Content management

It finally happened. After months and years of careful juggling, temporary email accounts and free podcast promo codes all the way, the jig was finally up. The world finally caught up with him. After all these years. Resignedly, he accepted these new terms and conditions, and thought it – like growing up – probably was inevitable anyway. At some point, you just gotta settle down

And thus, he had a permanent, bona fide, regular Audible account. It had been a long time coming