The first minute of a new day

This was it

He had been up all night working on his application, and now it was done. Perfect. Complete. All he had to do was to click the button. That was it. Everything else, all the details, all the things – they were done. The one thing left was to make the decision to push the button

He hesitated

Then, suddenly, at that very moment, the playlist moved onto a new song. As Gil Scott-Heron voiced the famous introductory words “Well, the first thing I want to say is: Mandate my ass!”, he thought

Yes

This is precisely the energy I want to bring into what I’m about to do

He clicked the button

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This is the end of the world as we know it

There is a first time for everything, he thought philosophically. Then, wanting to complete the implied analytical schema, he added: and thus there is also a last time for everything. You may or may not know it to be the last time, but there’s bound to be one at some point

To go on dates is an example of this. There are plenty of first ones, some even fondly remembered, but there’s bound to be an equal number of last ones, probably less fondly remembered

His thoughts, not wanting to linger, moved on to other things. The phrase “the last vape” briefly occurred to him, and he thought it ever so slightly too pompous to ever be used in a proper context

When the tigers broke free

On a whim, she decided to visit her local library. As a kid, she used to haunt these halls like a literary ghost, seeking words of wisdom and – more ferociously – character-building frivolity. Whilst browsing the shelves, she noted that many of the books were in fact the very same as in her youth, down to the last dented page and cracked spine. Shortly, she found a book she’d read many a time, one about a tiger seeking to escape its captors. Opening it, the ancient pages fell out. Not one page, not two, not even a representative sample – all of them

Yes

The tiger was certainly free now

Inspired by this stealthy escape, she discreetly left the building

The spice extends life

Suddenly, everyone stopped. As if directed by a single mind, they all raised their heads so as to hear that familiar sound clearer. Reflexes long forgotten returned with full force; before anyone could object, the Dance erupted, fully choreographed and rehearsed to perfection. The years of not performing the Dance seemed to have no impact on anyone’s ability to perform it – this Knowing transcended mere mortal ken

And so, as the first tunes of the generational anthem Wannabe echoed across the office, the one youngling on site concluded that today was not going to be the most productive of days

Reveling and revealing

And so it happened again. The cat returned, happy and covered in a fine layer of dirt, from adventures unknown, head held high and afloof. She suspected that, even if it were able to talk, it would not tell of its outdoor escapades, by virtue of cat pride and secrecy

Thus, one day, she decided to follow it, to see where these dusty adventures were had. Barely had she rounded a corner before discovering the immediate truth:

There was a patch of dirt right outside the house, which the cat unceremoniously rolled around in. A revelation which, she thought, only traded one mystery for another

Virtues and vices

At times like this, he’d discovered that his thought processes drifted in the most unexpected of directions. This time, he thought about cooking pasta, and about how it all ended up with some of it up top and some of it at the bottom. All the individual pieces are pretty much identical, yet the segmentation happens anyway. It seemed to him like a great big metaphor for society; the key to democratic governance was to periodically stir things around, such that –

“And we’re done” the dentist interrupted, putting down her tools. “All fixed up and ready to go”

Dizzily, he forgot all about pasta, and rose to the occasion

From the hip

He did not consider himself much of a parent, but he had picked up a few tricks over the years. One of them being, whenever the general activity amongst the youngsters seemed to trickle into boredom territory, to pick phrases from a slightly out of date Pokemon catalogue and gently yell them in the general direction of youth. Now seemed to be such a moment, and thus he zoomed in on a phrase not previously used and happily yelled

“Hey, remember the Lickitung sushi minigame from Pokémon Stadium?”

If asked, he would be the first to admit to not knowing what these words meant. But they seemed to have done the trick, if the sudden amused buzzing activity was anything to go by