Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘Neon’ Category

Neon…A short story

Illuminated Neon Sign

“Welcome to, IT WAS ALL A DREAM.  How many are in your party?”

“What party? There is no party. I came here to find out exactly what part of, it was all a dream, was the actual dream?”

“I’m sorry,” said the woman.  “What do you mean?”

What was all a dream?  I don’t think I can be much clearer than that.”

“Are you eating in, or taking out?”

“Neither.  I just want to know what part of it was all a dream, was the dream.” he said.  “It’s not a trick question.  Your sign said it was all a dream, but it doesn’t say WHAT was all a dream.  If IT was all a dream, then what is IT?”

“So, basically,” she said, putting her hands on her hips, “you want to know what the sign means.  You’re not here to eat.”

“Yes.  That is correct.”

“Sit over there, please.  Someone will be with you in…whenever.”


“Are you the person who wants to know about IT WAS ALL A DREAM?”

“I am.”

“What don’t you understand?” asked the woman, sitting down.  She placed the clipboard she was holding, on her lap.

“I want to know what the dream part of it was all a”

“It’s simple.  Everything is a dream.”

“Which part?”

“There is no part.  Everything you think is real, is simply a dream.  We aren’t even here talking, we’re simply manifesting the idea of two vibrations sharing a space and communicating.”

He stared at her.  “You think we aren’t here?”

“Well, obviously we’re here in a sense. But we’re dreaming that we’re here, and it feels as if we have physically manifested, when we’re just a vibrational construct.”

“So, if I kick you in the knee, as hard as I can, you won’t feel it?”

“I wouldn’t advise that.  What I’m saying is that a body without a mind is nothing but food for the birds.  The mind is elusive.  We don’t know what it is, or how it works.  We don’t understand how the energy that might be the mind, manipulates the brain to work for it.”

“I don’t get it.”

“Life is a dream.  Everything in the past was a dream and everything in the future will be dream.  You’re dreaming right this moment.”

“Maybe I should just get the pasta and call it a day.”

“I think that’s a good idea.”

“Will I be able to taste the food in my dream?”

“Of course.  It’s your dream, after all,” she said, getting to her feet.  “Is there anything else?”

“Extra bread.”

“Just tell your server.”

“Okay,” he said.

“I’d say it was nice meeting you, but we aren’t really here, so just enjoy your meal.”


Photo:  Nadi Lindsay





Everything Is Connected Neon Light Signage

everything might be connected
by cells
the physical world
and nature
in general
but there’s a gigantic
between us mentally
and in pretty much
every other way
we can pretend
that being “connected”
is important
but it’s meaningless
when it comes to our reality
because it’s simply not true
in ways that matter
in ways that stop
the violence
it doesn’t make
us kinder
or anything else
the connection
is broken beyond repair
if it ever existed at all
we need to make up new sayings
sayings that are honest
sayings that can wake people up
things like
love is the answer
we are made of star dust
and all the rest
don’t get us anywhere
love and stardust
won’t stop war
or hatred
or anything else
I’m so tired of seeing
useless words
pretending to be meaningful


Picture:  Daria Shevtsova


Neon…Happy Hour

Neon, Neon Font, Advertisement

“Here,” she said, handing the person behind the desk a fifty dollar bill.  “I’m not sure what you charge.”

“Depends on what you’re ordering,” he said, smiling at her.  “Do you want a booth, or would you rather sit at the bar?”

“I’d just want an hour of happy, please.”

“An hour of happy?”

“I want you to make me happy for an hour.  That’s what the sign said.”

“Happy Hour is the name of the bar.  And Happy Hour means that you drink for an hour, so that you’re happy.  Or maybe it means that your just happy that you can drink for an hour.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.  The sign doesn’t say anything about drinking.  What if people don’t get happy from drinking?  You kind of  promised an hour of happy and that’s what I want.”

“What would make you happy?” he asked, hoping she wouldn’t say what he was thinking.

“Do you have cake?”

“No,” he said, relieved.  “This is a bar, not a bakery.”

“Well, what do you have?”

“Whiskey sours?”

“That’s not what I want,” she sighed.  “Do you have a bunny?”

“Why would I have a bunny?  This is a BAR, not a zoo.”

“Wow.,” she said.  “I just asked, and who would ever keep a bunny in a zoo?”

“You’re giving me a headache,” he sighed.  “There are no animals in this place, except for the guy over there.  Other than that…zip.”

“So, I’m not getting a happy hour?”

“I seriously doubt it,” he said.  “No one here is really happy anyway.”

“They seem happy.”

“They’re simply distracting themselves from think about their lives, jobs, money, relationships, what they thought life was going to be like, as opposed to what it turned out to be, and dying.”

“That’s depressing,” she said, looking at the loud crowd that was laughing and drinking.

“Gets them through the night.”

“There has to be more than this.”

“Oh,” he said, “there is.  They all have it, but just don’t recognize it.  They bought into the marketing and can’t see reality any longer. They forgot what matters.”

“Maybe I’m already happy and just don’t realize it either.”

“I’m sure you’re right.”

She grabbed the front of his t-shirt and pulled him toward her.  “My name is Jenny and you just gave me a Happy Hour in a few minutes.  Thanks.  Then she kissed him, smiled, and walked away.

“Wait…” he said.  But she was already gone.




fuel your passion text

“I’ll take the tall blond, with the two day stubble, ripped jeans and white t-shirt, please.  What’s your return policy?” she asked, her spiky hair catching the light from the desk lamp.

“Excuse me?”

“Excuse you for what?”

“What are you talking about?”

“I’m looking to fuel my Passion.  That guy looks as if he could do it.  This is the place for that, isn’t it? I mean your sign…”

“You’re mistaken,” he said, the color starting to drain from his face.  “The sign means you need to fuel your creativity, your art, the thing that will make you want to get up each day.”

“Exactly,” she said, tapping her long, black nails on the counter.  “I would definitely get up for him.  You don’t need to wrap him and I won’t need a bag.”

“HE has nothing to do with this.  This isn’t an issue about PEOPLE, it’s about your own passion.”

“Is there someone else I can speak to?”

“No.  Even if someone else was here, nothing would change.”

“So basically it’s false advertising.”

“It’s not, you just don’t get it.”

“Are any of the other men in the room available?” she asked.

“Go away.”

“Excuse me?”

“You need to leave.”


“This is a bookstore and the passion is about BOOKS.”

“Really?” she said, looking around.


“That’s not what the sign says.”

“Please go away.”

“Do I get a free guy with my book purchase,” she asked, the tattoos on her arms, moving ever so slightly.

“What is wrong with you?”

“I’m fine, but it’s nice of you to ask.  Now about the blond guy.”

The blond guy turned toward her and smiled.  She grinned back and ran at him, jumping into his arms, her legs wrapping around his hips.

“Were you torturing the newbie?” he asked, brushing his lips across hers.

“Just a little,” she snickered. “It’s so easy.”

“I’ll be reading in a few, so take a seat and don’t make me laugh.”

“Then don’t look at me,” she chuckled, running her hands down his arms.

“It’s hard to look at anyone BUT you, so just let me get through this, I’m begging you,” he said, starting to snicker.  “Don’t,” he pleaded.

“I’m not doing anything,” she said.  “I can wait by the front desk.”

“Great, then we can drive Jimmy to the psych ward when it’s time to close.”

“Fine, I’ll wait in the Sci-fi section, but talk loud so I can hear you.”

“Promise,” he said, turning to walk toward the podium.

I’ll yell, if I can’t hear you,” she shouted.

He closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and tried not to start laughing.  He reached the podium, turned and looked at the crowd.

“Hi,” he said.  “Thanks for coming out on a rainy night like this.  The book’s been doing great, thanks to people like you, and I’m grateful.  So, let’s get to it.  The title of the books is, HOW TO LIVE WITH A WILD WOMAN…”


Photo:  Jason Leung






Photo:  Liam Mguyen

How they met…Neon…a short story

Love You To The Moon & Back neon signage photo

“This is a great bookstore,” she said excitedly, throwing a few more things onto the counter.  “I absolutely LOVE it, to the Moon and Back.”

“We’re opening another shop on the moon before Christmas.”

“Interesting,” she muttered.  “And how, exactly, will the customers get there?”

“People are already living on the Moon. The government just doesn’t want anyone to know,”  he said, conspiratorially.  “Don’t tell anyone I mentioned it.”

“Oh, believe me, I won’t,” she laughed, crossing her heart with her finger.  “You have a lot of unusual books.  Things I’ve never seen anywhere else.  It’s wonderful.”


“We need a lot more independents.  So many closed, but perhaps they’ll start opening again.”

“I wouldn’t hold my breath,” he said.  “It’s a tough business with on-line shopping, offering lower prices.”

She nodded.  “Makes it difficult for everyone.”

“It does.  You get price cuts from publishers, according to the number of books you order.  Who can compete with Big Box stores and Amazon?  No one, that’s who.”

“It’s not fair,” she said.

“No.  It’s not.”

‘How are you going to deal with radiation poisoning on the moon?”

“Tin foil.”

She burst out laughing.  “Great idea.”

“We think so,” he said, smiling.

“Have you read any of the books in my stack?”

He looked at the books and nodded.  “I’ve read all of them, but you won’t like this one,” he said, pulling it out of the pile.  “The blurb is great but the book is terrible.  Bad writing and weak plot.  The characters are so dull I don’t think the pages would catch if you put them into a roaring fireplace.”

She stared at him.  “Thank you.”

“This one is great, and I’d recommend buying the second book. They may be going out of print.  Once that happens, the price will skyrocket and people will be selling their copies on line.”

“I’ll do it.”

“On a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, this book is a five, if you like reading about the misery of others.  I don’t, but you might.”

“No,” she said, putting the book aside.  I don’t.”

“This one is fantastic.  Great writing and characters you’ll never forget.  You might even want to be one of them.”

“Perfect,” she said, smiling.  “Have you been to the moon?”

“Excuse me?”

“The moon.  Have you ever been there.  Did you go looking for a proper bookstore site?”

“I’m not supposed to talk about that.”

“Why not?”

“Because no one is allowed to know about trips to the moon.”

“Are the people there aliens or humans.”

“Those are the same two things,” he said.

“Hmmm.  I guess they are, when you think about it.”

“We’re aliens on earth.  All of us,” he said.

“You can’t be an alien, if you’re born here.”

“I think you should look at these two books,” he said, reaching for a couple of hardcovers on the shelf behind him.


“Don’t you want to know what they’re about?”

“No.  I trust you.  If you think they’re great, I’m willing to read them, but only if you read two that I pick out for you.”

“Really?” he said, grinning.

“I’ll be right back,” she said, disappearing into the shop.

When she came back, she had two books in her hands.  “Read these.  No questions asked.”

“Promise,” he said, taking them from her.

“I’ll come back in two weeks and we’ll discuss the books, okay?”

“Yes.  That will be fun,” he said, putting her books into a cloth bag.

“Is the moon beautiful?”

“Not really.  It’s a man-made orb, metal and hollow inside.  It’s cold on the dark side and nothing really grows on the outside.  The government has people working inside the orb, making weapons, lots of things.  It’s a dead place and living inside is horrible, like living in a house with no windows.  Artificial light, is artificial.  Drives you crazy in no time at all and you long to be outside on earth.”

“What if I told you I was CIA and you could be disappeared for what you just said?”

“I’d ask you to kiss me, before you shot me.”

She grabbed his shirt, pulled him forward, and kissed him.  “You need to be more carful, Timmothy Larken,” she whispered.  “Please don’t make me erase you.”

“People should know,” he said softly.

“They can’t know,” she said, picking up her bag.   “I’ll see you in two weeks.  Hope you like the books I chose for you.”


Photo:  Dalal Nizam






Neon…a short story

Neon Signage

“Excuse me,” he said. “Show me the easy way out, please.”

“That’s the name of this place,” she said, frowning at him.  “This PLACE, is called, the easy way out.”


“Because you can drink until you can’t remember anything, I guess.”

“That doesn’t makes any sense.”

“I don’t know what to tell you,” she laughed.  “I suppose it’s a pun.”

“It’s not a pun.”.

“I know,” she snickered.

“So, there isn’t a room with guns, or people who will stab or poison me, so I can get off the planet the easy way?”

“I’m afraid not.  But I can give you a marshmallow treat.”

“I was looking for a easy way out of here, not a sugar rush.”

“You can use the door you came in through,” she said.  “That’s, an easy way out.”

“You know what I mean.”

“I do,” she sighed.  “But what’s your problem?  How is your life so terrible, that you want to die?”

He shrugged.  “Life is so repetitive.  There’s no hope that things will get better and all the horrific problems that are crushing everyone’s spirit will continue, or get worse.  They’ll be more poverty, more violence, more of everything.”

“Wow,” she said, putting a marshmallow treat in front of him.  “With an attitude like that, it’s no wonder you want to get out of here.”

“This is really delicious,” he said, his mouth full of marshmallow goodness.  “And why isn’t marshmallow spelled marshmellow?”

“I honestly don’t know,” she said, smiling.

“I mean they are mellow treats, right?  What is a mallow anyway, and why marsh?”

“No idea,” she said, handing him a bottle of water.

“Don’t you want to die?” he asked.

“Not usually.”

He nodded.  “You’re lucky.”

“I enjoy the little things.”

“And that’s enough for you?”

“I have a cat,” she said, as if that explained everything.

“Can I have another treat, please.”


“This is a bar, right?” he said.

“Yes, it is.”

“They don’t usually serve marshmallow treats at bars.”

“This is a…special kind of bar,” she said.

“Special how?” he asked, biting into the new treat.

“We solve problems.”

“You mean like math or crosswords?”

“No.  Not those kinds of problems.”

“What then?”

“We can find out what will make you happy.”

“Nobody can do that.”

“Do you want another treat.”

“Yes, but no thank you.  They’re very sweet.”

She nodded.

“Do you think mallow comes from marshes?”

“Probably not,” she said.

“Then where did the word come from?”

“Where did any words come from?” she asked.

“Men made them up.”


“So, is this a magic bar?” he asked, looking around.

“Pretty much.”

“What do you suggest?”  he asked.

“Do you like donuts?”

“I do, especially if they’re chocolate with sprinkles?”

“They can be,” she said.

“So now what?” he asked.  “Keep in mind that I’m not very brave, and I really don’t like pain.”

“You’re actually very brave,” she said.  “You’re here on earth, in a body, and believe me, it doesn’t get any braver than that.”.

Photo:  Clam Lo






down the rabbit hole sign

“Can I see a menu, please,” he asked, standing at the counter.

She slid a plastic sheet across the counter.

“This is my first time.  Any suggestions?”

“Depends on how long you want to be gone,” she said, tapping her pen against the order form.

“An hour, I guess.”

“Then go to Madrid or Sweden.  Both are very nice and you can do a lot in an hour.”

“Is it scary?” he asked.  “Does it hurt?”

“It doesn’t hurt at all but I don’t know what scares you, so I can’t answer that question.”

“I suppose that’s true,” he agreed.  “I think I’ll take one hour in…Sweden.”

“Excellent choice,” she said, putting in the order and handing him a stack of papers to sign.”

“What’s all this?” he asked, flipping through the pages.

“Insurance things.  Things that will prohibit you from suing us.  You know, the usual stuff.”

“Why would I want to sue you?”

“That will be two thousand dollars,” she said, slowly tearing the bottom off one of the sheets, and handing it to him.  “Take this to Room 9 and give it to the person who will be working with you.  Have a nice trip. You can pick up your gift package on your way out.”

“Gift package?”

“Souvenirs, from Sweden, of course.”


“What are you waiting for?” she asked.

“Has anyone died during their trip?”

“Just the usual amount,” she said, running her hand over the counter, as if she might be cleaning off crumbs.

“The usual amount?”


“How many is the usual amount?”

“About twenty percent.”

“That’s a lot of people.”

“Do you think so?”

“Yes.  I do,” he said.  “How do they die?”

“Hart attacks mostly, but there have been…other causes.  Some just decide to stay where they have chosen to go.”

“Stay where they went?  You can do that?”


“I could stay in Sweden for the rest of my life?”

“Yes, but that will cost extra and you won’t be able to leave there, since you’ll be more like a hologram, after awhile.”

“That sounds terrible,” he said, taking a step back from the counter.

“A lot of people die on vacations, so it’s not really that odd.”

“But this is an out of body trip, not a physical relocation.”

She shrugged.  “What can I tell you.  People get bored and want excitement.  You know how it is.  So, you better get moving, your tour guide is waiting for you.”

“I changed my mind.”

“There are no refunds.”

“But you didn’t tell me all of those things before I said I would go.”

“It was in the fine print.”

“I didn’t read all those pages.”

“That’s not my fault.”

“I’ll write a bad review,” he said.  “People should know about what you’re doing.”

“We’ll give you a free half hour trip if you don’t do that.”

He glared at her.  “I don’t want ANY trips.”

“Well, that’s up to you.”

“This is madness,” he said.

“Madness is always what you find, when you go DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE.”






Everything Is Connected Neon Light Signage

People say, everything is connected, but is it?  I mean I can understand what they mean, genetic wise, and the connection between humans, food and life.  Can’t live without bees, water, air.  But I think it’s more than that, I think it’s that we can’t get off the planet.

We’re like ants, crawling over a rock, connected by our inability to get away from each other.  We get into wee little rocket ships and go into space, send robots to Mars, and we’re so proud of ourselves.   I guess we should be.  That stuff is amazing, for what we ARE. BUT when you think about it, we’re more like kindergarten kids using fat crayons and hanging our papers on the fridge.  Gold stars…in a universe that is too big and strange for us to understand.  How silly we must look to anyone watching.

We do amazing things, considering that we’re just animals. It’s just those pesky EGO’S that seem to get us into trouble.  Trouble meaning killing everything, until nothing’s left, including ourselves because while many people say that we’re connected, they don’t seem to truly UNDERSTAND that when we BREAK the connection, we are rushing to extinction.  What we say and what we do, don’t seem to CONNECT with logic or reality.

Either our brains haven’t evolved enough to control our egos, or we’re just idiots who are doomed, as we greedily march toward oblivion.  And you know what?  No one will care that we’re gone.  The other animals will throw a party and celebrate our demise.  Then they’ll spread out and enjoy life.  Things will grow again and gardens will be natural and lush, until the sun turns into a red giant and eats the planet.  But that will take a REALLY long time, so the animals will have lots of time to play and enjoy a human free planet.

This is a savage place.  But when we’re gone, at least there won’t be any weapons, wars, loss of habitat, and pollution.  That can only be a good thing.  I still remember seeing the pictures of the dolphins swimming in the CLEAR canals of Venice, when WE were locked inside. The world will be a beautiful without us.

Photo:  Daria Shevtsova


Fire Exit Signage

“Excuse me,” he said, a little too loudly.

“What already,” she hissed, coming out of the back office.

“I want to see the fire…exit.”

“Why?” she asked.

“I’ve never seen fire actually exist from anywhere and I want to see that.”

“The fire EXIT doesn’t have anything to do with fire exiting.  It’s a door for people to use if there’s a fire.  People are supposed to exit through the fire exit door, not fire.”

“That doesn’t make sense,” he said. “None at all.”

“Maybe not to you.”

“Shouldn’t it say Human Exit?”

“No, because that could be any door.  This door is only to be used in case there’s a fire.”


“What do you mean WHY?  THAT’S what the door is for, that’s why.”

“Can’t people go through the door any other time?  Won’t the door open unless there’s a fire?”

“Of course it will open if there isn’t a fire.”

“Then isn’t it just a regular door?”

“It’s a regular door that has been set aside to be opened only, if there’s a fire.”

“So,” he said, “no fire goes through that door, right?  People go through that door if there IS a fire.  So, what’s on the other side of the door and does fire know that the door is only for people and that it can’t go in there?”

She looked at him and said,  “Yes.  Fire knows that it’s not allowed to go through that door.  Fire knows that it’s a door only people can use.”

“I don’t know why you didn’t just say that in the beginning,” he said, shaking his head as he walked away.





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