Art and the philosophy of life

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How they met..

“Um, did you just kill that guy?”

“You mean the guy on the ground?” he asked, putting his sword away.

“Yes.  That one.”

“Looks like it,” he said, kicking the body with the toe of his boot.  “He’s not moving.”

“He doesn’t have a head.”

“That might be part of his problem,” he snickered.

“Are you going to kill me too?”

“Do you want me to?”

“No, but I know what you look like.”

“How about now?” he laughed.

“You have a different face,” she gasped.  “How did you do that?”

“I’m not from around here.”

“What did that guy do that was so bad?” she asked, looking at the body that was shriveling up in front of her.  “Why is he, you know, getting smaller and starting to disappear?”

“He’s not from around here either.”

“Where are you from?”

He stared at her for a minute.  “It’s complicated,” he sighed.  “Things like this are so much easier if no one sees it happen.”

“Are you a bounty hunter, or just a hit person?”

“Wow, politically correct.”

“I try,” she said, smiling.  “You look like one of our cops all geared up in their riot outfits to face people holding flowers.  I hope that’s not an insult, since I’m sure your gear is a lot…different.”

“I’m not insulted,” he said, suddenly wearing jeans and a ratty Aerosmith t-shirt.  “But yes, my gear is a lot…different.  I’m a lot different.”

“Do you like pizza?” she asked.

“Doesn’t everyone?”

“Probably not, but who cares.”

He nodded.  “Are you asking me out?”

“I think so,” she said.

“I just killed someone in front of you.  You should be afraid.”

“You’re not the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“What have you seen?”

“Not important,” she said.

“If I go with you, are you going to want to know all about me?”

“Of course.”

He ran his hands through his shaggy blond hair.  “I figured.”

“Can you tell me anything?”

“I can tell you everything.  Who would believe you if you told anyone?”

“Good point,” she said, taking his hand.

“Now that that’s settled,” he said.  “Let’s go.  I’m starving.”

 

How they met…

“Where are we?” she asked.

“Nowhere,” he said.

“Every place is somewhere, there is no place that’s nowhere.”

“That makes sense, but it’s not true,” he said.

“How can we be nowhere?  If we keep walking, we’ll have come from somewhere to some place else.”

“Not necessarily.”

“You mean we’re walking on a möbius strip?”

“Life is a möbius strip, it just seems as if it isn’t because time is added to the equation.”

“That’s insane,” she laughed.

“Still, it’s true.”

“People say nowhere, so they don’t have to answer questions.  If someone asks where you were, you can say you were nowhere but you actually were somewhere.”

“If you say so.”

“Well, thanks for the chat.,” she said, happily.  “I really like coming to the Philosophers Coffee Shop and talking to one of you.”

“That’s what we’re here for,” he said, grinning.

“See you tomorrow?” she asked.

“I’ll be here.  Think of a new topic if you like.”

“I will.  Have a nice day.”

“You too.  By the way, what’s your name?”

“Plato.  What’s yours?”

“Oracle.”

“Tomorrow then?”

She nodded, picked up her bag and left.

 

How the met…Neon

“Excuse me,” she said, dropping her keys on the bar.

“What can I get for you?” he asked, leaning toward her.

“Why do you love people?”

“Love people?”

“The sign,” she said, pointing.

“Oh, that’s just the name of the bar.”

“So you don’t love people?”

“No.  Do you?”

“A couple,” she smirked.  “But on the whole, no.  In fact, I can’t stand some of them.”

“Why not?”

“Oh please,” she said, making a face at him.  “It would be easier to tell you the two or three things I do like about humans.”

“Whiskey sour?”

“How’d you know?”

He shrugged, and placed the drink in front of her.  “I just know things like that.”

“So, it’s a gift?”

“More like practice makes perfect,” he laughed.  “And the owner of this place doesn’t love anyone at all.   However, he does love money and money comes along with people, so he hearts them.”

She nodded.  “That makes more sense.”

“Yeah.  I think so too.”

“My name is Kate, but you can call me Katie.”

“I’m Austin and before you ask, I was named after a street where my mom grew up.  Believe me, that was the best of the lot.”

“I think Austin is a nice name.”

“Thanks,” he said.  “Who, or what, are you named after?”

“I’m not named after anyone, or anything, that I know of.”

He nodded, and put a bowl of peanuts on the bar.

“Yum,” she said, grabbing a few.  “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

“You mean I have to grow up!” he said, feigning shock.

“Well, you don’t have to.”

“Oh good.  You had me scared for a minute.  What do you want to be?”

“Free I guess.  But that can be a hard, so instead I’m a…”

“Let me guess,” he said, staring at her.  “You’re the new Janis Joplin.”

She burst into giggles.

“Okay, so, how about an animal doctor?”

“You mean a vet?”

“Yes.”

“I’d be constantly crying and miserable.”

“You’re not a teacher, or a dancer, or…..”

“I’m a writer.”

“Wow.  I never would have guessed that.  What do you write?”

“Books,” she grinned.

“Are they any good?  Have I read any of them.”

“Sometimes and probably not.”

“I read Harry Potter.  All of them.”

She looked away, so he wouldn’t see her smile.  “Good for you.  How did you like them?”

“They were great,” he said.  So were the movies, but they changed a lot of things they shouldn’t have.”

“I agree,” she said, picking up her keys.  “Well, it was nice chatting with you.  Maybe I’ll see you again sometime.”

“Here,” he said, handing her a scrap of paper.  “It’s my number.  Call me.”

She took the bit of paper and smiled.  “I think I will.”

And with that, she was gone.

 

Photo:  Nathan Dumlao
Unsplash

 

 

How they met…

black pendant lamp turned on during nighttime

“Can I go with you?” she asked.

“Go with me…where?” he said, smiling at her.

“Wherever you’re going.  I’m ready and I’m tired of being bored.”

“Oh, the sign,” he snickered.  “Yeah, it’s a good one, isn’t it?”

“Can we leave now?”

“Uh,” he grunted.

“Don’t tell me the sign is a lie,” she sighed.

“Okay, I won’t.  But are you ready to walk away from the life you currently have?”

“I am.  Are you?”

“Maybe,” he said, thoughtfully.”

“Are you bored with what you’re doing?”

“A lot of the time,” he admitted.

“Do you want to take a chance?”

He looked at her and thought about the fact that he might as well do things while he was young, before it was to late to do something that might be really stupid.  He held up his hand, then turned and said.  “Hey Tom, I quit.  Sorry for the short notice but I’m going somewhere with a perfect stranger and I promise you…I won’t be bored.”

She smiled and held out her hand.  “Let’s go to the airport and buy tickets to wherever the first plane that’s taking off is going.”

“What about packing?” he said, jumping over the counter.

“Boring.”

He nodded.  “What’s your name?”

“Lee, what’s yours?”

“Jimmy.”

“Ready for an adventure, Jimmy?” she asked, her eyes bright.

“As I’ll ever be,” he said.

And together, they walked into their future.

 

 

Photo:  Logan Weaver
Unsplash

 

How they met…

Woman in Black and White Long Sleeve Dress Wearing White Mask

He walked up to her and said, “You’re not like other women.”

“In what way?” she asked, frowning ever so slightly.

He laughed.  “Probably in every way.  You’re…unique.”

“You don’t know me.”

“True,” he said, “but I’d like to change that.”

She looked him up and down, twirled, and then whispered, “Follow me.”

 

 

 

Photo:  Antonio Friedemann
Pexels

 

 

 

 

 

How they met…

“Wow!” he said, staring at her.  “You’re absolutely gorgeous.”

“I have a brain,” she growled.

“Don’t doubt it for a second. But your brain is wrapped up in something amazing.”

“I don’t know you, but I hate you already,” she said, looking down the track to see if the el was anywhere in sight.

“I’m sorry.  Please forgive me.  I know that was beyond sexist and completely inappropriate.”

“I actually don’t care enough about you to accept your apology.”

“That’s justifiable and certainly your prerogative, but even if other guys don’t say it, they’re thinking the same thing.  I’m just being honest.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” she asked, frowning.

“It means, just because the rules say we can’t say things like that doesn’t mean the thoughts aren’t there.  You’re beautiful, how can anyone not think that the minute they look at you?”

“First of all, it’s not true.  I am not beautiful, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so I can’t do anything about that.  I mean some people like Picasso, so there’s no accounting for taste, but it’s demeaning to…”

“It’s just the truth.  And you can’t turn it around and ask me how I would like it if women only wanted me for my looks, because any straight guy would love it and if they said they didn’t want that, they’d be lying and what’s wrong with Picasso?”

“What’s wrong with Picasso?  He’s horrible, I don’t care what they say about him.  He despises women in such a hateful and obvious way.  Everyone who was in his era was a better artist than he was, including the cows who lived down the road from his bare bones studio.  His guernica picture sucks and yet he is lauded for it.”

“Okay, I get it.”

“You do?”

“He should have stuck with his blue period.  Can I walk you home?”

“I’m taking the el, I’m not walking home,” she said.  “You can see that I’m on the platform waiting for it, right?”

“I mean after you get off the el.  Unless you live on the platform, or in the el station if there is one, you will probably be walking from where you disembark, and my name is Mark, in case you’re interested.”

“I’m not.  Interested, I mean.  And how do you even know that I’m a nice person?”

“I don’t. That’s why I want to walk you home, so I can find out.”

“Why are you doing this?”

“Because I believe there are red flags in our lives.  Flags that tell us to look closer at certain things.  And if we ignore those flags, we’ll miss an opportunities that may never come again.  I think you’re one of those red flags.”

“That’s a pretty good line,” she laughed.

“It’s not a line, it’s the truth.”

She looked at him and then looked to see if the el was ever going to get there.

“We can sit together on the el and if I feel that you’re not a mass murderer, we can talk about walking together.”

“No one can recognize mass murderers, that’s why they can kill so many people.  Their neighbors like them.”

“Are you trying to tell me something?”

“Yes,” he said.  “You’ll have to base your decision on something else because the mass murderer idea won’t work.”

“I don’t know whether you’re being funny or serious,” she said, frowning.

“Serious.  Don’t ever think you can recognize bad guys.  They seem ordinary or even charming.  It’s not like they have evil written on their foreheads.”

“So you could be evil?”

“I could be, but I’m not.”

“Why should I believe you?”

“You shouldn’t,” he said.  “You’ll be taking a chance, but I don’t know how to get to know you any other way.  You can call a friend and have him/her meet us at the station.”

“I have a gun,” she said.

“Do you know how to use it?”

“I do.”

“That changes things, but you might not want to tell guys that.  Surprise them, if you have to use it.”

“This is the strangest conversation I’ve ever had with a stranger.”

“I don’t want to be a stranger.  I want to be a friend and after that we can see where it leads.”

“How do you know I’m not already involved?”

“Are you?”

“I’m not sure, but I don’t think so.”

“Maybe you were waiting for me.  Maybe I’m one of your red flags.”

“I don’t know,” she said, thoughtfully.  “Maybe you are.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

How they met…

Led Signage On Wall

“How long have you been in standing line?” he asked, walking up behind her.

“A few minutes.”

“I hate standing in line.”

“I don’t think most people like to do it,” she said.

“So, you aren’t nice?”

“No. Not really.  I imagine you aren’t very nice either, or else you wouldn’t be here.”

“That’s true.”

“What does nice mean?” she asked.

He shrugged.  “I think other people believe that nice means giving them their own way.”

She started laughing.  “That’s the one that should be in the dictionary.”

“I think it is, only it’s spelled, MANIPULATION.”

“True, but I think some people are just plain nice.  Not everyone wants something.”

“I disagree.  In fact, I disagree strongly.  Everyone wants something.  For example, I want you to go out to dinner with me, so I’m being my nicest, so you won’t turn me down.:”

“So you’re not actually nice?  You’re really a bad person?”

“You think not being nice, means that a person is bad?”

She thought for a minute and then said, “What’s your definition of bad?” .

“Ah, yes, define my terms.”

“Well, I can’t answer your question if I don’t know what you mean, or what you’re asking.”

“All definitions are personal and fluid, don’t you agree?”

“I do, she said.  Still, bad describes things like pizza with soggy crust.”

“I see what you’re getting at,” he muttered, biting his bottom lip.  “This is all very interesting.  Do you want to get out of line and get a pizza with a crispy and well done crust?  We can go to Mama’s right across the street.  You can take my information, as well as my picture, and send it to anyone you like, so someone will know where you are and who you are with.”

“Wow!”

“I understand how difficult it is to be a woman.  I have four sisters, all radical feminists.”

“Did they beat you up a lot?”

“Only when I was being a sexist pig, so yes.  They beat me up a lot.  I’m still not perfect, at least according to them, but they don’t hit me now, they just glare at me.”

“Excellent,” she said.  “So why are you in the NOT NICE line?”

“Actually, I just saw you and wandered over.  Besides, I know this place and it’s just a cafe where the waiters are rude.”

“I know.  I like to come here and make them cry,” she chuckled.

“Wouldn’t you rather have a pizza and rewrite the dictionary?”

“Sure,” she said, as she held up her phone and took his picture.  “Why not.”

 

Photo:  Daria Shevtsova
Pexels

How they met…

Top view of small white seabird feather placed on black sand texture background located on famous ocean beach with black and white effect

“Interesting title for a book,” he said.  “The Day the Angels Died.  What’s it about?”

“Seriously?” she asked.

“Well, titles don’t always match the content.”

She sighed.  “I guess that’s true.”

“So?  What’s it about?”

“It’s about the day humans stopped believing in Angels.”

“I didn’t expect that,” he said, frowning.  “I thought you were going to say it was about Angels just dying, or falling to earth.”

“It’s not about that.”

“I didn’t think about humans being involved.  At least not that way.”

“Well, we make things up and then make them real by what we believe.  Angels may never have actually existed anywhere but in our collective imagination, but if we stop believing in that fantasy, it will disappear.”

“It could be like that with everything.”

“Yes.  That’s kind of the point.”

He nodded.

“Belief is what makes things seem real.  Nothing is here that we do not believe in.  People think it’s the opposite of that, but it’s not.  Not entirely, anyway. Even the words used to describe things we no longer believe in, disappear.”

“So you’re saying that we make up the world?”

“Yes.  And it changes as we do.  Things fall aways and new things take their place.  We stop believing in things all the time.  Even things like living together before marriage, will be forgotten, as older generations die and take their beliefs with them.  Ideas and beliefs die, the same way people do.”

“I think you’re on to something.”

She laughed.

“Will you sign my book?”

“Yes, that’s why I’m here and you’re in line, right?” she said.

“Oh, right.  How about dinner?  Will you have dinner with me?”

“I’m sorry, but there are quiet a few people waiting behind you.  I hope you enjoy the book,” she said, handing it to him.

He moved aside and opened the book to see what she had written.  He read it and grinned.  It simply said:

 

Believe in yourself

 

 

Photo:  Nikolay Bondarev
Unsplash

 

 

How they met…

“Ted?”

“What’s up?”

“There’s a dead guy outside my apartment door.”

“Are you sure he’s dead?”

“His head is between his feet and he’s not bending over.”

“Do you know him?”

“Hard to say with what’s left of his face.  But I don’t think so.”

“I’ll send Tom over, he’s in your neighborhood.  I’ll be there in a few.  Don’t touch anything.”

“Really?  So, I can’t mess up the crime scene, go through his pockets, and dance in circles, throwing cereal at him?”

“Cereal?”

“It’s all I have in the house.”

“Tom’s pulling into your parking lot.”

“See ya,” she said, hanging up and going to the door.

“He’s definitely dead,” said Tom, looking at the corpse.

“What gave it away?” she asked.

“The head.”

“You’re so clever.”

“Is that sarcasm?” he asked.  “Because I don’t like sarcasm.”

“Of course it’s not sarcasm,” she said, looking at the dead guy.  “What are you going to do now?”

“Wait for Ted to get here.  I’m here to protect the crime scene.”

“Want some coffee?”

“No, thank you.  I don’t want to be distracted.”

“Distracted by coffee?”

“I really like coffee.”

“Good to know,” she said.  “I wonder who he is and why he was dumped here?”

“I think he worked for Polly Anders.  He was in collections and dealt with the hard cases.”

“I thought I knew everyone who worked for her.”

“He’s new.  She brought him in from Philly.  No idea why he was dropped here.”

“Hey,” said Ted, looking at the body laying on the floor.  “You were right.  He’s definitely dead.”

“Tom and I already established that fact and, if you’ll turn your attention to the rug, you’ll notice there’s not a lot of blood pooling around him.”

“Obviously he wasn’t killed here.  Why would someone put his body outside your apartment?”

“No idea.  Tom said he’s a new guy working for Polly Anders.”

The most gorgeous man she had ever seen was walking down the hallway, right toward her. She licked her lips and ran her fingers through her hair.

“This is Connor,” said Ted.  “He’s a transfer from New York.”

“Nice to meet you,” she said, offering her hand.

“You too,” he said, holding her hand longer than necessary.

“Don’t even,” sighed Ted, looking at them.

“What?” they both asked at the same time.

“I have enough complications in my life,” said Ted.  “If you two start something…”

“Um Ted,” she said.  “The dead guy’s phone is ringing.”

Ted pulled the phone out of the guy’s pocket with two gloved fingers.

“Yeah?” he said, putting the caller on speaker.

“Tell the pretty girl there’ll be more dead bodies soon.  Tell her to think about what she did in Chicago.”

Everyone turned to look at her, and see the color drain from her face.

 

Mom’s…how they met.

red and white heart mom's graffiti

“That’s…”

“Cool?” she asked, paint dripping onto her shoe.

“I was going to say…different,” he said.

“Different in a good way?”

“Sure.  Why not.”

“I painted it for my mom.  It’s part of her mother’s day gift.”

“Do you think she’ll like it?”

“Of course.  Why else would I paint it?”

He shrugged.  “I got my mom a plant.”

“How very original,” she said.

“Original in a good way?”

“Sure.  Why not.”

“Sarcasm?” he asked, smiling.

“You should go now,” she said.

“It was the plant, wasn’t it,” he said.

But she was already painting.

 

 

Photo:  Jon Tyson
Unsplash

 

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