Art and the philosophy of life

Posts tagged ‘Neon’

Neon…a short story

Free Slow Down Logo Stock Photo

She leaned against the glass door and practically fell into the lobby.  She straightened herself and went to the desk.

“Yes?  Can I help you?” asked the man greeting people.

“That’s a really heavy door.”

“So I’ve been told.”

“I want to know why you think it’s a good thing to slow down?  What if some people want to go fast?”

“It’s just the name of the place,” he whispered, bending over, hoping she would leave.  “It doesn’t really have to mean anything.”

“People are always saying slow down and smell the roses, or going on and on about how much people who go fast are missing.  Those people would be wrong.”

“Okay, fine,” he said, smiling at the people behind her, pointing them toward the interior of the bar.

“I think people who go slow miss a lot more because they only see one or two things, while the rest of us fast people see everything, or almost everything.”

“I agree.  Now, if you’ll just step out of the way….”

“And people are born with slow or fast personalities, so there’s nothing wrong with being either one, although how people can go slow is beyond me.”

“Of course it is,” he said, looking at the line starting to form behind her.

“Slow is slow.  You can’t get anything done.  I mean, I like to go fast, so does that mean I can’t go inside?”

“It does not,” he said, happily.  “In fact, why don’t you go inside right now.”

“What are you?”

“Excuse me?” he said.

“Fast or slow?”  What are you?”

“Uh, more in the middle, I think.”

“So, not slow?”

“No,” he admitted.  “Not slow.”

“Do you own this place?”

“Seriously?  Do I look like I own this place?”

“You don’t, but I thought I’d ask, just to make sure.  I think you should add the word DON’T to the top of the sign.”

“Don’t slow down?”

“Yes.  You may get a bunch of different people stopping by, but they’d probably drink more and party harder.”

He smiled, then started laughing.  “You might be right.”

“All the people who are going inside, look like they could fall asleep.”

“That’s not true,” he snickered.

“Words need to be chosen carefully.”

“They do.”

“It’s not the journey, it’s the destination that matters.”

“I always thought that was true.”

“It is, for a lot of us.  But those who want to hold people back, the people who come to this place to go slow, don’t get that.”

“They certainly do not.”

“I’m not saying it’s wrong to want to go slow, I just don’t understand why some think it’s wrong to go fast.”

“You’re bring up some very good points,” he agreed.  “So you’re a fastie?

“I am.”

He tore off a sheet of paper from the ledger in front of him and wrote DON’T ALWAYS in big letters, with a marker.  The he taped it above the sign on the wall.

“Thank you,” she said, looking at the people behind her.  “Fast and slow people can get along, at least for a few minutes, you know.”

People started mumbling and snickering.

“I mean it’s hard for fasties to drag things out when here’s so much they want to see and do, but it is possible.  So now this club is open to all of us.  Slow isn’t for everyone, neither is fast.  But it’s okay to be either one.”

There was a smattering of applause, although some people left, muttering about those awful fasties, always getting in their slow lanes.  Always in a hurry.

“Well, thank for your time,” she said.  “Have a great night.”

He watched her go, so did everyone else, for that matter, then a man in the back yelled, CAN YOU PLAY FASTER MUSIC IN THIS JOINT?  That’s when the fighting broke out.

A short story, about sprinkles. Neon sign.

Free Red neon signboard with inscription hanging on wall in dark public place at night Stock Photo

“I’d like a dozen plain donuts, than you,” he said, tapping his fingers on the counter.

“No sprinkles on any of them?” she asked, frowning at him.

“No.  All of them plain.”

“But sprinkles are special, they add color and fun.”

“I like them plain.”

“Okay,” she said, starting to put plain donuts into a box.  “The only reason I even have plain ones are because they haven’t been sprinkled yet.”


“I have a couple chocolate donuts without sprinkles, do you want one, or two?”

“What do you have against plain donuts?” he asked.

“Nothing, really.”

“I like them with coffee in the morning.  Not too sweet, and besides, the sprinkles are messy.”

“True,” she said.  “They can be messy.”

“And I’m not into frosting either.”

“Not even chocolate?”

“No, not even that.”

“Wow.  You’re really hard core.”

“I guess I am,” he said, smiling.

“I’ll thrown in an extra one, for luck.”

“Thanks,” he said, handing her the money.  “Do you eat donuts with lots of sprinkles?”

“Nope.  I like ’em plain.”

Non-stop, a short story

a neon sign that says non stop hanging from a window

“A lot of people in other countries think Americans work non-stop.  Constantly moving, doing things, usually multitasking, never relaxing or having two hour lunches with friends, laughing and enjoying each other and life in general,” he said.  “I think they’re right.”

“Every culture is different,” she mumbled.

“Their way seems more friendly, more relaxing.”

She shrugged. “Maybe.  But it’s hard to know, since understanding the ways of another country is almost impossible.  One has to be indoctrinated from birth to really get what’s going on.   But we are a consumer society, greedy and competitive.  It’s sad when people come here expecting an American Dream, or streets paved with gold.  Some actually say it’s worse here than where they came from.”

“I’ve heard people say our country is getting more and more like Germany before the war.  Hard to argue with them, since things have changed so much and we no longer have privacy and the government works for itself, against us.”

“But,” she said, smiling, “it’s a beautiful day and there’s a butterfly over there.  The sky is blue and no poisonous com trails are running across it.  We are still able to assemble, even though there are only two of us, without being arrested and…”

“I think that will eventually change,” he said.

“I think so too,” she agreed.  “But we may as well enjoy the tiny moment we have, rather than waste it thinking about how we are no longer free, if we ever really were.”

“A country made of cards.  Not just a house,” he said.

“Absolutely.  If you could go anywhere,” she asked, “where would you want to go?”

“Time travel?” he asked, excitedly.  “To the past or the future?”


“Can it be fictional?” he he asked.

“Um, no because then you’ll just say you want to be on the Enterprise in Star Trek.

“Okay, give me a minute,” he said, closing his eyes.  “Let me think.”

“It’s going to be dark soon,” she laughed, poking him.

“The fifties.  I’d want to go back to the fifties and be eighteen.  Before tech, I’d have a 57 Chevy, and I’d want to know everything I know now,” he said, grinning.  “Think about it.  Levi’s, white t-shirts, with cigarettes rolled up in the sleeves.  Cool.  No camera’s watching me, no phones in my pockets.  Just freedom.”

“I get that,” she said, nodding.  “That was supposed to have been a good time to be a teenager, even if it was a bit repressive.”

“How about you?” he asked.  “When would you like to be?”

“Two places,” she said.  “Paris with Sylvia Beach, the artists, writers and poets.  I’d also like to be in the future.  Maybe five hundred years from now, or a thousand.”

“There might not be a future,” he said.

“I know, but if there is one, I’d like to see it.”

“Do you think most of us go non-stop?”

“Definitely,” she said.  “People lay in bed at night playing with their phones. I think we are disconnecting from each other at an alarming rate, due to tech. There’s always a screen in front of us, or air pods in our ears.  The noise doesn’t stop.  People don’t need real friends, they can have pretend friends and experiences. Social skills will fall to the wayside. That will serve the bad guys well, since our sense of community will be dead.”

“I’m hungry.”

“Let’s go,” she said, standing up, looking around.  “I love this park.  The trees are beautiful.”

“Well, enjoy it.  I’ve heard they are going to tear it down and put up a parking lot.”


Photo:  Georgi Kalaydzhiev


Neon…I’d like to go inside this place and look around.

Free Art Studio Window Stock Photo

Photo:  Asmi Aksu

A message governments around the world should take to heart…

white make cakes not war neon sign

Photo:  Anton Belashov

Neon…Love is…what?

a neon sign that says boozie on it

the word love
has a definition
in the dictionary
but everyone knows
that love
means something different
to each of us
a lot of us
can’t even agree
on whether love
is good
or bad
it all depends
on who you ask
and whether or not
the person
is still bleeding
and heartbroken
because love
can be a
some never find it
while others find it
over and over again
some don’t want it
others spend their lives
looking for it
it can ruin lives
or make them better
it’s the kind of word
that depends upon the users
mental condition
their expectations
and what they have been
to believe
if it’s not fun
it’s not love


Photo:  Jon Tyson



Free Neon Sign In Art Museum Stock Photo

Photo:  Nici Gottstein

Magic, Neon…a short story.

“Where are you going?” he asked, stepping from behind the counter.

“I’m going in here, where the magic happens,” she said, reaching for the doorknob.  “Where does it look like I’m going?”

“You can’t go in there, it’s for employees only.”

“No it’s not.  There’s no sign that says it for employees only.”

“Well, it is.”

“You just made that up.”

“Did not,” he said.

“Did too.”

“You won’t like it in there.”

“How do you know.  If there’s magic in there I want to see it, or be part of it.”

“No you don’t.”

“Stop telling me what I want to do, or what I will like.  I bought a ticket and…”

“You bought a ticket into the bar, not into that room.”

“I want to speak to the manager.”

“I’m the manager,” he said, standing straighter.

“No you’re not.  You’re too young to be the manager.”

“That’s not true,” he said. “I’m…preconscious.”

“Oh, give me a break,” she sighed. “I’m going in.”

She turned the handle, jiggled it, leaned into it, but the door wouldn’t open.

“It’s locked.  Open it!” she demanded.


“What kind of magic is in there?”

“You wouldn’t recognize it.”

“How do you know what I would recognize?” she asked, her hands on her hips.

“It’s new.  Anyway, the magic happens in the bar.”

“No it doesn’t, there’s just a bunch of people in there getting drunk and looking for anyone who will make them feel better about themselves.”

That’s the magic,” he said softly.


“The magic happens when people meet other people who make them feel okay.  The okay part is the magic.”

“That’s not magic, that’s alcohol, dark lightening and music.”

“All of those things are magic,” he said.

“That’s not new magic, then, it’s old magic,” she said.  “People have been using those things since forever.”

“I know, but they still work.”

She leaned against the door.  “What’s really behind this door?”

“It’s a store room.  We keep the extra napkins, glasses and things in there.”


“Sorry to disappoint you.”

She nodded.  “Me too.”

“Did you really think there was magic in there?” he asked.

“I guess I was hoping there was.”

“So you believe in magic?”

“I do,” she said, making a frog appear on her palm.  “Don’t you?”

“How’d you do that?” he asked.

“Well, it was nice meeting you,” she said.  “Even if you use false advertising.”

“It’s not false, it’s true.  Just not the way you expected it to be.”

“You can keep the frog,” she said, walking away.  “He used to be my old boyfriend.  His name is Gregory, but you can call him anything you like.”

He watched her leave, then turned to the frog.


“What,” said the frog.





Free White and Green Happy Birthday Signage Stock Photo

imagine the stories
walls could tell
from being put up
to having their first encounters
with others
think of the things
they’ve heard
and seen
good and bad
funny and horrible
how do they feel
about being
or tiled
does it hurt
dull the sound
how afraid are they
of being torn down
maybe someday
we’ll be able to
find out
what they have to say
but right now
mums the word

Photo:  Kelly

GAME OVER…a short story.

Free Yellow and Green Led Light Stock Photo

“Wait.  What do you mean, the game’s over?

“Wow…I thought that would be clear to clear to everyone. Game over means theres’s no more game to play.  I mean, what else could it mean?  Kaput, over, finished, done, turn out the lights and walk away, king of over.”

“But I’m not finished,” He whined.

“See, that’s the thing.  I hear that all the time.  I wanted to do this, or that, go here, or there, marry him or her, read the classics, write a book.  It never really ends.  You’d be surprised how many things people wanted to do but never die.”


“You’re dead.  There’s nothing you can do about that.  The game you were playing has been unplugged, completely disconnected,” snickered, the tall thin man in the toga.

“I’m dead?”

“As a doornail,” he said.  “But I’m not sure what that means, exactly, since I don’t know if doornails were ever alive, or if that even matters.  Anyway, whatever you left unfinished will stay that way forever, or longer.”

“How can something be longer than forever?”

“It’s just a saying.  Nothing can be longer than forever, because forever…is forever.”

“Are you new at this job?”

“Yes.  How can you tell,” asked toga man.

“Not important.  What is important is that I want to go back.”

“Not possible.”

“I thought anything was possible.”

“Seriously?  How could you think that, even for a second?  It’s ridiculous.”

The guy sighed.  “Yeah, I suppose you’re right…but can’t you make an exception?”

“Why would I do that?”

“I need to tie up loose ends.”

“Shudda thought about that while you were alive,” said toga man, knowingly.  “Most people think they have all the time in the world, so they let things go and then, BAM, they’re here and have a million things to finish in the life they just left.”

“I want to go back.”




“Is it possible?” asked the guy.

“Is what possible?”

“You know what I’m talking about.  IS IT POSSIBLE TO GO BACK?”

“You…are very LOUD!”

“Sorry, but you don’t seem to understand how important it is that I go back.”

“Need to apologize?  Tell someone you love her, or him?  Oh, oh, do you want to tell a person where a treasure is hidden?”

“Yes, yes and no.  I need to go back and make things right.  Is there a way?”

The toga man, crossed his arms and began to pace.  “There is a way.”

“Do it!” said the guy, excitedly.  “Do it.”

“It won’t be easy and you might feel some pain.”

“Fine, I don’t care.  The pain will be worth it.”

“You sure?” asked toga man.

“I’m sure.  Just tell me what I have to do.”

“Well, if you’re sure.”

“Tell me what I have to do.”

“Close your eyes and think of a happy place.”

“Done.  Now what?” asked the guy.

“In ten seconds, you’ll be back.  Ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two…and…”

“IT’S A GIRL,” said the midwife to the new mother.  “You have a beautiful baby girl.”

When the baby started screaming, everyone thought she was adorable.  Little did they know she was screaming in horror.

Photo:  Cottonbro Studio




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