There is no moral at the end of this story

Not much to say lately. I haven’t felt well. Gut stuff. Leave it at that. Slight fever, not worrisome.

Brain stuff is so-so. Change of seasons and daylight decline never used to bother me. It does now. Can’t say way. One more indignity of age.

Edgy is the primary status update. Everything is extra. Sensitive. Angry. Insecurity. It’s like going to the grocery store and filling your cart with only food you hate. That’s my brain right now.

Why? Who can say? Maybe it’s just my turn to feel like crud.

My therapist advises against journaling while depressed. He says chronic depressives take the time to best themselves you.


But. But … writing is the only time I feel myself. When I type, this is my truest voice. Oh, sure. I mimic. All writers do. I steal turns of phrase, structure, ideas and other baubles from other writers.

But when I tell a story, especially my own, that is the greatest hits version of me.

See that? The “greatest hits version of me” is stolen from my friend Megan Gogerty, a fellow East alumnus and superstar play write and teacher at the University of Sodom and Gomorrah.

There it is again. Megan teaches at the University of Iowa. But a former coworker who had a cartoonish distaste for any thinking to the left of Attila the Hun called U if I the U of S and G. One of her kids even went there. She was colorful.

I don’t have any lessons for you today, my virtual friends. I watched the Chicago Bears best the Dallas Cowboys in a contest of mediocre pro football teams on Thursday.

This game made little sense. The Bears won and now have a winning record. The Cowboys lost and now have a losing record. The Bears probably won’t make the playoffs. The Cowboys probably will.

A former friend — his choice, not mine — hated pro football. He believed t he games were fixed for gamblers. I disagreed. Now. Who knows?

Then I watched college football. I cheered for the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big 12 because my best friend Paul is a Sooners fan and I like talking to Paul about things he’s interested in. I like the Sooners. I read a book about their undefeated streak in the 1950s under Bud Wilkinson.

I also cheered for the Memphis Tigers in the AAC Championship. Paul lives in Memphis. I wish I lived in Memphis so we could hang out more. Also Memphis has a nice royal blue color on their helmets. It reminds me of my alma mater, Drake, which plays a lower division of football.

I did not watch Clemson pound Virginia. That was dull. I like Clemson teams. They are usually fast and I like that paw print on the orange helmet.

I endured the final dregs of the the Ohio State-Wisconsin game for the Big 10 Championship. Wisconsin tried. Ohio State is a pro team. They’re like Miami in the 80s. Probably equally corrupt.

No favorite in this contest. Several of my dearest friends are from Wisconsin. I love them, but not enough to root for the Badgers. I have no known reason to have animus toward Ohio State other than they insist on using that silly “The” in front of their name.

Fun story: Ohio State used to be called Ohio Agricultural and Mechanical. So it would have been Ohio A&M. This was not snotty enough for Ohio lawmakers in the 1870s. So they changed it to “the Ohio State University” to let everyone know how prestigious it is to have an article preceding your name.

This sort of talk fell away until the middle 1980s. Ohio State was known as OSU in logos and merchandise. They rebranded and brought the “the” back to, again prove their snottiness.

I dislike snobs. They reek of low-rent bullies rife with insecurity. Be who you are. If you’re as good as you think you are, people will know. It’s not The Harvard or The Yale. People still respect those schools. Not in sports, but in things that are actually important like law and medicine.

Anyway, the best part of that game was that someone lost.

If it feels like I’m rambling about nothing, it’s because I am. My anxiety is up a couple notches. Why? Who knows? Free-floating anxiety. Some people are more susceptible to insect bites. I’m more susceptible to anxiety. So it goes.

I warned you earlier. I have no wisdom. There is no moral at the end of this story.

Oh, hell. Try this:

It’s Sunday. Watch football. Snore out a nap. Read. Pray to the higher power of your choice. Seek silence. Wonder about something. Put down your devices and just be. Tell someone you love them. Watch “Rick and Morty.”

Or do none of that except tell someone you love them.

With love and hope, dpf

Published by Daniel P. Finney

Daniel P. Finney is a professional paragraph stacker who grew up in Winterset and Des Moines, Iowa. The local newspaper paid him $25 for his first story when he was 17. He has typed for cash ever since. He is a flawed human trying to be a little less Incredible Hulk and a little more Mr. Rogers.

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