The Paragraph Stacker

Uncensored columns from an exiled newsmane

Photo by Alexandre Paes Leme | Dreamstime.com

The water blinded me. It sprayed in a 360-degree pattern from my kitchen faucet. It soaked my shirt. It drenched various knickknacks displayed on my handover bar.

The time was 5:18 a.m. I awakened in my recliner. I fell asleep during a Netflix documentary about the mob. I waddled into the kitchen for a cup of water.

I poured and gulped until my thirst drained my Brita pitcher.

No problem.

I keep a plastic gallon jug filled with tap water in the back of the fridge. I don’t like tap water. It tastes gross. I also prefer water to be cold.

The gallon jug allows me to refill my Brita and have filtered water without having to wait for the water to be cold.

If this obsession with cold, filtered watered seems petty and privileged, you’re right. It is.

Some 780 million people worldwide are without clean drinking water, yet I can fuss over the flavor and temperature in my little apartment in Des Moines.

I should be ashamed, but I am not. I like cold, filtered water. I live in a place where that is possible. I indulge in cold, filtered water in the extreme.

If I drank water that was room temperature from the faucet, it wouldn’t improve the stations of those without clean water. Everything I do is awful. So it goes.

I apologize for nothing.

I’ll answer for it in Heaven.

I filled the Brita with the plastic jug and returned it to the fridge. I took the plastic jug over to the faucet and started to fill it.

The mouth of the jug fits snugly over the faucet. I opened the faucet. I closed my eyes. I was very drowsy.

The squirting water rectified my sleepiness. The jug overfilled and the seal over the faucet opening was too tight. Water blasted out from all sides.

It struck me in the face and blinded me. I fumbled for the knob to turn off the spray.

This is a simple task. The right knob is for cold water. The left knob is for hot water.

However, with water in my eyes, my sense of right and left became impaired.

Instead of turning off the cold knob, I cranked open the hot knob. This doubled the pressure of the water.

The thought of how my obituary might read flashed through my mind: “Daniel P. Finney, unemployed journalist, drowned in his kitchen sink early Thursday while attempting to fill a plastic jug of water. ‘We always knew it was going to be something stupid in the end,’ his parents said.”

I managed to wrest the knobs in the proper directions and gain control of the complex water distribution system before such paragraphs became necessary.

I mopped up the puddles of water. I carefully dried my Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman statue and my autographed statue of DC Bombshells Lois Lane by Iowa artist Ant Lucia.

Some of the people reading this column may be adults. As adults, you might be asking why an adult would have these things in his home.

I keep them mostly to make my married male friends jealous. I can put any damn thing I want in my house and nobody stops me. I have nearly 39 TARDISes in my apartment. If you don’t know what a TARDIS is, we probably are not going to be friends.

Then again, if a person has 39 TARDISes, they’re probably not going to have a wife. It’s a trade I’m willing to make.

I tidied up and went to the bathroom to hang up my wet shirt. There I discovered I failed to take my night medication. This isn’t life threatening, but it’s not a good idea. I took it.

I decided to go to bed. I slept fitfully. I had violent, horrifying nightmares that jerked me awake when I made a kick into midair under the covers.

The content of the dream was truly terrible, the kind of thing that’s certain to be seared into your memory forever.

I remember nothing from the dreams. My brain robbed me of an amusing anecdote.

How unfortunate.

I am told people love to hear about other people’s dreams and the topic is never dull or overwrought with spooky mystic thinking that ascribes greater meaning to static on your spinal column than it really deserves.

Thursday was off to an inauspicious start.

I checked my email. No one offered me a job. No one even wanted to talk to me about any of the jobs I applied for.

This depressed me.

I took some solace in the fact baseball returned. My favorite team, the New York Yankees, played at the Washington Nationals at 6 p.m. I was very excited. I went to the comic store, which I had missed the previous day. I got a bite to eat at Jethro’s.

I got home just in time to learn the game had be suspended due to rain. I could have watched the beginning of the game, which I had recorded, but another water-related incident on Thursday was too much for my fragile psyche to handle.

I checked my email again. The news was the same on jobs as always: No news.

But in the stacks of offers of Nigerian princes asking me to launder money and amazing pills that will help me LOSE WEIGHT WITHOUT EXERCISE, I found a gem.

A reader of this column, a person I don’t think I’ve ever met in person, sent me a copy of Taylor Swift’s new album.

My love of Taylor Swift music is well-documented.

I did not know Taylor Swift was releasing a new album.

No one else did, either. It came out at midnight, the instant between Thursday and Friday.

I downloaded the album immediately and listened to it for four hours straight. I loved it.

An act of kindness by a reader rescued a rotten day. And Taylor Swift’s record was more than a match for my melancholy.

There was only one problem.

I listened to the album so long I forgot to take my medication again.

Damn it.

Well, I vow not to go anywhere near a faucet this time.

Daniel P. Finney, independent journalist

Cut loose and cashiered by corporate media, lone paragraph stacker Daniel P. Finney makes his way telling stories about his city, state and nation. No more metrics or Google trends, he writes stories about people and life ignored by the oligarchy.

ParagraphStacker.com is free, reader-supported media. Please consider donating to help me cover personal expenses as I launch this new venture continuing the journalism you’ve demanded. Visit paypal.me/paragraphstacker.

2 thoughts on “The day Taylor Swift’s new album came out and made everything OK

  1. DAVE HUBBAED says:

    YOU WERE IN GOOD SPIRITS HERE…NOT ALL THE GRUNGE TALK-BUT WAS SOME..ITS OK….SO YOU LIVE IN THE FLATS…I HAVE BEEN … THEREE… ITS EDIITORS PICK DAY….GO HAVE SOME FUN. TAKE CARE. GOOD COLIUMN.

    Like

  2. Karen says:

    Got a definite chuckle out of this one! We’ve all been there – tried to remedy a problem and only made it worse. So glad your unknown benefactor rescued the day for you! You deserved it!

    Like

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