Join Free! | Login 

Happy 4th of July!
   Popular! Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry
Where Authors and Readers come together!

Signed Bookstore | Authors | eBooks | Books | Stories | Articles | Poetry | Blogs | News | Events | Reviews | Videos | Success | Gold Members | Testimonials

Featured Authors: Miranda Pope, iRM DAmato, iA.J. Mahari, iReverend Dr. Linda De Coff, iCindy Ziperman, iLloydene Hill, iChristina Neely, i
  Home > Literary Fiction > Stories
Popular: Books, Stories, Articles, Poetry     

Odin Roark

  + Follow Me   

· 1,130 titles
· 4,275 Reviews
· Share with Friends!
· Save to My Library
Member Since: Jul, 2008

   My Blog
   Contact Author
   Read Reviews

· Perceptions


· Prosetry at Work

· Said and Unsaid - Vol 1


Short Stories
· Surreal Dummy--Still Here

· IT

· Faux Companion

· Take Me, I'm Free (Flash Fiction)

· Beer Neck Flower

· Closed

· What Do You Do?

· Dream-Blisters

· The Nap

· When the Wheels Stop Turnin' (flash fiction)

· Discipline of the artist

· The Dogs of Sochi

· A Crow With Super Smarts

· Targets Be Warned

· Simple Times (an observation)

· Cavemen in Tuxedos (an editorial)

· Ghost Town Ghosts

· Note to Self

· Essay on Poetic Theory

· Match-Strike

· Pantalone Masks

· Hands of Choice

· Self-Worth Surrendered

· Our Species' Butchered Battlefield

· Timeless Kaleidoscope

· Steam and Smoke Reverie

· Living Galleries

· Fatherdom - a Trilogy of Remembrance

· No-Cure Privilege

         More poetry...

Odin Roark, click here to update your web pages on AuthorsDen.

Books by Odin Roark
Bubble Choices
By Odin Roark
Posted: Thursday, May 21, 2015
Last edited: Thursday, May 21, 2015
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
Share    Print   Save   Become a Fan
Recent stories by Odin Roark
· Like No Other
· Surreal Dummy--Still Here
· IT
· Faux Companion
· Take Me, I'm Free (Flash Fiction)
· Beer Neck Flower
· Closed
           >> View all 48
Mixing one’s thinking between prose and verse is rather revealing sometimes. You start off thinking there’s a poem there, then you discover it’s more like flash fiction, or maybe something else trying to form itself into work worth reading. (Image by tutsplus)

Bubble Choices
by Odin Roark

I was well aware of the Hollywood bubble, the Washington bubble, and the 1% bubble. So, my own vacuum couldn’t be that permeable, could it?

After all, I only chose insulation as had many others; my boss, girlfriend, even her cat. Did that make us all unrealistic or merely protective, responsible, sensible?

Who wants to be vulnerable? Who yearns to be bilked, milked, used? Oh, yeah. I had a thesaurus of justifications, but here I was, sitting on the bus bench, eating my Big Mac… waiting. Not for the bus, but the next panhandler. Some kind of addiction, eh? Of course, like anybody else, I had a right to judge. I worked hard. Kept my job. Never bummed around. Avoided partying. Never got into drugs, loose women, or spending sprees.

No, I was a good guy. Minding my business in my well-constructed bubble. So, why did today start the doubts?
I was just sitting there, when, oh, Jesus, here comes that fucking mongrel again. What’s with this mangy dog? Why me? Give me a panhandler to reject, any day. This damn mutt was a deal breaker. I was fixed in my ways and this little shit was always…

“Damn! What do you want?” Mr. Grunge sat back on his haunches. Just sat there. I fingered what was left of the burger. He tilted his head. “Yeah… So what? Man’s gotta eat.” I took another bite. Mr. Grunge didn’t move. An ever so quiet sound slipped through his panting. Hell, he knew me. Seen me enough times on this bench. Knew I wanted to be one way, but always found me being another when he turned up.
So carefully he leaned forward. A sniff first. (Even he knew it was always a good idea to sniff a McDonald’s first) His eyes looked up at me, then gently took the piece I’d torn off for him.
“So…you got what you wanted. Beat it.”

See…this is what I mean. He didn’t run off like all the other times. He laid down at my feet, his muzzle resting on my shoe. I looked up the street. “Hey, c’mon. You’re fucking up my thing. You know that, don’t you? Panhandler is going to avoid me now, thinking you’re some kind of rabid monster that will bite his ass if he comes near.”

Then, it happened.

Down the sidewalk strolled his guy. You know the look. The kind of dirt-grooming that makes the mutt look freshly shampooed. So, I got beneath my bubble of “Go fuck yourself” mood and readyed up my usual protective… But, this guy just sat down on the bench. Didn’t give me no mind. His eyes looked down at the dog. And I’ll be damned if he didn’t reach into his pocket, pull out an old dried up half-bagel—yeah, you know, dumpster or wastebasket cuisine—broke off half for Mr. Grunge, sighed and munched on the other half. “Nice day,” he says.

So now there’s three of us munching away. Fuck it…I give what’s left of the burger to the guy, and I’m wondering if I’ve picked the wrong sphere, bubble, vacuum for myself. There’s got to be one that’s right for me, right? All those bubbles of choice. How’s anyone gonna survive without one. Fear’s natural. I just need to pick my “dreaded whatever” better. Okay, so a panhandler is weenie. So I’ll get me the kind of threat that’s really worth being afraid of. Like maybe never seeing the mutt again. Never witnessing a panhandler that’s doing the handing out. You know?

Maybe it never gets easier.


Reader Reviews for "Bubble Choices"

Want to review or comment on this short story?
Click here to login!

Need a FREE Membership?
Click here to Join!

Reviewed by richard cederberg
A piquant, naturalistic, unadorned, flow of thought and imagery. Again your cinematic skills find substance in your words. Would make a great movie short. Enjoyed this peek at the perplexities and idiosyncrasies of one characters mind and circumstance. Well done.
Reviewed by Ronald Hull
Very good, gets to the heart of the matter. I remember times, like in the Mission District of San Francisco that I understand is high rent today, when I was panhandled as much as four times while trying to walk one city block. If I'd given something to one, I would have been mobbed by many others.

But today's street people have stories and, if one has time to learn them, it's more possible to understand. It is interesting that studies have shown that the poor give more freely than the rich.

The bubble that I have is held together by the three people that get me out of bed in the morning. I've been thinking about the main one, so tired last night that I couldn't wake her up for 15 minutes and feared that she might have died in her sleep. If I lost her, my protective bubble would certainly burst wide open.


Popular Literary Fiction Stories
1. Bubble Choices
2. 2012: Verge of Destiny
3. IT
4. Lest We Forget To Remember
5. Dream-Blisters
6. The Walls Come a'Tumblin'
7. Mr. Kim
8. Take Me, I'm Free (Flash Fiction)
9. Fortune and Men's Eyes
10. It Ain't Brain Surgery

Circles of Stone by Alfred Garrotto

Discovery of a terrible secret related to her adoption shatters Natalia McCrory's world...  
BookAds by Silver, Gold and Platinum Members

Authors alphabetically: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Featured Authors | New to AuthorsDen? | Add AuthorsDen to your Site
Share AD with your friends | Need Help? | About us

Problem with this page?   Report it to AuthorsDen
© AuthorsDen, Inc. All rights reserved.