Title: The Autumn of Phil
Subtext: I don’t like it either.
Date: 20 Sep 19 (Friday in the AM)
Time: 2 minutes
Replies: 10
Revisions: 1
Publicity: Workshop

The calm cool air of fall has settled over the land like a summer breeze. I for one am an advocate of the fall, of fall weather, and much prefer it to the hot rank, the sweaty marsh that is its predecessor. No one I know likes summer better than fall – I knew a guy who claimed otherwise but he died and now we all like fall best. He was, I think, the evidence proves, a little imbalanced in thinking summer better than fall. This imbalance also and actually led to his premature death – he was a tightrope walker, and lack of balance proved a fatal flaw. It’s almost a prerequisite as a tightrope walker to not only believe that fall is better than summer, but also to have excellent physical equilibrium. I guess not everyone can do everything everyone has one believing, though I’d still like to believe otherwise.

Fall is time for considering, contemplating, musing, and reflecting. I think back to the time when Phil, my tightrope walking friend, fell, it was in the fall, now that I think of it. I had at the time been observing the nature of fall, how, if you’re careful, you’ll see the leaves change in color and eventually detach themselves from their branchy berths and fall stone dead to the ground, among the stones and dead branches, eventually to be consumed by the dirt into which all things are subsumed. That, as far as I know, is what happens, and is what happened to Phil. I’d like you to know that we encouraged Phil in his tightrope walking endeavor but also told him it was probably a bad idea, given that he seemed unable to walk a straight line even on flat and even ground. The doctors we brought in weren’t specialists, some weren’t even doctors, but they all said the same thing – Phil, you really should consider any alternative to tightrope walking. But he persisted. So we said, Phil, we get it. It’s your passion and your choice, but please practice and be patient and take things one step at a time, especially on the tightrope.

Phil’s second disadvantage to becoming a successful living tightrope walker was that he was impetuous. He’d get an idea in his head and it would subsume him like he was later subsumed by the Earth and recast as inorganic matter. You might say that tightrope walking was one of these impetuous notions, though it was an even more specific impulse that led to Phil’s tragic though not unsurprising demise. One day, before he’d ever completed any tightrope walking achievement that might be considered even remotely impressive, he conceived the idea that he would be the first person to tightrope walk over the La Brea tar pits.

I’m sure you can surmise what happened.

Yes, the cool calm fall air is upon us.

That’s something to consider.


Bear » Authorship
Bear » 10:00 AM 20 Sep 19

The Thread (10)

 Author's voice in grey. 

  1. I mentioned the La Brea tar pits the other as part of a general remembrance of L.A. museums. Since that time I’ve seen it referenced thrice, this being the third. The second was just this morning on a tweet from Neil deGrasse Tyson. I don’t remember the first.

  2. I vote for autumn and fall as tags. You’d be crazy not to.

  3. I almost visited those tar pits last (I mean this) summer #stillsummerbutcomeon, inasmuch as iMapping it means you almost visited it.

  4. Cut the last three lines.

  5. If we start with cutting lines before discussing any ideas in each piece, we’re at best being entirely inefficient.

  6. Credit the reader’s experience above the author’s.

  7. Because this is an interaction at least in part between the author and reader, some discussion on that experience is requisite before any suggested remedy. Otherwise, authors won’t understand what they’re remedying.

  8. Oh, you mean you want to learn something — weird.

    I’m sure you can surmise what happened.

    Yes, we can, so this line is unnecessary, and in fact detracts from the surmising by forcing a conclusion.

    Yes, the cool calm fall air is upon us.

    No idea why this needs to be said — the whole piece is about this notion.

    That’s something to consider.

    Um — what — why — seems a waste of words and my time as a reader.

    Bring it on, Bear.

  9. So far I’ve only read the first line. It’s the stupidest thing ever to appear in the Land, and I love it. Also, I may have been picking my nose while reading it — can’t remember.

  10. Probably.

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