The Progress Of Failure


She pulls a tissue from her left breast pocket. It’s creased in half without a ripple, testament to detail she associates with achievement. The creased tissues are scattered throughout her habitual instructions. She enters her car in the morning, checks the mirrors to assure they’re positioned in a continuance of balanced reflection. This balance wasn’t an easy discovery. It took several years of measuring the height of semis, busses, SUVs, compacts and other automobiles to assure that their roofs would remain in the mirrors no matter the turns, or traffic. A close encounter with a leering semi motivated this conquest even more, not nearly near-death but enough of a close call to prompt the research. And so, the reflections are a perfect synopsis of the world around her. But as perfect as reality based instructions are a lingering ripple tests the crease of her folded tissues. Harboring in the corner of a room where desired entropy, “equilibrium,” exists in a tactless corner that highlights the light socket and droops with the sinking wooden trim, a place where the chill of miniscule darkness pinpoints her failure. Sometimes when she’s strolling past window shop displays and city trees aligned near the edge of the sidewalk, she’ll trip on a missed step and an expletive lacking the common four letter words will expound from her throat, “that damn corner.”

The characteristics of our failures can feel like sequenced curse words, like we’re merely dummies stuffed with a ventriloquist’s hand forced to echo the punchline for lack of a personal chuckle. But the failures don’t occur for our benefit, they simply occur due to coincidence. As she pulls a tissue from its box, she notices the tip of a corner is folded ever so slightly. To her it resembles a smile, she decides to carry this one in her right pocket creaseless, away from the other tissues, crumpled and full of wrinkled grins.

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