A Modest Day

SONY DSCAlarm bells wake me at 4:50 am, and this is my typical day.

A restless night of great sleep, ironically; but being awoken each hour on the hour left me baffled and confused at how great I actually felt in the twilight morning.


I sat on the edge of the bed for a few minutes.  

It was a fresh breath of air-type morning-where the necessities came in handfuls and you had to bundle like an Eskimo to make it to work without accumulating frostbite.

I wondered why the balance was showing such a stark contrast, and I pondered purchasing cigarettes.

I ate a banana and drank half a pint of water.

*The Free Clinic nurse told me to quit smoking, she said, “Don’t even have one a day.”  I thought about this as I had my pants down.  I didn’t feel violated as she touched me, I felt redeemed I could stand there with a perfect stranger and be completely judged-pants down around my ankles, odds and ends exposed in the stale, whitewashed, doctor’s office.  It was exhilarating, honestly.

At that moment, I was trying to build back my ego; by the time I left the office my head was as big as a hot air balloon.


The day began like this; a piss, a relaxing bed-stretch, some water (I used to chug 2 glasses prior to leaving my apartment on most days, but that was in the summer; however, in the winter one should drink more water.  The risk of dehydration is greater, because one doesn’t realize how much water they lose, due to the obvious shock of lower temperatures, but you actually sweat a lot in the winter, and expend much energy.), some petting, contacts in, and a kiss goodbye from my lovely.

The day has risen.


I have found no greater pleasure than in remaining constantly busy, literally reading everyday, never being home, and expanding my horizons from a bed.  John Lennon had it crucially right-I have no idea how I feel about Yoko Ono, though, but goddamn, John Lennon knew what he was talking about.  Imagine that.

A banana to suffice my hungry tummy and I am off.  Out a double set of doors, down some steps, avoiding ice, snow, and salt, and to my bike which is locked, obsessively, to a post, next to a tree, in view of the apartment window I was just occupying, in order to see My Precious.


I am crazy.  I deal, ideally.  Too much has been taken from me to care about material possessions, but, I promise you, now, I will make those new possessions harder to steal.  

I have no idea how the lazy lout succeeds in being actually happy.  Self-sufficient, self-reliant-you can count on me, and determined.  The everyday struggle brought to your front door, in your city, and we exist together-a working unit, or working opponents.  I guess I write about it.

(This weekend I chose to pick up a few things from Barnes and Noble, after I had breakfast at Keyes.  Items were purchased, courtesy of a gift card, thanks to the fine holiday of Christmas, purchased by my father.  Thank you, Dad, and Jesus.  I found a few new books and moved on.  The crowd was growing, and we walked home.  I did leave, however, with only 1 fantastic read and a planner (Moleskin, the best).  Also, Keyes was awesome, I had the Loon Omelet and left satisfied.)


Unlock and leave.  My bike is black and incredibly visible in the snow; however, because of its color it is damn near impossible to see at night, or just before dawn, so I fix lights on the front and back and traverse the sidewalk ice to the street.  I take a hard left to University, where I take a hard Right.  I take another Left on Central and cross the Third Street Bridge.  I see the Mississippi, The Hennepin Avenue Bridge, and the skyline of Downtown Minneapolis.  I see my breath.

Cars are dodging me, as I am avoiding ice buildup on the side of the road; MNdot has been lagging this year, not surprisingly, they constantly complain of the lack of funds.  I dare say-the roads must be safe to save lives.  Commute in Minneapolis is an inevitable venture; one must go to keep on going in this fair city.

When we lack the things we love we run into danger-dire straights for the average folks.  That is not a disparagement, merely an assessment.  Free to judge, being free is great.

As I arrive to work exactly on time, 5:45 am, I ponder buying the news paper-maybe the Star Tribune, maybe The Pioneer Press-I avoid the situation entirely, lock-up, unstrap my lights, and head inside.  I don’t need to be subjected to bad news, obituaries, or the debt crises of the modern age, or fluff news in general!  It’s not on my doorstep unless I allow it to be, figuratively speaking.  If they have to write about it in order for me to know about it, and be concerned about it, because I wouldn’t have noticed it otherwise, I’ll check the novel out in a few years.  I am just looking for the weather report…

Praying for 70’s!!!

I walk through two sets of glass doors and find myself surrounded by smells of fresh baked pastries and donuts, coffee, and some un-amused coworkers who have been slaving all night.  They don’t smell but they were giving me the stink eye.  How lucky, I get to come into work so late…5:45 am!

When do you get up?

I begin my regular routine of:  Counting, pouring, grinding, brewing, and bullshitting, which I consider sales.  This is how money is made, to exist, to eat, to wine and dine, to live moderately comfortably.  The guy staring at donuts is thinking about his day and how it will start; I stare back, my day is half over, I am thinking about how it will end.  I dream of a nap, I dream of a raise, and of moving up the chain, again, I dream of a nap.

What do you dream of?

Downtown Minneapolis exists in an ebb and flow of CEO’s, clerks, friends, foes, sandwich makers, coffee baristas, regular Joe’s and above-average Schmoes-

People, who drive, take the bus, bike, walk, or taxi to their destination-

They find their way into the rat race, through the tunnels of the Skyway, and off to crunching numbers at a desk job, working 40 a week, commuting an hour, to and from work, the cities to the suburbs, and vise versa, all while making it home for dinner with their wives and families, promptly at 5:30 pm.

I believe this is the American Dream.  And they probably own a few firearms.

I would say 30 percent of the people I run into Downtown are actually happy with where they’re at, where they had planned and worked so hard to be.

I wonder if it is the car, the mortgage, the insurance, the loans, the lack of excitement, the wife, the lack of a good book, the poor education, the lack of a real companion, the lack of self-identity, or the lack of seeking self-actualization and enlightenment that is the real problem.

…  Or maybe, its just good ole’ prescription medication.

The real cure for E.D. is a good blowjob, the real cure for depression is believing you are actually happy.  It’s not Viagra, it’s not Prozac; however, you can schedule an appointment with your doctor (he’ll charge you), and you can tell him your problems (he knows a cure), and he can give you a prescription (he has a few ideas!), and you can get that prescription filled at the pharmacist’s (he’ll charge you too), and you can go home, and you can sit down, and you can take your placebo, with your water, and you can be completely fixed (isn’t that great?).  You’re so awesome!


Or, instead of all that capitalism and crybabyism, you can stop being a pussy and grow some balls.

I don’t know, whichever you prefer.  And you can start by making shit happen.

Then I wonder how commercials for prescription medications work?  And I think of how violent I was on Zoloft and Prozac-I guess I never really cared, its like I am still on it, but now I can crack a smile and mean it.

I am different now off the stuff; the buzzing and voices in my head are a bit quieter, I haven’t fallen asleep while driving to work or school recently, and I don’t wake up telling highly sexual stories over lunch to total strangers anymore.  That stuff isn’t my now.  I don’t need meds.  I need more water.

I take a chance and say, my girlfriend, my bike, and my small-time job will suffice for now, but I see things moving forward, and up.

I was told to live in the now while falling asleep one night.  The beautiful person who read me this woke me up so I could take my contacts out before bed and asked if I had heard any of what she read.  I said I had.  It kind of changed me.  I thought of the past and I realized it didn’t matter, at least the bad stuff didn’t.  And then I thought about the future, and I realized it didn’t matter, at least the bad stuff didn’t.  And then I thought about right now, and I thought about how I felt, and I felt good because I was breathing and with someone who was happy to spend time with me, it didn’t matter about tomorrow.  Right now matters the most.  Make the best of it, right now.

Have a wonderful day-

*And Don’t Fucking smoke.


About Terry Scott Niebeling

Hello, My name is Terry Scott, a human being with flaws. twitter: @sirterryscott Buy my ebooks: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1/191-4788099-1818040?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=terry+scott+niebeling
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