Adrian Miller


Adrian Miller

She called me. We spoke briefly, and I hung up on her. I decided to get out of my chair and leave the office. Thirsty, I loosened up my necktie and placed a washcloth soaked in lukewarm water over my forehead. I kept trying to balance it there, but it kept falling down as I walked with both and all of my feet. Birds barked loudly in the distance while the storm was subsiding. I grabbed my washcloth violently and bit hard down on it.

Transplanted from the office to the homestead, I found her there in the bathroom, hovering over a tub filled with biscuits and gravy. I saw the thirst in her eyes, so I threw my washcloth at her and ran out the backdoor.

In the backyard the cows were coming home to roost. There she was again, up to her usual antics. Hazy rays of sunshine sliced through the rosy colored clouds. She began to sob uncontrollably. I soothed her gigantic toe and gave her the Heimlich maneuver. This induced laughter and caused her to suffer a massive orgasm. With tears now in my own eyes, I quickly ordered Chinese food. Dynasty Delivery made great haste, and the dumplings soon came to the door.

After making love with the food, we knew what we had to do. There remained only one option on the table to purge our souls of the great mundane that existed between us. We needed to take a nap. We laid out cots along the floor of our tool shed, located precisely in the backyard of our dreams. She lit a candle and shut the blinds; I held on for dear life. Then we went to bed in our individual cots.

Most Improved

Adrian Miller

In middle school we were given individual awards for performance. These awards, handed out by teachers, more or less were the precursor to mock elections in high school. The popular kids always garnered such awards as “Highest Achiever” and “Most Likely to Succeed.” I, on the other hand, always got “Most Improved.” You would figure that “Most Improved” would lead to bigger and better things, but this never proved to be the case. Sixth grade was the worst. Each quarter of sixth grade I only got “Most Improved.” If I got Most Improved in both fifth and sixth grades, surely top award will be mine next year. Of course, I had competition. I joined an elite list—or sub-elite list—of over 20 or so Most Improvers. To join the ranks of the popular kids we must improve more than our recognized improvement, perhaps to the point where improvement was no longer needed. Mind you, this was at the time when I thought my life’s successes depended on middle school merit awards. How much improvement is there left to make?

I suppose the question of improvement was and still is a matter of a means to and end. But to what end? How do we define success? Is success a matter of being the best in the world or just simply being happy? Given, I never won any glossy award. Rumor had it that I narrowly missed the cut for homecoming court in high school—a time congruent with puberty when being an adolescent meant success necessitated being sexually attractive. But, alas, that was never the case; however, this never meant the end of the world. Teenagers live in a small world, never realizing they have their whole life ahead of them. Of course, the playground mentality never goes away. Adults in the real world have to deal with workplace politics, and women, in particular, still face sexual harassment as they did in high school.

Well, it appears I am rambling now. This clunky, unorganized, and so not number one-ish piece may not be worthy of much, but I just want to tell people that success rests in your hands, not in the hands of others. Far too often we invest our happiness in other people, often left disappointed in the results. I have always hated empowerment and self-help bullshit, but the truth is that you control your own happiness, as trite as that sounds. It may be great if someone else thinks you are number one, but you must first think of yourself as number one. That’s all.