Steve rubs his eyes and focuses on the wall opposite his bed. There is a dark 
square where the picture of Barry used to hang. Now, in its absence, the paint 
beneath where the picture hung is still fresh - no longer matches the rest of 
the wall. That dark square reminds him of the cool dude that used to be. But 
there have recently been too many repetitive posts, too many screeds that sound 
stifled and stilted and predictable. So, the picture had to go. Steve has 
folded it away and laid it in the old trunk where things he no longer looks at 
are stored. It is the ‘dead picture’ trunk, the place he no longer accesses, 
the ‘dead letter box’ where old photos will eventually turn to dust. He doesn’t 
quite have the heart to actually throw the image out, Steve isn’t unfeeling 
like that, but for the foreseeable future he can not imagine himself 
reinstating Barry’s face to his wall. (His wife will soon find another image to 
cover the unattractive  empty spot. It will be a poster-sized blow up of the 
picture Steve has of himself and the Three Stooges taken when he was a young 
lad. This will be his birthday gift and he will be surprised and moved by her 
gesture of love.)
 

 
 Arising from the bed, Steve thinks of his business, reflects on his children’s 
future and briefly considers catching a quick 20 minute meditation for old 
time’s sake. He decides against it and opts for 30 pushups instead; my, how 
times have changed. Feeling invigorated Steve ambles over to the computer, able 
to squeeze in 20 minutes before he has to leave for work. Checking on the 
nocturnal rustlings of the folks at FFL he brings his fist down on the table 
just hard enough to make a sound but loud enough to make an impression to suit 
what he is feeling. MJ has met all expectations. Two articles: one on the gum 
recession and necessary crown of three current meditators and one article on 
the dirty oven fiasco of the renting meditator back in the 70’s. Christ! Mary 
mother of God! He just has to reply and reply he does, only to be answered by 
MJ so quickly that Steve thinks he is sitting by his computer waiting to 
pounce. There is a counter response and the two billy goats butt heads for a 
good 15 minutes resulting in a stalemate. Both go away with a headache but 
Steve forgets about it all as he climbs into his car on his way to work. For 
the next 10 hours he will not have a moment to think about FFL but there will 
be plenty of late-night responses Steve will feel compelled to make - compelled 
because it is the source of the biggest laughs he’ll have all day.
 

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