“Tick Removal” by Todd Mercer

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Tick Removal

Threw my watch in the river. Now I check the sun for time. Better than maintain the rat-race mindset. Cheers to the end of reverence for punctuality. Breaking the fixation on appointments, sit-downs, meetings. Deals. Sprung from a sadly common trap. Relaxed, breathing rarer air. Enough mimicking of mimes who can’t breach invisible walls. So hey, I chucked the calendar too. If you must know which day this is, ask a standard citizen who has not set themselves free. A worker bee. My phone died, thank God. Chose not to replace it with another haptic tether. I’m satisfied to float through days—unplugged, untimed, challenging to page. Don’t stay angry, people who try to drop me a line. It takes a hell of a long while for them to get the non-message and leave off from further trying. Let’s pity the clock’s servants, the receivers of myriad calls and notifications, stuck answerable to both friendly and malicious contacts, inquisitors. Anxiety arises from pre-conditions favorable to constant surprise, from universal availability. Made or blown deadlines push achievers to the edge of infarction or apoplexy. Half-running is the new walking. There’s fear of being at fault, the persistent sense of perceived lateness. The baggage of moral consequences. Heavy freight. Some people know what time it is. Not me. I tossed out my hour-keeper then found my inner peace.

Todd Mercer was nominated for Best of the Net in 2018. Mercer won 1st, 2nd & 3rd place of the Kent County Dyer-Ives Poetry Prizes and the won Grand Rapids Festival Flash Fiction Prize. His chapbook Life-wish Maintenance is posted at Right Hand Pointing. Recent work appears in: The Lake, The Magnolia Review, Praxis and Softblow. Mercer and his wife Michaeleen Kelly adopted a rescue dog (Garpur-Bradley) who’s awesome but only talks when it is important.

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