Similes are little windows into our cultural memories, telling us commonly or conveniently equated ideas and lending a little bit of poetry into everyday language, language such as "As patient as an oyster," "As late to work as a soon-to-be unemployed man, then a homeless man, then a starving man, then a dead man, then a forgotten man, then a dirty skeleton behind the 7-11 kicked about by teenagers with nothing better to do and nothing to be waiting for, which is everything in life, because, if you're not waiting for something, then what do you have to look forward to, because it can't all be here, can it, and, if it can, then why do any of us even bother," or "Aaaaaagghhhh," the last of which isn't actually language at all, or, at least, none that I know, or, on consideration, would particularly wish to know, or, for that matter, a simile, but rather the end result of a long progression of boredom and tried patience, as I've been looking out this little window for what seems like a century, and that is not a simile, though I did use that image, which I thought was a particularly innovative and poetical one, earlier, but rather a real little window (though not a real century, just in case that's what you though I meant, as I understand that the grammatical construction was in fact not the most unambiguous and also long sentences, even those that avoid common errors or flubs such as omitted commas or run-on syntax, can sometimes be a bit difficult to understand, though I'm sure that you, my wonderful reader, have had no trouble at all following the few twists and turns of this one, composed in the mirror-breath, morning-dew, dirty-car-rear-windshield fog of condensation that blankets the otherwise perfectly clear and transparent pane of glass that forms one-fourth of the structure I have now been occupying for far too long, though admittedly not, as I earlier noted, a full century, and which has made the space seem far smaller and colder and wetter than it would otherwise seem, or, indeed, be, and which also obscures my view beyond my little vale of misery and damp slacks seats to a paltry ten foot radius beneath the nearby streetlight, a beacon in the fog calling pedestrians and motorists alike to safety, or possibly a watery doom, as I am not in fact familiar with the moral alignment of this particular, or, in fact, any other street lamp, with the possible exception of the one which stands outside my house and keeps me from going up on the sidewalk and knocking over the trash cans when I turn into the driveway to park at night, though that might of course merely be a role projected onto it without its cooperation or even knowledge by myself, arriving home from work, as I am wont to, though I certainly don't want to, a few hours late, that which I don't want to do being to arrive late, that is, not to arrive at all, which I look forward to as the absolute highlight of my every day, albeit that in my fantasy in which I win the lottery and never have to work again, I would not be doing it, but then neither would I be arriving late, either, so there's that, even though, as an intelligent and college-educated man and one that carries no pretensions about his own uniqueness, except my mentioning that I have been to college, and Ivy League at that, which I learned only this morning technically refers only to a sports division, I know that I will almost certainly never win the lottery, not least because I have never entered it and probably never will, as it is a despicable and likely rigged numbers game that preys on the ignorance of the less fortunate in order to rip from their calloused hands their hard-won cash, which they might have been saving for an education, or for booze, or for a different lottery ticket, or for a gift for their wife, who, being as mentioned the uneducated and, why not, cheating, abusive, even possibly alcoholic type of member of the poverty-stricken set who could never be a productive member of society or a loving individual in a committed relationship even with a college-educated business type, who, as previously mentioned, would be far above her station, anyway, and hardly loathe to glance upon her were she indeed the last human being on earth, would, knowing her which, of course, I don't, refuse it and demand its return to the boutique of origin posthaste, despite any conditions or circumstances which might make this proposition inconvenient, such as a late hour, poor weather, or it not only being her special day but a milestone anniversary which is generally acknowledged as being more about the relationship than about the gifts, the color of which would hardly matter even if the items, rather than the human beings breaking their backs to bring home money with which to purchase them, were the issue at hand), and one that just so happens to be located on the north, that is to say, back, face of the little bus stop, or, "bus shelter," as this variety, where I've now been waiting for, I don't know, maybe an hour, with three cloudy glass walls and a thin, rail-like bench is called, despite how utterly it fails to protect from the wind and even, considering the wind, which has been blowing almost directly at the place where the fourth wall of the shelter doesn't stand, and almost horizontally at that, the rain, in between the post office and what used to be a bakery but burned down and is now pretty much a non-bakery, indistinguishable from any other non-bakery, such as a vacant lot, or a hairdressers, or a café that burned down and is a non-café as well as a non-bakery and, just for the sake of thoroughness, a non-hairdressers, but somehow remembers in an odd sort of way such that strangers passing through town, not that any do, now, know, not that anything ever used to stand where now are weeds and a few charred beams no one's bothered to cart off, but that, if anything ever did, it would have definitely been a bakery, perhaps knowing by some ghost-scent of buttered scones or, being familiar with this particular bakery all too well, of burnt biscuits, all blaring fire alarms and charcoal on the surface, but, when stripped of this casing to expose a steaming and flaky interior, not quite as disgusting as they might at first seem, though certainly no cordon-bleu whisk-work, either, though the proprietors were hardly unenthusiastic, and really did try their best, re-branding failed and dimension-less croissants, marketed to Anglophone and as far from cosmopolitan as one can cares to imagine Midwestern locals as "crescent rolls," and putting in more and more of their own scant savings until, like it or not, they were gambling their retirement on a few loaves of stale sourdough, and rushing in even as the second floor was beginning to collapse into the first to retrieve who knows what, probably the cash register, not that there was much cash to register, or maybe a few photographs, not that they had that many memories to speak of, or a crying baby, not that they had children, none that they spoke of, or, more accurately, still spoke to them, anyway, but the customers, who had by then long-since fled, occasionally left strollers to idle, so to speak, by the little corner in which were stacked the cardboard boxes which had first caught and silently nurtured the spark that probably came from the recently redone wiring in the ceiling by that idiot carpenter, a cousin, which cursorily excused the inexperience, but, relation or no, or compounded exponentially by the fact, would not sleep for weeks, and would eventually, the lack of assurance of either guilt or innocence a prime factor and somehow even worse than assured guilt or any definite conclusion, take his own life on a local bridge morbidly favored by those with a one-way ticket to purchase, for one reason or another, and accessible by the number fifty-five bus, which is scheduled to pass by here fifty-two minutes ago now, just after the forty-five, which goes to the airport, the 7-11, the city, home, and then, as we all do, the cemetery, and then again twenty-two  minutes ago, just before the ninety-five, which goes to the coroner's, the post office, nowhere, somewhere, the slums, and finally the bus stop, and then again, eight, no, seven minutes from now, just at the same time as the fifty-five, which will pull up to the curb and kneel, if not in penance, then out of habit, and then speed away with a cruel laugh, leaving me in the lurch, drenched in the sheet of water animated from the puddle the front wheel was in when the bus halted, positioned carefully by the irrationally antagonistic driver just to achieve that effect, and helpless but to wait and continue doing what I've been doing, which is mostly to sit and think and sit and think, and also to look at what things aren't and examine the other side of the fog and the things that only run around behind my head when I'm not facing that way and to make increasingly ludicrous and certainly unpayable bets on the results of raindrop races whose hapless and gravity-driven jockeys blaze in their blase manner their own and never-before-traveled rivulets on the virgin slate of the glass wall, instantly forgotten as the globulus pitches off the bottom edge of the pane out of the pain and out into the unknown, its comet tail narrowing and evaporating to be something else even as it hits the ground and becomes either nothing, an infinitesimal in the oblivion of non-being, or everything, infinite and a part of the ground, the earth, the universe, which is starting to seem oddly romantic now, in a way, despite at other times seeming silly and also completely contrary to observations, namely, that the universe is cruel, cold, and uncaring, hardly a new song, but one that's familiar and tends not to disappoint when held to close scrutiny, as well as a theory that, at the very least guarantees that one will be confirmed in one's expectations when things go wrong, and pleasantly surprised when they don't, a boon that seems less empty as opposed to the double snags of eternal optimism, a philosophy that would otherwise appear by nature to cheer, a sort of depressing Pascal's wager of world views to promise, if not things going your way, then neither the crushed hopes that would accompany them doing so if one actually believed they wouldn't, which they always do, whether it's toast falling always on the wrong side of the floor, or butter never boiling when it's watched, money, buses, family, fires, raindrops, all in diabolic or worse, apathetic cahoots, always playing craps with the crap this is your, sorry, one's, life, mucked up enough by chance at the best of times, and only exacerbated when silly people in their silly houses and cars and buses and bus stops take it upon themselves to release even more control into the hands of Fate or the Devil or whoever or whatever guides the hands of happenstance and determines the dice to stare back at you in smug victory with hissing snake eyes, intent on robbing from the mortal purse not only the material, the gold and silver and green cash meant for gifts and family and scones and fire insurance and raffle tickets, but also the immaterial, peace and security and any feeling of safety, completely inaccessible to any who too closely examines the world and finds that not only are the cards out of their hands, but also marked, a revelation to which there seem to be three main reactions, namely, that of the person who revolts against the wheel of destiny, vowing to take charge as best a human can in a stochastic and unpredictable labyrinth, that of the one who gives up entirely, leading down a very short path to a quiet, if predictable, destination, and, finally, that of the person who, tired, too tired in a much deeper capacity, allows unknowable chance to dictate all aspects of existence, hardly as extreme as it at first sounds to anyone who has lived long enough and hard enough to realize how close everyone already is to such a state of affairs, and so here I sit, just over one hour later, all the commerce and intercourse of daily life halted for a brief and quiet interim, a silent, still eternity in which to practice, over and over, the motions of the next few minutes or days, all the buses backed up by delays of indeterminate and possibly undefined duration, all foot traffic strangely muffled and faceless, the only marker of the passing time being the prattling rains, tittering and tap-dancing on the rattling panes of a glass box in a place that no longer exists, waiting now only for a bus to arrive, any one of a dozen or so, to take me somewhere else: where, depends simply on whichever bus arrives first, which may have some cosmic significance, but, ultimately, my final stop, or, rather, as all final stops are alike, my penultimate stop, shall be a decision I will for once leave entirely up to chance.

The Constraints