A Test in Kindness - Chapter 1


Chapter 1


Life is strange sometimes. Some days we can be walking down the same street that we have walked down a million times, but one day we walk on the other side and fall in love or for that matter we may fall out of love. Or we may drive to work and see an accident and just keep on driving. We know we should stop but life has trained us in such a foul way that the pain that others feel is not our concern anymore.


I sit here in a darkened room the only light is from the monitor that I stare into and from the flashes of lightning that cascade across the sky. I ponder many things and realize that there are many things about my own life that I have yet come to grips with.


My name is Mason and I’m 32, and this is my story and the story of those that are closest to me. Namely everyone. Yes I know this may sound strange, but should we really be so distant from each other as to not let our lives touch? Shouldn’t we be willing to share the pain that we see each other go through everyday? Shouldn’t we try to bring a smile to the faces of those that we see and come in touch with? Shouldn’t we get back to the closeness that we felt with our mothers while we were in her womb? Is it really so difficult? Well I say lets find out, lets see how myself and some others do on this journey that I have started.


Now before we get started let me tell you a little about me.


As I said before my name is Mason, I was born right here in the US of A. I am an admitted hater of people. This may come as a shock to you considering my opening arguments but for the most part I had come to think that most people in this world are inherently evil. But something changed that, something brought back into me the love for life and the compassion that I have been missing for so long. Some of these things were good and some bad. But all experiences have a lesson. All pain can subside; I won’t lie and say it heals like so many others would have you believe. It festers for the longest time and then one morning we wake up and realize that it’s not quite as bad as it was the day before. Then day by day it gets better and then there will be a time where it comes back in a rush and knocks you on your ass. But that is a good thing, it will reaffirm you are alive and that you had something worth being knocked on your ass for.


I live in Colorado Springs, Colorado but I’d much rather live next to a beach with a rich beautiful woman that supported me so I could fish, surf and drink frilly umbrella drinks all day but alas my negative attitude and to be honest below average looks keep me from living the dream of having Elizabeth Hurley rubbing oil on my back.


I spend most of my time by myself living an anonymous life through my books, television shows, movies, music and my laptop. I had a plant once but the relationship didn’t take, it wanted attention and I kept forgetting to give it. Hence it turned brown and started to break itself into pieces and fling itself at me as I walked by it. George, that was the self mutilating, self hurling plant’s name finally lost the fight and met its demise in the trash compactor of my apartment complex.


I have some friends that actually tolerate my existence in this world and a couple of them actually consider me their best friend. I figure this is because of their own lack of social skills or they were dropped on their heads a lot when they were babies.


Bilbo, no that’s not his real name, that’s Billy. And no it’s not after the character related to Frodo. Its Billy Rambo style, Billy + Rambo=Bilbo, get it? Okay well moving on, good name caricatures are wasted I tell ya. So Bilbo, he’s about 6’2” and not a bad looking guy actually he’s a great guy, he doesn’t date, doesn’t have sex, doesn’t even look. What better wingman could a guy ask for? But really if it wasn’t for him I don’t know where I would be.


My friend Dolly, and yes that’s her real name not some variation of an action figure or rip off of a top heavy, twig legged singer, she’s the opposite of Bilbo, she has a good man now, I guess I should say husband they say they are married and in Colorado they are legally married but I have yet to give her away at the ceremony so I don’t see it yet. But I digress. She used to have an affinity for the wrong guy and when I say wrong I mean just plain flat wrong. These are the type where you hang around them for a minute or two and you feel the sudden urge to take a shower and vomit and not specifically in that order.


Arwhip is the third friend. No that isn’t his name and I’ll go against my better judgment and tell you why he’s called Arwhip, his name is Aaron and he is severely whipped by his wife. Get it? Okay no more explaining the name thing. Anyway he was once on the verge of divorce and me and Bilbo would always help him out and make sure that he didn’t do it, and now I’m perceived as a bad guy as well as Bilbo, though Bilbo was always that way. For some reason he just got blamed for everything. So while everyone else writes Arwhip off I still count him on the list because I’d still do anything for him, but I don’t think it’s a reciprocal feeling.


Why do I bring these people up? Well you’ll hear a lot about at least Bilbo and Dolly, I may mention Arwhip but that’s more out of loyalty to never leave a fallen man behind.


Now I have a few family members around here as well. My sister and brother in law and my mom. The rest are scattered all over the place. There is also an assortment of wannabe cousins, nephews and nieces. Almost all of them are a waste of breath and if I could find the plant that supplied them oxygen I would think seriously about killing it. But just like everything else there is an exception.


My niece Madison. This girl is an angel on earth. No really she is, I’m not biased or anything. I’m convinced that somewhere she’s hiding her wings and if I’m good enough she may show them to me one day. So I continue the lineage of goodness with bribery of course. She gets pretty much anything she wants when we are together. She can be a handful to wind down after I have her for a few hours.


So that is the basic premise for who you will be hearing me talk about in this attempt at literary greatness but what will more than likely become a doorstop for some poor literary agent that was brave enough to request to read it.

So lets give this a try and see what happens. The rules of the game are simple, go through life but try to do it with some sense of helping others reach a happier place whether it be by words, written or verbal, helping someone, doing something. Just use the imagination and do your best. I’ll start and see where we get to first.



© 1993-2020 by Jeremy Houghton.


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And it's just not nice, so don't do it. Be nice, it feels better, I promise.