Tuesday, November 07, 2006


Jonathan Dover had had a rough life. He had been fired. He had been dumped. He had been arrested. He had been wrecked. He had been overdosed. He had been driven to the edge of a bridge, ready to jump. But somehow, perhaps miraculously, he survived. He was getting his life back together. He had a steady job that he enjoyed, a nice apartment, and a sweet girlfriend. The universe was about to play a cruel joke on Jonathan, much like Job before him. How he took the joke was up to him.

Jonathan awoke early one morning to the sound of the telephone. Abnormal for this time, he answered with not a small amount of anxious reluctance. It was his girlfriend. She sounded mad. She went into some detail about how he wasn't fulfilling her needs and that she was sorry, but she just could make this relationship work. He hung up the phone, clearly upset, but went back to bed, strangely optimistic.

The alarm buzzed as usual and Jonathan got up to get ready for work. Just before finishing up and heading out, the phone rang again. It was work. He was being layed off - something about being very sorry but that they just weren't able to keep him on. Jonathan hung up the phone and went back to bed. A couple hours later, he stumbled back up and headed out for some coffee. When he returned, his apartment building was on fire. He continued past the inferno for the local bookstore, strolling confidently.

He browsed the books on the bestseller shelf and found one that looked interesting. He went to pay for it and pulled out his credit card. The cashier informed him that his card was declined and had been reported stolen. He shrugged, put his book back, and headed back outside into the busy urban streets. He walked back and forth and up and down the streets for hours, smiling at people as they passed, greeting those who responded. He held doors for people exiting shops with their arms full. He helped a little girl whose bike wheel had got caught in a drain grate.

As he walked by a tree growing on the sidewalk, he noticed a tiny baby bird, fallen out of a nest. He stooped down to inspect it. He nudged it and felt that it was cold. A tear ran down his cheek. He scooped up a large handful of dirt and bark and carefully laid the departed into the ground and covered it back up. He solemnly stood back up and looked to the sky.

Jonathan Dover moved on back down the street, a beat in his step and a song in his heart. It turns out, Jonathan Dover had a good sense of humor.

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