April 19, 2009

Wayne Scheer

A Balanced Life

If Franklin Meeks stood completely naked, he would still look like he wore a pocket protector. Of course, the black tape he used to hold his glasses together may have offered a clue.

"Why don't you replace them?" his friends would often ask. "You look like a nerd."

He'd smile, nod his head, and re-tape his spectacles.

Franklin lived a life as carefully balanced as his meals. He played racquetball with Al Brunette, a fellow actuarial, on Tuesdays and Thursdays and had sex with Linda Myers from accounting every Monday and Friday. Thursday evenings he stayed home to read the New Yorker, Newsweek and Scientific America. Saturdays, he packed a lunch and hiked a vigorous six miles up Mt. Landlow.

Sundays, he volunteered at the hospital where his sister had been admitted over twenty years earlier. Although the doctors had tried helping her, her life had careened violently out of control. She killed herself while Franklin still attended college.

After her death, he studied mental illness and decided that a healthy life consisted of a balance of eating right, exercise, intellectual stimulation, a meaningful job, good sex, and giving to others. He graphed his life accordingly.

Franklin understood his desperate attempt to keep his own life from breaking apart. The tape on his glasses remained his personal reminder.


Wayne Scheer has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Best of the Net. His work has appeared in a variety of publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, Eclectica, The Pedestal Magazine, flashquake and The Internet Review of Books. Revealing Moments, a collection of twenty-four flash stories, is available as a free download here.

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