by Kevin Burton
Today, a somber moment on Page 7. Don’t blame me, I’m not the killjoy. My writer’s club put me up to it.
We got three writing prompts at the last meeting. This was a virtual meeting for blind writers. A writing prompt is an idea that might get you unstuck if you’re having trouble coming up with things to write about. I wasn’t stuck really, but I am always up for new ideas.
The second prompt is lost to history, even though at this writing there is less than two weeks of history to get lost in.
The first prompt: write about your action figure, that alter ego hero who uses your superpower to great effect. The third prompt: write an obituary, your own or someone else’s.
Surely you see why the second prompt was quickly jettisoned. A delicious and immediate alchemy took place with the other two prompts before I even clicked out of the zoom meeting.
Action figure, obituary. Say no more!
This isn’t easy, but it has to be done (especially since I have not yet produced on the other prompt I was working on, my scrabble-game-worded rock and roll song).
So now here’s the obit, presented as a cautionary tale to those who are prone to ponder..….
WICHITA – (Burton Media) Captain Sage, the irreverent writer and singer/songwriter died sometime last week of acute overthinking. He was 57 in a way, but he was timeless.
It is said of Captain Sage that he was born with a briefcase in his hand. Before he could be spanked supposedly, he began to give the medical team instructions on procedures and protocols.
In early childhood he proofread his reading books, pointing out errors to classmates and teachers alike.
Nicknamed “The Professor” at the Super Hero Academy, he led fellow students in cerebral acts of rebellion, recording those acts in small notebooks, according to their success or failure.
A champion instigator, he fashioned small to medium-sized school eruptions without having his fingerprints on any of them.
For his teachers Captain Sage was accustomed to offering alternative solutions to pesky problems such as timing of classes, subject matter and homework. He had worked it all out beforehand.
Captain Sage was known as a thinker by admirers and detractors alike. “A thinker and a stinker,” is how one teacher described him. He often did his thinking on the move.
For Captain Sage, pacing fueled his thinking and his thinking fueled his pacing, to the point where if you encountered him working out some thorny problem, you were best advised to step aside and weather the quiet storm. And that storm would be quiet indeed.
He was a lifetime lover of observing, reading and learning. He was deliberate in making decisions, resolute once he had done so.
In the end it was his drive for efficiency of thought and deed that did him in. He stayed too long at the proverbial conference table, lost in thought.
Having solved all his day’s problems for his random thoughts led to the question “are any thoughts truly random,” which sent his mind backward to “people and things that went before” and forward to mountain peaks only he could see.
This led him down labyrinthine paths of contemplation into dark corners no one else dared or even cared to go.
The notes from his final musings are incomplete, but made reference to solitude, Canadian bacon and saxophone solos.
The sadness of his family and friends was delayed for some time, as they tried to determine, “is he dead, or just thinking?”
“When the singer’s gone, let the song go on,” was a favorite philosophy of Captain Sage, borrowed from pop music, the thinking man’s pop music. This is where the story leaves us.
The frenetic pacing of Captain Sage has come to an end. But he left us a pattern of thought solid as a briefcase, measured as a blueprint, methodical as time itself.