Max vigorously rubbed the sleep off his sixty-seven-year-old face, after muscling the night out of his legs and arms, arching and twisting his back, bringing his body to life with the morning. Feeling his face, after twenty-four thousand, four hundred and seventy-eight mornings. How gloriously one’s teeth doth float within one‘s gums. Gum infections appear and then disappear on their own, with a little rubbing.  Magnificent universal design is everywhere apparent, especially in the setting of these ivory objects into human jaw sockets.

Max would eagerly work to implant false teeth into horses’ mouths to lengthen their life span: you could then look an older, gifted horse in the mouth, Max mused.

So, five days without tooth brushing (due to a misplaced tooth brush), and two weeks without a washrag applied to his face, Max felted blessed, upon waking from another solid night’s sleep, and beneficially rubbing his face with his hands.

Sixty-seven years, sustained by over two billion, one hundred fourteen million, eight hundred ninety-nine thousand heartbeats; how long can this thing called Max go on? Truly a miracle.

Sure, he moved like a slow old man, and sometimes, while walking down a long Wal-Mart aisle, his chest/heart /bag felt uncomfortable; along with a little mucus in the morning. Max felt much better after a half hour on both ends of a 36 inch bow saw, cutting through solid, dry, hardwood branches.

Of course, things bothered Max: human misbehavior (creating garbage, inside and outside their bodies), annoying weather, impolite universal human ignorance. The persistence of biting bugs, fleeing glaciers, the extraction and burning of oil, the shortened life spans of dogs (compared to humans).

Recently, Max had become considerably insecure about this old earth, this glorious blue and green globe floating in its annual orbit around the sun. It all seemed too fragile—how could something so fantastic be hanging by such a fragile magnetic beam? It’s as if the man in the moon, the moon-face always glaring at us, is amused at our precarious situation. How did the lop-sided punching bag of a moon, with its heavy innards eternally pulled toward the earth, how do such bodies remain fixed so? Recently an asteroid passed within the moon’s orbit, circled by a little moon of its own; this stuff is all too crazy for Max.

Max wrote little scribbles for his local Otto, North Carolina weekly paper, his latest entitled: “Why Wriggle?” in which he tried to explain and glory in just why trout wriggled their way up thousands of miles of swift mountain streams; why go to all that trouble just to get somewhere nice?

“Max says: “We used to not have to worry about things such as this—we were guaranteed a big round perfect earth for as long as we lasted: “Until the end of never, and that’s a long, long time”. We had no smog and 20-cent-a-gallon gas, and huge boat cars, fins and all. Now, we’ve got this moon in white-face constantly staring at us like an inflatable punching bag, leering and laughing at us while we destroy our planet. Of course people are getting upset about it.

“It’s a miracle that the one-child-per-family Chinese birth-control plan worked as well as it did, and yes, the Chinese should have a go at Living Life Large, but, Honey, we’ve got to make some changes here.”

Something’s coming; I don’t know what it is: do you, Mr. Jones?