The Capital of Macedonia
She didn’t know.
She didn’t try to find out.
Her cell phone was in her pants pocket,
but she didn’t take it out for Google, Bing, or any other search.
As a result, she never knew the capital of Macedonia.
True, her life wasn’t affected negatively.
She still got pregnant before high school graduation.
She still got divorced in her early twenties with three kids to take care of.
She still lived in a rented trailer and worked cleaning motel rooms,
especially the dirty toilets.
Knowing the capital of Macedonia would not have changed that
But knowing the capital of Macedonia would be a positive addition to her life,
albeit a small one.
Knowing the capital of Macedonia, and knowing a thousand other facts
on her cell phone
Would have meant she wouldn’t be in such a deep hole.
Would have meant she would know more of what is possible.
Would have meant she could set goals beyond survival.
Would have meant she wouldn’t have put up with her husband’s drinking,
Would have meant she would have taken more birth control.
Would have meant she would have goals, impossible goals, unachievable goals
that would have raised her a few steps higher than her life
in her own mind.
Would have meant she had more of a mind, more humanity, more pride, more interests.
Take that cell phone out of your pocket.
Look up that capital.
Look up, look up, look up.
Don’t look down or you will
stay on the ground.
David Flynn was born in the textile mill company town of Bemis, TN. His jobs have included newspaper reporter, magazine editor and university teacher. He has five degrees and is both a Fulbright Senior Scholar and a Fulbright Senior Specialist with a recent grant in Indonesia. His literary publications total more than two hundred. He lives in Nashville, TN, where he is director of the Musicians Reunion, an annual blues music festival now in its 37th year. He currently teaches at Tennessee State University.
Luis Lázaro Tijerina was born in Salina, Kansas. Mr. Tijerina has a Master of Art degree in history, concentration being military history and diplomacy. He is a published author of military theory, short stories, essays and poetry. Mr. Tijerina resides in Vermont.