Ted jumps off the porch. He flaps his arms as hard as he can and flies. He lands on the roof and sits there smiling until his mom calls him in for dinner.

 

Ted jumps off the porch. He flaps his arms as hard as he can but hits the ground and twists his ankle. He misses dinner and goes to bed hungry.

Ted wakes up. Ted gets dressed and takes the bus to work. Ted finds himself sitting next to a pretty redhead who is listening to Ted's favorite band. He can hear his favorite song through the headphones. He points at her headphones and gives her an approving smile, and she smiles back. She takes off her headphones and they start a vivid conversation that ends with an unexpected exchange of phone numbers. Ted gets off the bus feeling giddy and weightless. The sky is full of bright and spiraling clouds.

Ted wakes up. Ted gets dressed and takes the bus to work. Ted finds himself sitting next to a homeless man whose wide body squeezes Ted against the window. He can hear the man passing gas and feels the vibration in the seat. The man mumbles an apology and looks at the floor, still capable of shame. Ted gets off the bus and gets a transfer. The sky is overcast.

Ted arrives at the high school where he teaches English. He talks about Keruoac and On the Road, the open-ended structure and themes of freedom and senseless love for life. One of the troubled kids that everyone worries about sits in the back row scowling, but when the class is over he approaches Ted and thanks him for opening up his mind and showing him the power of literature to change lives.

Ted arrives at the high school where he teaches English. He talks about Keruoac and On the Road, the open-ended structure and themes of freedom and senseless love for life. One of the troubled kids that everyone worries about sits in the back row scowling, and when the class is over he gets in a fight in the hallway and stabs a pencil into his friend's arm. Ted stands in the hallway breathing heavily while school security handles the situation.

 

In the evening after school Ted goes for his daily run. He runs through block after block of suburban grid homes while the sun dwindles orange and purple.

On the edge of the neighborhood he pauses briefly in front of a house vibrating with music. Hey! someone calls to him from the porch, and he stops jogging. Me? he asks, and they say yes, come up here. Ted goes up to the house and finds it full of people eating and drinking and dancing. They invite him inside, and he goes into their dim, cozy home, breathes its spicy air, laughs freely with dozens of beautiful and interesting strangers throwing a mid-week party because that's how they want to live. Ted jogs home and remembers all their names.

In the evening after school Ted goes for his daily run. He runs through block after block of suburban grid homes while the sun dwindles orange and purple.

On the edge of the neighborhood he pauses briefly in front of a house vibrating with music. A group of beautiful and interesting people are sitting on the porch talking to each other. Ted stands there a moment, then jogs home and checks his email.

On a Saturday night Ted goes to a bar because it's a Saturday night. He sits at the bar by himself, drinking whiskey and letting his eyes roam the room. He starts listening to a lively conversation a few stools over, and when they notice him listening, they ask his opinion on an issue. He discovers that he lives just a few blocks away from them, and they all share a few beers and commiserate about their jobs and families and recent failed relationships. When the people leave they ask Ted if they'll see him at this bar again soon, and he says yes, absolutely, they will.

On a Saturday night Ted goes to a bar because it's a Saturday night. He sits at the bar by himself, drinking whiskey and letting his eyes roam the room. He watches the TVs and sends text messages to several acquaintances.

On a lunch break Ted drives to the nearby beach and sits in the sand watching brave children dip their toes in the icy Autumn waves. A wolf-like dog runs up behind him and starts sniffing around in the sand. Ted smiles and reaches out to pet the dog, and the dog licks his hand.

He likes you, says the dog's owner, an old man with shaggy gray hair, and tells Ted that the dog doesn't like many people, a trait he must have learned from the man's wife. Ted ruffles the dog's neck and asks the man questions about the dog, and the man sits down for a moment and tells Ted about what it was like to come home from World War II and raise a family in the 1960s, what kind of drugs he tried, what he thought of the Beatles, and Ted feels an unfolding inside him, a bloom of color.

On a lunch break Ted drives to the nearby beach and sits in the sand watching brave children dip their toes in the icy Autumn waves. A wolf-like dog runs up behind him and starts sniffing around in the sand. Ted smiles and reaches out to pet the dog, and the dog bites his hand.

I'm so sorry, says the dog's owner, an old man with shaggy gray hair, and asks Ted if he's ok. Ted says he's fine. The man says the dog is usually so friendly but has been unpredictable lately since the man's wife left. Ted nods and constricts his body inward. The man drags the dog away down the beach.

Ted gets invited to a concert by a friend. He is tired and has work in the morning but decides to go anyway. He has never heard the band before but their music stuns him. He buys their record and talks to their bassist for ten minutes about their music and then just about life in the city they live in. Ted has a drink with his friend and when he gets home he takes in a deep breath and lets it out before going to sleep.

Ted gets invited to a concert by a friend. He is tired and has work in the morning but decides to go anyway. The band is mediocre and he feels uncomfortable around his friend's friends.

Ted is walking on the sidewalk and passes an elderly woman. He looks up and gives her a smile. She smiles and says good morning.

Ted is walking on the sidewalk and passes an elderly woman. He looks up and gives her a smile. She avoids eye contact.

Ted wakes up. He gets on the bus and finds himself sitting next to a pretty redhead who is listening to Ted's favorite band. She catches him staring and he looks away. He looks out the window at the passing cars.

Ted wakes up. He gets on the bus and finds himself sitting next to a pretty redhead who is listening to Ted's favorite band. She catches him staring and he looks away. He looks out the window at the passing cars.

Ted arrives at the high school where he teaches English. He sits in the teacher's lounge and watches the students pass by the door.

Ted arrives at the high school where he teaches English. He sits in the teacher's lounge and watches the students pass by the door.

 

Ted goes for his daily run. He sees a family in their yard and he keeps his head down.

 

 

Ted arrives at the high school where he teaches English.

 

 

Ted goes for his daily run.

 

 

 

Ted stands on his porch and looks at the dirt.

 

 

 

 

 

Ted goes for his daily run.