I Forget My Own Good Advice

We are not ‘better than this’ — it’s a never-ending quest to be.

Photo by Heiko Haller on Unsplash

“I dished out sound advice, this morning.”

“Well done!” said Cricket.

“No, not ‘well done.’ I’m a hypocrite. I have broken my own rules twice in two days.” I peered into my reflection on the breakfast table and wanted to punch myself in the face.

“Only twice?” asked Cricket, laughing. “It’s always easier to give advice than to follow it.”

“Aren’t you full of clichés, this morning,” I grumbled, uncharitably. I knew that Cricket was only trying to help, but I was in a mood for self-flagellation, not to be handed handy excuses.

“Sure, but it’s true, isn’t it?” said Cricket. “I mean, things only become clichés because they are overused, and they are only overused because they’re so appropriate in the moment.”

I scowled into my coffee. It was dark and bitter, just the way I normally like it. We are what we eat. I tossed it into the sink. Opened the fridge. Scanned its contents. Closed the fridge. Opened it again. Shot myself with a silver bullet and gave myself an earworm likely to last for days. Could be worse, I thought. Slammed the door shut, then reached for it again.

“You know the definition of insanity, right?”

“Doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results.” I poured myself a large tumbler of cold water. I wanted to be clear.

“Clear or invisible?” asked Cricket, reading my mind.

“That’s a disconcerting habit, Cricket.”

“I can’t help what I am, Human.” Cricket waited for an answer.

“Clear.” A Cloak of Invisibility is a blessing, some days, but the inability to remove it grows tedious. Ask people of color, or women past a certain age.

“Then let me be clear: You’re all hypocrites, sometimes. Just don’t give up the good fight. Keep trying. And surround yourself with Crickets.”

“How many of you are there?” I asked.

“It’s a metaphor, Human. Now go forth and simile. I mean, smile. The world needs sunshine.” Cricket handed me a doughnut: soft and warm, sweet and slightly crispy around the edges, with just a hint of tart, sunny lemon in the center.

“Gotcha,” I said.

Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; and A New Leaf for Lyle. She draws inspiration from her family, from her own childhood adventures (some of which only happened in her overactive imagination), and from readers both young and young at heart. She lives in Houston, Texas, with her husband, J.J., whose love and encouragement make writing books twice the fun.

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Image Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay; Text Overly: H. Jahangiri

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