Author Archive: Oliver Chase

Elysian Fields and the Professor

Mel claimed his interviewee never showed up. As I replied to his email, he sent another. The guy just appeared, out of breath and frazzled, but not apologetic. The man claimed it was his right as a forgetful professor to be perpetually late. Oh, well. He is or was Albert Einstein. They’re all dead over there, you know. Mel: “Sir. I really must protest–” “Ach. That’s just silly, Mel. Who cares if I’m a little late? What I have to tell you is very important. As if anyone is listening on the bright side.” I knew bright meant, the old alive world, but I protested anyway. “Over four hundred people tuned in last week. That’s not too–” “Only four hundred! That’s pathetic young man. Thousands, millions used to hang on… Read more >


The concepts of lifelong employees, destruction of corporate retirement systems, dissolution of all but the most minimal government pensions, dispersion of any sense of loyalty to the one who puts money in our pocket and food in the kid’s mouths are no more. Our last two generations and swaths of those who came before, have of late, launched into the netherworld of dreams, ambitions, successes, and failures. Good for them. I applaud every bruise on their chinny chin chins. That’s me in the stands clapping for you. Funny thing, too, about the older generations chasing their dreams these days. Early Boomers and Gen X have generally fought the system to a draw and now, have a little something for the times ahead. Today, the Greatest Generation and many Late Boomers… Read more >

Running the Road

Mel is an Elysian Fields resident, one among many who wander. He’s no better or worse than any other and certainly wasn’t perfect in life. His popularity is based on listening and an ability to type in total and utter darkness. Many come to him, some with an excuse, some wanting to finish what they’ve left undone. Others believe they have an ax to grind and discover it’s something quite different. I suppose as his favored transcriber, I can tell you, Mel’s only motivation is to pass these stories along to you. Mel: I waited for the appointment too long and had to run for the head. Did you think those pesky “nature” things were in the past? Wrong. Too much Mexican at the canteen and I can barely make… Read more >

An Adult Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, my boss (leader, commander, top dog … whatever) told me he loved confrontations. He thrived on challenging, then besting opponents. The context of his remarks didn’t exactly make me comfortable, but I understood the culture of Alphas. I lived them, and in many ways, I may have even been one of them. At the time, I was relatively new to the unit and had been recently promoted to become one of my boss’ several supervisors. I came to him with an evaluation of my little unit’s readiness to perform a task the training officer had placed on the schedule. The unpleasant reality that we were not current, and therefore unqualified, sounded like an insinuation of the person whose place I’d taken. Like someone once said, I… Read more >

Elysian Field and The President

I suppose its true squeaky wheels get greased and the bombastic get noticed, but that’s not always the case in Mel’s life. Or, should I say, afterlife. In Elysian Fields, Mel is just one among many who’ve passed this way, no better or worse than any other. Just different. He wasn’t perfect in life and certainly isn’t now. His popularity seems to be based on an ability to listen and type in total and utter darkness. I already know his little word processor was purloined from the nurse and produces no light of its own. So I’m left wondering how he can even find the keyboard, no less make an appointment with someone. One of life’s’ … afterlife’s mysteries. Many characters come to Mel, some with an excuse, some wanting… Read more >

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