Life Unhinged: A Spoon, a Flashlight, and a Lighter. by Larry Berger

I woke up groggy from an unintentional afternoon nap on the living room couch and stumbled into the bathroom to relieve myself. On the way out, I weighed myself on my digital scale. It said, 180.0. I can never seem to get down into the 170’s.

Later, after attending a dinner party, with cocktails, beer, wine, appetizers, aperitifs, soups and salads, main courses and desserts, and very much pleasant conversation, I returned home, visited the bathroom again, and, as usual, weighed myself on the way to bed. This time I weighed 186.6. I smirked at the scale, not trusting it at all. After all, it was a man-made device, and digital and electronic, too; who could trust it.

And then I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out a spoon I had unwittingly confiscated from the dinner party and smiled, and then laughed, thinking it was the spoon: it weighed 6.6 pounds. I checked my other pocket and found a flashlight and a cigarette lighter. I thought briefly that perhaps all three of them weighed 6.6 pounds. But I knew that was silly. It was the jacket. Ah, but life cannot be counted in measurements of pounds, so I decided the important thing to do was to realize why I had a spoon and a flashlight and a lighter, and what I should do with them.

I went into the living room. It was dark but the room was illuminated by my computer which was opened to a British spy drama on pause, on my coffee table, from before my afternoon nap. I paused also and stood still by the couch for a long minute. Nothing happened. “No clues, here,” I said aloud to myself, and closed the computer. The room turned dark. I took the flashlight out of my pocket and shined it around the room, admired my book collection, noticed a few cobwebs in corners near the ceiling, and then surprised myself when the beam glanced off a mirror, and went another direction. I played with these images a while.

Then I turned the flashlight off and put it into my pocket and took out the lighter. I knew I had a cigarette somewhere. I remembered it was on top of the freezer, so I clicked the lighter on, found the cigarette and went out through the laundry room door into the moonlit night, where I smoked.

I languished from the effect of the tobacco and the weariness of a long day, as I wandered my yard. The clouds were like fermented sky, the moon a beautiful scoby. The night was cool and crisp. I noticed the silence. I went back in, sat on the couch, flipped open the computer and put the British spy drama on play, and sucked the stolen spoon.

(ed. note: if you don’t know what a scoby is, don’t look in the dictionary, it isn’t there. Check the internet or visit

– Larry Berger. HashtagWV #98. February 2018.

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Sporting Clay Shoot Fundraiser w/ HashtagWV this March!- On Saturday, April 6, join the Monroe County Shrine Club at Powder Ridge Sporting Clays for their first annual Sporting Clay Shoot & Cookout Fundraiser to benefit Shriner’s Hospitals for Children. Starting at 10am, participants will enjoy healthy competition and a fun afternoon of sport shooting clays at 15 different stations. Local experienced shooters will […]

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Best Things to Do in Lewisburg, WV

Best Things to Do in Lewisburg WV!- Spending a day in Lewisburg? Here are a few of the best things to do while you’re visiting. Start your day at the Wild Bean coffee shop.  Located downtown, this cafe offers premium coffee, tea, veggie cuisine, wi-fi, entertainment, and more! The breakfast menu consisting of breakfast burritos, egg scrambles, breakfast sandwiches and granola w/ […]

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Patrick4CMPLTshrp "LBSPY is the best thing that has happened in Greenbrier County since I have been here for seven years. Maybe the whole state.... a first class operation and a lot of hard work," Patrick O'Flaherty (pictured above), The Irish Pub, Lewisburg, WV

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  • Tacos n margaritas, a whole need at Del Sol in Lewisburg
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Wonder How HashtagWV Remains Free?

WONDER HOW HASHTAG LEWISBURG CITY PAPER REMAINS FREE?- Wondering how Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper gets published and distributed FREE every month in-print and online? Do we have wealthy parents or did one of us seduce a millionaire? No. Are we financed by bank loans or grant money? Nope, not that either. Until we hit it BIG in the lotto, every issue of HASHTAGWV comes […]