Archive for October, 2012

28
Oct
12

The Widow

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The Rainy Funeral from the movie “Sucker Punch” 2011, director Zach Snyder

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Years of decline

Months of care-giving

Weeks of hospice nurses coming and going

Days of waiting, listening to breathing

And when at last he leaves, she is shocked

Where is his body, how is it being kept, what are they doing to it, when can I see it?

She is wasted and white, won’t eat, subsists on the proteins in her tears

She venerates him, grasps at photos, keepsakes, correspondence, anything he’s written, anything that’s been written about him

She reaches out arms like a miser for gold, scoops mountains of memorabilia back to her breast, stacks it like bricks between the mortar of condolences, a despairing attempt at building him back alive again

She seethes and snaps, wounded and angry, clings and kisses, guilt-ridden and grateful

Loved ones mince their words into euphemisms and slither between suggestion and coercion

While high on a hill, between Life and Death, she stands cloudy and windblown, teetering between both doors, a feeble knuckle raised to knock, as her family waits below

Is love worth the risk of loss to Death?

Ask her at the alter and she would say “Of course,” because she couldn’t possibly know

Ask her as the widow poised between the doors, and her answer would be “Yes,” whichever door she chose

Fin

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Click here for more on prompt #343 – Risk from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

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21
Oct
12

Following Curiosity

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An Amanda Hone acrylic on Stretched Canvas 20″ x 20″ (50 x 50 cm)
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A lanky, liver-spotted man hopped the bus at W 14th and 10th. He fixed his wild eyes on a seat and lurched toward it as the bus bucked traffic. A nervous little man with a red bow-tie moved a newspaper out of the way and Lanky sat down, nodded. Bow-tie’s mouth twitched.
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Lanky slid his carrying case off his shoulder, pulled out a small pad and pen, and set the case at his feet. He sat back, raked a hand through his long, salt-and-pepper hair, and flipped the pad open.
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Out of the corner of his eye, Bow-tie watched Lanky scribble madly, filling pages, flipping them over. He strained to see what exact words were streaming out of this free-feeling man, and he quivered with the frustration of being unable to make them out.
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At W 66th and Amsterdam, Lanky stopped writing and started going over his notes from the beginning. With rapid flourishes, he crossed sections out and jotted down revisions, some on existing pages, some on fresh pages, and some of those he crossed out and tore out of the pad completely, crumpled and tossed them aside.
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Bow-tie flinched each time a ball of paper hit the floor. His bald brow was moistening with anxiety, but he kept his hands clenched in his lap and his lips pursed.
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Lanky finished his odd notating and purging procedure barely prior to his stop at W 86th and Amsterdam. He jammed the pad and pen into his case just as the bus came to a stop. He nodded at Bow-tie and rose to leave. Bow-tie wimpered.
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Bow-tie forced himself to sit tight. He arched his neck to see toward the front of the bus. Just as Lanky reached the door, he looked back at Bow-tie and waved. “Enjoy” he hollered, and he was gone.
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In a heated blush, Bow-tie scrambled to the floor and snatched up every crumpled ball of paper he could see while the bus lurched and whined and hissed. He held the balls in his moistened hands, hoisted himself back into his seat, and feverishly began to unrumple them.
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Bow-tie’s face went from rosy to flaming red during the process of discovering the note papers were all blank but one, and it read, “If you want to know what I’ve been writing, come to 590 Columbus at 7pm.”
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An incendiary mixture of rage and confusion and resentment and curiosity fire-bombed a lifetime of emotional suppression, and yet Bow-tie emerged from the assault with knees pressed together, eyes staring straight ahead, and a decision.
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Instead of continuing on toward home, Bow-tie got off at the next stop and walked with precision back 5 blocks to 590 Columbus and was surprised to find himself standing outside the Riverside Community Center. He sniffed and went inside.
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Just past the reception area he saw a signboard outside an open doorway glowing with light. People inside the room were quietly choosing seats. Bow-tie went nearer. The large print on the sign read, “The ’Upgrade Your Sex Life!’ Course, With Dr. Morrow, October 17-19.” Below it was a photo of Lanky, and underneath that was an impressive list of his credentials in the field of psychology.
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Bow-tie’s face flushed yet again and in a subdued state of disappointment he turned to go, but in the turning he caught a familiar face. He turned back toward the glowing doorway and met the familiar eyes of his wife staring back at him. She turned beet red and looked away.
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Bow-tie turned heel, heeded his usual flight response but was caught right before the reception desk. A familiar touch, a familiar voice, “Join me, Darling?” Bow-tie froze. Another fire-bomb to his now tenuous emotional constitution: indignation and shame and fright and curiosity…
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Fin
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Click here for more on prompt #342 – Upgrade from other Sunday Scribblings participants.

07
Oct
12

Like magic

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Photo credit

The missing writing prompt. Slippery like spectacles, pens, wayward socks, car keys, remote controls, earrings. Near impossible to find.

The desire to search—measured against the value of the object and the time at hand—warps trickily into an obsession to search.

Stacks of papers and magazines are peeked under. “Bedaubed”, “mackerel sky”, “demons”, “trapped”, “jeepers”, “black-eyed”, “dripping”, “wildcat”… Not it.

A will toward methodical reasoning wavers above a deadly undercurrent of panicked movements from room to room.

Cushions, pillows, piles of clothes are snatched up and flung aside. “Dog-eared”, “debauched”, “jewels”, “machismo”, “shinbone”, “millions”, “revolver”, “gangling”… Oh, I know it’s here somewhere!

Cliché-laden babble escalates to profanity, serves no other psychological purpose but to fuel the craziness. “Jingle”, “rattletrap”, “scurvy”, “penny dreadful”, “creaky”, “tyrant”, “flibbertigibbet”, “nuclear”… Where the bleeding hell is it???

Headless dashing, scrabbling, digging in baskets, boxes, drawers, opening and slamming doors, cabinets… “Charming”, “badgered”, “troll”, “broken”, “bridge”, “stolen”, “pitch-black”…

A scream!

A loud bang!

Wits end is reached.

And still no sign of it. Like it never was, as if all along only imagined…

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Click here for more entries from other Sunday Scribblings participants.