Key turns into keyhole, door opens, door closes, keys end up in a bowl on the sill on top of the radiator. The heat goes on. The light goes on. Laces untied, shoes in their compartment. Slippers are found, put on, as well as music, wine poured, glass taken, on a tray beside the couch. “Sorry about…” Like, like, ha ha, like, sad, sad, ha ha, wow. Hold on, interesting, go back up a bit. “… the loss of…” Freezer, bag, content, pan, oven, program 3. “… your friend.” Ha ha, wow. “Can’t make it tonight.” “Congrats on your new job.”
In response to: https://carrotranch.com/2018/03/30/march-29-flash-fiction-challenge/
Having heard of a certain German writer I was cutting some onions and letting thoughts go into memories, the good and the bad, the beautiful and the ugly, and those in between, whatever came, however it came, some onions you can cut through like their essence doesn’t even exist, others slip over the knife and fall into the plate uncut, yet others the knife gets halfway through and the rest is so mushy that… or you cry too much (a particularly painful memory) and then onions don’t help, or a spoon in your mouth, or lemon juice sprinkled under the eyes; you can freeze the onion, soak the onion, microwave the onion, you can even keep the sliced bits face down on the cutting board – not get rid of them so easily – it just won’t help.
I need more clothespins and one day I may call Bob. (Once I’m done with the laundry.) I have his phone number. Whoever wrote it on this post-it note surely never thought one day a stranger would find it in the book they’d sell on Amazon and the stranger buy and get delivered. I just may call Bob, phone him and talk to him. Although the post-it note looks yellower than its usual yellow and the book is an old edition. I would probably have shaken the book in mid-air to see if there was anything stuck in between the pages before selling it, assuming the book was ever read, it is one of those. So Bob might have been the friend who never sat in the quiet living room, curtains parted for glimpses of the green garden, shading his eyes from the dazzling sunlight, doubting that a hand had ever touched these very immaculate pages. I wonder…
When the rhythm of the gears of spring goes into motion so that days will be mellower and easier to bear, then people start dressing in fewer layers, shirts appear, lighter clothes, while scarfs and gloves are soon forgotten. On public transport the instinct is for the window, to open it, to let air in. And that’s where the deception lasts the longest. With a congregation of happy folks assembling at bus stops and squeezing in on train platforms, the looks start to wander/wonder who started coughing or sneezing or blaming this constant change of weather – suddenly those funny idiots who’ve kept their scarfs are proclaimed judicious and those who know better, after all it’s every year the same. Nature, blossoming in fantastically green buds and multicoloured flowers, watches on, while Zephyr blows, approaching slowly from far away.
“Cemeteries will soon be a thing of the past.” She wasn’t known for making philosophical remarks. But this was interesting. Surrounding eyes encouraged her. “Yes, as more and more people get cremated and have their ashes scattered everywhere…” “You can do that?” – Interruption – “Yes, it’s legal now.” The thought wasn’t resumed. One could have assumed the sentence was too long to be picked up again, but no. That was it. (And they could all conjure in memory trips to some hallowed ground as children, in periodical turns, and the trees and the stones and dragging feet on pebbles and grass.) The question would have been asked: but what’s going to happen to the dead? It wasn’t. And not because nobody cared, but because nobody even thought of it. Of their own situation after… No, only now. Now’s what matters. Now’s the only time.
King Ludwig II of Bavaria drowned young in a lake, under mysterious circumstances “and only 6 weeks afterwards his family began operating public tours of his castles.” The King had devoted most of his life to designing and constructing palaces over the length and breadth of his kingdom. “Granted his family had never liked them, too fairytale-like and opulent.” His brother, who succeeded him, was too weak to reign. His uncle, who took the regency, preferred some quieter middle-class domicile. Once the walking ground of a shy King who spent days alone in his abodes atop the mountains, they were now open to prying eyes and meandering feet. “And look!” Now disguising in part his face is happy-birthday paper hats on all his busts in the majestic rooms – colourful shadows on polished white marble – the memory of his coming into this world thus commemorated.
When the train got in, the clock at the station said it was 10 to 3. It was actually 11:17. The yellow station and its protruding blue clock rose almost out of nowhere, green and brown fields all around it, a brook a few yards away in between two lines of chestnut trees, dried-up in spite of the recent rains. Caked mud beside white clouds and a warming sun. It felt like that moment when at the Phaeacians’ court, Ulysses struggles to make sense of his past, unable to separate his own self from the stories about his exploits at far-away Troy – in time, in space, the city that had been destroyed. It also felt miles from the other city where the train had, merely an hour before, pulled away. And it was in actual fact, that being the only thing that felt and was the same.