He knew it was all over. He was down to bit parts and baked beans, and infinite hours at the crusted table nursing shots of Old Peculiar. He was tired of the smell of dead fire, of himself, of the screams as cops kicked random drunks even more senseless outside the back door. But she'd said to meet her here, after the curtain came down like a sickness for the last time, so he stayed til midnight, hopeful as a hundred other nights, and then walked home, no longer waiting, no longer thinking, just a papier mache lump reformed in the basin of losing it all.
Yet that Sunday, as the wind blew streamers of wet newspaper across the moon, in the patter of the rain over his dissolving steps he heard her laughing, shockingly close in the black rippling dark, posed like Love when she dismisses her bodyguards, and carelessly makes a throwaway cameo just to keep her hand in. He'd imagined Natasha for twenty years, her compound bow lips and blackbird eyes, and here she was, if he hurried, disappearing down the street while the winos gaped, trailing her spiny excuses like porcupines, to lead him to that submarine she kept, down in the River Styx.
All right, who the devil are you, and what have you done with Hedgewitch, hmm? :-P This is awesome, and a wide departure for you! Prose no less!!! My favorite bits were the whiskey being called old Peculiar, and Love's bodyguards. Poor man, as if he doesn't have enough troubles, she just has to lead him further down. Ah well, que sera sera, eh? I enjoyed the hell out of this, and was mightily entertained to see this new side of your creativity--Barthelme would have been proud!ReplyDelete
Well, I thought it was whiskey too, but apparently it's ale:Delete
Thanks for the inspiration Shay, and I'm glad you liked it.
I so enjoyed this Joy. The atmosphere and deep feelings are so well written that you feel like you are there watching it unfold. I love the imagery of blackbird eyes! You should write more prose Joy! This is amazing!ReplyDelete
Thanks Carrie. I'm afraid prose is not my literary destination in life, but I appreciate the kind words.Delete
Great fun, and then this: "submarine she kept, down in the River Styx." I wish I'd written that.ReplyDelete
Thanks, qbit. High praise indeed.Delete
This is so evocative, Joy! I feel as if I've stepped into a Hopper painting and even though I know more about everyone's profound and singular loneliness, I'm still none the wiser. And that's what I love about your work, you can scrape away a layer or two and glimpse something but there is always a mystery withheld and it leaves the reader with more questions. So many juicy lines and images! My favourites:ReplyDelete
"He was tired of the smell of dead fire"
"after the curtain came down like a sickness for the last time"
"just a papier mache lump reformed in the basin of losing it all."
"as the wind blew streamers of wet newspaper across the moon"
Wonderful work <3
Thank you, Sunra. You are way too kind. I'm so glad you liked the sane lines i did. I fear i am not destined for prose poetry fame, but it was fun anyway.Delete
a rose for your prose, nonetheless. words that visit from an unknown place ~ReplyDelete