Thursday, December 16, 2010

a tide of comfort and joy

He rocked upright from a brief moment of queasiness, struggling to bring everything back into focus, the jagged brick at his back daring him to go on, go on and do it. Back in sharp f stop focus: The pinpoint streetlights below, furry hats moving out of sync in warm welcoming storefront reflections carrying shopping bags, push and shove, taxi horns cursing through red lights, yeah go on now get out of my way. So what, he thought, so what how I die, diving from this cold ledge with a view, dizzy or with full consciousness of that smoked sausage wafting past my bulbous nose.

The envelope with last will and testament is where the landlady can easily find it - in the pay slot, checked once an hour. Mrs. Haggard, perfectly named. At least there would be no blood to wash off the walls and the apartment could be let the following day. Just clean white sheets, Mrs. Haggard, he laughed through clenched teeth. What an odd thing to think about out on the narrow ledge, 14 unpublished stories up from the noir-less pavement where impact will flatten him enough to blend in with his pals back in the comic section. Scrambled flat black and white lines with his old pal Beetle Bailey on the last page.

In the after hours of Christmas Eve sad yellow lights from one-room apartments spotlighted out of sequence and illuminated the upper torso of the city. The wind died and the night fell silent. No sausage with mustard and no crying children. He looked straight across the courtyard square and was awed by the vision at high altitude of the mother and child reunion, back lit with the colors of the Season. Was that his beloved wife and baby in Heaven, he wondered? Exuberant, with arms spread for a flight to float over to the Mother's breast he was reeled in to the narrow window portal by the clenched fist of Officer O'Malley.


Blogger Reflections said...

Intriguing piece, heart-wrenching that anyone feel this is the only answer.

12/16/2010 11:54 PM  
Blogger thingy said...

Wow. Truly a wow.

12/18/2010 2:26 PM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Beautiful rendering of a sad tale, Phil.

12/19/2010 5:23 PM  
Blogger Brian Miller said...

wow...intense...i like...

12/20/2010 10:55 PM  
Blogger Cad said...

Did you realise, your typeface is so pale, it's almost impossible to read? Sorry, but I couldn't make it out, so can't comment on content...

12/21/2010 6:20 AM  
Blogger phil said...

yeah, sometimes imageshack goes off line.
I fixed it, cad :)

12/21/2010 6:06 PM  

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