Monday, April 15, 2013

hats off


The first to arrive left his hat on. She poured his tea, three-quarters cup, leaving it sit on the table for him to fetch. They talked weather, not much rain, grey neutral skies. Her eyelids were weighty in ten minutes, white crystal sleep forming in the corners of her blue eyes in broad daylight. Ah, the second gentleman, you ask?

Nervous. But that signifies lack of over-confidence perhaps, she grasped for straws. At the door there were short unconscious tosses of his plaid beret, hand-to-hand, much like a dexterous plate spinning carnival juggler. One cup of tea, and he drank it pacing in the parlor, spilling a little, managing to swallow some, forgetting his rehearsed lines. But give him a break: her cleavage was moist and sparkling. She was in full mirth arrest as he faded away, beret on backwards, glad he wasn't a knife thrower. For he might've taken out the third man.

The third was a crier, she wagered. A wrinkled vagabond hat from repeated crushing in two calloused hands, she surmised, possibly from standing on the sidewalk watching the veteran's parade, using the cloth cap sporting two brass sweat drain holes to wipe tears of tribute. She thought maybe he even bowed while removing the hat, all in one graceful motion. This gentleman, tall enough for her to be tucked under his chin, took the tray out of her hands, poured two cups with an assured steadiness, not blinded by her low-cut presentation. Once, she caught him looking, punctuated by a sharp intake of breath, a slight blushing smile.
He sat closer than the others, talked about his beloved mother, sipping in synchronized time as she raised the cup to her hopeful lips. Inquiring about the framed silkscreen portrait of her mother above the mantel in a flattering style that pleased, he observed she did not blink or look at the floor while revealing quiet endearments and confessions. At the door she touched his arm, her lips parted with no words spoken. He was out of sight around the fence and beyond the shadowed hedges before he remembered the hat.


Spring, 1935
by Kuzma Petrov-Vodin

6 Comments:

Blogger Trellissimo said...

Goodness, me - speed dating? ! Haha!

4/15/2013 4:22 AM  
Blogger Berowne said...

Clever and bright; well done.

4/15/2013 5:38 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

I say ~ bring on number four!!!

4/15/2013 12:35 PM  
OpenID mindlovemisery said...

You are a wonderful story-teller I was completely immersed, very charming!

4/16/2013 10:38 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

Love what you spun from the hats, Phil...

4/16/2013 3:12 PM  
Blogger gautami tripathy said...

Such fine writing. Loved this!!

patterns don't free us

4/17/2013 12:42 PM  

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