Sunday June 12th, 2011

The exercise:

Today we go with: the trade.

We met up with our farmers market friends tonight for drinks and we brought some oregano plants with us since they'd mentioned yesterday they wanted some. My intention was to give them as a trade for a tomato plant they'd given us at the market yesterday, but they were very insistent on paying for them.

Oh well, I'm sure we'll even out over the course of the summer.

It was another enjoyable day off, as other than that we relaxed around the house and had a nice picnic lunch at the beach in the sunshine.


"I'll give you five marbles for that blueberry muffin," Alex offered, his eyes locked on the object of his current desire.

"Sure, sounds good to me," Bobby replied.

"And I'll give you these two G.I. Joes for that bag of chips," Alex continued.

"Why not?" Bobby said with a shrug. "I'm not really hungry anyway."

"And how about this picture I drew of my house for your dog?"

That's when Bobby's mother was forced to intervene.


Greg said...

It rained a fair bit in London this weekend, so there were no picnic lunches at the beach for me :( The dog was displeased as well, as she doesn't like the rain. It started raining while I was out walking her (on both Saturday and Sunday) and on both occasions she's put up with it for a few seconds and then decided we were running home.
I liked your story today, and was very tempted to continue it (I feel Bobby's mother is all ready to trade him for a picture of Alex's house), but instead I'm going with this:

Consider Phlebitis,
Phoenician trader whose mother
Did not love him as much
As yours loved you.

He plies his trade from port to port,
Fragrant spices in hessian sacks
And obscure objets d'art.
Carven jade and boiled frogs
Have become his daily life
As he flees the people who understand
What his true-name means.

Consider Phlebitis,
And pity him,
For he dreams of being like you.

morganna said...

Trading made me think of changing names, and I wrote a post on What's in a name at my blog.

Anonymous said...

I've recently experienced a chage of heart, and my outlook on life has changed and so I decided to take a different spin on this one...

My life is nowhere near perfect,
No one's truly is.
It's full of setbacks and mistakes
That could make the most bright-eyed optimist
Reconsider all they believe in.
But these things,
Provide valuable learning experiences;
They make us who we are.
And for that,
Well I wouldn't trade my life for the world.

Watermark said...

Marc: I liked that! :) Reminds me of my school days, when I used to gladly give away my lunch until my mum found out :p

Greg: That took me away to another place. It almost had the feel of David Mitchell's 'Cloud Atlas' to it. I liked it :)

Morganna: will be heading over to read yours shortly :)

Anon: your last line brought it all together and was the perfect ending!

Here's mine - not sure where this came from but feels a bit science fictioney...

The Trade

They gave me an hour to play with. I found the possibilities endless. I could indulge in a solitary function of the mind and keep myself occupied, or I could wander off and search for someone to share my time with. Sharing, they said, would eat up my time. It was a trade of sorts. The more time I shared, the less of it I would have. What could one do with the last hour they had on earth?

I watched the sands of time trickle down the glass funnel and noted how a minute had just been consumed. Would I want to spend the next 59 minutes with me, and my false notions of existence, my skewed sense of meaning. My last 59, no, 58 minutes on earth had to count for something.

It was simple now. All I needed to do was find the one person who truly needed my time and trade it for that deep and meaningful connection. Perhaps then, my legacy would be etched in that person's heart forever.

Nicholas said...

I held the phone up to my ear with a grip so tight, it was as if my fist were a boa constrictor, squeezing the life out of its prey.

The dial tone blasted into my ear, and my palms began to perspire. Should I really go through with this? No, no! I would have to be insane to make such a ridiculous deal.

I paced over to the edge of my office and gazed out the window at the basketball court on which the Miami Heat were humiliated just one night ago.

The fresh memory of watching the "dream team", of which I was the general manager, get whipped on its home court was already too much to bare. I had to go through with this deal.

My heartbeat raced as a voice came from the phone, "Hello?"

"Yes, Mister Nelson," my voice cracked as I spoke, "I've made up my mind."

I couldn't believe what I was doing, but after last night I knew something had to be done.

A pleasantly surprised voice spoke through the phone, "You mean you're actually trading me Lebron James for Brian Cardinal?"

Nicholas said...

*fist WAS a boa constrictor

Aaron said...

The Trade
What was given for this life? No one can say for certain. It was a trade not meant for our understanding. Our lives are like playing a game someone else set up and not knowing the rules. We move the pieces without knowing if we are losing, winning, or just having fun like a dog playing fetch. We will never know what bought us these moments, but in physics nothing can come from nothing. Yet here we are. Not for free but for…? What was given for this life and, more importantly, who was swindled in the trade?

motherinToronto said...


Rising out of the desert the tent people created and controlled this rich trading post. Salt, gold, ivory, slaves, silk, corn, cattle, milk, butter and precious stones were to be found here in greater abundance than anywhere in the world. It was said that if it had value, it was found and traded here. Yet in this desert there weren't any gardens or orchards surrounding them. Only rocks and sands. The tent people knew where the cavernous springs hid and shared this information with no one as it wouldn't sustain more than one people and guests. No obvious resources to explain this economic spring in this most desolute of places. Just a resourceful people who recognized the opportunity of crossroads.

Heather said...

I have been staring at three different prompts and have found nothing to say. I wrote this last month and it seemed to fit.


"It'a piece of cake, " she assured me. "Just sign here and initial below it and we'll get the process started." Sliding the papers across the smooth surface of her desk, her lips curved up in anticipation.
Doubt shaded my face. I had come in to ask a few questions. I wasn't prepared to make a comittment and certainly not one this monumentous. Yet, I didn't know if I could walk away from a deal of a lifetime.

I tapped the pen on the edge of the desk. I had to make a decision and I had to make it quickly. My mind raced and the letters on the paper danced in front of me.

With a deep breath, I lifted the pen and signed my name and initials with a flourish. "It's done." I said flatly. "My soul in exchange for a world filled with compassion for as long as it exists."

Marc said...

Greg - intriguing story you tell. I'd like to hear more about him.

Morganna - will be over to read shortly :)

Anon - very reflective and meditative. Nicely done.

Watermark - it does sound rather sci-fi. I like the possibilities of it, and enjoyed the final paragraph in particular.

Nicholas - that would be a trade that would keep the sports writers occupied all off-season :P

Aaron - wonderfully meditative. I especially liked the line about not knowing if we're winning or losing.

Mother in T.O. - mmm, there are stories to be told there. Great description and setup.

Heather - it fits indeed. I hope you'll find a prompt that inspires you before too long, be it here or elsewhere.

David said...

The most pretentious man in the world, Trevor Broadstreet, sat at the bar sipping the martini it took him ten minutes to order. Plymouth gin, Dolin vermouth, up, shaken, with a twist, make it wet. The second martini rested on the bar, in front of the empty seat next to Trevor. He would give his guest fifteen minutes. Trevor hated to watch good cold gin go warm.

Trevor glanced at the television. Sweaty men chasing some kind of ball. Trevor believed in rigorous exercise, but never understood the attraction of watching others engage in it. Fifteen minutes were almost up and Mario's had a rare steak calling his name.

He motioned to the bartender and fished for the wallet in his pocket. What the? A manila envelope. He tossed it onto the bar, money spilled out. The bartender pretended not to see. Bar empty. Trevor looked under his seat. Briefcase gone. He shook his head and reached for the second martini. Empty. He put a hundred on the bar and ordered another for himself. Celebration. Money in hand. Guns gone. Mission accomplished. The Barber had his clippers.

Marc said...

David - that taking 'ten minutes to order' is a great line.

And I love the way you're reintroducing The Barber and The Beard :)