Thursday March 15th, 2012

The exercise:

Beware the ides of March, for they bring tidings of: fast.

Okay, maybe it's not such a scary time after all.

All definitions of the word welcome, of course. My take was inspired by my experience yesterday morning - I had to go in for a blood test that required me to fast for it. Those ones are firmly entrenched at the bottom of my list of blood tests.

I may or may not actually have said list of blood tests, ranked from Misery to Just Shoot Me.

Okay, I don't. But I should.


"And how long have you been fasting?"

"Since ten o'clock last night," I reply over the rumbling complaints coming from my belly.

"Twelve hours, right on the dot," the lab tech says with a smile. "Very impressive."

"I know the instructions say twelve to fourteen hours, but I can't imagine you get many people who are at the far end of that range."

"Just the keeners," she says, tapping away at her keyboard.

"Yeah, well, my stomach starts eating itself at thirteen, so I've got a pretty narrow window to work with."


Greg said...

I would guess that you have to take a little more care over the fasting than other people, given your diabetes, so I can sympathise. I'm pretty ok with that kind of fasting so long as I can sleep through most of it :)
How bad can a blood test get though?
I like 'keeners' in your story today, makes the lab tech seem a little more human somehow.

Let's consult our dictionary and find out what fast really means:
fast (as in held fast) means tight.
tight (as in drunk) means soaked.
soak means imbue.
imbue means diffuse.
diffuse (refering to light) means soft.
soft means gentle.
gentle means assuage.
assuage means relieve.
relieve means still.
still means calm.
calm means steady.
And steady means slow!
So there you go class, today we've found that fast means slow :)

Watermark said...

@Mark: Good to be back here after a very long break!
Liked the "stomach starts eating itself" in your last line. Fitting image (recalling my fasts) :)

@Greg: Love the quirkiness there :)

Here's mine:


I never had been a believer in those game-themed parties. What a waste of time and energy bringing a group of friends together, who hadn’t seen each other in years, just to set them off against each other. This one particular game, Fast, had become so popular that it was varied every year. Initially, it was a matter of how fast one could eat, or run, or get from Kurnell to Kempsie. Then it progressed to a bit more sophistication with the creative objective of how fast one could make-believe kill everyone else in the group whilst travelling across town in search of so-called treasure. It had caught on and had become so popular that very soon there was a Fast themed game in every town. For my sorry bunch of friends, it was one way of my making memories, I suppose, but mainly it was my only chance to see Lance, of course. So I would go along. And I would participate in these mundane and useless charades. If I could edge a word or two in, while everyone was busy trying to win a hopeless race, then to me that had to be victory even though it meant that I would always lose out on the prize. Neither had I known nor cared for some crummy prize. If I could get Lance to actually look at me and respond to a question or two, then I would later be driving back home feeling like the queen of the world. And if he dared smile at me, it would make my heart cartwheel for days and days after. Lance was a huge fan of Fast and had even become a member of the Fast fan group on Facebook. Of course, I had to become a member too. So whilst I despised and secretly ridiculed these games, the stalker in me had actively been seeking them out. These annual come quarterly get-togethers were something I had a love-hate relationship with. Something I would both wish for and dread at the same time. And then by some strange sequence of events, that were absolutely uncalled for and definitely unplanned, I won. Things took quite a different turn in my life since that day.

morganna said...

Greg -- great take on it & sneaky way of working in Marc's mention of the many definitions.

Watermark -- I want to hear more!

Faster than fast
Able to hide from
Spying eyes
The plague is upon us.

Cathryn Leigh said...

Okay so I'm in love with the love that Sarah and Jason share... no more like I'm just plain in love with Jason. He's like all the good parts of my husband wrapped up in one tidy package... I might need to give him a few flaws, though technically his loving of Sarah is a pretty big one where everone else is concerned anyway... here we go. :}

Stead Fast and true

A friendship of innocence,
Formed under the trees.
Blossomed to romance
On a summer breeze

He steady and fast,
His love hidden beneath.
She ignorant,
Of the love he would bequeath.

“When did you fall in love with me?” she asks staring up into the bows of the Willows.
“I do not know,” he responded thoughtfully. “Perhaps with our first kiss...”
She rolled her head to the side to raise her eyebrows at him. He turned to look at her smiling.
“Unless you did something while I was unconscious, I distinctly remember our first kiss being under the willow when you proposed.”
“I did nothing while you were unconscious.” His grin remained.
“Then when was this fabled first kiss?” she asked. “I’d seriously hoped I’d have remembered it.”
“Well,” he looked back up at the trees, “I suppose it was not a proper kiss, since we were bound by the rules of the Grove.”
“A ghostly kiss?” She too looked back up at the Willow, trying to remember.
“We were playing as we normally were, you had pretended to be possessed by the enemy and I had to kill you. You played your death so well that I thought I had really killed you, when, in my approaching, you leapt up and planted a kiss upon my lips.”
“OH,” she grinned, “That kiss.” She laughed. “The look on your face was priceless, of I I could have gotten a picture of it.”
“Yes well,” his cheeks flushed, “you gave me a fright playing dead and then startled me...”
“And,” she rolled up on her elbow to look down at him, “you’ve loved me ever since?”
“I think so,” he returned her gaze, “I spent quite a few years trying to deny it.”

Iron Bess said...

“Fast?” she asked outraged. “Did they tell da Vinci to finish the Mona Lisa fast? Did they give Michelangelo instructions to be fast?”

“Well yeah, actually they did, but that’s not the point. The point is that we need this web page done, and fast,” Anna said. “In fact we need it faster than fast. We need it yesterday.”

“Well I’m an artist. These things take time,” Zoe said.

“Okay, you have time. If it isn’t completed in two hours you can have all the time in the world because I will can your ass and find someone a lot less artistic, and a lot more speedy.”

Zoe looked at her sister opened mouthed and eyes wide. “You wouldn’t dare fire your sister. I’ll tell mom.”

“Listen kid, the ‘I’ll tell mom’ bit may have worked when we were ten, but we are thirty three now and trying to get this business off the ground. If the web design isn’t done in time then we lose these clients. If we lose these clients then our business goes up in smoke - fast. Comprenda?”

Anonymous said...

The glacier moves
Just fast enough to gouge out
the bedrock of time.

Krystin Scott said...

Re yesterday. im trying to work on my inferences and not spell everything out for the reader. I doubt ill write more on it because its so over done already, but i hope that someone realized my character was mina harker, a victim of count dracula.


Red dingy stuck fast
Held by the rocky jetty
Far above water

Marc said...

Greg - the only issue is my blood sugar when I wake up. If I'm too low then I need to eat something, so the fast is over. Otherwise I'm good to go.

To be honest there's really only three blood tests on my imaginary list:

1. Tests I don't have to fast for.
2. Tests I have to fast 10 hours for.
3. Tests I have to fast 12 hours for.

That's quite the dictionary journey you went on there :)

Watermark - hey, welcome back! I hope you've been well :)

Good to read your writing again. I like the intrigue you squeeze into that final line.

Morganna - jeez, I didn't even notice that was an acrostic at first (or second) glance. Very smoothly done.

Cathryn - very sweet. I think your first stanza at the beginning there was my favorite part.

Iron Bess - liked a lot of aspects of yours, but particularly appreciated the way you brought it back around to the prompt again at the end.

GZ - ha, spot on! Really like that a lot.

Krystin - ah, I was not aware of who she was specifically, but then I'm not very familiar with Dracula's story.

love the image you paint with yours :)

Jody said...

“You don’t eat anything? For how long?
“Ten days. I always go ten days. They say minimum ten, maximum thirty, but ten is plenty for me.”
“I couldn’t do one whole day. Don’t you get really hungry?”
“You get calories from the lemon and the maple syrup. If you get hungry you drink another. I miss eating–actually biting into food–but I don’t know if I’m really depriving myself.”
“Well you don’t need to lose weight. Not like me.”
“I always lose some, but I gain at least half back in the first week I start eating again. For me, it’s not about weight loss; it’s more about the challenge. An exercise in self-control: that and the benefits of detoxing. I like the idea of totally flushing my digestive system. The first time I did the cleanse I kept thinking about the gum I swallowed as a kid, wondering if it was true that it never gets digested or maybe it was just an old wives’ tale. Some doctors and nutritionists don’t recommend this kind of cleanse because they say you flush important healthy bacteria at the same time, but I never suffer any adverse effects.”
“I admire you.”
“Thanks.” Maybe that’s why I do it, I thought.

Anonymous said...

greg... brilliant piece

Marc said...

Jody - thanks for sharing that with us!

I loved the detail about the swallowed gum, and that last line is just so... honest. Great stuff :)