Sunday August 12th, 2012

The exercise:

Let us write about: separation.

This morning I saw Kat and baby off, as they'll be in Vancouver for the next two weeks while Kat assists at a workshop as part of the counseling training she's been doing online. Going to miss them a lot.

Had some help with this evening's harvest for our local orders, which I'm very grateful for. Also looking forward to the arrival of a couple close friends next week, who will be staying for a few days to help out.

Still, I'll be counting down the days until my family returns.


I can hear your voice on the line
And that may be fine
For others.
Maybe for sisters,
Maybe for brothers,
But not us,
Not us.

I have never asked for very much:
A kiss, a smile, a touch,
That's all.
But this must do,
This distant call,
Just for now,
For now.


Greg said...

I'm not sure you can talk about the baby separately from Kat until it _is_ separate from her... I had to sit there for a moment wondering if the baby had arrived yet! Two weeks is quite a while apart, but if you've got friends coming it'll go faster. And you've always got skype :)

I think you've written a song there! I can hear the acoustic guitar behind the words, the crackle of fire on slightly-green logs and smell the lingering scent of camp-fire cooked sausages.

His eyes were moist like potting compost, and little bits of something dark indeed kept breaking off from the wrinkled skin around his eyes and falling to the ground. He shuffled, his left hand reaching out constantly for the wall, pulling back when his sensitive fingertips brushed against the rough brick. His breath came in ragged gasps with wet sucking noises; he sounded like he had emphysema in a sauna.
He had just witnessed the Mass of Separation.
Somewhere ahead of him the street reached a T-junction and he'd have to decide whether to turn left or right, and the stress of the decision was making him worse. The bifurcation of the street was like the culmination of the Separation, the tearing apart of the self, the division of the soul. The one made many. His hand started shaking.
His feet dragged to a halt and he tried not to look down. His head was spinning and he could taste something metallic in his mouth... copper? When they'd killed that thing there had been green blood. Ichor. Icky stuff, whatever the fancy-pants name for it was. Was that copper-based? Had he got some in his mouth?
His hands scrabbled madly, trying to get into his mouth and scrape at his tongue, but his teeth were getting in the way. Perhaps if he pulled at them he could move them aside, just enough to clean his mouth out, to get away from the taste of Separation....
He sank to his knees, his hands pulling, wrenching, tearing at his face, and shortly a woman nearby starting screaming.

Cathryn Leigh said...

@Marc - I agree with greg. I had to do the same puzzling and wondered if I'd missed soemthing, how that could be, where the infant pictures were and why she's helping at a conference so soon after the birth (because trust me, she's not going to want to do much more than sleep and feed babay for a few days after the birth).

@Greg - um... yeah... about that *shudders* o.O :}


The age separation between my kids is 22 months.

The mental separation between my kids feels like 3 years.

But that gap will close in time.

In twenty years thsoe 22 months will mean very little.

In fourty years that separtion will be water droplets in a lake.

But right now that separation in ages means one wails upon being hit and can not control the whine in his voice, while the other Scheme to try and get the other in trouble.

Someday that separation won't mean as much.

Someday they'll be schemeing against us.

Hopefully we'll have the wits to out smart them, or at least let them think they are until they confess twenty years later and we can smile and say - we knew. :}

Heather Banschbach said...

Nothing to do with the prompt, but I need some positive karma, so please laugh.

I woke up to the alarm clock buzzing madly having finally fallen asleep only a handful of hours before. The sky was a mass of gray clouds and the air was chilled with the expectation of rain. I felt the potential for it to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.

Eva climbed into bed next to me. As she flung her arms wide to show her exuberance at being awake, her elbow connected not so gently with my nose. Heat spread over my cheeks and tears smeared my vision. I think I'll move over to the edge of the bed.

Xander came in only a few minutes later. He said he was tired. He said he wasn't hungry. He said he didn't want to get up and get ready for the day. I started to believe it would be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.

I set the table for breakfast. Granola bars, yogurt, and a glass of juice: Eva was happy. Xander moaned and curled up into a ball on his chair. "I'm cold," he said. "I'm dizzy," he intoned. "My body hurts," he added. It was turning out to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.

I asked him some questions and he said no to all of them. I felt his forehead. He assured me he was just tired. I left him at the table to take a shower. I couldn't get the water temperature to stabilize. The mixer needs to be replaced sooner than later. I imagine the expense and the mess. I get out of the shower a little colder than when I went in to it. Climbing back into bed sounds good, but Xander is already there.

I get dressed and grab the thermometer. He has a temp of 100.1. I sigh and he tells me again he is dizzy. I grab a little plastic trash can and put a plastic bag in it. "Use this if you can't make it to the bathroom." I'm suppose to leave for work in 30 minutes. I pick up the phone and call Jeff. "Xander's sick. Do we still want Cole to come up for the week?" It is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.

Heather Banschbach said...

Part 2 of the same sad day.
Jeff calls back. Cole is still coming. So is the teacher from Spain. Of course they are! I make phone calls to find someone to fill my shift. There is a birthday party for one of the staff's children and everyone who could work for me is going to the party. "No, I completely understand," I say. I call PAC. "I can't come in today."

I hang up the phone and look at the abject white envelope on the counter. I'll need to change my last day in order to give a proper 2 week notice. And I'll have to find someone to work my last shift. Eva cries because I can't take her to ballet. I think it is her last day.

I have more time now. I'll do my hair. I haven't done my hair in a long time. I brush it out, turn on the hair dryer and start rolling my hair around the brush. It's fine. But something smells funny. I look at my hair dryer. There's some crunchy brown stuff on the end of it. I tap it off and start to curl the back of my hair. The smell is worse and there is a sudden burst of heat and a little pop. I don't want to look. I know it is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning.

My hair dryer is dead. There is a clump of what I now know is my hair on the brush between the melted bristles. More plastic hair falls onto the floor as I run my hands through it. It feels wrong. I can't tell how bad it is and the double mirror trick does nothing to calm my suspicions. My phone rings. It's PAC. I don't even want to answer.

"Why didn't you call me? You have to call me if you aren't coming in." I tried. I talked to Peggy. "Peggy is too busy with camp. You have to call me." I tried. Peggy said she would let her know. "She did let me know. Did you call everyone on the list?" Yes. There is a gigantic birthday party. "What about Shirin?" She works in the nursery on Monday. "You need to call her. I don't know if Sports Club will go because it is so slow." And I still have to call Shirin for a shift that starts in 10minutes and probably won't happen at all??? "Yes! Call Shirin!"

I call Shirin. I leave a message. I roll my eyes and kiss my resignation letter. I call Jeff. He laughs. He finds my terrible, horrible, no good, very bad morning hilarious! I'm laughing too, but it is the laughter of someone who has hit their funny bone REALLY, REALLY hard. It's not funny, but incredibly painful and I still can't help myself. I can't stop. I step into the bathroom and see the little pieces of hair blown across the bathroom. Eva peeks around me. "That's a lot of hair mama." I'm crying now.

It was a terrible, horrible, very bad, no good morning.

Anonymous said...

@ marc, you CAN talk about the baby as an entity of his own even whilst still attached by the umbilical, IMO. :)

@all...GREAT entries, all, wow.
@greg, wow, the makings of an intriguing scifi thriller there, i reckon, don't stop!


“G’day! It’s been a while.
Long time, no see.
How am I? Okay, I guess.
I missed this ol’ place, its dusty shelves full of musty books long separated from their previous owners; the scrubby bushes outside the glass door, always needing a drink of water; the sound of the coffee percolator and enticing aroma coming from the back room, competing with that ol’ kerosene heater you still have going in winter, like today.
Yeah, I missed all that. 
Separation from this place was torture to my soul. I had no where to get my fix of books, especially those rare editions you’d save me - you always knew what I’d like.
You still do.
You know me well, old friend.
Am I staying around, this time? Yeah, probably. I’m separated from my wife, y’know. Well, she left me, wasn’t my choice. Women, these days, y’know, all independent-like, need to go off and find themselves. Don’t know if it’s permanent. Hope not, but you can’t force these things, they’re a process, so I’m told.

I see you still have the cat? Gosh, he’s about as dusty as these shelves, heh, don’t you ever clean in here?
Well, no, I guess it wouldn’t be the same if everything smelled like Mr Sheen, no.
Well, it’s been good talking to you again, ol’ buddy. 
Yeah, I’ll take this copy of Dickens - David Copperfield was always one of my favourites at school, y’know. 
Yeah, yeah, I’ll be back to browse next week. You can make me a brew and we’ll sit down and chew the fat like old times, eh!”

The bookstore cat listened keenly at the conversation between his owner and the customer who always gave him pats and treats when he stopped by.
He watched as the customer started to cross the road, thumbing through the brown pages of David Copperfield... He didn’t see that bus coming down the road...

Now his separation was permanent.

Don’t leave what you love...
Don’t stop doing what you enjoy...
There might be no ’next week’...
Carpe diem.

Marc said...

Greg - eh, he's his own person already. They're just a two for one deal for the time being ;)

Yeah, that first stanza came to me rather musically. I quite like how you've imagined it!

Holy jeez, that's some great, creepy descriptions. Feels like the opening of a rather gripping tale.

Cathryn - what I said to Greg goes for you too, then :)

yes, I imagine that when they switch from battling against each other to working together against you will be a rather... memorable moment :)

Heather - oh my goodness, that is a rough, rough morning indeed. You have my complete sympathy, though at least there was a little bit of laughter in there as well.

Writebite - thank you! I think so as well :)

Really great characterization there, and almost entirely though dialogue alone! Very nicely done, and I agree with your closing statement 100%.