Wednesday March 13th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: recognition.

Got a few things done around here today. Was feeling pretty good until after dinner, at which point my energy levels crashed. Hard.

Maybe the cold will be all gone tomorrow?

That would be nice.


I stand in the middle of the plaza, perfectly still. I could be one of the statues in the fountain behind me, if I chose. Spitting water for the tourists who would drop coins at my feet.

But that is not my purpose here.

Instead, I study the face of every man, woman, and child who passes before me. Not all of them meet my gaze, either too startled by my brashness or too spooked by my intensity. That's fine, I don't need every passerby to return my interest.

Just one.

I'm looking for a hitch, the tiniest of pauses. A widening of a mouth, a flash of recognition in an eye. I will wait. I can be patient.

Someone here must know who I am.


Greg said...

Sounds like you're getting better at least, even if you're not completely over the cold yet. I seem to remember that colds last 7±2 days pretty much universally, so you should be getting close to well :)
That's a rather nice take on the "Do you know who I am?" meme with some nicely detailed atmosphere as well. I really like the first paragraph which sets the sceen without giving anything away.

Madame Sosotris sniffed. Her eternal cold was causing the skin around her nostrils to peel off in long thin strips and making her look more unnerving that usual. In poor light you could be forgiven for thinking she was trying to eat a reluctant squid or octopus and not quite winning.
"Well?" The man sat on the other side of her table looked hopeful. Madame Sosotris looked down at the tarot cards she'd dealt out for him, which looked hopeless.
"You're going to be famous," she said at last, knowing perfectly well that while this was true, it was a bent and twisted form of the truth that had been manacled and beaten to end up in this form. "Everyone will recognise you."
The man sat back, his large stomach expanding as his relaxed and his dress shirt straining to contain it. His cummerbund pinged.
"Everyone?" he said.
"Everyone," she said firmly, pleased that she could tell a full truth.
"Recognise me?"
"Oh yes," said Madame Sosotris. "In fact, I doubt most people will ever forget you."
"That's what I wanted to hear!" The man forced a pudgy paw into his trouser pocket hunting for his wallet, and Madame Sosotris gathered up the cards.
"Did they say why I become famous?" he asked suddenly, his wallet pulling free with a pop.
"No," said Madame Sosotris with the skill of a practised liar. The cards had been rather definite about his future and at points it had been all she could do to keep from laughing, or alternatively vomiting.
"Oh well," he said. "There's so much choice. Recognition's the important thing!"

Mo said...

Moira is 20 and she is always sitting on my white Ethan Allen chair staring at me. She never seems to be wearing appropriate daywear clothing. She smells like a dive bar and well, she looks that part to be perfectly honest with you. There is something about her that I like. Ok, I like a lot of things about her. First, she is funny and friendly. I think she feels the same or else why would she keep coming back? Secondly, Moira is kind of magnetic. I see it with my kids. They are also drawn to her. Maeve is obviously her favorite, and she also wants that to be the name of her first daughter too. Maeve looks like me, which Moira always points out while smiling dreamily at us. Another thing about Moira is that she is very flattering which I can’t help but love. It’s probably why I let her come back so often, I am not above a little flattery in the afternoon. However, She is very immature and rough around the edges. Still, she does love to be near us. I can feel that. Most importantly (I understand this is not even slightly important, but if you knew me, you would understand why I said this), She loves my sneaker collection of customized Nike’s. It’s ironic because she is young, tiny, and cute with cheap shoes and clothes. I am nearly 32 with 3 kids and badass sneakers. The money is a perk to getting older; I am a sensible person other than an odd splurge here and there. She is just… She is always drunk. I don’t even know how she recognizes me, but she tells me I’m still in there. Whatever that means. I have known her all along. I can’t help but miss her from time to time, but I know exactly why she comes back here. We are each other’s dream girls. She dreams of being me, and I dream of when I was she.

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

As much as he wanted to ask these people about their lives, Shotek was perfectly content recounting his various adventures. This was the furthest south he had been---and was allowed---but he had been further afield than most of the villagers, apart from one or two, perhaps, but they never talked about it much. Shotek, however, had the foreigner's---and perhaps the fool's---permission to say what he would.

The little tavern was crowded that night, and their little group had found a removed back corner, but he still could feel her come in.

He broke off mid-sentence, spun in his chair and almost upsetting it, and scanned the room. How could someone like that disappear so fast?

"Shotek?" Yarel peered at the side of his head. "You alright?"

He wasn't sure, to be honest. He had found her again, but the strangest sensation came over him.

"Yarel, who's that? With the innkeep's daughter by the window."

A tiny, amusedly disdainful smirk played in the lad's eyes. "It's good you're asking me, because otherwise you'd probably be seeing stars. The 'inkeep's daughter' is the innkeep herself, called Vanara, and probably the only reason you have a roof over your head." Shotek nodded contritely. "And 'that' is another lady of importance. 'That' is Divana, Principal Oleán's daughter."

Shotek squinted. One can only study a face so well from across a room, and yet he didn't really have to study it. He shook his head.

"I swear I know her from somewhere."

g2 (la pianista irlandesa) said...

additional comment: I told (warned?) you this Shotek&Divana thing was spiraling in my head, didn't I?

Marc said...

Greg - aw man, that opening description. Naaasty.

Also: now I'm curious to know how he'll become famous...

Mo - wonderful details and descriptions, and I love the sentiment.

g2 - ooh, intriguing ending.

And I am quite enjoying this spiral :D