Thursday April 18th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: starting over.

Spent most of the morning bouncing the rototiller around our yard, trying to tidy up the worst of the weeds before getting some mulch on top of them. Hopefully that will happen this weekend and then it will just be a matter of doing some minor weeding this summer to keep on top of things.

Also: Sir Phillip has returned! You remember Sir Phillip, don't you?

Of course you do. I've been hearing him around for the last couple of weeks but this evening was the first time I actually laid eyes on him.

And yes, I'm fully aware this might not be the same pheasant. And yes, I don't care. I'll be calling him Sir Phillip for as long as he (they?) cares to hang out around here.

Mine:

Everything was so new. The town, the job, the apartment. The life. He could not get used to all the newness.

Though of course it wouldn't always be this way. After a few weeks or months or years had passed, all that was now new would become old. Normal, routine, commonplace. Boring.

But that knowledge did nothing to ease his current discomfort. It did not dispel the unease he felt each morning when his alarm clock roused him from unsettling dreams. It provided no comfort when, forgetting, he turned his head in the direction of the other side of his bed.

Empty.

Always empty.

Not forever, perhaps, but that hardly mattered. Not with the memory of his ex-wife fresh in his mind.

3 Comments:

Greg said...

Not only do I remember Sir Phillip, but I remember Mr. Wiggles too. I'm looking forward to seeing some more of his this summer! I suspect there's a good chance it is the same pheasant, so let's hope that they're near enough for you to see any family he decides to raise this year.
That's a very bittersweet little story this morning; the sadness leavened at the end with a very nice little comment that leaves the reader wondering what happened and what will happen next. I particularly like your second paragraph and the way it builds to its damning crescendo of "Boring." :)

Starting over
Sberichev appeared to look into the distance, despite the fact that a wall was only inches from his nose. The Snake, now sitting beside him and wondering how insane his cell-guest was, waited. There was a siren wailing somewhere, its noise dopplered through the possibilities of the quantum prison. Now and then it burped as possibilities collapsed and sound ceased to travel through them.
"What are you going to do when you get us out?" asked the Snake. His fingers itched.
"Start over," said Sberichev. "I imagine. Though I don't yet know who is helping us on the outside, so it's possible that they have plans in mind for one of us too."
"You didn't plan this?" The Snake tensed, now worried. An escape without a plan sounded like suicide.
"I didn't plan the assistance," said Sberichev calmly. "But I'm taking advantage of it. It's just like when hard-to-approximate terms happily cancel out." He was smiling beatifically.
"What exactly is 'starting over'?" The Snake's worries were growing stronger, and when the walls around him suddenly dissolved into a purple haze he grabbed Sberichev like a drowning man seizing a life-belt.
"I rather fancy developing this atlas," said Sberichev. He reached a hand out and ripples spread outwards. "So maybe I'll become a professional prison-breaker."

Aholiab said...

Starting Over

A lot of people would probably call me a cheater. Since it’s for my own pleasure and relaxation, I don’t really feel like I need to follow others’ rules. I have a few rules of my own, I suppose, but even those I have been known to bend if I get desperate.

For instance, I try to limit myself to one hour per day. I separate all the pieces before I begin, organize them by color, and always do the sides first. Though I try not to look at the picture, I don’t feel guilty if I need to peek to see where that precise shade of red fits. And then there’s the music. The rest of the family may not appreciate my eclectic tastes, but when I am alone in my office, I am free to listen to whatever my heart desires.

I look up when I hear a tentative knock at the door and a quiet voice asking, “Can I come in, Grandpa?”

I mutter under my breath, “It’s MAY I come in,” and then loud enough for my granddaughter to hear, “Sure, come on in.”

She pushes the door open and walks over to the card table to look at my latest project.

“Are you almost done?”

“Yes, I’m getting close.”

She watches me place a few more pieces, then asks, “How long have you been working on it?”

“Oh, a couple of weeks I suppose.”

She continues to watch my progress. “What’s that music that you’re playing?”

“It’s called ragtime. Do you like it?”

Always the diplomat, she shrugs her shoulders nonchalantly.

I feel my resolve waning. “I’m getting a little tired of it though. How about some ‘Pollywog in a Bog?’”
She grins and nods her head enthusiastically, so I pick up the remote control and change the music to her favorite.

A dozen pieces later and I’ve completed the puzzle. I give a happy sigh and think about how silly it is to feel so satisfied. I look over at her and ask, “So, what do you think?”

“Can I help you start over?”

I nod and watch as she gleefully begins tearing apart my masterpiece.

Marc said...

Greg - Mr. Wriggles?! Damn it Greg, let it go! :P

Glad you enjoyed mine; I felt pretty good about it once it was finished.

Heh, that's a great opening line. Still enjoying this tale :D

Aholiab - hot damn, I love Pollywog in a Bog too :D

Also: great characterizations here. Really makes the scene seem real.