Thursday September 26th, 2013

The exercise:

We return today to the list prompt. Use each of the following words in your writing, be it poetry or prose: chocolate, stand, bridge, memory.

I have a big backlog of pictures that I want to share, so I'm just going to pick one at random and start with that.

Here's one I took with my iPhone of Max during one of his breaks from our market stall in Penticton:

The handy thing with my new phone, I'm finding, is the ability to take spur of the moment pictures like this one. I pretty much always have my phone with me, whereas I have to make a conscious effort to bring my camera if I'm going out somewhere.

But with the phone if I happen to see a moment I'd like to capture it's just a matter of a few seconds before I've got it. As long as Max doesn't stop doing whatever cute thing he was doing when I realize I want a picture of it.


I have a memory, though I'm not certain it belongs to me.

That must sound strange, I suppose. To be honest I don't fully understand it myself. The scene is vivid enough - I can recall it with little effort.

I am standing on a bridge, alone despite the other pedestrians moving around me. The sense of separateness is incredibly strong. Like I don't belong there. As though no one else can even see me as I look down at the still water below.

Traffic flows back and forth behind me, cars humming and trucks rumbling as they make their way to... wherever it is they all are headed. There is a complete lack of urgency for me, as if there's nowhere I need to be.

Not at that moment, maybe not ever.

In my right hand there is an empty chocolate bar wrapper. It's an odd detail but it feels important somehow. Sometimes I think that if I can understand the meaning behind that bit of silver, crinkling trash I could unravel this whole mystery.

Laugh if you must, but it's true.

The horizon pulls the sun closer and I squint. Otherwise I am motionless. People continue to pass me by, but they are growing steadily fewer now. No one stops to talk to me, I don't think anyone even looks at me.

The horizon swallows the sun. A full moon appears in the sky, suddenly it seems. Silence falls. I am utterly alone on the bridge.

And then I, too, with but a single step, leave the bridge behind.


Greg said...

Max is as adorable as ever, and I like how the smartphone is inveigling its way into your life step by step :) However, it's clearly being very useful and productive for you, so that's probably a good thing.
Very dreamlike prose today, but rooted enough in reality that I wasn't at all sure when I started reading it if you were telling me about an actual memory or not. Skillfully done!

30 minutes to the curtain
The orchestra pit is empty, the musicians
have fluttered off to the bar
leaving clutter and detritus
to show that this is where they are.
The music stands, like scarecrows, gauntly
cluster on the chocolate-coloured floor,
holding scores that only prompt the memory
of music practised days before.
Strings tremble on their bridges,
the instruments are tense and primed.
There's thirty minutes to the curtain,
the premiere must start on time!

Marc said...

Greg - thanks for the kind words on mine.

Fantastic use of the words provided to create this scene. I think it's particularly strong in the middle.