Sunday January 19th, 2014

The exercise:

I've been doing the Random CD prompt for five and a half years, yet still I'm surprised when I go to use it and realize that it has been months since the most recent iteration.

Anyway, that's my way of saying that's what we're up to today. For those of you who are new to the exercise, simply pick a song as randomly as you like and use its first line as your own. Poetry and prose both welcome, and credit for the opening line goes where it always does: where it's due. Feel free to click on the prompt label at the bottom of the post to see how previous attempts went.

Had a pretty enjoyable day off with my family. Kat made pancakes for us this morning before we went for coffee and tea in town. This afternoon I'm pretty sure I fell asleep on the couch while Max was napping, though it couldn't have been for very long. Then I took him for a walk in the orchard so that Kat could have some peace while she did some cooking and baking.

It was a bit of a trial getting him down to sleep for the night, otherwise there's very little room for complaint.


Breathe Easy by Rachel Sermanni

If I could take this wave to sea, leave this crowded beach, this crowded planet to melt into the horizon behind me... would I? Would I make the water my home, forsaking the comforts of my apartment, family, friends? Would I be dragged under by the weight of my regrets, fighting and fighting until my feet finally touched bottom?

These are difficult questions. My answers would vary by time of day, by weather, by my sobriety. They would be influenced by deadlines at work, by ultimatums from those who care more about my well-being than I ever have.

The sea would welcome me, I think. I wouldn't be much of a nuisance; I can't imagine making any demands of it. Eventually, sooner or later, I would feed some of its residents and that would be it. Likely sooner than later, but who knows?

Perhaps we would be such companionable roommates that the sea would make sure my needs were met. In return, I would... what? Lead a crusade to stop my species from polluting our waters straight to hell? That's possible, I suppose.

Stranger things have happened.

I do know one answer for certain, however. It does not change at any hour, in any of my moods. Would I watch this place get swallowed by a vast, toothless horizon? No, of course not.

For if I go, I would not look back.


Greg said...

That sounds like a much more civilised day that some of your previous ones. I rather like the sound of the walk in the orchard as well, that sounds like a very nice way to spend the afternoon.
You have some lovely imagery in your story today; I really like the "vast, toothless horizon" and the entire third paragraph. The sentiment behind it is sweet, perhaps a little too much so for my taste, but I like the estrangement implied in the first and last paragraphs very much. All in all, a great job!
I did toy briefly with the idea of "The sea doesn't want me today" by Tom Waits after reading the third paragraph, but actually I've had the lyrics from Berlin rattling around in my head all week, so that's where we're going.

Berlin by Marillion
The mascara'd blonde from the Berliner bar rises at twilight, gets dressed in a daze. Her dress is creased, and in the dull yellow light from the 40-watt bulb it looks drab and dusty. The sequins rustle as she moves, hunting for the shoes that cripple her feet and give her an extra six inches of height. She towers over the shorter German officers, but they like that. So they tell her.
There's a grunt from the bed behind her, but she doesn't turn. She doesn't even remember who she brought back with her; nothing about the sex is memorable or even desirable. She lifts a paper bag blazoned with logo of a market -- an officer's market, carrying goods that are officially unavailable at any price -- and finds a pair of trousers underneath them. She rifles through the pockets, turning out some keys, some chewing gum, a cardboard pass book until she finds the wallet, and then considers the money inside it. She wants to take it all, but was she worth it? She settles for half. Her shoes are tucked under the bed, maybe she wasn't as drunk last night as she would have hoped she was.
She applies lipstick and blusher in seconds, the movements so familiar that she can do them after downing shots with the officers till three in the morning, runs a hand through her hair, and leaves her room. She ignores the man in the bed; he'll make his own way out and there's nothing worth taking for him to steal. She can hear the noise of the bar as she descends, smell the smoke of the cigars (officially unavailable) and the rawness of alcohol on the air. She walks out and the barman -- Tom? Tim? somesuch -- hands her a glass of wine fortified with an early vodka and listens the to crowd still their noise and start clapping.
Greta had arrived.

Marc said...

Greg - thank you for the kind words on mine :)

I'm sure the tie in with Waits would have been great, but I enjoyed this standalone piece a whole lot. It's a very vivid scene, brought to life with wonderful details. Very easy for me to imagine it, and leaves me wanting to know what comes next.