Thursday March 27th, 2014

The exercise:

Write about something that is: sloppy.

Was back working at the gym this evening. I'm grateful it was a quiet night, as I would have been much happier resting at home. At least it's done now and I can focus on getting stuff done on the farm and around the house until I work again on Monday.

I should get this written before I fall asleep.



His shirt was white, once. In a previous life. I imagine it sitting happily on a display table in some trendy shop, all of its multi-coloured friends nearby.

I see those friends disappearing, by ones and twos. How sad that must have been. Then one day it was its turn and I picture its joy and eagerness to see its new home, to make new friends.

If only it had any idea what was in store for it.

Those glorious, crisp, clean days are long gone now. That pure, youthful visage a distant memory. Now it is decorated with spaghetti stains, blueberry handprints, and other, less identifiable markings.

It must be so embarrassed when it is worn outside. How awful it must feel when it encounters its old shelf mates on the street, still in pristine condition. Does it question its fate? Wonder what it did to deserve such a sloppy owner?

His birthday is coming 'round again and I want to buy him a new white shirt to replace this one. But that seems cruel, somehow. Both to the poor, abused shirt he owns now, and to the new one I would be condemning to the same fate.


Greg said...

Ah, I missed getting to this one yesterday, but it was a fairly busy day all things considered. Still, it sounds like your work wasn't too bad, and it's never fun to be back at work the day after you return from a holiday. It's slightly worse the day after you return from a business trip, but no-one wants to believe you when you tell them that :)
Hmm, I quite the idea of a history of a shirt like that, and for all your shirt is worried about looking sloppy it sounds lived in and loved to me, which is probably a better end to life that protected and barely lived at all.

"We're looking for a Sergeant Joe," said the man with the bad teeth. He was wearing a dirty raincoat even though it was 35 degrees outside and even the flowers were sweating, and he was chewing a toothpick. Little brown splinters flecked his lips; little golden glints flecked his eyes.
The girl behind the counter shrugged. She was barefoot and her hair looked – and smelled – unwashed. There were smuts on her face and something green was crusted below a nostril. Her smock looked like it had had a better life as a potato sack.
"He's about six foot," persisted the man. "So, taller than you. Dark hair, nice smile. Would have been friendly, but not so much so that you'd get suspicious. He probably bought stuff, expensive stuff, using only cash."
The girl's eyes seemed to focus suddenly. "Ahh, the li'l soldya," she said. Her voice was deep and seemed to belong to a much larger woman. "Yahh, he was heah. He was nice. Read mahh pahhm."
"I bet it was all jewels and fur-coats," said the man. "Did he say where he was going?"
"He say-ed," said the woman after another pause, "that mahh babay would be birth-ed heahh-lthy, not like his babay-dadda."
The man paused now, his eyes narrowing and evaluating the woman carefully.
"You're pregnant?"
"Ayup," she said.
"Hot damn," said the man, almost under his breath. "He's sharp. I'd not have guessed."
"Whaddya want with the li'l soldya then?"
"He's not soldier," said the man finally producing a warrant card and holding it out. "He takes on identities like you or I put on our shirts in the morning. But I'm on his trail, and I know he's getting sloppy. I'm starting to be able to track him."

Marc said...

Greg - I do quite like your perspective on the whole shirt issue. I honestly hadn't thought of that while writing mine.

Great scene. You have me very intrigued with this li'l soldya...