Monday April 7th, 2014

The exercise:

Write around the theme of: on the outside looking in.

Because, for the first time in six years, that's exactly where the Canucks will be during the playoffs this year. Certainly not a bad run, but it's been surprising to see how terrible they have been this season.

On the bright side, I won't have the chance to be disappointed by another playoff series defeat.

Also on the bright side: Max turned 17 months old today. That's nearly a year and a half. I'm having trouble accepting that.


My view is obscured by rain-streaked windows. Those are not my tears. They came from the black clouds above, those pathetic emotional weaklings. My eyes are dry, even if my clothes are not.

Inside there is a dinner party. Bare skin, gaudy bracelets and necklaces, expensive suits. Bottomless drinks and ever replenishing platters of fancy food. Music too, probably something with strings and pianos to ensure the mood is just right.

I can't hear it over the raindrops hammering against the pavement around me, but I'm sure it's just lovely.

They have been networking and blathering breathlessly for hours. I would not have accurately guessed how much hot air a person could store within their body. Perhaps they are stuck in a loop, regurgitating each other's bulls-

Oh, jackets are being retrieved. Farewells are being said, oh so sincerely, don't you know darling? A taxi or two are being sent for, how unfortunately sensible. But even those thoughtful souls have to come outside to reach their yellow and black chariots. There is no escaping that.

Each and every one of them is going to get a taste of what life is like on the outside, and I plan on ensuring that they drink deeply.


Greg said...

Well, I guess the best way to appreciate six years of making the playoffs is one year where they get missed. Which is cold comfort at the time, but it is true that you can't really appreciate something until it's not there.
And yeah, kids and dogs do grow up and stop being little at some point. Next time you blink Max'll grown up enough to have left home :-P
Great little piece, with some beautiful stylistic touches (the italics are just right and really make that paragraph stand out), as is the way that paragraph cuts off the preceding one at exactly the right point. It's really easy to feel yourself there on the outside with your narrator, and really easy to want to join in with his vengeance :)

On the outside
"Scalpel." The surgeon's voice is firm, but higher pitched than I was hoping for. I was hoping for deeply masculine, the kind of surgeon who shoots pigs at lunchtime and butchers them between surgeries; who smokes cigars in mildewed bars wearing Tom Selleck shirts and ogling over-endowed women in semi-transparent clothing.... I'm getting distracted. That's me on the operating table down there.
Well yes, I suppose you're surprised now that I'm also here. It's the latest technology; my body is down there being operated on, but my mind is up here in this loaner-body watching what's going on. This way I'm a witness to my own surgery, I get to sit on the outside watching what's going on on the inside, and you can bet I'll be suing if I don't like what I see.
This body used to be a smoker, I can taste it. Yeuch.
The surgeon passes the scalpel back. "Nurse, can you sharpen this?" The nurse passes him a different one and leaves with the old one. I don't mind mentioning that I'm sweating now. Well, this body is sweating, mine is down there looking much calmer.
"Nurse, what am I remov- Nurse? Nurse!"
OK, I'll admit I'm scared now. It sounds like the surgeon doesn't know what he's doing, and the nurse is off sharpening a scalpel. Oh well, I guess this'll just take a little long- wait, what's he doing? What's he cutting? Stop!
"Nurse, please note that the patient appears clammy and unwell," says the surgeon, still cutting. "And I think this scalpel is rather blunt as well."

morganna said...

I thought I'd take a cheerful tack instead. :)
A crisp spring morning
Tulip leaves promise flowers soon
I peek in the windows of the house
The children are excited
Running about, putting on pretty pastel clothes, gathering baskets
I better hurry -- I lay my long ears back,
Drop one last egg amongst the tulip leaves
And hop away to the next house.

David said...

and here's an American's hockey themed tale....

He sat on the bench. Waiting for ice time. His pads stuck to him. Reeked. Had not been washed since the beginning of the season. His dad sat behind the glass, third row. His mom no longer came to the games. Wanted him to quit. Too violent. Did not want her sweet little baby hurt. He wanted out there. He seethed. Put me in coach.

Second period. Still no call.

Third period. Nothing.



“McTavish, you’re in.”

He jumped over the boards. Skated to center ice. Face off. His face off. He would not be beat. Sticks slapping each other. Position. Ref held the puck. Do not kick me out this time. It is my face off. Puck drops. He smirks and…

lifts his stick…

cross check…

….to the face.


Broken nose.

Hopes he knocked the kid’s teeth out.

Gloves drop.

Hit and be hitten.


Marc said...

Greg - I can believe it. Time is just flying past me these days.

Heh, I love the description of the patient's ideal surgeon :D

And the progression of the actual surgeon's performance is suitably... grim :)

Morganna - thanks for brightening things up for us - yours brought a big smile to my face :)

David - some great progression from you here as well. Really enjoyed how the short little sentences towards the end conveyed so much.