Monday June 23rd, 2014

The exercise:

Write about: strings.

Our helpers spent most of their morning picking strawberries, collecting a grand total of 46 pints. Add those to the 17 they got yesterday for a local order and dinner and it's easy to see the plants are slowing down. But not quite as much as I expected, so there might be a reasonable number available for this Saturday's market.

I helped a little with the pick, but I needed to come home for a mid-morning Skype chat with a WOOFer who is interested in joining us for the month of August. She seems like she should fit in on the farm; plus it would be very nice to know we've got help lined up this far ahead of time.

This evening was spent picking raspberries, and tomorrow we get into week three of our box program.

Max refused to nap for the second straight afternoon today. Last night he went to sleep very, very quickly, but tonight he just wanted to stay up and play and play and play. But once we finally managed to get him into the bedroom he was out like a light.

We're hoping it's just a blip on the radar, something to do with the summer solstice, and not an indication that he's giving up his afternoon naps already.


The puppets dance upon the stage, twisting and swaying and saying all the right things. Smiles don't reach eyes in this choreographed performance, but no one seems to mind. They are getting what they want and who could ask for anything more than that?

Bright lights, brighter colours, a nearly nauseating amount of motion. It's like being a passenger on a boat full of clowns in stormy weather, if you watch too closely or for too long.

Carefully scripted words spill from gaping maws, sounding earnest and believable... if you want to believe them badly enough. They are simply dying to hear what these puppets have to say, so I make sure that they get exactly that and nothing more.

I remain in the shadows though. I do not care for the spotlight. I have no interest in being recognized. No photographs, no autographs. I am most content staying out of sight so that I can concentrate fully on these pretty, delicate strings I pull.


morganna said...

I found these strings,
Pretty purple strings
Now I'm trying to eat them
Pretty purple strings
But they taste all dry (worse than my food)
Pretty purple strings
Now Mom's yelling and taking them away (what's embroidery thread?)
Goodbye, pretty purple strings
-- The Dog

Greg said...

@Morganna: that's a great poem, with the authorship really delivering a great punchline! Is it written from experience by any chance?

@Marc: getting someone lined up well in advance sounds like a good plan! I wonder if Max realises that he's just the long-term version of that plan...? :)
That's an intriguing narrator, and entirely fitting for your style of writing I think. Standing in the shadows and pulling strings... definitely! There's some lovely comparisons in there too; I enjoyed reading this :)

He named the restaurants Strings and his mother never spoke to him again. She recognised the intent: he was cutting the apron strings and branching out on his own, doing his own thing and leaving her behind. She never gave up her own restaurant though, which she'd hoped he take over one day, situated on the other side of the road.
Strings served fusion cuisine with a twist: in every dish there was some element that either looked like a string or could be likened to a string. Some were easy to spot: all of the spaghetti dishes were obvious even to someone just reading the menu. Some were less so: that the courgettes were shaved into thin strings for the main lamb dish often came as a surprise. The liquorice rope tied around the cheesecakes for dessert also surprised and thrilled the customers.
And some had to be taken on trust: the space-time continuum soup was alleged made by applied string theory to cookery, but it was hard to know what that meant. Not many people ordered the soup, and odd things were reported to happen to those who did. But his mother spread the worst of the rumours, so they weren't really to be trusted.
On the day after they'd served their 10,000th customer he stood outside his restaurant in the weak morning sun feeling proud, and looked across the road. To his surprise his mother had renamed her restaurant. He looked at the new name, and felt a sense of dread: Tontine.

Marc said...

Morganna - hah, yes, I fully agree with Greg's assessment here :)

Greg - no, I don't think Max has caught on quite yet. Let him play and enjoy himself for now...

Thanks for the kind words on mine :)

I really enjoyed yours as well, though I had to look up Tontine to fully get the ending. I'm not sure I'd try the space-time continuum soup either, but I'd be curious to see someone else give it a go!