Thursday July 28th, 2016

The exercise:

Write about: reconstruction.

This afternoon Max helped me put his crib back together, as Miles has gotten big enough to need it. So we almost lasted nine months without it being setup. At least this time when it comes down it will be done for good.

Bakery wasn't quite as crazy as usual this morning, but we were still closed before I left at 12:30. Cinnamon buns and croissants both survived the initial rush, which is a rarity, and the lineup never got excessive. It was just steady, steady, steady... oh, everything's gone.

Hoping to get up early to start picking blackberries for the long weekend's farmers market, as it's going to be another hot one tomorrow.


"Okay," I said after pausing to count to ten. "Then what happened?"

"Well, after the delivery truck started spilling them golf balls everywhere, that's when the penguins showed up."

"The penguins?" I reminded myself that these people had just been through a seriously traumatic experience. That they needed my patience and sympathy. "What penguins?"

"I guess they mighta escaped from the zoo?"

"Maybe they thought them golf balls were ice or snow or hail or something?"

"Yes," I said. "Or something."

"So them penguins were all over the place and I had to swerve pretty hard to avoid hitting them."

"Yup, couldn't go hitting penguins in front of the kids. Not right after they'd been watching Happy Feet in the backseat, you know?"

"That is indeed an excellent reason not to run over penguins." I could feel the headache coming back again. "And then...?"

"Well, what with the car jerking around like that, I got car sick."

"And then so did the kids."

"And then so did I."

There were just some days that I regretted the life choices that had resulted in my becoming a traffic collision reconstructionist.


Greg said...

Is the crib that much trouble? And you may find someone to give it to by the time Max outgrows it, so it may end up hanging around for longer than you expect :)
I hadn't heard of a traffic collision reconstructionist before, and now that I have it sounds like a fantastic job, what with all these penguins, golf-balls and vomiting families! Actually, that's not completely true... I want to be the guy who arranges for the golf-balls to be shed and the penguins to get loose :)
I was rather impressed that although you've got three people talking it's still very easy to identify who is which in the conversations even without names attached.

There were no streetlights here; in the aftermath of the war reconstruction of the cities was progressing, but here on the outskirts it was slower than elsewhere. Jack Leyland picked his way carefully down the street; there were still gaps on either side where houses had stood and been bombed out, and the pavement was cracked and damaged, the kind of situation that resulted in a twisted ankle. He wished the moon was out, but it was hiding behind clouds again, and the darkness around him was close to absolute.
He paused, resting his hip against a brick wall. It felt cold, was probably slightly damp, but that wasn't as important as his reason for being here. He tried to relax his eyes, instead of squinting into the darkness trying to see things before he walked into them, and turned his head from side to side. Nothing, no lightening of the darkness. Maybe this was a wild-goose chase after all.
He stood upright again and let his fingers trail along the top of the wall for support, and carried on down the street.
Just as the wall disappeared, turning a corner to demark someone's garden, he saw light, a tiny orange bar in the gloom of the night. He stopped, turning his head away to look at it out of the corner of his eyes. Hard to tell with the contrast, but it looked like it might be coming from the edge of a door not set tight enough in its frame. He carried on walking, even more slowly now, checking the ground in front of him, and listening intently for people coming up behind him.
The door was, unhappily, number 47; his fingers traced over the metal numerals screwed to the wood. This close to the door he could hear the dull thud of a drum inside, and voices chanting together, some kind of hymn or maybe dirge. There was a hint of woodsmoke in the air, but it was tinged, at intervals, with something else that put him in mind of three weeks in Vienna in the middle of the war. The memory was elusive but he constantly got a picture of the anteroom for the War Cabinet... it was frustrating.
The door was also unlocked, which he'd been expecting but was still a little disappointing. He opened it silently, slowly, ready to freeze if it started to creak, onto a short, musty hallway that was as suburban as you please. A candle, set in a brass holder on the hall-table, burned steadily and looked to have been there for at least a half-hour. Its light revealed a grandfather clock, some post on the table and some on the floor, with what looked like several different footprints on it, and a flight of stairs going up.
Unsuprisingly, the drum beat and the voices seemed to be coming from beneath him: he would have to look for a cellar.

Marc said...

Greg - the crib is just a two person job, at least, so there's no way I can do it alone. It's mostly just awkward... plus I couldn't remember where I'd put some of the screws, so that didn't help much.

This is fascinating and I hope you continue it, if you haven't already. I want to know more!