August 2019 · Page 2

  1. Repetition


    Three chairs, one apart, all beneath

    It is bizarre, this sensation, fascinating in its grotesquerie. It floods inevitably, any mood shall be found suddenly awash, it having drenched all in its wrathful wake.

    At first an attempt is made, with humility, a peek through timidity. Gingerly it is conveyed, as if upon a novice valet’s tray. The heart’s beat jolts, skips, its rhythm lost in it.

    Why this again? Why must we try? What is innate drags itself from the dampened life unlived, it desperately pushes past all gates and barricade, breathless, only to be battered back.

    The feeling looms large, itself towering, dark. An abuse of epithets rains down from it as ponds form from evidence of a mistaken motivation. One moment with mechanism, the next unwound entirely, until finally—in a flourish—all is redacted, retracted, and ultimately destroyed.

    Nary a lesson learned, never does it stick. The fated result pounding like some sickly reverberation. Surely it is only for the hope of regard, descry, the awful tug of an ever-elusive affinity? Though it is most futile, assuredly, and so with an unheard whisper of an apology: we retreat embarrassingly, necessarily, with anguish—ashamed.

    Tomorrow we shall find it stranger, that sensation, startled by its vehemence. It must flood, naturally. Though today, for now, having already met its malice: we move slowly, sheepishly, ourselves delicately forsaken—forborne.

  2. Boredom Differential


    Branches break, doors provoke

    She rested and she read, herself having chosen to neglect the path entirely for the day. There had been things to do, things to have done, and these things did not allow her to travel freely within the confines of her periphery. Had she ignored this demand from Circumstance, she surely would have found herself in a shrubbery or a hedge, her legs protruding ridiculously from within foliage, her belongings strewn, her mood plummeting more and more with each passing moment.

    Having safely avoided misfortune by way of diligence, she was sitting contentedly upon a bench at the place which she adored, absorbing something absorbing, when a fairly large fly alighted on her arm. “Ah, you have come to pay me a visit,” she said to the fly, “it’s nice of you to have stopped by. Is it possible that you might consider me a worthwhile friend?”

    She looked at the darkly-greenish fly as it inspected her skin, skittering here and there, considering her rather considerably. “Of course, you are not considering me as a friend at all, are you?” she said. “You are simply determining whether or not I am dead, thus worthy of your eggs.”

    Disappointed by being unworthy in an ever-increasing multitude of ways, she returned her attention to her book, but was distracted by a faded memory of something amusing, something she had once found in a Victorian periodical, something which had ended up only causing her misery—as there had been no one with whom it might have been shared at the time of its discovery, as there is no one now—and so it had been shoved and shelved with pique. She struggled to recall the witticism, to bring it forth from hiding, and after an embarrassing amount of time: it was uncovered from within a faraway recess of her maleficent mind:

    He had been playing progressive euchre and listening to the sentimental ballads of the day as performed by young women who didn’t know whether they could sing or not, but were willing to try. That night a mosquito bit him.

    “Excuse me,” said the insect, “but I have to live.”

    “Go ahead,” said the blasé youth; “it’s a positive relief to be bored in a different way.”

    Washington Evening Star, Oct. 1896