Turn on the projector, fold out the futon and build a nest of pillows, make yourself comfortable. It’s going to be a long night. BARBARELLA. First up, the cult-classic 1968 sci fi flick, AKA of those “great old movies” from … Continue reading
“Gertrude, your feet!” he whispered into her hand as he drew it to his lips. The kiss was only to conceal the quiet warning. Well, not only. She was there, so how could he not feel warmth toward her? And love?
His wife had her feet tucked under her in her chair, though not in some dainty girlish way. It was one of those simian behaviorisms he had been warned might occasionally crop up, nothing to worry about, but he didn’t want his dinner guests to notice and to start talking. She was drinking too, no wonder. He could see the ape in her sometimes when her guard was down thus.
He struggled with a feeling like revulsion, but he dare not start associating that word with his wife, not truly. To have her here with him, and laughing. Laughing, her hand in his.
Only months ago she had been comatose, a vegetable, result of a mysterious fever, and doctors told him the only chance she had was an experimental treatment, injection of some rare protein derived from lab monkeys, something too bizarre to consider at the time. His only thought when he agreed had been to revive her in whatever way science allowed, and he could not regret that decision.
Gertrude was here, at his side, as she should be. He kissed her hand again, tenderly cupping it in his like a fragile bird, but as his lips brushed her flesh, he could not shake the sudden image in his head that he was grasping a monkey’s paw. Panicking, he reopened his eyes to see Gertrude, lovely Gertrude, blond of hair and slender of neck, stars dangling at her throat. But she balanced uncannily on the balls of her feet as she crouched in her chair, drink in hand.
She looked over at him after indulging in a laugh at a story by one of the other guests at the table, her shining features dimming suddenly with concern.
“Oh but what’s wrong, my darling?” she asked him.
He merely patted her hand, intending a comforting gesture to her, but instead seeming, he feared, aloof or dismissing.
CREATIVE WRITING: Lesson 6
He was standing outside, not blocking the way physically — because clearly he was leaning against the wall and the way was open — but for all his casual-seeming stance, he was at the same time attempting to project a veritable impasse that could not be negotiated. He confronted passersby with a lazily challenging gaze, brilliant only in its ability to capitolize on the limpid and shrinking apathy of moving city life.
In other words he had all the authority and presence of a street sign.
His way of standing, way of looking, hinted at ghosts of jungle sub-society, shriveled and half-hearted alpha male tactics which in turn conjured a vague and equally confused recoil in those persons venturing too close. Unconscious queues and feints and flinches.
What or who was contained within the brick structure upon which he leaned? What or who correspondingly was contained within his thoughts and memory and intent? Because surely the mind-picture had to be as much an ignorant charicature as was his own being, the truth fuzzed and lost some time ago in youth, consumed by the tenacious ever-present static of every day.
Perhaps there was nothing within, in more ways than one.
The man was an emotional impotent acting out a part in a singular feature reeling through the space between his ears, a comedy dressed up as a drama, built of contrived endlessly derivative cliche-ism, and the sad stupid thing was that he inevitably believed that it was real. Dressed in his polyester finest, shirt unbuttoned just below his heart to expose the crucial amount of gold neck chain and tufted chest hair. Never mind he was weathered and worn, a man in his 40′s, with the age-scale tipping unfavorably towards 50 in spite of chronological fact.
He leaned against the bricks almost as if posing. He was not a good man, had never been a good man. Worse, he had never been an interesting man. And for all the posturing, a desperate attempt to aspire to the contrary, he would never be an interesting man.
And then, as if caught in the existential lie of it, obsolete sentry, he abruptly quit the exterior picture, abandoning his post, and retreated indoors, into brick.
CREATIVE WRITING: Lesson 5
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