The Old Neighborhood

24 Sep

Look. Look right now. You see it?
What is it now?
A crab…with five claws.
And now?
A goat.
Now it’s smudged.

The sound of the road from in between two pillows. What’s that like? Trees waving. Everything can be compressed in between the thumb and the forefinger. It’s easy. You just have to do it.

Tomorrow you should try to sleep in.
Until the sun comes up, at least.
…I’ll be tired.
What is it now?
Now it’s nothing.
How can it be nothing?
It is. It’s just cloudy with white and nothing shows up.
What do we do now?
I don’t know.
Sing something?
No. We’re going too fast.

The words are sucked out through the narrow opening of the window. Like through a funnel.

Maybe tomorrow we can go through the old neighborhood.
If it’s still there.
It’s probably not, but we could still go.
Do you think they’ve kept the trees?
I don’t know. They hardly ever do that anymore.
I would like to see my tree, if they’ve kept it.
I don’t know. If it’s there…
Maybe they erased it all.
They probably did.
Use the pillows to sleep.


(Author’s Notes)


8 Responses to “The Old Neighborhood”

  1. Cliff Burns 24/09/2008 at 11:26 AM #

    Another excellent example of your ability to tell short-shorts where a lot has gone on beforehand, a lot will happen afterward and it’s up to the reader to fill in the rest. I like the courage of that and the faith it puts in your Readers…

  2. (S)wine 24/09/2008 at 7:09 PM #

    Hi Cliff, nice to see you come around again. Thanks for the kind words. Hope you had a good time off.

  3. Dan Mihaliak 24/09/2008 at 11:16 PM #

    Nice! Give us more!

  4. Geoff 25/09/2008 at 1:48 AM #


    I wonder what the characters would sing?

    I really like that line — there’s something about it that takes the reader away from the moment (for “just a moment,” of course), and then brings us right back in … when there is no singing.

    To the words!

  5. (S)wine 25/09/2008 at 6:28 AM #

    Dan, I try but sometimes the words don’t come; they need to be coaxed out with some good wine. Geoff, I”m happy that worked the way I intended it to. And that you caught it.

  6. ctiefel 25/09/2008 at 1:26 PM #

    Nice. I love the charater’s possession of a tree. & the erasure of said tree.

  7. (S)wine 26/09/2008 at 8:30 AM #

    Ct, Thank you.

  8. Erin O'Brien 01/10/2008 at 10:35 AM #

    Now I just want to lay in the grass and gaze up at the clouds. Alas, it’s raining.

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