. . . (ellipsis)

4 Dec

after that i went home. i found a yellow bike discarded at the intersection of Clifton Blvd. and Nicholson. someone had thrown it out of a truck or… it was a twelve speed. it had handlebars that looked like a ram’s horns. the grip tape on the left side had started to unravel. (there is a photo somewhere of me standing proudly next to this bike…i am wearing a used red suede jacket from salvation army, mirrored sunglasses, and a black pittsburgh pirates hat that i found on a playground) i hoisted it up on my shoulder and took the service stairs up to our apartment. i ate breaded fish cold from the refrigerator. and got into the opened Riesling on the side of the door. they wouldn’t be back until after seven. later, i tried fixing the chain on the bike but got my fingers cut up and full of black grease. grease mixed with blood. i hit the drywall of the living room with my foot and put a hole in it. the dirty cut and Mikey Gaydos and the rest of the fuck-ups were all in that. then i went back out so i could delay the beating from my da.

what i liked was hearing him come in at the end of his shift, two or three in the morning. he got tipped all in ones and he’d bring in thirty or forty dollars. sometimes fifty. and they’d sit propped up in bed, the two of them on bouncy pillows, and count the bills. i could hear the paper rub together and i’d fall asleep to that. always.

the first time he ever missed i was ten and a half. he caught me eavesdropping at the door. he swiped hard with his long arm but i was too fast for him. and i was too big too. it was the last time he ever swung at me.

those days i slept on the pull-out. in the mornings i had a perfect view of lake erie out the living room sliding doors. it was brilliant in those days.

thirty-one. thirty-two. thirty-three. and i’d slowly fade out listening to that.

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6 Responses to “. . . (ellipsis)”

  1. Geoff 06/12/2008 at 8:17 PM #

    Hello Alex,

    I’ve come back to this continuation at least five visits now (check me on your stats counter), and this time, it’s all in the details — or rather one detail. The yellow bike. It’s the color. The color yellow shines all over the piece. It stands out — the way a detail in fiction should. I’m not saying it’s symbolic (as in lack of courage), but rather, it’s the perfect color to choose for the bike. Not red. Not silver or black. Yellow.

    Keep going, please.

  2. (S)wine 07/12/2008 at 8:18 AM #

    Actually, the color of the bike is quite purposeful, and for the reasons that you mention Geoff. I sort of saw this yellow bike as you see the Red Balloon in the film. Everything is devoid of color, except for the object. In this case it’s yellow, the color of cowardice.

  3. Geoff 07/12/2008 at 1:23 PM #

    And after cowardice, comes some kind of redemption, or whatever one wants to call it. I’ll be most interested to follow this story, as far as you’re willing to share it. The yellow definitely worked its magic.

  4. Slyboots 08/12/2008 at 11:17 AM #

    Interesting. I always think of yellow and automatically think of yellow sportscars, and the kind of person who drives them. For the record, I am not overly fond of yellow sportscars. Not gonna comment on the people who drive them.

    So in this instance I took yellow in stride, and it really didn’t trigger a moment of “hey that sounds symbolic.” And actually, I prefer it that way- I am also not fond of writing that bludgeons you with symbolism. Or maybe I’m just obtuse as hell. Wha ever. What I do always enjoy about these is that I can never tell if they are autobiographical or just fiction. That kind of grey area really marks skill in that it’s damned real.

  5. (S)wine 08/12/2008 at 11:20 AM #

    Sly, it doesn’t matter how I see; it only matters how YOU see. i know it sounds like bullshit, but it isn’t. In this case, color means something to me, but is not integral to anything. it’s a color. a detail. i try to hide stuff in there that means something to me, but doesn’t make the piece a riddle or symbolic of anything. i, too, am not fond of symbolism if overused.

  6. momentofchoice 09/12/2008 at 4:48 PM #

    i like orange.

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