The eggplant in layers, lightly salted, then forgotten when the news came. She picked up a brass figurine – a cat, maybe, or was it a small bear – and polished it steadily, not meeting anyone’s eyes. While outside it began to rain, not a downpour, after which, all night, you could hear the pocking of fat drops hitting in the driveway.
Stylistic tics and gestures over the course of a piece can cause numbness, or become static. Such as the over-reliance on light as a way of avoiding what thought. He asked, almost as if it had only just occurred to him, Do you know what might be at risk here?
In the living room, those who couldn’t sleep sat up and stared at the walls. Speech was arid – had always been, actually – though it was first collectively felt then, at that place. Then one remembered hunger – or was recalled by hunger, maybe that’s a better way to say it – and so went into the kitchen for crackers, a slice of cheese, anything really.
A boiled spinach prose. A habit of not focusing or taking certain parts of the gift for granted, as if a fine sentence will carry the paragraph, the paragraph the page, the page the whole story, etc. A fear of narrative – the eruption over time of not only what is felt but known, or suspected – attempting to write itself as the event.
The sound of traffic which is always coming or going. That, too, recalled him, as the pond had earlier, with its pumpkin seeds and perch coming in close to feed. There were moments that he was able to articulate certain positions or ideals – often formed as questions that nobody could answer, only sketch replies to – the result of which was his perennial sense of being in possession of an evolving blueprint which necessarily disallowed any building, any risk of permanence.
On and on it went and death had no intention of bringing it to an end. That was narrative, as well – what was actually happening, regardless of how you brought it into the text, this or any other. By dawn they were making plans and asking what he would have wanted and somebody – who, though – thought to bake muffins, and there was also the smell – as opposed to the taste, its effect – of coffee.
Then this writing, take it – you decide which word to italicize. He felt it as threads that would bind him, and wanted to swing out on them like vines, or else use them as lariats. He was a gambler who put it all in the line, or so he wrote, boyishly.
Contentedly, as if arriving home tired to a full meal, a warm bed. Potatoes could be as satisfying as stones – it was all how you read them.