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Very short stories to read at the bus stop.

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At first I thought it was me that was gone. So strange - from familiar
smells and minor irritations to this, this, black tear in the fabric.
I was so positive it was me that for a time I just sat around waiting
for you to sort everything. Your things made me so angry; leaving the
toothpaste lid off and that greasy glass of water by the bed; for days
it sat there, you didn't do a thing.

I got angry because I hadn't got to see you get upset. I sat around
unsure what to do, waiting for you react. How can it be you that's
dead when all this is happening to me.

It did hit me though, such a queasy de ja vu and

"Oh God, Oh No, Not

And they never said that thing about how I probably wouldn't have felt
a thing.

I did die, I feel like I died. I am sure I died.

And so we ate egg sandwiches all floppy and sad. The appropriate thing
to be is for everyone to be sad, But then the supposed closure after
the ceremony, a slammed door ? that's it, it's over, it's ok, back to
normality; slightly tipsy conversations about loft conversions in a
venue suitable for weddings, bah mitvahs' funerals. But not me, because
it is over now, it was over with one formal sounding knock at the door
and the stairs were falling away underneath my feet.

And now I don't have anything to talk to. It's ok if you've got a
grave, a place for casual conversion, I could gently scold you whilst
picking the moss... off your workclothes. I could push my fingers into
the gold lettering, exploring the surface of the new you. I could lean
against you and tell you about my day, joke that you never really
responded much anyway.

But we scattered you. You're supposed to be everywhere now, but you
can't talk to 'everywhere' on a park bench, or in the supermarket,
it's too conspicuous, people would think you're mad. You can't bicker
with yourself over too much time squeezing the vegetables. I can't
call your old number, can't delete it either. So many more
conversations to have and nowhere to have them.

The stars are dead aren't they? Capture them on celluloid but they're
still gone. I form my hand into an 'ok' sign and, holding it up I look
through the telescope onto our little island, peeping through the
aperture onto glossy moments together. But the scenes just repeat,
become worn. Slowly fade. You are the star, the fleck in the marble,
on a shelf too high, a world too far away. All I can do is remember you.

Posted by beth

28th May 2012, 16:42  


Viv says:

where did that come from?

makes me sad

28th May 2012, 19:19

beth says:

Oh I wrote it a while ago but I remembered it because I'm reading a book called "death, memory and material culture" and this particular chapter talks about grave stones and ritualized objects of mourning and how they open up communication between here and then and it reminded me of this story I wrote.

28th May 2012, 19:34

Helen says:

Reminds me of Her Fearful Symmetry, except it's the other way around.

28th May 2012, 20:28

beth says:

Not read that yet! too many text books.. but it would make sense because A.N thinks about this stuff a lot I suppose. When I wrote it I wanted to do it as a short graphic strip where you can't tell who is talking until the last part / maybe they morph into each other etc. Another chapter in that book i mentioned earlier talked about how when we lose people we become responsible for them and their memory, become kind of soul bearers. "memories of the dead are as much a balwark against the terror of the forgettable self as an inescapable aftermath of lives which have come to an end"

28th May 2012, 20:40

Helen says:

Think that would work really well. You should definitely read Fearless Symmetry (not quite TTW, but still a good read and lots of death and nostalgia).

28th May 2012, 21:12

Dhamaka says:

far too close for comfort - lovely

19th Jun 2012, 19:30

Euphro says:

That is so beautiful and sad.

23rd Jun 2012, 16:19

Viv says:

Yes Beth the graphic strip should not be forgotten x

23rd Jun 2012, 17:09

bethmadethis says:

Ah thank you, and thank you for the highlight. Yep will keep thinking about illustrating it.

24th Jun 2012, 00:13

Viv says:

Now illustrated and prize winning!!

28th Oct 2014, 18:30