Few Hairs and The Torteless

So that’s his game!

The old man sat there with a brick for a phone pressed to his hairy ear. He squinted, strained to hear whoever he talked with, mouthed spittle-infused words.

Oh, he was good. Really good. But it was an obvious ruse.

He turned and gave me that glassy-eyed look only the elderly could, his comb-over blowing in the speeding traffic’s wake.

He knew I was on to him.

Across the road, the last chocolate torte glistened in the bakery window like an Olympic medal.

He wanted it, but I wanted more.

Red: A wiggle and a shake.

Red and amber: I checked my trainers laced. Come to poppa.

Green: He was off.

Goddamn! He was already halfway across the road!

I swerved through the milling pedestrians like a serpent through grass. I’d show the old buzzard!

Bursting onto the pavement, I dodged an old woman with a mop for a dog and leapt through the open bakery door, chest thrust forward. Winner!

With no time to gloat, I got straight down to business. “Onechocolatetorteplease.”

“Pardon?”

“One chocolate torte, please.” This time slower.

“Sorry,” said the girl behind the counter, “we’ve just sold the last one.”

“The one in the window?”

“That’s the one.” She beamed an inoffensive smile.

I panicked, after all, she was pretty. “But I was here first,” I whimpered.

The girl shook her head and pointed over my shoulder, her bangs smacking a drum ‘n’ bass rhythm against her rosy cheeks.

I turned so slowly, my hips ground.

He sat there in his buggy smug as you like, his eyes watering and his few stray hairs a mess. His dentures were missing as though he’d rushed to beat me and hadn’t had time to put them in, his hitched-up slacks revealing the argyle socks beneath — beige, of course. But worst of all, worse than anything, he had something to say; his lips frothed with the effort.

“You’re fast,” he said. “Really fast, son.”

I glowered.

“Whilst I’m old and slow.”

I gave him one of my best sneers.

“But I have this.”

He held his black brick aloft, or as aloft as his ancient limbs could manage. This, he waggled.

“Same tomorrow?” asked the girl behind the counter.

The old man cupped his ear.

“Same tomorrow?” she bellowed.

He waggled his archaic phone one last time; it might as well have been a cup and string.

“I’ll ring ahead,” he replied, then reversed over my foot and sped off.

You’ve won this round, old man, but I’m off to buy a new charger.

Truth was, I’d rather have had the torte.

Through Eternity’s Curtains (Part 5)


It was warm and safe and everything life was meant to be. I had no reason to leave, no desire to leave, no hopes or expectations of the world beyond. And yet, I did. They dragged me from her like a barnacle from a ship’s hull. I seemed to remember that from somewhere? A ship. My ship. Our ship.
I exploded out of the darkness into a world of light and sound and pain and heartbreak. But also love. All I’d been and all I would be, all the memories, sensations, truths of life departed in those split seconds of rebirth. And for a heartbeat, I was disconsolate. But not for long, as someone lifted me to the most beautiful creature I’d seen in all eternity, her brown eyes overflowing with love. Her eyes like my eyes, or ours, or both?

Thank you
I hope you enjoyed passing through eternity’s curtains.

Richard

Incremental

It is a slow, gradual process
 The fading of one moment to another,
 The melding of present and past
 To create the now.
 Life teaches us to trust our judgments,
 Yet those judgements change with the passage of experience,
 The movement of time and self.
 In increments, we lose what we were
 Replaced by what we always should have been;
 Or said;
 Or thought;
 Or dreamt.
 I am no longer the me that I was;
 I am the me that I am.
 The increments have almost ceased.
 Almost.
 
 
 

Fashioned From Experience.

There is no voice beyond the silence,

No thief of time, nor memory

That shall deprive you of essence and soul.

For those feelings,

Those emotions, snippets of self,

Are stored safely away in a casket 

Called your beating heart.

There they synchronise with all that you are

And all you have been 

To become more than the sum parts

And form a greater whole. 

That newly moulded person is unmistakably you.

Fashioned from experience 

And shaped into human form

It can never be taken from you, never separated.

You are unique, you are a child of possibility. 

Do not abuse it.

Do not waste it.