Tuesday, April 08, 2008

The Writer

The sky has begun to lighten and Natosi’s [The Sun] reconnaissance has turned its Eastern edge into a metallic blue, still animated by twinkling stars. Somewhere a siren sounds, oppressing the morning’s tranquility. In a small rundown house, a man shudders as the intrusion resonates within his soul and brings him back to the present, away from his escape, where he is most comfortable. He removes his fingers from his computer’s keyboard, leans back in his chair and closes his eyes.

He has been up all night, attempting to form short story; he has not been very successful. Fleeting thoughts and ideas came and went throughout the night; none lasted long enough for him to capture; some were beautiful, poetic images, some frightening and painful memories. “I’m all screwed up and I’ll never be capable of writing a legible sentence again,” he thinks.

His imagination begins to wander and he allows it to take him there.

Two people are standing and whispering by the back door of a small rundown house. [“Yes, that’s it,” he whispers to himself.]

Their attempt at stealth is obvious and if anyone were watching, they would suspect that a crime is about to take place, but no one has noticed. [“Good,” he thinks.]

“Where will we go; what will we do; what will happen to our families, our children, your wife, my husband?” asks a female of about twenty five years of age. [“Hmm, maybe a little older, maybe twenty nine,” his feelings lighten and he clasps his hands together.]

Her companion, a tall male of about thirty is squatting down, rolling a small twig between his fingers, staring up into her face. He says, “You are mine; we were meant to be together and as far as I’m concerned, things will be fine wherever we go! Our families will be fine! I know that you’ll miss your kids, and I will mine, but they’ll forget about us in time.” [“Great, great,” he mutters.]

She does not respond, instead, she begins to cry softly. [“Inaudibly, quietly?” his imagination takes full control and he smiles.]

He stands up and moves to her side. He wraps his arms around her and they stand silently. [He nods his head.]

A dog begins to bark on the next block, causing her to cringe and look toward the windows of the house. [“Oh yeah, g-o-o-o-d,” he says aloud and shifts his weight in the chair.]

She whispers, “You’d better leave, he might wake up and find you here.” [“Exactly!” he shouts. Clearing his throat, he happily thinks to himself, “I wonder if other writers find their muse this way?”]

The male angrily takes his arms from around her and says, “If you don’t come with me, I’ll take Amanda!” [“I don’t know about this sentence, it’s kind of ‘iffy,’” he ponders.]

Amanda is a girl he uses as a stand-in when he cannot be with the female to whom he is presently speaking. He is a bad man, a cheater, a womanizer, a philanderer of the highest caliber and he has broken many homes and destroyed many lives in the process; he has many enemies. [“This paragraph might sound callous to the reader, maybe though, hmm,” he deliberates.]

Annoyed by his statement, she looks up at the sky, and then lets her eyes rest on each visible neighboring window, guiltily searching for evidence of discovery. [“Sounds reasonable,” he says.]

“Why can’t we stay here and just keep on doing what we’ve been doing? We haven’t been caught yet, besides, I don’t think that I can live without my kids,” she says, in a pleading tone. [“Too dramatic?” he wonders.]

He turns his back to her and stares off into the distance. [“Cold, cold, no, cool, it fits his personality,” he decides.]

No words have passed between them for some time, so she begins to walk toward the door. [“Too quiet and passionless?” he asks himself.]

He turns his head and watches her as she gently opens the door, slipping inside. [“Maybe,” he utters.]

She tip toes into a bedroom and gets into a bed, where a male lies asleep, oblivious to the world. She turns her tear stained face to the wall. Feeling ashamed and depressed, she cries softly into her pillow and drifts into a shallow, troubled sleep. [“This could be a…”]

A vehicle’s horn sounds nearby and the man is startled. His eyes open and he watches the multicolored object that seems trapped, bouncing off unseen borders within his screen. “Trapped and stuck like me,” he thinks.

He listlessly enters a password and the 3D screen saver switches to the scrambled sentences that he has struggled over all night. “I must have fallen asleep,” he says to himself.

Getting up from the chair, he stretches and yawns lazily, walking to a window, he opens a curtain that reveals a sunny day.

The sunlight awakens an unsavory room, illuminating dirty dishes on the table, the countertops, in the kitchen sink, on the coffee table and on the floor near the computer. A half full coffee cup, an overflowing ashtray, a cigarette lighter and an empty cigarette pack litter the area near the computer’s monitor. The floor looks as if it has not seen a mop or a broom in days and the room and the man smell of stale cigarette smoke. Clothes lying scattered carelessly about and a blanket hanging half way off the couch complete the picture.

He picks up the blanket, shakes it and throws it over the couch. The sun’s path into the room immediately fills with thousands of dust particles. Annoyed, he waves his hand past his face and blows in an attempt at clearing the air.

Stepping from the illumination, he searches for the coffee container, locates it lying on the floor near the stove and prepares a fresh pot.

All throughout the activity, he thinks of his present circumstances and feels depressed.

Bending over the sink, he splashes water over his face and runs his wet hands over his hair and down the back of his neck. Returning to his computer, he shuts the screen off, leans forward and uses the panel as a mirror; he only sees an outline but it is enough, as he runs a comb through his hair. When he has finished he sits down and pushes the button and the screen comes to life.

The smell of fresh brewing coffee and the sounds of an awakening day replace the stale cigarette odor and the monotonous night, as the melodious rhythm of keys clicking on the keyboard bring him back to his safe haven.

-- Calvin Tatsey © 2008