Despair

  In despair…despair…dispair…despear…deaspear…dispare…disappear…disappare…disappear…dead-spear…die-sphere…dead sphere.

 

I lay there with sparkling glass all about me.  The sun could blind a living eye with this glaring prism of light that is alive itself.  Concrete is warm as leather-soled shoes stop on the sidewalk across the street.  Cigarette butts, gum wrappers, and spent leaves lay around me.  A paper cup with orange and yellow flowers sealed beneath cracking wax is blown against the curb under his paused foot.  The wing-tip is untied and has a hole in the great toe.  A white sock peeks out, surveying the air.  A lost pebble under the ball of his foot nears him to craziness.  No briefcase to put down before he sits to the curb.  No hat to tamp against gravity before he leans over to remove the stone.  My eyes see him but my brain just lets him be.  The metal taste in my mouth is like a penny hidden under the tongue.  I can’t spit it out.  He looks at me like he’s done something wrong.  Hair flutters in his eye, then mine.  And mine.  Sand from the concrete presses into my cheek as he examines his sock.  His mother doesn’t know where he is.  Mine thinks I’m at work.  Of course, she’s thought the same thing for years, or weeks on end; at day’s end.  Days end.  For that’s where I was.  When I was.  When I was there, the world spun as it does now.  It still spins.  The world spins still; it spins not moving, still.  If you can know something like that, I guess that’s what it was doing, when I was, and doing.  A feather, still.  His old tweed jacket has holes in its holes.  Cigarette burns in the arms with the lining appearing without.  My ears still ring; the blood yet flows through the tiny capillaries near the surface of my skin; it is still warm.  It tingles when a car drives by.  A truck makes it louder.  And, he sits, not knowing what to do.  The wheels on the chair spun for only a few seconds.  They were startled, too.  And the glass, it was whole and unnoticed when it was clean.  Now it’s lost its pane and its absence draws a crowd.  It is scared, fallen to pieces, broken near into sand.  Lost.  He sees the people looking down to the street.  He sees the clouds crawl past the horizon.  The building leans toward him so he rises and looks about.  Not away.  She thinks I’m at work.  He saw me fall silently to the street.  That pain is gone.  That pain has severed the feelings that had been severed so long ago.  Happiness fled itself.  And drawn away.  It screamed as I walked past, “Come here!”  Don’t leave.  Go away.  The grit in the street crunched beneath his foot as the siren’s car approached.  It left whole for another place, its tail following behind.  The tiny hairs picking up the static dust.  The lint and fiber of nonsense.  Nonsence.  Nonsents.  Non-scents.  Non-cents, he went bankrupt.  Fell out of life.  I fell to the street.  He just fell out of life.  And went away.  They are lost.  Do you look around?  Does it sparkle in other places too? The clouds are lowering a story at a time.  Birds flew past the ledges without second thinking.  They dropped their things in flight and landed in other places.  We’re not the same.  The chair flew out and took me with it.  Anger seized, seized, seized, seased, ceased, teased, teized, seized me.  In a rage the clouds swept me up.  They tossed me higher and crashed me harder than clouds should.  So friendly when viewed from the park grass.  They threaten nobody there.  So soft, like cotton candy – over-used simile.  In the end.  His split finger-nails had been chewed down to the quick.  Dirty fingers housed the nails and brushed the hair out of my face.  The flattened side of my head didn’t feel flat; it didn’t ache either.  I saw ants on the sidewalk, undisturbed they were.  Undisturbed they were before I saw them, too.  I had hidden in the bathroom, sat there so long that my legs had nightmares.  The fan overhead drowned-out the speakers on the wall.  The walls heard the speakers, but they didn’t listen.  They kept on standing there, fastened, undisturbed, too.  As dust falls, it sees its friends lying about, keeping a place for anybody else who might happen to drop in.  They collect, one by one.  Slowly there is a film of their bodies, covering whatever they touch.  Are they happy?  Water washes them away.  They’re weak.  The chair just took me like I was weak too.  I only meant to hurl it at the window; then it grabbed my tight, angry fingers.  White knuckles tensed the blood away.  The weight just took me like I was weak, too.  I smell vinegar from the mustard on his fingers.  There is some yellow, too.  The breeze replaces my hair.  The breeze misplaces my hair.  Our moms ought to get together.  His doesn’t know where he is, mine thinks I’m at work.  I succeeded today.  Now I’ll nev

12 responses

  1. very Faulknerish. “I had hidden in the bathroom, sat there so long that my legs had nightmares.” Awesome imagery.

    September 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm

    • seekraz

      “Very Faulknerish,” I like that, Dave…and thank you for the “Awesome imagery.” I try to make it ‘real.’ 🙂

      September 28, 2009 at 6:54 pm

  2. Nathan

    Wow, I’m not entirely sure what was going on in the story, but that was incredible writing. I really dig the metaphors throughout. I especially liked the speaker on the wall, and the wall not listening. 🙂 For a second I thought you might possibly be writing about the incident of the fire cracker when you were a kid. If not, that one would be interesting too.

    September 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    • seekraz

      Well…the narrator is the person who had been hiding in the bathroom trying to console himself…and then he grabbed the chair and threw it into/through the window and followed it out of the window and down to the concrete where he is laying, telling us the little story. He is also telling us about the transient who is standing across the street looking at him as if he did something wrong…the transient who had gone bankrupt years before…and then the narrator man dies in the last sentence. And the rest is the support of the story…each of their different thoughts and observations in the couple minutes from the one’s arrival on the concrete to his expiration. That’s what was going on…. And the firecracker story will appear later.

      September 29, 2009 at 7:11 am

  3. Am I missing something? is there more?

    September 28, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    • seekraz

      Jason, if you got the part about the suicide and the bankrupt transient and the thoughts that they had in the couple minutes before and after the guy went through the window, and is now slowly dying on the concrete with glass laying all about and the chair resting nearby with the one wheel still spinning a little bit, and the reference to their moms and their thoughts or assumptions, I guess there’s nothing more. Um, nope, that’s all…just his final thoughts and life ending mid-word…that would be it. I had thought about adding some blood splatter, gray-matter, and folded-under limbs with protruding bones, but didn’t think it was necessary. 🙂

      September 29, 2009 at 7:17 am

  4. Now I see it……When I pulled this up last night, the only part that existed for some reason was the initial “Despair-Dead Sphere” bit. Nothing else was showing…

    But now I can read it in its entirety. All I kept thinking while reading this piece was that you were having some kind of intense flashback to a previous life in the 1920’s. A sudden flash of memory of your dying moments before being whisked off into who knows where. Or perhaps you were tuning into some lost soul’s last few moments of despair..dead sphere. I remember how you told me this piece got written. I have heard of “automatic writing” and this essay was written in a similar manner to that. Not that I, or you, may or may not believe in such a thing or things….just thoughts that ran through me as I read your amazing, detailed piece.

    September 29, 2009 at 10:48 am

    • seekraz

      Wow…I was wondering what wasn’t there for you…even though we had talked about it and you still asked if that was all there was…anyway…I’m glad the rest came up for you. And yes, it just came out…I was ‘hunkered’ over the desk just writing with pen to literal paper and it just flowed. After a bit, I put it on the computer and read it and couldn’t believe what was there…one of those ‘damn!’ moments. And yes, I suppose it does look like a flashback to the 20’s with the stock-market crash and people being homeless after bankruptcy and jumping out of their office windows…great parallel…. And thank you for your nice words, Jason. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. 🙂

      September 29, 2009 at 1:13 pm

  5. dmac

    WOW! You promised “dark” and you did not disappoint. Your attention to detail allows you to succeed in your attempt to make it “real.” I could smell the vinegar, I could see the holey wing tips and tweed jacket. Funny, I too had this whole scene pictured in black and white, like it was from a forgotten time.

    September 30, 2009 at 7:43 am

    • seekraz

      Thank you for your comments, David…and I did try to make it real, tried to bring the reader curbside…or even closer. It’s interesting that you and Jason imagined this as being from a similar era in what would predate even our collective past…in black and white…I like that…. Thanks again, David, and thank you, too, for visiting the blog. I hope to see you here again. 🙂

      September 30, 2009 at 8:32 am

  6. Nathan

    Well then……I will read it again with a much clearer understanding 🙂

    October 4, 2009 at 10:33 am

    • seekraz

      Very good. 🙂

      October 4, 2009 at 12:28 pm

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