Die Writing

Carnival

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on August 17, 2016

He felt better about the carnival being in town than actually being at the carnival. Everyone had gone, and he did, too. Though he would sneak away, and settle on the far side of the carousel.

There, submerged in the soft shadows, facing the tangled mess of ropes and stakes that held the tents taut, he would sit on the trampled grass with his back against a piece of railing. He felt a great human warmth in the drifting, singing laughter, the strung up electric lights, the smell of saw dust and manure. Errant words and phrases fluttered by him like moths.

The carnival filled him with a jittery energy, made it hard to focus on any thought or conversation. Still he felt that the world better off with a carnival in it.

The alley

Posted in Uncategorized by erdaron on June 23, 2016

At the mouth of the alley, he broke stride to pause and light a cigarette. That always casts a bubble around you – lighting a cigarette – for a moment you can curl into a tiny world within your hand shielding the fragile flame from the wind. The people flow around you, and you can feel a bit of aloneness.

Entering the alleyway was like bursting through the tight water surface, drawing the breath to save yourself from drowning. The busy street left behind, the alley was empty, dark, and a little musty. No one here but the ghosts. Patches of varied lighting revealed the alley. Bulbs in various colors and stages of decay didn’t exactly light the way, but maybe suggested that one might be found.

In a mirror image of the postcard-perfect street facades – the way hell mirrors heaven – backs of the houses formed an irregular, chaotic fjord of porches, claustrophobic yards, and kitchen windows. Gliding along, he could see someone absent-mindedly making dinner. A young wiry man on the phone; on hold forever – or maybe at the receiving end of a run-on monologue. Indistinct TV images flickering on  curtains and ceilings. A middle-aged woman in a  soiled white tanktop smoking by an open window; he raised his cigarette in an invisible, fraternal salute.

The alley twisted sharply, curled up like a hand cradling him. It was quiet and warm, a gentle darkness that relaxed the eyes. He inhaled the tobacco, the damp back alley air, the faint detergent drifting from the clotheslines, the distant fragrance of curry, the alley cats and the alley rats.

Another impossible twist, and the street, bright and peopled, was in view. Dive again, with lungs renewed.