Thursday, March 22, 2007

a short short...

Water Glass

He sat there thinking about cold fruit as the sun was coming up. He thought about a plate of cold fruit. It was almost dawn. He sat in a chair next to the window where he could watch the black turn blue. His mouth was dry and he wanted something. The television nearby was tuned to a news channel with the sound down. He sat in his chair with the house quiet all around him. There was only the flickering t.v. and the dawn.

He thought most about cold, white, seedless grapes. He used to put them on a glass plate and put the plate in the freezer until the grapes were not quite frozen. They would turn pale and frosted, but the insides would stay soft enough to bite through. He thought about all the times he’d had those frozen white grapes, the good times when he’d eaten them. He remembered all kinds of good times, most of them careworn and weathered like old photographs. Times change, he thought. People get lost. And sometimes people forget. It was pretty simple. Then, he thought about cold Granny Smith apples, sliced and dipped in peanut butter. Chilled plums, waxy and purple. Frozen blueberries on cold cereal with milk. Strawberries with whipped cream. It was almost wishing, there by the television alone. He had water in the fridge, and he thought, some cheese, maybe a few condiments. He knew there was nothing else.

He watched the room get lighter as the day began. He could hear kids walking to the school bus stop outside. If he turned his head, he could see them walking up the street in a little huddle. If he turned his head, he could watch the sun rise. The news, all of it, everything was relentless as he sat there thinking about cold fruit. Things were never easy, he figured. The truly beautiful things like moments of quiet bathed in the blue white dawn, like everyone’s kids walking slowly in the half-light. Truly beautiful things were simple and attainable, but never easy.

He got up from the chair for a glass of water and stubbed his toe, hard, on the edge of the coffee table.

“Shit,” he said. His voice sounded very loud in the empty house.

He got his glass of water and sat back down, rubbing his toe. Someone was blowing their car horn outside. He listened to the sound. It was the only sound anywhere. He rubbed his big toe. He had forgotten about the plate of cold fruit.

The t.v. picture shook. The horn stopped blowing. Things like this were never easy.


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