Overhead

The following text is a snippet from a short story of mine which continues to be a work in progress.

I could tell it was storming, but not for the sound of thunder or rain. The window frame was plastered so well that I could hear no sounds from the outside, but I could see the drops falling and the trees whipping wildly in the wind. Sparse flashes of light illuminated the dark room and made Caroline visible. She seemed so much smaller underneath the covers, and I didn’t think there was anything that could make her petite frame look any frailer than it already did.

When insomnia took me, as it so often did, I sat on the end of Caroline’s bed and rubbed her legs. So far, she hadn’t been woken by this, but I swear I could hear her sigh when I started massaging. When the snoring came, I knew she had drifted off properly and I could stop rubbing her little legs. Caroline would fight with anyone who pointed out her. No way did she snore. Snoring was for boys and old grandpas with bad breath and white hair.

Sometimes I imagined what it would be like if Caroline and I lived in the country. The grass would be lush and green wherever we could see it, and the wheat fields would be golden like the stars that hung above them at night. I pictured the two of us lying in the grass with the moon over our heads and fireflies dancing around like fairies. We would probably swap stories and rhymes and point out the Milky Way. Maybe we would lie like this forever.

I moved to the window, my bare feet patting against the cold grey floor, and saw that the rain had stopped; something to look forward to, a clear day, made it easier to rest when I returned to my bed.

I couldn’t help but think about the look Caroline gave me earlier, when I bent over to kiss her sweet little forehead. Her eyes were wide, black and piercing, like eagle eyes that began to well up with tears. She smelled of jasmine and roses and cool summer nights, a mixture of scents that seemed to stick on her body and never leave.

TDM

 

Advertisements

The TLC on Sherbourne and Nowhere

The True Love Café stood out. Though I had never been inside, it seemed to capture my attention. It was not particularly attractive on the outside, painted a deep shade of purple, with a giant heart scaling the front of its building. The inside, which I could only gather from looking through the windows, was just the same. Unattractive under dim lights (and probably more so amidst bright lights), chairs and tables could be seen in the presence of tall plants, sad looking palm leaves and house shrubbery. Not as appealing to the eye as one would think or hope for a place with “love” in its name. Only the outlines of figures could be seen, like shadows blurred in the background. A man behind a counter, a few people spread among eight or so tables, moving slowly, making their time last in beats. It seemed quiet to me, as though anyone on the inside could be sheltered from the city sounds, from the noises of streetcars rolling along the tracks, people trudging down sidewalks, bikes, cars, trucks, horns honking, dogs barking, hollering for apologies and yelling for the sake of yelling. It just seemed as though time stood still here, and that it stood quietly with a grin of contentment. I had never seen anyone enter the café, nor had I ever seen anyone exit. Yet whenever I passed by there were always people inside, perhaps just a coincidence of timing, or perhaps not. Though I admired the pace that seemed to be present among them, the folks inside always seemed quite unwell from where I stood. Why were they able to be so still, so present in their moment? Were they not flooded with the commotion on the outside? How could they not see or hear the masses that passed them by beyond the walls of the café? What content they must have. T. DM