Friday, 20 January 2012

the razor's edge

She said she wouldn't. She had thought it over. Had tried to understand. But none of it made sense to her. He didn't like it. He wasn't used to it. Would never have expected it. He rearranged a few pens. Crossed his knees. And turned to the window. She didn't budge. Her heart beating. Her hands moist. Her stomach cold. She had questioned authority. She was challenging her past. The mould. That's where he wants her. That's where he needs her. With the others. A pawn. Approachable. Manageable. Shiftable. She said nothing. She felt it coming. “If you don't do as I...” She told him to save his breath. She told him she had had enough. She said she was gone. And she turned to the door. She turned to her future. The one that she needed. The one that says no.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

adolescence II

She asked him to get a bottle of milk out of the fridge. So he opened it and staring at the freezer compartment - which happened to be at the height of his eyes - he asked:

"Where is it?"

Monday, 26 July 2010

Overheard in Geneva this morning

"It's a beatiful lawn Darling. Very rare. You would be the only person to have one like this in the whole of Switzerland. It's got the kind of green you get in the West of Scotland, or the South of Ireland. You know, that deep deep luscious green. And they can import the whole lot in one day, and it would be laid down within a week. There's also very little mowing to do since the grass has been genetically modified to grow slowly. Barely a centimetre in a month. Which gives plently of time to pop off for a while and not find that a jungle has grown in our backyard when we get back home. Isn't that just wonderful? What is more, as a gift, they're offering a small remote control lawn mower. So there will be no more grass cutting to do at all."

Monday, 19 July 2010

in between

He was not drunk.
But he was not sober.
He had reached that foggy frontier where his eyes were looking at something which wasn't there,
where thoughts came rolling in slowly from a very far away land,
and their formulation stumbled out of a moist mouth whose lips were numbed with confusion.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

a true story

He told the little girl about his travels to China. And how he had been offered every part of a duck to eat.
Its skin.
Its tongue.
Its feet.
Its liver.
Its brain.
"The brain?!" said the little girl, "And did it still have ideas in it?"

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

a scientist all the way from California

He pulled a chair out, sat on the edge of it with his legs spread out in front of him, the back of the seat bent as far back as possible, his elbow on the table and his hand waving madly as he talked about the research he was doing, elaborated ideas he had thought about, described what he had discovered and how happy he was with what he had done, in a monotonous voice which seemed to have got trapped somewhere just beneath his Adam's apple.

Monday, 26 April 2010

the lesson

I was walking past a building when I heard classical music drifting out of an open window and a woman's voice counting: "... one, two, three and .... up ... and turn ..." And eight pairs of little hands appeared at the bottom of the window and danced in slow circles.