Monday, July 14, 2014

Week in Seven Words #220 & 221


Buses wheezing in the heat, looking battered and ill.

They dwell on other people's failures, because they want to justify the lack of risk-taking in their own lives and distract themselves from their profound regrets.

Broken, brown ground and a river that smells like an ocean.

Judging, measuring, comparing. Never just listening. Never accepting.

It's a precious green lawn in a neighborhood full of industrial lots, billboards and old apartment houses. Bright flowers have sprung up on it, and people hover around, starved for the simple beauty.

"Nobody jumping out of it today," he says in an odd, cheerful voice after staring for a few minutes at the Freedom Tower.

She walks with the group because she wants to improve her fitness, but she gets winded too easily and has trouble keeping up. Discouraged, she settles on a bench and smokes a cigarette.


The glint in children's eyes when they acquire property for the first time in Monopoly.

As in many other stories, the main characters are bland, meant to appeal to as broad a segment in the audience as possible.

He flies headfirst over the handlebars of his bike and slams into the ground. He's young though and wears a helmet. Soon he's on his feet again, his dazed expression disappearing.

In the past, I would have felt the wound of the insults and the pressure much deeper. But now it's more of a surface abrasion.

A bird has built a nest on a bit of scaffolding. Given the rate of progress on the construction, it's likely the bird and its young will remain undisturbed for months.

Her sheepish expression tells me that she's about to share bad news. I know what kind of bad news it will be too. Some ugly interpersonal drama in which she was either the instigator or played a significant role. The sheepishness of her smile will be the only admission she makes of her own fault. In words, she'll admit to nothing. She'll tell me how the other person's anger came out of nowhere. She will look confused and hurt. To some extent, she'll be confused and hurt. But she must know her part in it. She can't have so little self-awareness. Or maybe that's just my own hope.

Squeezed and contorted by the wind, the umbrella takes on a plastic appearance, as if it's melting in the storm.