Sunday, May 3, 2015

Week in Seven Words #254

As I'm walking, I hear a man sing. He has a beautiful voice. He's behind me, walking and singing to himself. I don't ask him what he's singing or otherwise speak with him. But I slow down so his voice can follow me for longer.

The electric shock feels like a rubber band snapping hard against my fingers.

Though he no longer smokes, he still keeps careful track of cigarette costs. He likes to imagine himself buying cigarettes, while reminding himself of how much money he's saving by resisting the impulse.

A short, thin needle goes into the arm. The muscles flex. The monitor crackles. Muscle activity turns into a roar.

At the table, he presses his face into a book, his body radiating embarrassment.

Red flags on his cheeks, a feverish glaze on his eyes.

Behind each question is the same insistent, unspoken question: "Do you measure up exactly to my standards?" And the unspoken follow-up: "You'd better, or else."


Brian Joseph said...

I guess ultimata is the plural of ultimatum? I do not think that I have ever heard it before. I do love obscure forms of words so I am glad to have learned it.

Cheryl said...

I think I say this every time I read one of the 7 words post, but I'll say it again: I love this theme.

I was in New York recently for ten days, and one evening there was an old man in the subway singing. I let a train go so I could listen to him longer. His voice filled that echoing subterannean space like light, like smoke.It's funny, isn't it, how we cling to those moments of unexpected beauty. Of simple joy.

HKatz said...

@ Brian: Have fun with your discoveries :)

@ Cheryl: Thanks! I sometimes do that too with talented musicians. If you have the time, then yes, stop and listen for a while.

David said...

Hi Hila,

It's really strange and not something I had given much conscious thought to before, but even though I don't and have never smoked, I always seem to know the cost of a packet and will often comment on how much they have gone up by!! What's that all about, it's not something I even care about.

Great words as always, thanks for sharing :)


HKatz said...

@ Yvonne - thanks! It's interesting the details people notice in life :)

Relyn Lawson said...

I love your ability to really notice people and take them in. I'd love to read your efforts at fictional character development. I bet they would be amazing.