Friday, November 10, 2017

Week in Seven Words #370

She's a cute little peanut, slouched in her stroller. Disgruntled, squirmy, delighted, and peaceful in turns.

Our conversation is a lazy river that turns into Class IV rapids.

Rot has crept into every petal. Rotting roses smell like potatoes.

Near Times Square, an animated display of M&Ms attracts the kids. They run to the cloudburst of candies, the shower of colorful sugar.

She doesn't want to use the steps at first. They're slippery and lead to a path smeared with mud. But the view is worth it for her: A stone bridge, a pond that doesn't bare all its secrets but asks you to follow it as it curves out of sight.

As I head north, they catch up to me at each crosswalk. When I veer west, they give up their pursuit.

This time we meet at a Dunkin' Donuts the size of a pocket. She raises the coffee to her nose, lowers it without taking a sip, and describes the wreckage of her life.


Brian Joseph said...

"Unsettled" does remind me of late night conversations in places like Donkin' Donuts or in bars.

I am thinking of a place I visit in Stony Brook on Long Island when I read what you wrote for "pond".

Roderick Robinson said...

I wonder if we store different versions of ourselves for different occasions and for different acquaintances. With a little prior cut/paste I could, I suppose, create a wreckage scenario. It would be harder to put together a sequence of triumphs and hardly worth the effort, since few people would sit still and listen. No lying, of course, other than by omission. A possible short story starts to emerge - about someone who has recounted a wreckage version so many times that they start to believe it. But then ideas for fictional projects are a dozen for ten cents; the necessary sweat is harder to come by.

HKatz said...

@ Brian - this wasn't in Stony Brook, but I know Stony Brook well and what you're describing :)

@ Roderick - interesting idea for a story (and I like your observation about the difference between the ease of coming up with a premise and the labor that really goes into making the story work well). In this case, the person I spoke to really is going through a terrible time in her life in multiple ways. I hope she comes out of it soon.