Sunday, January 7, 2018

Week in Seven Words #378

He brings out a glass bowl with six strawberries bathed in whipped cream.

The kid is determined to pretend that she's happy. She speaks in greeting card platitudes and draws smiley faces on her work. It's her way of getting through a childhood that's starved of love.

The day is flush with sunlight, and the air smells clean. I walk for an hour and feel calm.

He spins the fidget toy on the surface of the desk (spin spin spin), his attention focused entirely on it and not on his book.

The silver din of utensils and the voices sparkling and roaring pin me to the doorway for a moment, before I step into the restaurant bar during happy hour.

The cat doesn't belong to anyone in the building. He moved in, and some of the residents took responsibility for veterinary fees. Now he wanders the corridors and curls up for hours in the courtyard among potted plants and folding chairs.

Her gratitude catches me by surprise, and I don't know if it's deserved. I smile awkwardly, and the thoughts seem to empty from my head to make room for confusion.


Brian Joseph said...

I thought that what you wrote for "gratitude" was interesting. Not s lot of things tongue- tie me. Excessive gratitude or comments sometimes do however.

Roderick Robinson said...

To fly through the air - using only the air - has a romantic appeal. Provided of course one is doing so in a device designed for this mode of travel, a glider of course. When writing my novel Out of Arizona, about an American woman flying small planes professionally in south-west France, I needed to immerse myself in both the technology of flying and the state of mind of those who do the piloting. In this I was guided by my younger brother, an experienced yachtsman, who admitted to a special relationship with his yacht's engine, vitally necessary for certain manoeuvres and, especially, emergencies. One never joked about the engine and one certainly never cursed it. The sea is full of superstition like this.

It was easy to transfer this attitude to the world of powered flight. One may glide in a plane and all is quiet. But this is not in any sense a tranquil experience. One may only glide downwards and the plane is difficult to control. No romantic appeal at all. Fascinated by this reversal of what is "right" in the air I included a test flight wherein a pilot applying for a job with a small airline was asked, briefly, to turn off the plane's engine. I dwelt on how this affected Jana, my central character, one of two other pilots in the plane checking the performance of the applicant pilot.

I wrote the piece but on the edge. Finding myself sharing the awful professionalism of three qualified pilots during what must have seemed liked a wholly unnatural state. And yet for a glider pilot (in a glider) it would have been normality and highly desirable.

Although you do not refer to gliding as such, as I did, you infer easefulness from the word. I think I know why.

"One man's ceiling is another man's floor," sings Paul Simon.