08 May 2007


His Matilija poppy was mutilated. He didn't get the job. His story didn't get published. He didn't get accepted into the writer's retreat. He couldn't learn to play the sonatina right. His nose could only get air through the left nostril. His bottom lip bled. His finger nail was wedged in his crooked teeth. He couldn't sing a song in front of another person. He couldn't dance without drinking. He couldn't walk without slouching. He couldn't use the graviton machine at the gym without nearly breaking his leg. He got the worst time running a 5K race in four years, and was not tired. He couldn't get the cashier to laugh at his driver's license photo. He couldn't stay awake until his boyfriend got home. He couldn't get his kitten to climb onto the bed when he was tired. He couldn't make the lid on his piano stop rattling. He couldn't get California poppies to grow. He forgot to water the watermelon seedlings, and they died. He bought too many books, and only read pieces of them. He forgot to do laundry. He forgot to book airfare to Toronto. He forgot to email. He couldn't speak Spanish fluently. He couldn't remember much German. He didn't go to the bookstore and buy the new novel by one of his favorite authors. He had to debate levels of authority with a boring manager. He had ash all over his car because of a fire, even though he just washed it four days ago. He forgot if his sister's birthday was the fourteenth, or the fifteenth. He remembered to mail a birthday card to a friend he hardly spoke with. He remembered to stop at the STOP sign. He remembered to put the trash cans back on the side of the house. He didn't fall asleep because he felt guilty for taking naps. He piled his work clothes on the floor in his office. He wore the shirt he slept in. His socks had holes in them. His beard needed shaving. He needed to start dinner. He had no idea what to make for dinner. He wanted to listen to songs by Prince. He wanted to go away. He wanted to visit Prague in the winter. He wanted to freeze on the breeze, his hands glued to the rail with ice. He wanted to be remembered by having a stamp issued in his memory. He wanted to still have potential. He wanted to break something (but not his leg). He forgot to flush the toilet. He forgot to be creative. He forgot to write after two days. He went to bed when the movie started.


Alpha Twin said...

Oh, my. (I read this immediately upon waking from a nap.) Oh. This, this is not fiction, or at least not entirely. Oh. I loved how I actually noticed when the sentences shifted from positive to negative, and that even so, the self deprecating tone had not lifted.

Jen said...

I really love this. It tells a story without trying to tell a story. It has a great rhythm to it too. This should be published! I think you should submit this to The Sun.

Alpha Twin said...

The Sun is the only magazine I subscribe to these days and I devour it. Good idea, Jen, that's a good place for this.

Hugo Minor said...

Thanks - I'm feeling ambitious today, so it's in the mailbox now. Let's hope Sy feels the same way.