Fall Interrupted

Never start with the weather.  It is trite to use the fancy word, but it really is just that.  Trite.  Never start a story with the weather.  So let us ignore the obvious, the fact that as I sit here pathetic and pathetic and still pathetic, something inside me metaphorically dying, the world maybe dying as well.

So, yes.  Fall.  The trees die, and yes, i know they do not actually die but they sure play the part well.  The leaves demand to be raked up, but that is a task for people that worry about such things, not people that pretend to write to justify shutting out all that is out.  But sometimes that does not help hide all that is in.

“Feeling better?”  I claimed the flu.  It is always a good time to claim flu.  “It is going around,” someone will always say, no matter when you say it.  I should be grateful that they care.  I am not.

“Yeah, better today.”  I gave the response that was desired, and somewhere on the other end of a phone, I felt that I got the satisfactory nod that meant the chat was over. “Thanks.”

“Do you feel better?”  That one was not another person. That was the rhetorical question that people like me sometimes ask ourselves.  If there are people like me?  That is what I wonder now that I have written the line.  But we are never really alone, again, metaphorically.  In the real world, we are of course hopelessly alone and alone makes us even more hopeless.

The next scene I write should be my walk over to the coffee shop.  If I meet anyone I know, I can claim the caffeine will make me feel better.  Besides, the wind of the season is brisk today, and a claim for fresh air would work as well.

I lack the need to justify myself too much.  The amazing thing about being me is the absolute ability to never really have to answer to anyone.  Freedom?  No, apathy.  Not my own, the world’s apathy towards me.  I cringe at that line.  Yet part of me means it.

I thought suddenly of a tattoo, perhaps the word indifference written in light gray.  That image burned into my mind.  I danced with the idea for a moment, almost smirked but the mouth turned it into a slight frown and the idea drifted away into another burst of malaise.

The phone didn’t ring again, and I didn’t bother to check it.  Pretending only works so much.  I didn’t want to try too hard.

The screen now stares at me.  I am doing more bleeding than the ink on the page.  More metaphor.  I sometimes wonder if my obsession with metaphor may be part of my downfall.  Words drip sometimes, you know, another blood comparison, but other times they shrivel and die inside, not even able to make it to the page.

Moments pass, yet the lines on the page have not changed, meaning that I am failing even at pretending to write.  Three thousand words I was supposed to write, yet the pretense of the flu and the season were as much of a pretense as my writing.  The words betrayed me.

Or maybe I betrayed the words.

“Dad?”  A voice shook me from the screen for a moment, but I ignored it.

“Dad?”  The voice took shape and form, and my daughter scampered into the room.

Scampered, yes that was the right word.  “You done yet?  And why is it so dark in here?”  She did that thing kids do, the wrinkling of the nose that represents a feeling of discomfort.  “You’re creepy when you write.”  She spun, yes, again, that is the right word.  She spun to the window and pulled the curtains, letting in the bright sun of summer and chasing the pretense of fall, of depression, of writing.

I lifted her into my arms and pretended to be someone else for a while.


Rob is a transplanted Canadian, dropped down into the heart of Kansas and still wondering how that all happened. Put the pen to paper and start writing. He trusts the Muse to take him places but usually does not sit down long enough to listen very well. But he sees stories everywhere, because we are all amazing stories that need to be told.

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