.Flash Fiction Effort
Not sure what to think this week about my effort. I was in a different sort of mood. But here is my Flash Fiction Effort
for this week:Aftermath & Phonics
145 Harvard Square
Boston, Massachusetts 02134
It seemed like it was only yesterday, but in reality it is just about 10 years now, since you had gone. I cannot say much beyond that, for to me, that time was once reality, but now is an historical artifact of my mind, akin to a musty and mildewed book. It was beautiful once, but now it is nothing, it does not matter. Only now matters. Today is today, and the past is long gone.
Let me catch
you up by hearing about my life, for now is what matters, and it doesn't matter what was before. My life is all about now. It really does not matter about us back then. You see, I'm getting by down here. Its hotter then hell a lot of the Summer in this what-you-would-call backwater town, but after you left, I left the job at the University with no plans nor prospects for much in the way of income. So, I figured I'd drift South, deep in the South, to avoid having to pay for heat or other sh*t like that. When you left, I decided it didn't matter much if I did another damn thing, other than just do exactly what I damn well pleased.
I'm finding it fairly easy to live frugally down here. In fact, I lived in a tent the first year, until I found a boarded up, abandoned place just outside of Claiborne. This was a rural town, but has been largely abandoned, which is fine by me. I get what is necessary to live a good life here, residing at a fork in a road on the Alabama River, about an hour and a half’s drive northeast of Mobil.
My costs are low, so the savings I got will probably keep me going at this rate for another decade or so. All I buy are half gallons of cheap whiskey, pipe tobacco in bulk, and whatever I see at the dollar counter in the way of food, just to get me something to eat. Oh, and yeah, I forgot, I do indulge a bit still, and I get myself a couple of boxes of the nicotine patches every month. It helps jazz things up a bit.
I'm going to take a bit of a break in this letter for a minute, for I better go put another patch
on right now, in fact. One of them fell off earlier when I woke up. They really help brighten up the pleasure of my pipe.
When you left, you said I wasn't working hard, but sh*t, I still don't understand how you could tell me that. Why did you latch
on to that mantra? I'd been teaching in the Department for 20 years, and I had a good publication record to boot. But for you it wasn't enough. What more could I have done? Did I have to be a Dean to satisfy you? You never did say, but it don't matter any more, I'm better off how I am today, so forget about it.
But, what the hell, it really was your move that made my move possible, and I got off that rodent wheel you called life. I got to thank you for that. You say I snapped, that I went nutso, but hell, I think you're the crazy one now, for it wasn't till you left that I finally figured out how to live.
"Hedonism, brother, that's where its at!" Isn't that what all the cool ones said back when I was just a duck-stepping conformisit, toiling away, trying to do the right thing? I thought it would make you proud of me, my going to graduate school. I thought you wanted me to try to make a stable life for us? But you were right, and I was just a damn old fool. But no more!
Hedonism *IS* where it's at, my friend. And, don't you forget, you helped me see the light. And, after I am done with this letter to you, I'm going to latch onto the good life I've been missing all morning. I got my pipe and I got my cup. There isn't nothing more I need, and you showed me the path to enlightenment.
Yes, you did. I owe it all to you. Back early in our marriage, you made me a batch of home made salsa from our garden, and you used our own, home grown Coriander
in it. That was the moment I most loved you, for it was when I felt our life together was truly stable.
But, it was too ephemeral a concept, that idea of stability with you, with a family. It was about as likely and as real as imagining a batch
of cookies coming out of the oven, and staying hot, and chewy and melty forever. That is just a load of sh*t.
I now know what *is* stable, and I know how to keep it that way. I love the life I have. Don't you forget it. I know what I need to do each day, and the pattern is so reliable. I get up, and befriend my pipe, befriend my patches, and embrace my bottle. It is predictable, it is reliable, it is a true life.
I can drift into a dream in a moment, and find peace. I can find it, and know it will be there when I seek it. You would not give that to me. You berated me, and did not care.
I am happy, and fulfilled now, and you are nothing to me.
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As always, I appreciate all comments, good or bad. I am experimenting here and am trying out new voices and approaches.