lemonpie dreams

i've never tasted one but they sound delicious

Sunday, January 28, 2007

MODERN TALE

Today I wanted to post one of the short stories I’ve written but the thing is that I didn’t know which one exactly… And then there was this blog Sunday Scribblings. This week’s theme is chronicles and I wondered which of my stories has anything to do with this. To tell the truth I didn’t really get what I should or I shouldn’t post for S.S since I’ve never participated in the past.
So, this is the first part of a story named city break and it’s a specific period of a fictional man, or you could say the chronicle of a fictional man who was feeling lost and alone and everything else you can find out by reading the story and the transition to a different situation.
For those who are here through S.S, I wish my post is related to the prompt and you’ll not get disappointed…



City break



Part one

It was one of those nights -which were becoming more and more frequent lately- that Ras was feeling all alone. A couple of times he thought about getting the phone and call the first person that would come on his mind, but every time he was thinking to himself that this would be nothing more than a futile try. Of course, that was not because each person from the ones he knew would be indifferent to spend a few hours with him hanging out- he used to be a quite joyful company when he was in good mood- but mostly because he was feeling very numbed and submerged into his own loneliness. He started troubling his mind with silly worries and unrealistic conclusions that he was very lonely and he had nobody to cling to in such dark and obscure times like the ones he was going through right that moment.
The truth is that no previous time of self- contestation and criticism could be compared to this current one. Paradoxically, a few drinks later and much more cigars, he was somehow pleased to the thought that maybe after all, he was just overreacting. Perhaps, an adjective outside look from a stranger in his life would come along with that view but certainly many would confirm that a change in this blood-thirst condition of self-pity that he had subjected his own self, should be required urgently.
It mustn’t had took him much, probably five minutes staring at the ceiling were enough, and he was already asleep with the last glass of gin tonic still intact and the ash-tray full with cigarettes, left at the scratched night table aside. The bedroom’s window at his fourth floor apartment was wide open, though it was already the last days of September, regarding that nights, were still warm enough, to allow him let the smooth fresh air fill the empty from decorative pieces, like pictures or any kind of paints, bedroom. The woman who was sitting beside her husband in the balcony from the opposite block of flats, felt a bit guilty as she gave a quick glance to that strange to her man while he was sleeping, but she wasn’t in position to perceive how important or not were the things he was dealing with, in his everyday life just with that one look, though she instantly wondered which his name might could be or how he might had spent the earlier hours.
The next day came and as the clock didn’t miss to ring at the exact time it was programmed to, he got off the bed, unwilling to begin his day to day routine. It was long time ago since he had stopped having proper breakfasts, basically since the days he was still living at his parent’s house while being a teenage student and his mother had always ready for him eggs and cereals before he made his way to school. That morning he just had his typical, which was just a couple of hurried sips of black coffee.
As he was about to reach the rather architecturally uninteresting building he was working in for the last four years, he decided to take the long way for the first time and stop by at the city’s most famous for the tourists central park. He had no reason to do that but somehow he felt forced to do something different than what he was used to be doing every other single morning. He didn’t mind that this alteration could be easily regarded as a pretty small one.
He bought a cup of coffee from the nearest cantina, already the second for the day though it was still 8:30 am and instead of going straight to his office, he preferred to sit in one of the many unoccupied benches for a while and drink it over there. It was such a sunny day but he noticed that everybody around were already dressed with their heavy coats. He was one of the few who were fooled by the apparently good weather. The summer was only less than a month away and even though nights were still unbearably hot, during daytime, the cold was already present. “Funny weather” he thought and he wished he had predicted it forehand and had worn a warmer jacket as well. He also noticed that most of the people who had gone there that morning seemed really relaxed, like there was nothing on earth that could make them feel rushed. Or most likely, that’s how all those people seemed to his eyes.
The observable contrast of his inner condition and everyone else’s in that out and out green and well- reserved oasis in the middle of such gloomy and grey metropolis, made him wonder what he was doing there, while a stack of paperwork was waiting just for him, only few meters away, at his office. Although this last contemplation was really suspending, he abruptly and subconsciously managed to shrug it off. He continued, almost like drowsed, sitting in the left side of that bench, staring at the two dozen of ducks, the beautiful artificial lake’s summer visitors, which hadn’t moved yet to their next warmer destination, catching the peanuts some little kids were throwing to them and he thought that maybe the passers- by who would happen to notice him, would assume that he was waiting to meet somebody there; but in truth he wasn’t.
At afternoon after work, he walked back home thinking that warm nights had probably been history ‘till next April or May, as every year was happening. It was extraordinarily cold considering the last night’s high temperature and he wished once more he had taken along that God dammed jacket he hadn’t thought to. He also noticed that days had started becoming shorter and this observation instantly made him recall all previous winters, when it was already dark outside before he even knock off.
He had taken the same long way he also had at morning and he still was far enough away from his neighborhood at Cockpill street, which almost entirely had turned into a Working Class suburb, due to the recently- built Worker’s Homes premises.
The Italian- style cafeteria which was standing by the side of the pavement he was treading at, across the always busy 5th street, seemed like a very cozy and familiar place, so he decided to treat himself a hot cup of coffee in order to fight the chill he had started feeling. The fourth coffee for the day actually.
He crossed the door and a pleasing wave of hot air spread all over his body within a second. He didn’t have to choose in which table he should sit because only one, at the back of the room, was available at that time.
“Excuse me, can I get you anything?” the seemingly friendly waitress with the flimsily tighten blond ponytail and the green apron with the name of the café on it, asked for the second time. “Sorry” he responded, “my mind was one thousand miles away” he said and he raised slightly the bulged blue briefcase from the table, implying that work matters were preoccupying him. Of course, that was such a tremendous lie and he was pretty lousy at saying those, as he was never thinking of his work, even before than a minute right after the immediate moment he was out of his office. And what to think of… He didn’t have such significant responsibilities -he never challenged himself or his bosses to acquire some- and more importantly, he wasn’t that interesting in accounts, in the first place.
“I’ll take a cup of black coffee… or better… a cup of hot tea if I may, because I already had a few more than my stomach can handle for a day” he said after the enormously long pause. “Sorry…” he added as the waitress was on her way to go… “Could you make it a gin tonic actually…?” he said with the lowest tone of his voice and with a hint of misgiving due to the many alterations. The girl put that down on her block after the little smudge she did with her pen in the spot where the previous order was and she gave him an enigmatic smile -but not an ironic one, despite his awkward baffle- as she walked away for once more with the unused pricelist, firmly kept near her chest.
A couple of hours later, he found himself being the only client still unmoved from his sit. “Napolitano” was one of those places that open really early in the morning but close around 9:00 pm and the regulars apparently were aware of that. He looked at the direction where the bar was located and he saw the blonde girl with the ponytail walking towards him. “I’m sorry if you’re working overtime just because of me” he rushed to say preventing her from saying anything. “I’d say that you might stay further, if it wasn’t for that man over there, who is really filthy- stringent with the schedule keeping” she replied as she discreetly indicated the fat man, who obviously was the owner and was standing in front of the “STUFF ONLY” door. “Well, I think I’ve postponed you both more than enough already, but you’re really kind saying that anyway” he gently responded. “So, what do I own for the drinks, please?” he said as he was looking for his wallet inside both pockets of his jeans. “Store buys…” she said with that same enigmatic smile sculptured on her lips and her glance for once more. “Oh, no that’s not right, please I want to pay” he seemed shocked by that strange girl’s initiative. “Well…” the girl insisted “as you see we are just a small David café between all those Goliath… lounge bar- restaurants or whatever these multi-places are, around us and we always identify our first- time clients. So, it’s our policy to treat them when they first get here” she explained. “Then we rip them off” she said in a try to be bantered. “Plain Marketing” she added without meaning it. “I guess you’re practicing it for the first time on me, but I’ll take it since you don’t seem you’re from the ones who change their mind very easily… Contradictorily to me, I think…” he said a little flattered for the treat -never before a strange woman had treated him anything even though he could be considered as a good- looking man that could attract the females’ interest but with no any special features to point out his charm- and he reciprocated the genuine smile. “So I’m a sycophant and the Lady Stubborn now. That’s very kind of you to say... Thank you very much then…” she teased him a bit more. “No, I didn’t mean it that way… All I said was…” he seemed confused “It’s all right I’m just teasing you a little. You seem like teasing…” the man in front of the “STUFF ONLY” door cleared his throat. “I think the guy is pretty much out of his time keeping now…” he said. “So, thank you…” he stumbled, “Oh, I’m Lilly… Elli…”she stretched her hand for the handshake “Ok, thanks, Lilly… or Elli…” he laughed while he responded to the gesture by enclosing her hand into his. “No, no. That’s my name… My whole name… Lilly Elli….” “So, nice to meet you Lilly Elli… I’m Ras. Just Ras, though I’d prefer something as complex as yours…” he let her hand free and felt a bit weird when he realized that he hadn’t done it earlier. “Maybe if you visit us again I might have made up one just for you; and I promise it to be very complex...” she replied. A couple more things were said until they both said “bye” and when Ras let the door close behind him, he thought that by then, the fat man was possibly rebuking the blond girl for not making him leave any sooner but he didn’t felt guilty because he believed that she wouldn’t mind.
As cold had reigned every inch of his body on his way home, he kept thinking that at last, the deviation from the regular route proved worthy. He had really enjoyed the small talk with that strange and kind young woman named Lilly Elli, though it was wondering him the fact that she didn’t feel like a total stranger. This was one of the rare times he could be so open and talkative with a person he had never met before in his life and despite his try, he couldn’t remember the last person that had managed to provoke him that same sense. He thought that he wanted to go straight back and ask her things about herself, like how old she was - she mustn’t had been more than twenty three years old, which means that Ras must had been about five or six years ahead her- or if she would like to have a dinner with him, but, he reconsidered it as a very childish and impulsive idea. Maybe some other day he thought… Maybe some other day….

5 Comments:

  • At 7:25 PM, Anonymous Frances said…

    Your post is not disappointing at all - it's wonderful.
    I loved the last lines - where he feels so changed by his experience with the girl.
    Thanks for sharing.

     
  • At 7:31 PM, Blogger Beloved Dreamer said…

    Well I have never been to SS and don't know what they wanted you to write about but I think that this was a fine short story. It held my intrest and was well written. You are very brave. I don't think I could write one and certainly not one a good as yours.
    I am glad you came to visit and read my poem. Your comments were very kind. I too will be back my friend.
    Thanks for sharing.


    love-bd

     
  • At 8:51 PM, Blogger turquoise cro said…

    O! I hope Ras goes back soon! SOON!!! I LOVE romance! One of my favorite movies is REVENGE. Have you seen it Yioeng? Keep writing! I should get my tablet out and write more poetry, my muse is calling my name but I am ignoring and don't do it!Maybe today! Thanks! for the inspiration lemonpie dreamer! I think I will post an old poem later! at least! Come back and visit later! I'll be back sometime for part 2 of City Break then! Seeeeee you later!

     
  • At 9:16 PM, Blogger gautami tripathy said…

    You do have a way with words. I felt it is a great story. Do keep posting.

    gautami
    rooted.

     
  • At 8:40 AM, Blogger Susan Abraham said…

    It's a long story, Yio. But I so enjoyed the first part and I'll have to come later for the other half.
    Careful insights, colourful observations and I like your use of imagery - harmonious: gin tonic, cigar, cigarettes & September...a clever interplay of melancholy :-)

     

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