New Stories for February 20, 2017
When you are
Red batter with
The melon baller
And your ingrown
Toenail gives you
A call back
Rest the potato
Skins in the oil
And watch the Packers game
On the music stand.
This is what happens,
The quiet desperation
that never happened,
cities never built,
worlds never explored,
watching the sands from the hourglass fall.
Weaving through time,
extrapolated metaphysical context.
To secede from the constraints
of the constant, of physics.
She said, “You never wash the dishes.”
He said, “That’s not true at all. I’m sure I have.”
She said, “I have to take care of you like I’m your mother.”
She said, “I am not your mother.”
He took that as a personal attack.
He took it as an attack on his manhood
and a little disparaging about his mother.
Thwump, thwump, thwump, thwump
The record player’s arm jumps at the end of the spiraled midnight groove. Bass thumps flicker from the needle, reverberating through the studio apartment. The repetitious beat sets a monotonous soundtrack to the lethargic morning. An occupied mattress sits on a hardwood floor. A light breeze and warm eastern sunlight radiate from the single-paned window. Contrasting warm and cool sensations cause Aaron’s naked body to burst into goosebumps. Aside from the sheet strung across Aaron’s midsection, a sleeping lover in a cocoon of hoarded blankets is the only source of warmth. The bombardment of senses causes eyelids to flutter as ears catch up to a groggy brain.
THWUMP, THWUMP, THWUMP, THWUMP
The six feet to the record player seem impossible from deep within the silken-sheeted comfort of the bed. The automatic arm, still refusing to budge, taunts Aaron. Persistent low-pitched heartbeats eventually stir enough motivation. Aaron’s knees creak as they swing to the side of the mattress. Insecurity strikes as the realization of nakedness sinks in. What the candlelit room hid last night is maximized by the white light of day. Carelessness has worn away over the years, replaced with an old-aged reason. Nonetheless, a shrug and discarded caution set a course for the turntable.