Thursday, November 30, 2006

Nanowrimo #4

It was in the early evening in the fall when they both simultaneously, but independently, decided to try and fix what had been damaged for so long. He was at work, in his office overlooking the bay wondering what his life would be like without an office overlooking the bay, and she was in a bar downtown flirting with a transient businessman so that he would buy her more drinks when they both realized what they had to do. They were surprised to meet each other at the house at the same exact moment, but they were not surprised that they had come to the same conclusion. They would rent a cottage in the north for as much time as it took for them to either renew what once was, or dismember and bury forever what was never supposed to be.

Plans had to be made and loose ends tied up. The Man told the people at the office overlooking the bay that he would be gone for a long time. They valued his contributions so much, they said, that he would certainly have his old position when he returned. He didn’t care about having his position when he returned, if he returned, but he thanked them anyway and left the office. The Lady removed the paintings from the walls of the row house and took them to a museum so that other people could enjoy them while they were away. She made plans to have a friend rent out the house, which would give them more than enough to pay for the cottage in the woods. They purchased outdoor winter clothes that weren’t really suitable for the outdoors or for the winter from an upscale retail store and they bought enough canned and dry goods to last at least half of their lifetimes. They had a small party the weekend before they were scheduled to leave and, because of the promise of fixing their tattered love, the tension was temporarily dissolved from their relationship. For the first time in years when they smiled at each other it was completely effortless and genuine. They played Coltrane records and drank too much champagne and told their friends embellished stories about what they would do while they were gone, and never mentioned the real reasons for their departure. When their friends had all left for the night, the couple looked at each other and each one wanted to hold the other very much, but they did not, and instead they went upstairs to wash up and get ready for bed without a word.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nanowrimo #3

The Lady was the first to notice that their relationship was ill fated. He was too consumed by work to notice the little changes, she concluded. While rational people can make the judgment that, simply because the Lady noticed these changes first doesn’t in fact give rise to the conclusion that this was all the Man’s fault. But, while passion’s direction can be altered, it’s intensity cannot, so the very thing that blinded the Lady to their incompatibility in the beginning now blinded her to their intense love, which might have otherwise calmed her to prudence. First she noticed that the Man’s hours at the office get longer and longer. This was to be expected, though, because his position was one of power and responsibility. His position also provided her with the roof over her head and “every other Goddamned thing that I’ve worked to give you,” he reminded her often. Sex was rare and she reasoned that they were simply losing the energy of their youth, like every other couple their age, but she probably always knew that there was more than that. Then one evening when they were getting ready for bed she noticed a smell on him that was not sweat from the gym or tobacco smoke from the cigar lounge. For weeks she tried to smell his hair before he was able to take showers, and went through the laundry trying to find the odor again. She never did, but she never forgot about it and often times felt the sudden urge to paw through the entire laundry basket, smelling his shirts, in an attempt to narrow down the foreign odor.

The Man, of course, also knew that their love had ebbed over the years. The night of their seventh anniversary when she rebuffed his advances he made the decision to focus his energy on advancement at work, and to make plans to leave the Lady for the city in due time. He never left her, though, because their lives were too tangled and every time he thought about moving out of the house that they had loved for so many years, nostalgia and affection came roaring back and he lost his resolve.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nanowrimo #2

The Man and the Lady had already decided, independently, that something in their lives had to change before they drove each other away and lost the love that they had accidentally built. It was not surprising that, as a first attempt, they had had similar ideas about how to repair their fraying circumstance. A trip – but not just a trip. An excursion. A sabbatical. A very long sabbatical. Months or years, at the least, they agreed. And this was not to be a vacation. Vacation’s are for fun and relaxation. The purpose of this trip was not exactly to relax, or take a rest from life, but to step back from life and get some much-needed introspection and to tie up the loose ends of their patchwork philosophy, together. The together bit was where the problems came and where they had continued to come and pile up and destroy lines of communication and fuel extramarital romances and break glasses at dinnertime.

The Man worked in a building in the city-proper, where his office overlooked the bay where, long ago, the sea had once turned brown and the fish finally got a firsthand taste of our afternoon rituals. He spent a lot of time in the building, and a lot of time in the office overlooking the bay, but he spent very little time thinking about the fish in the bay or about things like the day, long ago, that the sea had turned brown. He had gone to school in the same city – which was also where he met the Lady. At the time he was pleased with her interest in things other than work and she was pleased with his ambition, which seemed to drive not only the Man’s schooling and career choices, but also his everyday activities, even down to what to eat for lunch and which pair of socks to wear in the morning.

The excitement of what awaited them after the prerequisites were out of the way shone so brightly on the horizon that it blinded them to the fact that they were never actually supposed to meet each other, much less fall in love and buy a row house and take lavish trips to Morocco together. This was written somewhere, but they, of course, never read it. Nor would they have been able to. Can you imagine what would happen if you could take a peek at the book and find out that this was not your life at all, but in fact something else entirely? That instead of heading on your way to your golden years, your train had long ago jumped the tracks and was, at this very moment, on it’s side careening downhill, very close to killing you and anyone who you had ever met? Many years prior, the Man and the Lady’s trains had smashed into each other in the most magnificent and beautiful manner possible, and were still speeding along the earth crushing every meticulously laid plan that they crossed. They, of course, did not know this. All that they knew was that they had to leave, and that if they didn’t do something quickly, then their years together would have been wasted and the memories of the passionate relationship that they once shared tainted. Neither one of them wanted that.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nanowrimo #1

The day was young: quiet and still. It was the part of the morning when the night creatures are beginning to go to sleep and the day creatures are just beginning to decide what to do with their fresh, new day. The sun entered the bedroom at an acute angle and reflected off of the brushed metal alarm clock and onto the Man’s face. The alarm clock sprung to life and yelled out for attention. The Man stirred and turned and quieted the alarm, turned again and put his arm on the Lady and fell back asleep. A tuba groaned on the street, squealed to a stop, crashed garbage cans into back, groaned again. Violas sang unpublished operetta in the dogwood tree by the couple’s window. Dénouement: shower drips, coffee pot gurgles, laughing (which hadn’t graced the house in months), footsteps, and finally, door shuts. The curtain falls on Act One as the couple departs the stage.

Nanowrimo #0

Don't get too excited, I didn't get very far along. P.S. It's supposed to be existentialist, but don't get all caught up looking for anything special like Max Brod or something.