At the Game

In Fiction on September 17, 2013 at 8:55 pm


At the Game

There is a dream I have in summer, when the sun is hot and flashing white in my gossamer curtains. It is a dream known well by men of my age, but wholly unfamiliar to those still enjoying life. I don’t know that I should tell you…

A boat sits in open water, the oars resting, the waves lapping at the sides. I sit in the stern, but I do not row. Instead I stand and stretch and peer toward land, finding only the dark blue rim of the watery horizon, a stripe of color, and an endless ocean.

When I fall, as I always fall, I sink slowly through blue-green warmth, then down into crushing, icy murk. As all goes black, I awake.

I have woken just now from such a dream, to find the evening air full of the loudness of crickets and the smell of a distant fire. I hear children playing in the street and the neighbors are murmuring in the yard.

As I have grown older, my world has shrunk: When you and your sisters moved away; when your mother died; when I moved here, to this one-level symbol of stasis on the Midwest plains. Life is now an illusion, a rainbow on the sea.

It reminds me…

As a boy I was painfully lonely, and from my room, at night, I could hear the football games down at the field: The girls padding down the street in their sandals. The boys walking their dogs or rumbling by with music blaring. The announcer, faint and warbled by distance. The cheers.

That’s how it feels now: The world is alive and thriving, but it has forgotten me.

But there are countries I’ve never seen, languages I’ve never heard a woman whisper—tastes I’ve never known. If there are miles my legs might still bear me, why should they bear me in circles?

When you find this note, Christopher, I will be gone. Don’t worry: I’m just at the game.

This is my story for this week’s Trifecta Writing Challenge, for which the prompt word was Rainbow. I’ve been away for a while (more on that in a later post), and this wasn’t an easy prompt to come back to, but there you have it. It’s chock full of mixed metaphors, but whatcha gonna do?

Click on over to Trifecta to read the rest of this week’s stories, and give me your feedback below!

  1. This is beautiful. I love the way the writing appeals to the different senses. You captured the sights, sounds, tastes, smells, and feelings perfectly.

  2. “The world is alive and thriving, but it has forgotten me.” – that is such a sad and empty feeling. I like the move from this, to what he still wants to do, to the humorous last line. Going to a game is a good start 🙂

  3. I love it. Mixed metaphors and all. I love the way you elaborated on never having heard some languages, by including the detail of a woman whispering. I love the idea of walking in circles. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  4. Brian, first of all, it’s good to have you back in our midst. Your thoughtful stories have been missed.

    This really hit me because I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately: time and how it goes by in a heartbeat. The fellow in your piece expresses the melancholy perfectly if not sadly. “Life is now an illusion, a rainbow on the sea.”

    As always, beautifully written.

  5. ‘languages I never heard a woman whisper’ terrific on so many levels!

  6. your writing style reminded me of Nicholas Sparks!

  7. yes, Nicholas Sparks. I agree with Kymm, this had the delicate, flimsy, gossamer feel of a dream that is woken too soon. There were so many lines in this that I loved and felt deep inside me as I say goodbye to my beloved summer.

    thank you for the glimpses backward.

  8. “That’s how it feels now: The world is alive and thriving, but it has forgotten me.”So very sad and this is such a beautiful piece telling it all as it is-hard hitting too-time will not wait for any of us!

  9. Beautiful words! I loved the line, “languages I’ve never heard a woman whisper”. Very evocative. Nice last line.

  10. This is wonderful. You should have come in first this week.Really. But congrats on third.

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