Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Timed Writing: 7/31/2012


Time: 15 minutes
Prompt: "After lunch I was a little bored and I wandered around the apartment"
Source: The Stranger by Albert Camus

On that first day of this new life, I left work at two minutes past twelve, as I had on every day before. I walked the three blocks of fractured concrete sidewalk to my home. I re-heated two slices of linguisa and bell pepper pizza that were in the refrigerator and I ate them along with a Braeburn apple. I drank ginger-ale from the can. While eating, I watched pigeons on the roof of a convenience store.

After lunch I was a little bored and I wandered around the apartment with a cloth, dusting surfaces. My dust cloth caught the corner of a framed photograph of my parents that sat atop the spinet  The picture fell behind the instrument and a sharp crack told me that its glass had broken.

I knelt low beside the piano's end and heaved it forward and aside with fingertips and shoulder. Revealed were the framed photo, shards of glass, a good deal of dust and lint, three startled spiders, many strands of their architecture, and a bright coin reflecting sunlight from the window. No, not a coin. A tiny mirror. Or... It was round, yes. It illuminated a column of dust motes directly above it. A circle of light in the floor. My eyes adjusted to the anomaly and I recognized it as a hole—a hole through which yellow-white light shone up into my living room.

I had assumed the lease when my father moved to an assisted living community after my mother's death. With the apartment came all of the furniture save for a chair and bed that my father took. The piano stayed. The piano had never been moved that I had seen. Not for decades.

I swept up the glass and the other detritus of the years. Then I knelt over the little round window in my floor—the glowing orifice, the fairy-sized porthole. I closed one eye and lowered my face to the spot of bright. The closer I approached, the wider grew my view through the aperture. A single point of light opened to a view of a sun centered in a pale blue sky, surrounded by cloud shapes—animals: sheep, llamas, alpacas, vicunas—trotting, tumbling.

A movie of sky was playing on a giant screen that lay face-up on the floor of the apartment below. An art installation of some sort, perhaps. But I had never seen such a perfect video image before. The picture was clean, impossibly bright. It was the perfect that could only be real. It was not real.

I strained for a wider angle of view. If I could just see the edge of the screen, its frame, I would be satisfied. Try as I might, pressing my cheek to the polished wood, twisting and contorting my body, I could never quite gain a low enough angle to glimpse the screen's periphery.

(about my timed writing exercises)


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