Tuesday, September 27, 2016

995. The woman who watches

In a building across from the pink-lit room, Paula watched her husband Paul.
He did not know this.
She watched him for years to see if he'd changed.
She watched for so long she no longer knew what she was watching for.

Monday, September 26, 2016

994. What goes on in the pink-lit room

They speculated often about the pink-lit apartment across the way.
They were always wrong, of course.
Paul kept the apartment lit in his wife Paula's favourite colour, hoping she'd change her mind and come back to him.
It was a lighthouse in a sea of condominium buildings trying vainly to call her home.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

993. Crumbs

It all began with the two humans who lived in the apartment.
The ate all their meals on the sofa because they had no use for the dining room.
The crumbs they dropped weren't many, but they were enough.
They were enough for the tiny people who lived in the sofa to build their pyramid.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

992. Conversations I've had with a brown paper bag

Algae makes me anxious.
The kind of people David Remnick meets at parties make me anxious.
These are the things I worry about in the shower, traffic, and the dead of night in my two-bedroom apartment.
What is algae up to?

Friday, September 16, 2016

991. With coffee, all things are possible

"More coffee, dear?"
"Sure, you talked me into it."
"Sounds like it's pretty easy to talk you into things."
And that's the story of how I ended up robbing a bank.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

990. We need to talk about the volcano

It isn't even the lava, Brett.
It's - and I'm being honest here - the neighbours.
The lava melted their Buick.
I'd say we don't have much more than a day or two before their house is toast.

Monday, September 12, 2016

989. Show me what the locals love

She'd seen all the big ones.
She wanted the real deal now; the stuff the locals loved.
So they led her down one side street and another and another - ad labyrinthus ad infinitum.
She never found her way out.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

988. The spoon ritual

The river cut through the town in a child's lazy "S".
It was an old-fashioned town that punished sinners according to the old customs.
The town would set sinners' houses on fire and bring out the ceremonial spoons from their walnut case.
Each sinner would take a spoon and run pell mell for the river.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

987. Nesting behaviour

Anne reached up with one cupped hand to place the starling back in its nest.
She froze.
Scores of children had come sprinting around the corner.
She stood there for the whole day, a temporary addition to the exhibit, smiling while she held a fake starling in one cupped hand.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

986. The city fathers

There were city mothers too, but the name was a tradition.
They meet based on an arcane formula - though always on a Tuesday.
Their decisions were final.
Chiefly, they were interested in the production levels of various pies and tarts.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

985. New shoes

Most men's rooms are wretched places.
It is because we men are casual, lazy, and oft messy.
That's why their surfaces discourage much scrutiny.
So no, dude, don't waltz out of the john and ask me if I want to "check out" your new shoes.

Friday, September 2, 2016

984. And the waves

Sam and Patrick sat on the old folding chairs from under the deck.
They were taking turns striking Red Bird matches against the box then flipping them into the ocean.
Somewhere beneath the waves, beneath the remnants of a castle they'd built on the third sandbar, was Patrick's wedding ring.
Between them on the beach was a metal detector, still tightly shrink-wrapped.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

983. Articles of Impeachment

If you ever leave me - and I hope you don't - I'll have written the articles of my own impeachment.
I carry them around in my pocket like a crumpled piece of paper.
Sometimes I improve - for awhile.
At this point though, I don't even bother crossing anything off the list.