Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Momentary Lapse of Reason

Wrestling with redundancy, he finally finds himself at the edge of night. This is where he tries to hold on to beauty. Sitting down before the typewriter, the blood drips hungrily from his fingertips and he recalls a whisper which once caressed his ear—someday you’re going to miss me. It sits sullenly on his thoughts as he rolls back the recollection, for the memory haunts him with metaphor. Thus he sharpens his wit, threads a piece of paper noisily into the carriage, and begins to type slowly, delicately—deliberately. The room is filled with the repetitive sound of typebars striking the virtue of the paper as the ribbon flows with his thoughts. Suddenly, the phone rings obtrusively from the desktop.

His fingers are poised in predicament. He looks down at the Motorola as is skitters across the desk clamoring for attention. Go away. With each ring, the cigarette ash dances gleefully on the desktop. Go away, damn you. He tries to focus on the task at hand. Nevertheless, the LCD flashes like a migraine in the corner of his eye. Despite all his efforts to ignore the intrusion, it teeters on the brink of his sanity. God damn it! He snatches the phone up abruptly before it skirts capriciously off the edge of the desk. “Hello Charles,” the voice says familiarly. “I just wanted to remind you—she is with me now. Her kisses are slow, her breasts are soft, and her thighs are warm and inviting—she is mine!”

The machine rings with the margin, and stripping the paper from the carriage, he sits back in the chair and reviews his thoughts. He notices the Motorola sitting silently and undisturbed on the desktop, the LCD is dark and lifeless. Picking up the phone, he examines the dark infinity of the display as if searching for something. It had been quite some time since anyone had actually called him; he wasn’t even sure why he kept the cell service. Flipping the phone open, he browses to the contact list and scrolls down until he has highlighted a particular name. He pauses momentarily as the melancholy sinks in, and once again his thoughts roll back with haunting recollection.

“Hey,” she says softly. “Hey, what are you doing up so late, it’s after two in the morning,” he asks trying to juggle the conversation with the post he is working on. “I can’t sleep—I’m scared.” He recognizes the anxiety in her voice and gives her his undecided attention, “Scared? Honey, what are you scared of?” “Dying,” she states matter-of-factly. He is taken aback by her reply and stumbles over his words. “Oh—sweetheart—did you, did you take your meds?” “Yes, a couple of hours ago. They don’t seem to be working and it hurt. It hurts so much,” her voice trembles. He searches for an appropriate response, and yet he is overcome with helplessness “I’m scared—tell me a story.”

“Tell me a story.” The words echo through his mind. Snapping the phone shut, he sets it gingerly back on the desktop trying to distance himself from the reality. “She is with me now—she is mine!” Having almost forgotten the page in hand, he turns his attention back to it with a pang of sentimentality. Placing it beneath a stack of other neatly-kept memoirs he thinks to himself—no, she is with me. Threading another piece of paper noisily into the carriage, he begins to type delicately, but deliberately. I will tell you a story. I will wax you poetry—about life and love and loss and living. The room fills once again with the sound of typebars striking paper as the ribbon flows with his thoughts.

© Charles Coakley Simpson 2011

Saturday, April 2, 2011


When the night has gone still and the stars are cold
I think of you—quietly, softly, warmly.
like the kiss which floats on the fringes of my dream
and yet I am only able to ever hold you
in my heart

© Charles Coakley Simpson 2011