Om


Three days later—perhaps it was four—Ellen found herself on her brother's front stoop.

What happened?” Nate asked, ushering her to the kitchen table.

Ellen laughed and struck a match: The telling of this story, of course, required the prop of a cigarette. “It was the day they emptied the johnny pumps.”

Johnny pumps?” He frowned.

Fire hydrants,” she said and he nodded. “Lined up like wounded soldiers.” Gallons of brown water had spewed forth, bleeding out into the street. The water from smaller roads, branched off like tributaries and joined the flow. It quickened and swirled, gathering up leaves and twigs, dragging them under the surface and towards the grated drains.

She'd wondered what it felt like to drown.

I walked along the river-street in silence, wondering where the children were.” She laughed. “Perhaps children no longer dance in open hydrants.”

i-Pods,” Nate said, by way of explanation.

I went home after the lunch shift, fingering the tip money in my pocket, planning on surprising Billy with a new pick for his guitar.” She laughed. “I'm sure that sounds silly to you, a ten dollar pick.”

He shook his head. “No...”

I fixed myself a mug of tea and sat at the window of the apartment, waiting for him. I watched the sky slowly darken. I studied the branches of the trees, their empty fingers grasping.” She smiled at him. “A tinge of red belted the sky and I wished more than anything I could paint.”

He studied his hands.

Night time wishes are the worst.”

Ellen, you can still...”

He worked day and night, he claimed, to establish himself. To provide for us.” She shook her head. “The truth was, I was doing all the providing. He was just playing around.” When the sky was stained with the rising sun, he let himself into the apartment, his guitar case dangling from his right hand. She'd startled and spilled her tea—now cold—onto the couch. She'd sworn: Dammit.

He just stood there, grinning at me, stubbly chin, greasy hair, wrinkled clothes. Looking at him, I knew suddenly that he had someone else, that all this talk of practicing and recording was just a cover. She took a drag on her cigarette and exhaled through her nose. “He plugged his stupid guitar into the amp on the living room floor. 'Listen to this, Ellen,' he said. 'I wrote it for you.' He launched into a complicated pattern of notes; loud and discordant and frankly, not well-played.”

Nate rose, poured two glasses of chocolate milk.

Watching him, I knew that he was not a musician; would never be a musician. He smiled as he took his hands from the guitar and the sonic blast stopped. 'I call it the Glorious Om Riff,' he said.”

Nate snorted chocolate milk through his nose and she was reminded of third grade lunches. “The telephone rang. It was the landlord. 'That's it,' he told me. 'Third time.'”

What did Billy do?”

He'd disappeared into the bedroom and closed the door. Typical.” She dabbed at a spot of milk Nate had missed. “I went to the bathroom; filled the tub. Then I took his guitar and tossed it in.”

Nate's eyes widened and Ellen giggled.

An om is not to be riffed, Nate.”

His eyes twinkled.

I mean it,” she continued. “An om is to be ridden gently; to be surrendered to. Like brittle leaves upon a river. Like sticks riding a wave, bobbing gently before coming up for air.”

She realized, then, that she'd already known what it felt like, to drown.

Now she would learn how to swim.

Perhaps even to paint.

~end~


For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Eric Storch at http://sinistralscribblings.com gave me this prompt: He smiled as he took his hands from the guitar and the sonic blast stopped. "I call it the Glorious Om Riff."

I gave Supermaren at http://supermaren.com this prompt: Vines twisted and curled around her feet.

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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Om

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Om


Three days later—perhaps it was four—Ellen found herself on her brother's front stoop.

What happened?” Nate asked, ushering her to the kitchen table.

Ellen laughed and struck a match: The telling of this story, of course, required the prop of a cigarette. “It was the day they emptied the johnny pumps.”

Johnny pumps?” He frowned.

Fire hydrants,” she said and he nodded. “Lined up like wounded soldiers.” Gallons of brown water had spewed forth, bleeding out into the street. The water from smaller roads, branched off like tributaries and joined the flow. It quickened and swirled, gathering up leaves and twigs, dragging them under the surface and towards the grated drains.

She'd wondered what it felt like to drown.

I walked along the river-street in silence, wondering where the children were.” She laughed. “Perhaps children no longer dance in open hydrants.”

i-Pods,” Nate said, by way of explanation.

I went home after the lunch shift, fingering the tip money in my pocket, planning on surprising Billy with a new pick for his guitar.” She laughed. “I'm sure that sounds silly to you, a ten dollar pick.”

He shook his head. “No...”

I fixed myself a mug of tea and sat at the window of the apartment, waiting for him. I watched the sky slowly darken. I studied the branches of the trees, their empty fingers grasping.” She smiled at him. “A tinge of red belted the sky and I wished more than anything I could paint.”

He studied his hands.

Night time wishes are the worst.”

Ellen, you can still...”

He worked day and night, he claimed, to establish himself. To provide for us.” She shook her head. “The truth was, I was doing all the providing. He was just playing around.” When the sky was stained with the rising sun, he let himself into the apartment, his guitar case dangling from his right hand. She'd startled and spilled her tea—now cold—onto the couch. She'd sworn: Dammit.

He just stood there, grinning at me, stubbly chin, greasy hair, wrinkled clothes. Looking at him, I knew suddenly that he had someone else, that all this talk of practicing and recording was just a cover. She took a drag on her cigarette and exhaled through her nose. “He plugged his stupid guitar into the amp on the living room floor. 'Listen to this, Ellen,' he said. 'I wrote it for you.' He launched into a complicated pattern of notes; loud and discordant and frankly, not well-played.”

Nate rose, poured two glasses of chocolate milk.

Watching him, I knew that he was not a musician; would never be a musician. He smiled as he took his hands from the guitar and the sonic blast stopped. 'I call it the Glorious Om Riff,' he said.”

Nate snorted chocolate milk through his nose and she was reminded of third grade lunches. “The telephone rang. It was the landlord. 'That's it,' he told me. 'Third time.'”

What did Billy do?”

He'd disappeared into the bedroom and closed the door. Typical.” She dabbed at a spot of milk Nate had missed. “I went to the bathroom; filled the tub. Then I took his guitar and tossed it in.”

Nate's eyes widened and Ellen giggled.

An om is not to be riffed, Nate.”

His eyes twinkled.

I mean it,” she continued. “An om is to be ridden gently; to be surrendered to. Like brittle leaves upon a river. Like sticks riding a wave, bobbing gently before coming up for air.”

She realized, then, that she'd already known what it felt like, to drown.

Now she would learn how to swim.

Perhaps even to paint.

~end~


For the Scriptic.org prompt exchange this week, Eric Storch at http://sinistralscribblings.com gave me this prompt: He smiled as he took his hands from the guitar and the sonic blast stopped. "I call it the Glorious Om Riff."

I gave Supermaren at http://supermaren.com this prompt: Vines twisted and curled around her feet.

Labels: , ,

4 Comments:

At November 27, 2012 at 5:39 PM , Blogger Ruby Manchanda said...

Great writing once again.

 
At December 1, 2012 at 6:31 AM , Blogger Eric Storch said...

Great take on the prompt! Your descriptions are quite colorful, almost a painting unto themselves. "When the sky was stained..." love it!

 
At December 1, 2012 at 7:01 AM , Blogger Morgan said...

I like that Ellen was not a victim. I thought at first that she would be weak, but as it turns out, she was the strong one in that relationship. Glad that she has chosen to be a survivor! Well written.

 
At December 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM , OpenID souldipper said...

I know I'm enjoying a piece when I'm caught up in it and enjoying the characters and conflict. Plus you captured my curiosity...what's going on? Is she going to be victimized?

Love women with balls!

Thank you!

 

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