A Man Sits in the Room – 3

A man sits in the room.

He has taken up tapping; usually with a pen, against the paper on the desk, but every once in a while I’ll catch him rapping his fingers on the wall. It is driving me insane.

It’s like the slow rolling tick of a clock. Sometimes he loses himself and strikes the surface so hard he shocks himself out of the daze. You know how it is, when the world is lost when you adventure in your mind.

He seems to have found other motivation as well. The ink pours so much like a waterfall nowadays, you might be temped to think he was copying a book, rather than writing one. Unfortunately, every page seems to be nonsense.

Perhaps, the next time you run out to the market, you could get him some more of those pens? He definitely likes the blue ones you bought him the other day.

What’s that? You didn’t buy those? Well, I always thought you might be a regifter. Ever since you got me that shower mat—you know, the one with the red and green flowers on it? It’s not a big deal though—I’ve quite enjoyed them! Ah, but look at the time. Next week?

——

 

Hello there! This is part 3. See part 1 and part 2.

 

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A Man Sits in the Room – 2

A man sits in the room.

He’s been sitting there since you left—adjusting his tie without a mirror; picking at his teeth. I added a few bags of food for him, which he perused absentmindedly for a while.

The paper is still there too. A few lines were scrawled, before he crossed them out again. You know how it is, trying to build a fortress without the proper tools. Such a shame about the wall though.

I thought I heard him get up for a moment then, but when I turned my eyes back to the window, he was still in that heavy desk chair. I wonder what he sees in the dim yellow paint. A good choice you made there.

I understand you must be off. An empty stomach is a recipe for destruction. The room will still be here tomorrow. It was nice of you to stop by though. A man is wont to hear other voices.

Don’t let him keep you. Go back to your slat roof and wooden dining table. Enjoy your four walls, and the voices that fill them. Be sure to set the plates before you pile onto the food. A man should enjoy his meals properly.

——

 

Hello there! This is part 2. See part 1 here.

 

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A Man Sits in the Room

A man sits in the room.

He’s been sitting there since before you showed up, fiddling with the strap on his pant leg. For a time he was so still I might have forgotten he was there, were it not for the occasional breath seeping from his nostrils.

Ah, but what else is one to do when they sit at a desk? You too might stare at the blanket of white papers before you, wondering whether you should pick up a hollow pen and draw yourself a bed of black ink.

‘Pick it up!’ I said, ‘Pick it up!’ but the man doesn’t seem to hear me. I might have wondered if he was still in the room with us at all, had it not been for the gust of wind trickling out again.

But where away did you go? Off to drain your leaky bladder again? No matter. Off to bed with you. The room will still be here tomorrow. I can’t say the same about a man.

Ah, but I hope you think about him. Mull over those flecks of grey hair as you lie in your sheets tonight. Don’t wonder about the paper, or the black ink swimming around you. A man doesn’t sleep with such thoughts in his mind.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #99 – Sloth

Sloth

 

Time passed and I forgot to write.

Despite the distance between us,

lifting that pen was as draining

as waking from a dream alone.

 

Read the other sins (so far): Lust, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Pride.

——

 

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DEFEATED BEFORE BREAKFAST

When I woke up, I was already defeated. The thick, mass of blankets pinned me down, while waves of lethargy threatened to drown me beneath them. My eyes felt hazy, as though I had awoke intoxicated by some unknown drug, and every muscle in my body seemed to whisper stay just a little while longer. Gravity itself pulled me back toward the warm confines of the bed when I finally rocked myself up.

And as I stumbled about my room, the cozy grooves of the carpet felt like roots, begging me to drink their nutrients and become a tree. The shivers of cool air whisking through the window cut me deep in my nudity, as if to order me back to bed. The same was true for the bathroom tiles, the shock of frigid water, and the hasty toweling off. I looked at myself in the mirror—might I mention that looking in the mirror in the morning is never a good idea. My salt and pepper beard was scruffy; I looked older than I was. Though, in truth, I felt older than I looked. Which meant, that morning, I could only conclude that I had no idea how old I was, but that “old” was certainly the correct descriptive word.

Looking in that mirror was the last twist of the knife though. It was like watching the walls of Constantinople crumble, or the Russian winter cripple Napoleon’s armies. I saw myself—my sunken eyes, my wrinkled arms, and my weakened knees—and the miniscule warmth in my heart was snuffed out. I picked up the phone and dialed some numbers.

“Hello?” A familiar female voice called out to me.

“Hi, Allie, it’s Jim. I’m not feeling well today. I’ve got a 103 fever, and I’m not going to make it in today.” I could hear the pause as she typed out a few things

“Well hi Jim. I’m sorry you aren’t feeling well, but didn’t you get the email?” There was a note of sorrow in her voice.

“What email?”

“Oh. Well they rescheduled you. You don’t have to come in until tomorrow at five.”

“Oh. Well thanks for telling me. When did they send out the email?”

“This morning,” my heart stung with annoyance as she spoke, “don’t you check everyday?”

“No. Do you?”

“Hmm well you should.” She sounded bored.

“Well, thanks for telling me that,” I said, “talk to you later.”

“By Jim!” then the phone clicked off.

I climbed back into bed and pulled the covers up. They had cooled since I had left them. At least my defeat didn’t actually cost me anything.

——

 

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A WEEK INDOORS

Water ran down the window, as the pouring rain pattered lightly against the side of the house. It was another indoor day for Tim. Monday had been the first, which was exciting for him. It was rare that he got to watch so many movies in one evening. Tuesday was the second, at which point the novelty of a day inside began to wear off. His mother grew more impatient with him, because as he ran out of things to do, he began talking to her more. They didn’t talk often.

On Wednesday, Tim tried to take a walk outside. The rainfall had died down a bit, and he was hoping that he would be able to enjoy the cool air a short while. But as all good plans go, the second he shut the door behind him, the wind picked up, blowing frosted air and icy bullets of water into his face. It felt like an animal was tearing at his skin. That was the last time he would be doing that.

Thursday the power went out. Tim begged to light some candles—he had always like the fire, but when his mother obliged, neither of them could find the matches. His sadness turned to frustration when two in the afternoon rolled around. It looked like midnight outside; the clouds were an impenetrable wall of darkness. It was like the sun itself had been dampened by the rain.

But today was Friday. Fridays were usually spent taking a walk from school to the park, then off for ice cream on the way back home. Tim’s stomach growled as he fantasized about it. He could feel the threads of grass between his toes, and the grit of the soil under that. He could taste the vanilla cone, the sticky sweet sugars finding their way into the cracks of his skin. They would torment him later, but he didn’t care.

It was a lovely thought, but alas it was entirely fabricated. The evening Friday was short, and Tim found his way to bed in the early hours of the night.

——

 

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