Chapter 3: The Just Friends Trap

The next installment of the ongoing fictional saga of Jake and Wakesho (working title of the whole thing is “For Tomorrow”). This one’s a bit longer, so bear with me. See related A Cape Catharsis  and Fish Traps (it would help to read them in order). 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Jake was sorting through his mail on a Friday evening while sitting in his favorite worn-out secondhand chair listening to the local college station which was playing obscure alternative rock. Finding nothing of interest in the mail, Jake ventured into the kitchen, grabbed a beer from the fridge and scrutinized the contents of the cabinets. Finding the cupboard bare, he pulled a frozen pizza out of the freezer and slid it into the oven. Continue reading “Chapter 3: The Just Friends Trap”

Chapter 2: Fish traps

Pomme de Terre River by LocalOzarkian Photography
Pomme de Terre River by LocalOzarkian Photography

This is another installment in the saga of Jake and Wakesho, my long-running fictional tale of two people trying to figure out life. See my previous related post, “A Cape Catharsis.” 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental.

Jake drummed his thumbs on the steering wheel in rhythm to the drum beat of the Congolese rhumba song playing on his stereo while impatiently eyeing the stoplight overhead. After what seemed like an eternity the light turned green and he released the clutch and began to roll into the intersection, only to slam on the brakes as he glimpsed a car speeding into the intersection out of the corner of his eye. The driver showed no sign of recognition that he was running a red light as he sped through the intersection. “Pay attention, asshole!” Jake yelled out his open window, flipping the man his middle finger at the same time. Continue reading “Chapter 2: Fish traps”

Chapter 1: A Cape Catharsis

This is an excerpt from a much longer work of fiction I have been working on for a very long time. These characters have been haunting me for the better part of twenty years. I think the time has come to share them with the world. 

DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fiction. All characters are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, alive or dead, is purely coincidental. 

Walking down a narrow street lined with stout oak and sycamore trees reminds Jake of his childhood in the Ozarks. He thinks of Halloween when he was five years old, going house to house trick-or-treating in the small farming community where his grandparents lived. The smell of rotting leaves and wood smoke in Cape Town’s cold night air takes him back in time twenty years, holding his older sister’s hand as they walk along the sidewalk in their costumes, carrying their bags stuffed with candy, their mother following along slowly on the street in the family car, keeping a watchful eye on them. Continue reading “Chapter 1: A Cape Catharsis”

Chronicler of my oral history

Purple-gloved fingers in my mouth. Surgical steel picks of all shapes and sizes. Her deft fingers manipulate the picks, scraping and digging away at stubborn chunks of tartar below the gum line. She rinses the rubble with a stream of water and then inserts a suction tube which pulls the spit right out of my mouth. She is a detailer of teeth. Buffing and polishing enamel, shining my denticulate bling. She picks and digs, testing the integrity of each suspect spot for hidden rot. My jaw aches. She lets me rest. My gums hurt from the assault. Spraying and spitting, picking and buffing, poking and prodding, she undoes sixth months of neglect. No I don’t floss every day. No I don’t brush after every meal. Just as Santa knows who’s naughty and nice, she knows who smokes, who is addicted to coffee or tea, who chews gum, who chews tobacco, who eats too much candy. My teeth offer a glimpse into my lifestyle and she is the oracle who interprets it.  I see her for half an hour every six months but I don’t know her name. Sometimes she asks me questions that I can’t answer with her fingers in my mouth. Sometimes I attempt to reply, but mostly I don’t. She is the cleaner of my teeth. Inspector of my mouth. Chronicler of my oral history. I think her name is Linda?

The little train that just couldn’t

The Blue Line train was chugging along nicely on an ordinary Wednesday morning rush hour commute, but then it started thinking about things. Asking itself questions like: “What if Metro heaven doesn’t exist? What if this is this all there is? Am I doomed to a lifetime of schlepping these poor slobs back and forth to work every day before being shunted into some railway boneyard and cut up for scrap? I always wanted to see Paris. I could have carried beautiful people who spilled their wine and ground flaky croissant morsels into my carpets under the heals of their glamorous shoes as I glided along elegantly beneath the Champs Elysees whistling La Marseillaise. But alas, here I am in suburban Virginia carrying fat defense contractors in cheap suits to the Pentagon. Oh woe is me.” Then it broke down in a heaving fit of sobs and decided to just sit quietly in a dark tunnel and feel sorry for itself for a while. Eventually it composed itself and, resigned to its fate, decided to get back to work. Stand clear, doors closing.