Fishing in Beirut

February 26, 2010

Part 4: Causality (scene 8)

Filed under: Character : Frank, Part 4 : Causality — fishinginbeirut @ 08:37

Frank had been losing all morning. He began to suspect that maybe the deck held only fifty-one, but when he counted, they were all present and correct. The day passed in this manner, and when evening came he had not eaten very much.
He went to the kitchen and rummaged. Bread, crisps, some fruit juice. A banana he really didn’t feel like. He gathered them up and returned to the bedroom/living room, sitting on the floor and eating slowly.
The crisps were stale, but he ate them anyway, and was glad of them. The bread was in a similar state. All this dryness was alleviated by the solidifying fruit juice, which, given another day, would probably have reverted to being a piece of fruit itself.
He returned to playing solitaire and trying not to think of that girl from the graveyard. He was losing at both. The game kept grinding to a halt before he could complete it, and his mind kept making pictures of her eyes locking with his. He sighed and rubbed his face, stretching the skin on his cheeks, and making him appear quite ghoulish. He blinked and gave a cough.
He turned his cards and they presented no options. He shuffled and re-dealt. A red jack, a black six, and other uninspiring selections. He ran through the remaining deck, made a few moves, did so again, and there was nothing else. He shuffled and re-dealt.
What had she made him think of, that dark-haired graveyard girl? What did he feel he had shown? He yawned and scanned the cards. Abandoning the game momentarily, he closed his eyes and tried to relive the scene. He sat quietly, but then saw a flash of the accident. There was a sharp pain in his left arm, like a violent twisting. His eyes snapped open, and he rose to his feet, hands twitching. He blundered into the kitchen.
He ran the tap and drank some water. He wanted to leave but didn’t. If the mere act of going outside could make him feel better, than surely there was nothing really wrong. He smiled faintly at this. He heard somebody closing a window, his neighbour down below, and was warmed and quietened slightly. He stretched and felt some trembling.
The trembling always pleased him. It happened once in a while, a soft and warming shake, and he felt so new and whole then temporarily. He had come to wondering if there was a way to make it start. He drank a little more water.
He sat down, felt stillness for a moment, and then his mind clouded with memories of Lise, and Sjal, and Monica. He was breathing through his nostrils. He was unsure how necessary it was to remember these people now, these places. How much good was it serving? He was 23, and already familiar with so many streets and faces, fleetingly. Did he put too much weight on encounters?
Leaning back, he felt his stomach gurgle, and a strange and calming sensation slide slowly within. It was like a glacier dissolving, an ice-rock of energy, thawing. He coughed and resisted an urge to move. His body buckled suddenly, into itself, and his mind was on that Berlin bus. The crash and the smash. He waited for it to pass. It did in time, and his thought returned to Lise. He relaxed.
All these nagging memories, of Sevilla and before. Maybe it was time to start saying goodbye.

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