Did you all celebrate earth hour this past Saturday?
We managed to do some major tea light damage over the course of the evening.
Seriously, we had many, many candles aflame throughout the living room, and those tiny bright lights brought quite the kind glow to our little home; all in all it was truly a lovely way of passing the night, all bundled up in blankets, and crouched over our crossword.
Though I would be lying if I said there weren’t a couple of close calls, what with just how many tea lights we had going at our peak burnage, and, well, you know, the innate flammable quality of newsprint.
Factor in that we couldn’t really see all that well, (and had to hold the flames pretty close to the clue boxes to make sure we could actually read what they said) and it’s pretty darn commendable that we weren’t consumed by an inferno of our own making.
We even got the chance to do a little story telling.
Here’s a taster of something we’re up to (on our gosh-darn, no-good end):
The city feels old.
My glasses are scratched but even from way up here, I can barely make out the mason jar skyline. There is too much dirty glass, cut against the rusting sunset, which bleeds into the eastern coast’s rushing waves. I watch as they bury the dead – two thousand grayhairs – beneath a concrete blanket, their mouths hang open, as if they simply lie there, suspended in mid-breath. I think of how cold it must be beneath the streets. Their wedding rings will wash down the gutters, along with the soft silt that used to stick to the corners of their eyes, rubbed away with the early mornings they’ve now left behind. Tonight the wind blows in from the west, and I move from my balcony back into the apartment.
Everything smells of mold and mothballs. I pick up the rough spun blanket, folded on the floor and wrap it around my body. The electric thrum coming from Maggi’s apartment makes my heart quiver – it feels sticky and unsatisfied, suspended inside me.
It too feels old.
The kettle jumps on the stove. I wanted to make tea, but all I have is chickaree root, so heavy on the tongue and stomach.
“I want some tea babe.” Tom turns to me and cracks his neck.
“Yeah. Me too.” I walk over and turn off the element.
“Money, money, money,” he mutters, rolling his shoulders clockwise, and then counter.
I walk over to his chair, unwrap myself from the blanket, and lay it over the length of his body. With it tucked up around his chin, he looks like the men in all my fathers’ photos from his days at the barbershop.
“I wonder what beards felt like,” I mutter. Tom doesn’t say anything, knowing that I’m talking to myself. “I’d like to think they felt like velvet – or a freshly brushed cat.”
I reach out and trace the outline of his cheekbone, so smooth it’s almost raw.
“Hey now, whatcha doing?” He looks up at me.
“You’ve got this really sad look in your eyes. Like you’ll never know the taste of tea ever again.” He trails off.
“Shut up,” I say. “I don’t care about the tea.”
“Goodbye sweet pekoe! I hardly knew your sweet, sweet taste!” Tom reaches behind and tickles my ribs.
“Don’t be a jerk!” I swat at his bruised fingers but still, his hands are strong, and he takes hold of my waist and lifts me into his lap. I take his hands in mine, and instinctively peel back the hardened strip of skin atop his left hand. I probe at his panel, and its sickly tangerine glow, such a stark contrast to the coal of his skin.
“You need to get this checked out. It’s looking really infected.”
“Nah. It’s fine.” Tom again rolls his shoulders and rustles his arms further, tighter, around my body. “I told you already, there’s nothing to worry about.”
I lean forward. He tightens his grip. I can feel his abdominals contracting against the center of my back.
“What has it been?” I whisper. “Six months?”
Tom pushes me off of him. “I don’t want to deal with this right now.” He stands and walks away into the kitchen.
I follow him in and start to put away the dishes from drying rack. The compost steams to the left of my knee.
“The company’s the one that paid for it in the first place! Right?” I ask, knowing that I’m right. “It can’t be that big of a deal!”
I look at his back, turned to me and trace the outlines of his shoulder blades with my fingers, flexing against each of his movements.
“You’re a superintendent. They’ve got to understand this!”
Tom pulls away and begins to poke around the icebox, pretending to look for something. There is nothing but freeze dried fruit and some black bread.
I follow him. I know I should drop it, but my tongue keeps pushing words to the front of my mouth, that no matter how hard I try, they won’t stop falling out.
“It smells infected, it looks infected. Seriously, if you’re not going to do anything – ”
Tom turns around, brandishing a thick sack of frozen peas.
He presses the bag on top of his hand. I can hear the sizzle of the heat making contact with the cold plastic. He draws in a deep breath, his eyes bulging, teeth clenching.
I come up behind him and slam the icebox shut. I grab the now almost completely defrosted peas from his hands and flail it about, dramatically. “Well that seems healthy, now doesn’t it? A kilo bag defrosted in what, five seconds? Astounding! I throw the plastic into the sink. “I don’t know about you, but I think a jobsite losing their head operator might not go over so well for the company! So yeah. I’m ecstatic!”
Once I give it a bit more work, and get a little braver, I’ll post a little more.
But in the mean time, here are some things that I bloody-well love:
Heritage walks around New West:
And pretty treats:
So that’s all she wrote kids.
Enjoy the start to your week, aannnnddd – DANCE! p.s. I’ve entered the twitterverse. Follow me @ethelthedean YAY!
13 thoughts on “Baby when the lights go out”
ohmygosh I love it! Is it a novel? Too soon? Can’t wait to read more.
Might be too soon to say. But I’m liking it! Thanks for your lovely note! :)
I love that you shared this!
It’s so intriguing, with great descriptions and the personalities are already emerging from the characters in just a few paragraphs. Brilliantly put together and I’d love to see more of it!
I’ve been thinking of posting some of my writing too but have been a bit nervous about sharing. You’ve inspired! Thanks!
The clothes are super cute. You’ll be rocking that sundress in no time! And that burger, oh my goodness, deliciousness… And and and, you’re wearing your new sweater!!
Thanks for the lovely note! It’s a bit nerve wracking putting out the first part, but was overall much scarier in my head than in practice.
Go for it! I would love to read your stuff :)
I hope, hope for sun this weekend so I can put on that dress. Also I love that you recognized the sweater! IT’S MY FAVORITE!!
Ahhhh, there’s the yellow bag! You were right, it is a ray of sunshine! Lovin it!
I too love it :)
Great work – both the fiction and non-fiction rocked!
Thanks The Hook! I’ll post some more as soon as it’s ready.
I support the Earth Hour by electing to urinate on God’s green earth, or in layman’s terms green grass instead of using those unreal man-made toilets. This way I would not be guilty of using up potable water, electricity and other precious resources and by using the natural way of my ancestors the grass is gently but firmly nourished after having received a relative form of nature’s fertiliser and this blatant F- handicraft of God called Gaia would thus be able to strengthen and renew itself under the auspices of the Sun, who is also my other good friend.
Oh, cool, saw you on Freshly Pressed, came over for a peek and discover that you live in New West. I live in Coquitlam.
PS. Burger Heaven, so good!
Hey Shanny! Small world indeed! I always have love for fellow West Coasters.
And yes, Burger Heaven brings the noms. All of them.