Week #14 – I can’t wait


Waiting by Michelle Elvy


Eighty-Eight by Martha Williams

“I like yellow and I want to live ‘til I’m eighty-eight.”

“Is yellow your favourite colour?”


“Mine’s pink, and I want to live ‘til I’m eighty-eight, too.”

“You can’t pick the same age as me.”

“Why not?”

“OK, you can.”

But Susie moved house, so they didn’t live to eighty-eight together.

“I’m going to live ‘til I’m eighty-eight…” She felt daft. “Like Gran.”

He heard and as she babbled on about her first kiss and Auntie Jean being Dad’s real mum, she realised that things you can’t prove can be more intimate than things that are true.

He smiled, “I kissed a bloke once, on a school trip. And I’m going to live ‘til I’m eighty-eight, too.”

He was serious. She traced her fingertip around the contour of his lips and decided to marry him.

When he slept, and she was about to, she did the maths. Not every night. But on their honeymoon she figured they’d manage a silver wedding. When the girls were born, she guessed she’d be a granny, maybe great-granny. When he died, she counted seven years alone.

Eighty-seven was a busy year, getting ready. Eighty-eight a reflective one, bathed in nostalgia… her youth, their youth… and the reality of a new life: Great-granny after all. She gazed at her albums, mementos, certificates and certainties, and gave thanks for each and every one.

Then, the day before her eighty-ninth birthday, she woke as curious, as alive, and as expectant as she had ever been.

Zeno by Stephen Hastings-King

Zeno is keening for shore. Under full sail, cutting through the water, leaning in: the boat makes no headway.

Full of sail & full of rum he heads in beneath a sheet of aqua sky. A marble in a maze pink sun traces an irregular trajectory through magnetic fields in which polarities rapidly reverse

Cutting through the water and making no headway while across the yellow sky a green disc sun rolls around a thumb-sized lighthouse in the haze and heat with the three others asleep by the wheel and empty bottles of rum on the table below, Zeno photographs the sun. If he ever puts in he will storyboard its meanderings. Only then will he begin to know because a knowing limited to states is not a knowing at all.

And he will tell her what happened when he sees her where she waits, in the somewhere where she waits because she has forgotten how not to and because time passes and because so much fades.

Zeno is keening for shore. But under full sail, cutting through the water, the boat makes no headway. The sun hesitates interminably. The three others never awaken. The coast is always the same distance away.

After the War, before the Fall by Kelly Grotke

“This family moved to the city after the war, and we’ve hung on like ticks on a dog’s ass ever since,” his father would say. “Someday, one of us is going to explode. You’ll see.”Maybe that’s what happened. The father’s words became the son’s private epitaph. Not the pious version carved into stone, spoken by no one and sitting over in that mute field of words at the edge of town. He hated visiting the cemetery with her, it was like trying to pick out a lie in the universe somewhere and it made his head hurt.But today was shopping day. Supplies and security, and always, always the long deliberation over which pastry to choose for Sunday breakfast. You always take the same one, he could have told her. You always take the cheapest.The bus was full. His mother took the nearest seat and he settled in behind, backpack full and pushing into the crowd. So many people, he started to feel awkward and ashamed, he wished he’d worn more clothing but on such a hot day… And so it was that he fixed on his mother’s hands, gripping the metal back of the seat in front, moving, tightening, moving again as if in search of the most enduring surface.Shelling peas, sweet green summer peas, tension to break the skin and then grace as they fell into the metal bowl. I can’t wait, I can’t wait any longer, I’ve got to get to the bar.

Ideation by Al McDermid

I hold it in my hand, feel its compact, substantial weight, and marvel at the mechanical precision. I insert a single bullet, my only bullet, and spin the cylinder. I listen to it purr, and when it stops, I pull back the hammer; the cylinder locks with a loud click. But I don’t know where the bullet is, so release the hammer and ease it back into place, and set the piece on the table.

I pick up instead the sliver of carbon-tempered menace by its walnut handle, admire its balance, the precision of its edge, so lethal a mere thought could move it through flesh. I sharpen it nonetheless, push it lovingly across the stone, the rhythmic act a meditation.

I stand at the far end of the platform, where the train enters the station, only beginning to slow. I toe the edge, well inside the yellow warning strip, close my eyes and the train rush by as if it’s nothing but hot wind.

I cannot reach the edge at the top of the tower that houses my office, but he wind here is cooler, stronger, and unrelenting. I sense I would fly for a time, fly across the seemingly endless sea of light that must, from space, appear as an incandescent stain.

The 8 O’Clock Pig by Heather Taylor

Sittin on the doorstep
Pullin on me boots
I can’t wait
White dog
Ruby wants to hunt
Lickin my chin
She can’t wait
Paws blasted by gravel
Tail waggin
Eyes on me
Tracking gear on
Rifle at half cock
We crawl under the fence
It’s 6 a.m. darktime
The grass is crunchy
We run
The pig won’t wait
Ruby goes hard down the game trail
I hear from the ridge
V8 grunts
She’s got em
A hundred metre find
Run through the supplejack
Cut up the bank
Good marks in the mud
Splash through the creek
They’re mixing it
Grab the hocks
Lay on it
Flood me jacket
Out with the knife
In with the knife
Hit the heart
Ruby pulls it downstream
Blood up me elbow
Look at the hooks
We’re soaked
It’s the 8 o’clock pig

Arrivals by Matt Potter

The key scratched in the lock and his travel bag skidded across the floorboards as he threw it inside.

Floating candles glowed on tables.

‘His’ and ‘His’ towels hung in the bathroom.

The poppers, the Viagra, the chorizo – all had been ordered and all had arrived.

I hugged his broad shoulders, kissed him long on the lips, and then I saw it – a tattoo.

“Where did you get this?” I asked, fingertips tracing the 666 on his forehead, red and bumpy.

“What?” he said.

I looked into his eyes.

“Oh, that,” he said, hand closing his fringe over the new scar. “It’s a lot less offensive when I stand on my head.”

He smiled, walked down the hallway, and closed the toilet door behind him.

My knuckles rapped softly against the wood.

“Who is it?” he said.

“I think we need to talk, Nathan. What’s happened?”

He opened the door a crack, fully dressed. “Oh, you know,” he sighed. “My endless search for meaning. Sometimes things can take a bit of a wrong turn.”

I reached for his forehead through the doorway but he flinched.

“No,” he said.

I stood beside the closed door for a full five minutes. Once, perhaps, I heard muffled sobs.

“Can I get you anything?” I asked.

“Some chorizo would be nice,” came his voice from the other side. “You can leave it on a plate by the door.”


Forward to Wk #15 – Sleep

3 Responses to “Week #14 – I can’t wait

  1. […] are EIGHTY-EIGHT and THERE YOU ARE so I’m a very happy bunny to be part of […]

  2. I think my favorite from this week was ‘Eighty Eight’, though of course they were all wonderful!

  3. I like the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great blog posts. Houston Tantra – Tantric Sexuality 3131 Memorial Ct. Suite 301 Houston, TX 77007 (832) 615 6425

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