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The sour-looking man on the train (600, sorry couldn’t stop) :: 'mouse :: 9
    TAGS: perfection

It might have been the sound of the breaking surf or the cry of the gulls, it may have been the hot sun beating down on him burning with the most intense heat he had ever experienced in his life, it may have been the agony of the fine salt spray which was drifting down and settling into the deep cuts that covered his back, arms, face and legs, or it may have just been that something deep in the reptile-core of his brain that wasn’t ready to die and knew he would die right there on the beach if he didn’t move and move soon, but whatever it was, it caused him to take a breath of the burning air, feebly spit out a mouthful of gritty sand (or was it crushed teeth?) and open one swollen eye which he quickly shut again as a wave of nausea overtook him and the events of last night flickered through his brain like disjointed images from an old black and white film: The glorious weeks spent sailing on the 42-foot antique wooden sailboat which he had lovingly restored as his life’s dream work, hand rubbing the teak until it glowed from within, applying coat after coat of varnish, and polishing the brasswork to a shine which showed more than pride of ownership – it showed that the work had purified his soul, taking him away from his old life of hustle and bustle into a completely different universe which measured time in seasons and the movements of the stars and reached back over thousands of years of sailing ships, all reflected in the shape and the rocking of the compass and the creak of the wheel; then, flick, images of the nights he had spent in Monaco, partying with famous people – one night standing on Paul Allen’s 175-foot motoryacht listening to a group of people who were looking down at his sailboat, ice clinking in their drinks, discussing the beauty of the person, the soul, who had the time and freedom to maintain such a glorious antique and dreaming their own dreams of taking such a boat round-the-world; flick, the woman in the red dress who moved from party reveling to small-boat sailing with instinctive grace, naturally joining him as he steered toward Madagascar, his next stop; flick, the lovely days and nights spent slowly sailing south along the Coast of Africa, mooring, sometimes for a week at a time where the fishing was good “just because,” no agenda, nothing but the smoke from the hibachi and the gentle rocking of the boat and the two of them, soulmates at peace with the world; flick, that night in the doldrums, with the moon overhead and the sea glowing with green phosphorescence, flick, the black looming oil tanker which came suddenly from nowhere in the silent night, destroyed everything, and continued on never noticing the carnage; flick, days on the ocean clinging to a piece of shattered wood, mourning for the loss of his love, wishing he could let go and sink into the blackness; flick, sinking into the blackness; and now this, the hot beach, his battered body and yet, the sense that somehow, this beach was where he was meant to be, the next phase of his life – then, as it always did at this time, the cry of the gulls changed, becoming the shattering ring of his alarm clock demanding he get up and make his way downtown to the office where the model sailboat next to the fax machine might keep his spirit from dying for one more day.
February 3, 2006 at 10:28 PM
Keith's avatar

Great sentence, although you’ve let me down by letting the whole thing be the imaginings of some poor office worker.  Damn!  Why couldn’t it have been true?

(I think you mistakenly left out an semi-colon, right after “phosphorescence”, before one of the flicks.)

Keith on 02/03/06 at 04:18 PM
bakerina's avatar

Oh, dear little Nutmeg.

bakerina on 02/03/06 at 04:39 PM
'mouse's avatar

Thanks, Keith.

I was going to have it be true and I knew exactly where it was going and then I read Boot’s entry and it got my off on a different track.  Also, I was getting scared when I found I was still going strong at 639.  You’ve now prompted me to consider offering a full-length “director’s version” with the original ending that was rejected in the focus groups.

'mouse on 02/03/06 at 04:43 PM
Jo's avatar

OMG mouse that was AWESOME.

Jo on 02/03/06 at 05:17 PM
boot's avatar

Tres bien! C’est tres magnifique!

Oh, my, but that was nasty and excellent - and all in one 600* word sentence.

Hey, I’m not a focus group!  Am I?  I’m not sure that I’m even focused.  Still, if I’m being blamed for that in any way, then at least I’m a happy and unfocused boot.

When do we get to see the director’s cut?


* show-off

boot on 02/03/06 at 08:58 PM
'mouse's avatar

Director’s cut (It wasn’t a dream) (700* *showoff)
It might have been the sound of the breaking surf or the cry of the gulls, it may have been the hot sun beating down on him burning with the most intense heat he had ever experienced in his life, it may have been the agony of the fine salt spray which was drifting down and settling into the deep cuts that covered his back, arms, face and legs, or it may have just been that something deep in the reptile-core of his brain that wasn’t ready to die and knew he would die right there on the beach if he didn’t move and move soon, but whatever it was, it caused him to take a breath of the burning air, feebly spit out a mouthful of gritty sand (or was it crushed teeth?) and open one swollen eye which he quickly shut again as a wave of nausea overtook him and the events of last night flickered through his brain like disjointed images from an old black and white film:  The glorious weeks spent sailing on the 42-foot antique wooden sailboat which he had lovingly restored as his life’s dream work, hand rubbing the teak until it glowed from within, applying coat after coat of varnish, and polishing the brasswork to a shine which showed more than pride of ownership, it showed that the work had purified his soul, taking him away from his old life of hustle and bustle into a completely different universe which measured time in seasons and the movements of the stars and reached back over thousands of years of sailing ships, all reflected in the shape and the rocking of the compass and the creak of the wheel; then, flick, images of the nights he had spent in Monaco, partying with famous people, one night standing on Paul Allen’s 175-foot motoryacht listening to a group of people who were looking down at his sailboat, ice clinking in their drinks, discussing the beauty of the person, the soul, who had the time and freedom to maintain such a glorious antique and dreaming their own dreams of taking such a boat round-the-world; flick, the woman in the red dress who moved from party reveling to small-boat sailing with instinctive grace, naturally joining him as he steered toward Madagascar, his next stop; flick, the lovely days and nights spent slowly sailing south along the Coast of Africa, mooring, sometimes for a week at a time where the fishing was good “just because,” no agenda, nothing but the smoke from the hibachi and the gentle rocking of the boat and the two of them, soulmates at peace with the world, making love so natural and spontaneous that time stood still and nature sighed; flick, that night in the doldrums, with the moon overhead and the sea glowing with green phosphorescence; flick, the black looming oil tanker which came suddenly from nowhere in the silent night, destroyed everything, and continued on never acknowledging or noticing the carnage in its wake; flick, days on the ocean clinging to a piece of shattered wood, mourning for the loss of his love, wishing he could let go and sink into the blackness; flick, sinking into the blackness, following the brightness that he first thought represented The End before he felt the heat and the grit and the pain; and now this, the hot beach from which he would finally crawl once the sun set, finding fresh water flowing just a few feet from where he had washed ashore, building shelters, first near the shore and then later further up the island’s volcanic mountain where he could hide when boats approached, restoring his body, and slowly, oh so slowly, restoring his spirit which would first sink into pure, animal primitivity and then gradually re-grow, perhaps from that same core that kept him alive on the first day, until, one day, more than 17 years after he arrived on that hot island, he would finally rediscover loneliness, know his heart had healed sufficiently to allow him to light the signal fire, and surrender himself to rescue, civilization, people, boatbuilding, the sea once again, new adventures and, if he was truly blessed, love again.

'mouse on 02/04/06 at 12:41 PM
'mouse's avatar

[comment moved from discarded post]
Yep, you’re a show-off.  Good thing it’s jusitified.  I think I like the tale with the twist better.  However, it’s a close thing and they’re both great.

17 years sounds nice until you realise he had no coffee.

boot on 02/03 at 07:20 PM

'mouse on 02/04/06 at 12:45 PM
'mouse's avatar

what fun!

'mouse on 02/03/09 at 09:58 PM
JadedBeauty's avatar

Wow….I’m super lucky if I can make it to a hundred words without losing steam…
Awesome ‘mouse!

JadedBeauty on 02/04/09 at 08:59 AM



     


 

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