Literary Foreplay

Cadaverish – just-dead – temperatures. A porch, in the sense that California homes have porches, which is to say wood slats and a balcony. Sunset approaches. A woman lingers by the shore, talking to herself, the way women do.  Two mosquitos join me.

The phone vibrates – nothing rings anymore – and I stagger to the table.  A voice, twenty years distant, shrouded in depressing tones of loss and nostalgia, speaks.


Yea, lunch. Ok.

My generation overflows into decade five, the Doors and Zeppelin concert T-shirts finally succumbing to worsted wool and the vague sense that we’ll be needing a healthy dose of something medicinal.  Phone calls like this suggest imminent death, or curiosity, or some unknown debt or regret that someone has held on to for a score and now needs to settle.  Thus, the anxiety.

A person doesn’t prepare for lunches like this so much as dread them.  Reliving the events of the past, searching for some reason for a rendezvous with history, can cause some like serious angst.  Does this convey a sense of inner guilt, a complex life woven whilst trying to avoid the frayed thread of remorseful remembrance?

I enter the restaurant, scanning the room for a recognizable face.  Cracked paint and old leather frown back at me.  Then, between crescent lips, teeth appear, a Cheshire grin suggesting something sinister.

Hello, old friend, we need to talk.

 Roget doesn’t have enough synonyms for trepidation.

By ccxander

2 comments on “Literary Foreplay

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