first attempt at changing it upPosted: March 11, 2009
[“I write one page of masterpiece to ninety one pages of shit,” Hemingway confided to F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1934. “I try to put the shit in the wastebasket.” Here’s my first attempt. Might be more of the same.]
There has always been a frontier. There has always been an escape. A journey to be had. An adventure to be experienced. The world, however, has become tethered together by fiber-optic cables. The world has become a convenience. The worn chairs of cafes gather dust, the tables grow weary for conversation to be had over them. Leaves change colors. Robin walks, unflinching, to a nearby building. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee grows stronger. A nearby postbox awaits correspondence. “Let’s go somewhere we haven’t been before,” Tim suggests to her, from five paces away. He sits in a wrought iron chair. Another is parallel to his, drawn out from under the table. Robin takes the hint, and sits, carefully removing a new coat. The wind whistles by.
“Where do you suggest we go?” Robin speaks, stealing sips from a cold coffee.
“Paesi che non ho mai veduto e vissuto con te.”
“You bastard. You know I can’t speak Italian.”
“I know you like, or, should I say, liked, that Bocelli song.”
“Why did you change your answer?”
The table wobbled with the weight of a human shoulder. It hadn’t done so for quite some time.
“Hey, do you have some cash?”
A man nudged to Tim, who was three paces away. His coat was torn and his face was tired.
“Yeah, but I’m going to buy a coffee,” Tim replied turgidly. There was the sound of footsteps, and the sound of the exact same question asked to someone else. Robin scoffed at him, as she often did. “What?” Tim says, “I figured it’d be a dick move if I told the guy that I had no cash, then proceed to buy something with the cash no more than five minutes after.” There were the soft taps of footsteps chiming in every two minutes. Tim turns to Robin once more. “Come with me. Let’s do something.”
“You’re always one vague sonofabitch,” she replies, her words like daggers grazing skin, “Con te partiro, someday, but not today.” She stands. He does so as well.
“We could go with each other, explore countries that don’t even exist anymore, see sights that people ignore in favor of their cellphones, listen to nature for once, sail on a ship that floats on water rather than air, sit on a bench in the middle of nowhere and just…” Tim pauses. Robin seems enthralled.
The hopeless romantic, Tim, leans in, hoping for his lips to meet something other than air.
A leaf falls from a tree, turning with the wind. Robin storms off, each step making her voice grow faint. Tim could barely decipher her message. She screams, over the sound of civilization, “I mean seriously, who takes a train anywhere anymore?” The click-clack of wheel on metal rail grew louder. That usually signified the start of an adventure, or the end of a journey. In this case, the proving of a point.
The P.A. buzzed the announcement of an incoming train.