Posts Tagged ‘death’

STORY – “Man, boy, truck, eighteen months”

Friday, February 5th, 2010

truck, story, fiction, death, mourning



The father stared down at his boy who sat there in a comfy over-stuffed chair, eyes fixed on the television screen, playing some game, doing this for hours, and the father wondered, What am I going to do with this boy?


He got in his truck and drove downtown and almost ran a red light, thinking what he was going to do about his boy.


His wife, the boy’s mother, dead eighteen months and she might have known what to do with the boy.


He met his new lady friend and they held hands going into her bedroom and they went crazy for a while and he forgot everything, but afterward he stared up at the ceiling while she pushed his penis left, then right, checking if there was any fun left in it for the day, but he was thinking about his boy.


He had coffee in a bad coffee place where everyone sat on stools or alone in booths or on chairs, thinking over their own private matters concerning what to do about something or whether there was anything to do about any of it.


He moved off from his chair and the half-bad coffee, paid and stood outside on the pavement in the sun and felt his cheeks and chin that were beginning to need a shave pretty badly, and he had to watch out, not let himself go, wondering and staring off and thinking and even thinking about chin and cheek hair like variations of staring at games on a screen, exercising the thumbs, endless testing between television images and thumb reactions.


He got in his truck and sat there and thought about his boy. The day was getting hotter.


He started the engine, put it in gear, but, still thinking, he took it out of gear, turned off his engine, and sat there for a long time.


Thinking was like his new job. Mostly he sat still, staring at the dark inside his head, wondering what to do about his boy, sometimes even thinking what to do about himself, but not as much.


Finally he started his truck again and drove back home to sit a ways off in the living room and watch his boy play his game and then watch some more, waiting for both of them to get involved with the next part of their separate lives.

Story – A cat dies

Saturday, November 7th, 2009


In 2003, a cat I shared the house with died. I wrote a short piece about its last days. Later I turned it into a dramatic  monologue I directed for the theater. Here’s the words, & a link to the monologue.

This morning the cat, Tanit, twelve years of bad character and weird behavior, was found when Monique went to get the vacuum cleaner in the veranda and I heard her scream. Kitty was dead in the corner of the veranda, laying hidden between the stove and the wall, behind inert domestic equipment. She’d been dead a day or two, one side of her flat from lying in the same position. Eyes open, goop having leaked from them.

She had had a tumor diagnosed at the beginning of the summer. She limped and stumbled toward her death. Carefully moving in the garden from one stone slab to the next, sometimes listing sideways, her usually adroit paws colliding with one another, once ending up on her side in the corgette plants.

She would get up, knowing something was dreadfully wrong, and move on. She panted on, lying under the fir tree when it was too hot, going from one spot to another, usually avoiding the sun, whereas in days gone by she was always trying to follow the sun, gather its warmth, bathe in it.

The last Saturday of her life we had a ten people over for lunch in the garden, and she had joined us, being socialable, rubbing and even eating, with relish, some bits of beef I gave her. I could see her eating the dropped morsels with gusto, then, during a good gnaw the sixth piece, suddenly she froze, her eyes figuring, the pain there, a sudden loss of appetite, and she turned and walked into the neighbor’s bushes, and sat, then lay down in the shade, unmoving. During lunch, I had picked her up and laid her emaciated body across my two palms and showed her to everyone. She did not move; she had purred.

Now flies land on her corpse, and scamper toward her eyes, to suck on those unblinking orbs.

*******

That was the original bit I wrote.  Five years later, I turned it into a monologue. If you watch the video of it I made here.

Close listening will reveal that some textual changes were made. Nearly always necessary for spoken text adapted from prose meant for reading. Much of it is the same, however, with only the names have been changed to protect…