A Hunger for Awareness
What this blog is about is experience and how to convert it into fiction, be it prose or poetry. Usually I will post poems along with certain explanations to give context and credit sources of inspiration. However, I want to debut with a short story published in several consecutive postings. The according context will be given in the next post, so that you can make up your own mind. Without further ado, now, I humbly present…
A Hunger for Awareness
“So how is it?“ the porter asked.
The man who had just entered stopped and looked at him bewildered.
“How is what?”
Meaningfully, the old man in his red uniform, with the shiny brass buttons and the polished shoes, opened his mouth in a toothless grin. “The weather outside.”
Covered in a slowly melting layer of big, soft flakes, the man just stood there in the doorway, with his reddening face in sharp contrast to the whiteness of the rest of his body. Then, grinding his teeth in annoyance, he turned and walked away, mumbling. “The weather outside is frightful.”
Behind him he heard the porter burst into laughter. He should have helped him get rid of the last remainders of his shabby set of teeth. The few seconds the man had held him up through that stupid remark had given the snow enough time to melt, soaking his hat and coat thoroughly. All the people milling around the station, chattering and laughing, made him even angrier. Trying to calm down, he stepped to the counter to buy his well-deserved ticket home. If the train can make it through the blizzard, he thought, I might make it back in time for Christmas. And if his lucky streak held, he might even catch his wife with the iceman or maybe – why not for a change – with the butcher who delivered their Christmas turkey. No, that would be beneath even her low moral standards. His face was burning when he sat down looking like a heap of angry, wet rags.
Absently he started to whistle without even knowing what melody. How did he end up here? A modern day Willy Loman, traveling the small backwater towns with useless goods. How the hell did he ever get into this mess he called his life? He had never been a great sportsman or a great student, but he had made it through college though hardly with flying colors. Now look at me, a useless bum with a promiscuous wife, no children, a job that hardly deserved this label and not even a shattered dream. He was so normal that he had never even thought up his own pipedream. Never had had the need.
“A kiss is just a kiss, right?”
“Wha?” he turned and was stunned to find a sweet looking girl at his side. Sweet like an apple. Maybe twenty he assessed at once. One of those girls, he thought, one of those who made every boy’s and most men’s heart ache for a kiss. Beautiful blue eyes, too. Like bright, blue lakes you wanted to dip into and then slowly drown, so you would never have to get out again.
She brushed back a strain of shiny black hair. Dear Lord, it’s like satin, he thought, almost choking on his sudden need for love.
“The song you were whistling,” it came out between her glossy lips. When her mouth opened slightly in a cute smile, he could see shiny, perfect teeth and a hint of a sweet pink tongue. “Wha?” he stumbled again.
“I mean, isn’t it the theme from Casablanca?” she slowly pulled up the sleeve of her right arm, showing her pristine skin which almost radiated youth in a manner that made it a physical aspect of his sad world threatening to consume his delicate despair.
“I wasn’t really thinking about that, but I guess you’re right,” he finally managed.
She smiled again as innocently as any girl ever could. Yet at the same time she exuded an air of almost wicked heinousness. Her face was a perfect oxymoron of bittersweet promise.
“Oh, me neither, but since I entered this building I cannot get it out of my system. And it’s not just me. You seem to have it on your mind, too, Sir.”
His hands became sweaty and his thoughts slowly slipped away…
Posted in Breath of Fresh Air