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 Fall

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Theo
El Inquisidor
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Numarul mesajelor : 132
Varsta : 33
Localizare : Bucuresti
Data de inscriere : 04/08/2008

MesajSubiect: Fall   Joi 7 Aug 2008 - 15:14

Fall


That year, summer had ended in downpours and the first days of autumn had been moist, though sunny. The fallen leaves were bright orange and those that still lingered in the trees were red, as though the trees gave a final blush before taking their green dress off.

I met him in late October.
He was looking at the church and I couldn’t help but to follow his gaze.
“What a perfect place to put it” he said and, since there was no-one else, I assumed he was talking to me. Had he not spoken first, I would probably have walked away and that would have been it. No hellos, therefore no good-byes, and no words exchanged in between, no smiles, no tears, no mild confabulations about everything and nothing at the same time.
“Mhm” I nodded, looking at the red brick, the massive shut doors, the barred windows and the dusty, almost imposing towers. Then I noticed his finger pointing at something.
It was a sign that said ‘Home – Pub&Bar’ and led to a dim-lit interior, with green walls and wooden tables.
“Home is where your heart is” he said. “The church is across the street.”
I threw in a chuckle, nodded and continued on my way.
But the next day I knew I’d meet him again. I had the same sensation one usually has just before a moment deja-vu, when they know what’s going to happen and enjoy seeing the jigsaws falling into place. I walked around the corner, a bit fast I think, and there he was – red hair that was a bit wet, a tight jacket that didn’t look very warm, brown jeans that were a bit dirty, and muddy shoes that looked like they’ve been through a lot. He smiled and said hello, like someone who had been expecting me.
“Hi.” I answered. “Is the church still here?”
“Stability is one of the major assets of religion,” he smiled.
I don’t remember who said it first, but someone offered a coffee and we went in. So it began. We talked about all sorts of things. At first, we resumed to discussing current events, if only to cover up the awkward silence. I never asked him about himself, although I meant to.
During the first week I saw him thrice, and each time the conversations drew longer. During the second week – which was rainy – I saw him almost every day. We didn’t share phone calls. If he’d be “home”, we’d talk, and if not, I’d look for him the next day.
I think we covered most topics. He had a way of bringing words out of me, by placing the proper bait and causing the right ripples. So I remember my own opinions, which right now seem a bit far-fetched, but I can’t seem to recall his, though at the time they felt pretty wise and definitely solid. That is the other thing about him. He openly shared his opinions – I always heard him and smiled, laughed or nodded, because they seemed imaginative and smart – and yet he kept them to himself.
There was one time however, that I can actually call to mind. I remember feeling very odd at the moment. It slipped my mind for the rest of the evening, but afterwards, when it all crumbled, it came back: that deja-vu feeling. But this time it was the sensation that I had been living in circles, for reasons I could never fathom.
“That’s what I said,” were his words. It had been a moment of silence. The music had stopped, all conversation around us had ceased and outside the November storm had apparently taken a break. On such occasions, some say, an angel is passing.
“Look at art. The first manifestation of art was a hunting story told through grumbling and vague gestures. Now, people are aiming a bit differently. Breaking of the fourth wall, framed narratives, things you have to look away from in order to really perceive, pocket universes, all that. Everybody wants to be original. They forget the basics. They forget life.”
I shook my head:
“That’s way too much poetry for me.”
“Put it this way then: you agree that we understand only a fraction of existence, right? That fraction we may put in stories, in paintings and such stuff, but we’ll never get the big picture.” I agreed. It seemed reasonable enough. “Now think of DNA” he added. “Everything written at the basic level, everything planned gene by gene. Extrapolate that and you have the entire universe reproduced at a lower scale. And everything is going ‘round in circles.”
“You’ve lost me. How’s that related to framed narratives and all that? Explain it, please, for the simpler folk.”
He laid back against his chair and smiled. It was the thin kind of smile they used to paint on stained glass, long ago. The silence had transformed into a low background noise. The world around had to go on, yet it did so in whispers.
“You’re missing the basics,” he began. “Like a name. In Egypt, you know, they held the name sacred. A man was formed out of body, shadow, and name; they used the name during spells. They developed spells that found that name, complicated rituals, mind-numbing conjurations. But they missed the obvious, so their magic didn’t always work.”
“The obvious being...?”
“The basics I was telling you about. A name is an essential part of someone. You should tell it simply by looking at him, and by hearing it you should be able to remember that person. If you look close enough you will know it.”
I frowned, sighed then looked away. I remember that the coffee was over and I fiddled a bit with the empty cup:
“That’s too sentimental for its own good.”
“But it’s true.”
I scrutinized him. His eyes suddenly turned sad and a bit afraid, as though he had suddenly realized he’d made a mistake. I took what I perceived as an opportunity:
“Prove it,” I said. I thought he would back down, frustrated. He looked at me with a bit of pity, or sorrow, or something else that I’d never understand. The world fell silent again.
“Fine” he muttered. “Name me.”
And I did.
There was a dwarf once, in a fairy-tale, that died or vanished when told his own name. My friend didn’t disappear. He got up – a fluid gesture that made reality ripple – went to the bar and paid. Then he showed me the door and I followed him.

I remember his name even now. It was an odd name that told me everything about him, all at once. It crams everything into a bunch of syllables that suddenly blows up in your mind. There were caves there, odd memories of winds and trees painted upon rock. They weren’t his memories, but were rather like what hair remembers, that helps it grow in its place. But I wasn’t so poetic back then. I was just dizzy. I thought of leaves blown in the wind. I remember the words “not fair” suddenly popping in my head. As I got up I felt the urge to spread my branches and yawn.
There was also a question. I don’t really know if it came along with the name:
“Why?” I asked. It meant “Why are we leaving?”, “Why did you do that?”, “Why couldn’t I do it before?”, or simply “Why now?”, or all of them at once. Or perhaps it wasn’t my question at all.
He shrugged.
“Why not?” he grinned. It was an almost malicious grin, yet sad.
“It’s not fair,” I whispered.
“I know.” After that, he was gone. I don’t even remember which way he went.
Next day, he wasn’t in the pub.
I sat there, (“home alone” as the saying goes) and considered things. He didn’t come. I waited for him the next day, and the day after that. Autumn turned harsh, the naked branches swaying in the storms like hands that waved hello. Or good-bye. The rain formed thick curtains, leaving the ground wet and cold. The leaves seemed to have melted into one another, forming a soft, chilling blanket that covered the streets and the rooftops. The roof of the church was full of them.
But every morning began with a clear sky.
It was on such a morning, at the end of November, that he returned. He knocked on my door, though I had never given him my address. I opened the door, wiped the sleep from my eyes and stared at the muddy apparition that was my friend. The jacket was gone - he was wearing what remained of a T-shirt after it went through November hell. The jeans were a damp, dirty brown, torn to shreds in many places. Bruised skin could be seen underneath. The shoes were completely coated in mud.
Yet his face shined. I think that’s why I followed him.
“Come on,” he said. “You spoke my name. I want you to see this.”
So we went, down the stairs and into the city, me and this red-haired creature that resembled a boy. We walked streets I knew of, navigating through places I have always passed by, and entered new alleyways. As we went by, people stared. Some whispered, others cursed.
The sun was high above us when we slipped along the red wall of the church – now moist with rain and dew – and past the pub.
There we began running.
“Where are we going?” I gasped, after a while.
“Home, I think - the home away from home. It’s not far.”
There are few things worse, I think, than running in autumn. You sweat too much, you get thirsty and there’s all this water around that you can’t drink. And he sped up, making the world a blur again. I remember we passed a beggar by and he didn’t even look up. We were fast, I think, faster than we’d ever been before.
Then the hotel came up. It loomed before us like a giant tower and I was suddenly very afraid. I realized I didn’t understand what was happening. I thought of the doorman, of the receptionist, of the valets and all the guests that would see me running after this red-haired boy. But nobody did. It was probably part of his magic. Like what he did to the stairs that made us climb faster, so that we reached the roof in a matter of seconds. He sighed - a long, deep one - like it was his first real sigh, or his last.
“Here we are. The way home, I think. It’s the perfect place to put it.”
“W-wha-what do you mean?” I groaned.
“On top of other people’s homes.”
“What?”
“Oh, just watch. You named me, so I want you to watch.”
It made me feel stupid. Like there was a set of rules that nobody told me of, that somewhere there was a handbook for this sort of thing, and I hadn’t read it. There isn’t. Believe me. I spend all my days looking for it.
I took a breath.
He took a breath.
“It’s not fair...” we said at the same time. On such occasions, some say, a devil dies.
He snorted:
“I know.”
Then he opened the door to the roof-top and I saw it all. There was the morning sun, peeking from behind grey clouds. Below, there was the city with its churches, pubs, wet winding streets and other people’s homes. There were open windows and flapping curtains. I couldn’t see the cars, but I could hear them, down below, distant and tiny. They were like ants and I was in the dwelling place of the gods.
One of them downed a beer.
Then he placed the empty can down, carefully, as though it was the most precious thing on earth.
“Ok, I’m done,” he said, his voice reminding me of early autumn thunders. “Everybody ready?”
My friend joined them without a word. He seemed sad again. Looking back, he threw me a forced smile and shrugged. It was a weary shrug, as though he was shaking something off, and only when he turned around and headed for the edge I knew what he was about to do.
But I could do nothing.
They spread their wings and jumped, in a flurry of orange plumage.
There was a skipped heart-beat, a silent world, a sudden gust of wind and the memory of red hair tumbling. I remember running. I remember repeating to myself that it couldn’t be, that it wasn’t happening, that it wasn’t fair. I didn’t want to have witnessed that, I felt it had been wicked of him to show me that, like he tainted me, somehow.
I descended the steps as fast as I could, but I had to slow down, breathing hard, and it took me a while before I was on the street again.
There was nothing there. Only a bunch of leaves that I thought were feathers, but weren’t, and the intense feeling that it was not the first time that beings of that sort committed suicide.
Trees shed their leaves every autumn for a very grim reason.

This year, the leaves were first wet, then turned brown and fell. The rain came down almost constantly through October, as though someone was weeping in the sky above. Then November covered everything with chill. Trees no longer blushed this year. Church doors are still shut. They’re always shut. Even if angels come knocking, I think. The poor creatures would freeze outside, fly away or find a place where they’d be welcome.
However, the pub door is always open.

END

ROBERT COLLER
22 November 2007
23:47

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Povestea e putin cam "emo", cam veche si in engleza. Dar mi-am zis ca este despre un bar. Si ideea centrala este despre un bar. Si barul "Home" exista (aici, prin Bucuresti, pe Artur Verona) si e chiar langa o biserica. So there. Surprised
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El Inquisidor
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Numarul mesajelor : 213
Varsta : 32
Localizare : Bucuresti
Data de inscriere : 04/08/2008

MesajSubiect: Re: Fall   Joi 7 Aug 2008 - 16:22

nu e chiar emo, sau nu mi s-a parut mie. parca e putin 'over-dramatic' la final, dar se potriveste cu atmosfera fantastica pe care o ai acolo. cum spunea un mare filozof, 'it makes you feel like the village idiot in an early irish novel' cowboy ...sincer acum, partea cu numele, parul roscat si faza cu There was a dwarf once, in a fairy-tale, that died or vanished when told his own name m-au facut sa ma gandesc la un leprechaun (sau poate un clurichaun).

study The clurichaun [ˈklurəkɑn], or clobhair-ceann in O'Kearney, is an Irish fairy which resembles the leprechaun. Some folklorists describe the clurichaun as a night "form" of the leprechaun, who goes out to drink after finishing his daily chores. [1] Others regard them as regional variations on the same creature.[2]

Clurichauns are said to always be drunk. However, unlike their cousins, they are surly. Clurichauns enjoy riding sheep and dogs at night scratch . If you treat them well they will protect your wine cellar Alcoholic . If mistreated, they will wreak havoc on your home and spoil your wine stock crazy . In some tales, they act as buttery spirits, plaguing drunkards or dishonest servants who steal wine; if the victim attempts to move away from their tormenter, the clurichaun will hop into a cask to accompany them.[3] (via Wiki)

dpdv stilistic nu am nimic de reprosat (in afara de ce am precizat 'live' ). Good job!

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