In the Public Garden [Basia Bulat, “The Shore”]

February 26, 2010

He dressed the way one does in a stranger’s apartment–careful to make limited contact with the physical space–balanced on the balls of his feet, the lip of a sofa cushion.  Careful not to stumble into pants, to seem poised.  He wanted his departure to be elegant, if that departure was not to include the offer of a shower or a cup of coffee, gestures that communicate the sort of connection that just a few hours ago had grabbed and shaken them out of their clothes.

Early morning sun leaked into the room and glazed the peaks in the sheets under which the other man lay.  The men stared at different objects in the room:  a throw pillow that had been thrown, a watch on the nightstand, the steam pipe that rattled the way that only one of them was used to and could sleep through.

The act of getting dressed was like erasing the evening, scrubbing the dinner, the drinks, the bland broth of facts they shared about their lives across a table.  Each piece of clothing he slipped on left less evidence on the floor.  If they wanted to, soon they could forget the night they’d spent together, could spend nights with other men in other unfamiliar places.  When he pulled up his socks, there was nothing left of him in the room that he wasn’t carrying away.

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Welcome to The Measure

February 15, 2010

This project is purely a work of play and vanity.  I have long enjoyed flash fiction (short short stories) and write them myself.  Recently, I’ve been working on a long piece of writing and, having hit a block, find that writing short shorts helps unclog the pipes.

As a music junkie, my iTunes is rarely silent, and as I write I find that the music I’m into influences my stories.  Characters demand playlists and entire soundtracks develop over the course of my writing process.  Music has a way of immediately tapping an emotional reservoir–it’s a jackhammer where literature is often a toy trowel (dig dig dig).   So, in order to inject some discipline into my writing life, I thought it would be fun to pick one song per post and use it as the germ of a story, and then share both, without comment or context.

In the nature of keeping content on this blog fresh, I’m giving myself a time limit of 90 minutes to produce each story.  After that, it will be posted in all its Frankensteinish glory.  For me, the point is less to produce polished stories than it is to simply have fun with production.

I’m excited to see how these stories develop and equally excited to hunt through my music library for inspiration.

Note:  All music on this site is copyright its individual owners.  It will be removed if requested.  All text is copyright me.  It will be removed if my icky monster of self-consciousness gets the better of me.