The majority of entries in this decade paint a picture: a scene, a person, a place, an emotion, a moment between moments, the very act of making a decision. The first five seem to give you everything you expect: setting, character(s), action. Number 36 really stands out to me. It begins more cryptic, poetic. Only at the end do we get a glimpse of character. I think it may be my favourite of the 130 Tales so far because I don’t fully remember everything about it but every time I read it I like, more and more, what I discover in it. The last four revert to the aforementioned structure: setting, character(s), action – even sparse Number 38 and humble Number 39 show this. I’m happy, overall, with re-reading these; it seems the groove I fell into during the last decade is still pushing Past Me forward.
31 – 40
31. The bus threw us from our seats. We laughed, heads dashing from smile to smile. Limbs flashing all around, animating redundancy.
32. It burns down his throat, cauterizing every crack and rip. The sting of health. His wrapped hand lowers the glass, red, newly wet.
33. Her lips absorb cold and rest on plastic. Dead eyes stare into the space beyond as a rainbow of cream dances in her stoic hands.
34. She smells of chocolate. He, probably of onions. He wants to say hello but is afraid she’ll laugh. We will never mix, he thinks.
35. His breath slows as shadowed stripes make-up her face. Inside, his heart plays a circus and he fears its trumpets will wake her.
36. Relief. Everywhere, it’s falling. Painting the ground with water like a phone call to say “I’m on my way.” A soft pat in my eye.
37. Head fuzzed, he tears the sheets in front of his eyes and finds the unknown. Muddled, he pushes hard, hands like clockwork.
38. Today, I think I’ll be three people.
39. The jovial brick exclaims, ‘Believe it or not This is the Place.’ Its youthful lustre shining amidst chipped paint and neon light.
40. The river never broke. Unlike the train stuck in its tunnel the people kept pouring in, clogging platform and stairwell.