Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Merchandise

Dear Ise:

Just keeping you informed.
The train journey was turning out to be entirely usual and I was beginning to feel miserable again. I had arrived early and paid for my single ticket with a view to leisurely finding a bench and quietly waiting for the train’s arrival. The platform, however, had quickly become crowded and by the time the train came in arriving, might I add, at a slow crawl my view had been completely obscured by rows and rows of tense expectant backs. I held my breath and sucked in my stomach trying to occupy the slightest space possible as I slipped through the crowd; torso twisted to one side and my case clutched firmly to my chest. Hurriedly I made my way down the train to one of those dun, moth like upholstered compartments. I passed the comically taciturn conductor you used to laugh at so much, I wonder if you remember him still?
I intended to keep a compartment to myself until the Wavestown stop at least and adopted my patented scowl whenever I saw someone hopefully look in.
Reader tip Ise: In general a well thought out grimace and scruffy countenance can achieve wonders in the leagues of personal space.
As the train began to crawl backward my compartment empty I congratulated myself on a job well done.

Well it couldn’t last forever I suppose and at Wavestown a young lady while kangaroo-carrying her child bustled in cooing in wonderment at the compartments shabby interior. We exchanged a few formalities about the weather and then fell silent. I returned to reading The Times her to her child and bridal magazines which she had arranged on our shared table with such percision that they reminded me of exhibits at a crime-scene.
Eventually the train’s strong rhythmic ascent took effect and my stomach seemed to lurch with every turn. My travelling companion’s affable jabber to her infant didn’t help much either. She seemed to perpetually smile at the apple cheeked bairn’s squeals and now and again following a particularly cute exclamation from her sprog would give me a conspiratorial wink.
It all began to make me feel ill and I pulled my fedora over my face and turned my back to sleep.

It’s all very unlike me I know and to explain: Following on from that summer in Rosestead I began to feel very overwhelmed by it all (or maybe I mean underwhelmed).
You see all during my stay, the weather had been very changeable with a run of maybe three blisteringly hot days followed by a week of bleak grey rain. It had led me to stay inside for the most part either complaining in loud hyperbole to the other residents of either the soul crushing heat and if not about the morale draining cold. You know how sensitive I am to climate change and of course my tendency for embellishment still I must have bored the dead eyed bunch there half to death (if they hadn’t been going that way already). I also had, despite initial improvement, reverted to rising later and later until I had begun to miss not only breakfast but also lunch and dinner. The atmosphere there just made my appetite disappear I suppose. Soon I even opted out of afternoon tea.

Unfortunately this all lead me to neglect the one duty I cared for at all in Rosestead. The Garden. Initially I had attended it with aplomb. Each morning I laid out the tools needed for the day ahead and shoved two or three cigarettes into my front pocket before setting off. I wore white torn overalls and a wide brimmed straw hat you would have laughed at me, (I think I may still have some photos somewhere). As you know the gardens are practically endless there and for days I was absorbed with weeding, tending, rooting, potting, replanting and watering. There was a lot of work to do the previous gardener had been as lackadaisical as I was, he often complained of the residents ambling around distracting him seemingly. I did find them awfully queer I suppose.

3 Comments:

Blogger pop.11:vecton said...

So far I like it. Big ups for using the word 'sprog' which I had never heard until I read it, but is sweet. I like the voice the narrator has– you've done a good job of making him unique. I feel like I have a pretty good handle on his character just from the little bit I've read.

I don't really have any critiques to make at the moment, since this is in its early stages. I'll be interested to see how this turns out. I want to know who the narrator is addressing.

More importantly, though, I want to know where the zombies fit in.

7:50 PM  
Blogger autran said...

Good stuff:
The letter-writing style.
Good job on creating intrigue about what happened in between him being a gardener and getting on the train. And intrigue about the other references.

Bad stuff:
Too short to say much about it.

12:33 PM  
Blogger pop.11:cistern said...

Cistern you complete muppet, DO BETTER!!
Rewrite with additional not crapness on its way.

2:05 PM  

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