Spot 042: With Foresight

 

OF AN AFTERNOON
by Bill Floyd

The day was rainy and cold. You lived down the hall with your boyfriend, who worked nights, so you wanted to get out and let him sleep a while. I had the game on TV, muted, with Jim O’Rourke’s “The Visitor” on the stereo. Music like treebranches, each branch terminating in a unique leaf, sun-kissed or rain-dappled or windswept. We got a little high and talked about the things that were important to us, things that wouldn’t have made sense to anyone else. Nothing physical happened, yet it felt intimate. Yes it did. Then came the night with its strong drink and its regrets, but I never regretted the smoky blues of our rainy afternoon.

See Authors page for Bill’s bio.

 

 

HAIR RAZOR
by Paul de Denus

We lean against the wooden slats like bored inmates killing time and take in the shape of the city. Fred casually pops a cigarette into his mouth, sets fire against a northern chill and brumes me in a delicious cloud.
“Did you hear about the barber down the alley?”

Fred is missing a few teeth that he exposes when he laughs, a wheezing sound that comes whistling up out of some deep vent.
“Nope.”
His forearm slides through the gate, flicks orange spark out into the cold air.
“The fag he lived with?” Fred coughs. “Fuckin’ barber cut the guy’s head off.”

Fred doesn’t give away much. His face is a carved totem, like one of those dime store types you’d see down in Arizona. I count the seconds, wait for him to crack a calculating smile. It doesn’t come. I peer down the alleyway. On the corner, the quiet barbershop sits buried dead in snow, its drawn yellow-curtained windows now accessorized with yellow Police tape.

“You’re kidding.”
“Nope. That’s what I heard. Cut the head clean off.”
I didn’t know the barber, though I’d contemplated several times going in for a quick trim having passed his door a million times. The place never felt right, the building off-putting, sealed in dated stucco. I imagined the barber standing deathly still behind his seated partner, light conversation and electric trimmer buzzing the air, the smell of talc, the pulling of the razor, the benign, “take a little more off the top, love?”

See Authors page for Paul’s bio.

 

 

‘A HISTORIAN IS A PROPHET IN REVERSE’
by Sandra Davies

Never wittingly a namesake – how could it be since I knew nothing of her existence? – merely coincidence because I had named my daughter for the month that she was due, with the smallest nod towards a school-friend whose straightforward confidence I admired and knew I lacked. (Not that I believed such qualities will transfer simply by naming!)
Eventually the other one appeared, first in a census maybe, daughter of a shopkeeper named David, then at the wedding of my grandmother, tall and splendid in an ostrich-feather hat. And eventually, at forty-five, she married and then, later, died, bequeathing her engagement ring to my father’s sister, who married later still, at sixty.
Before my father’s sister died she gave the ring to me, asking that I give it to my daughter ‘Since they shared a name, it seems but fitting.’
The ring, tiny as rings from the past always seem to be, had diamonds and, I think, some opals, and when I related its provenance to my determinedly-single daughter she laughed and estimated she could expect to wed when she was seventy-five.
But I doubt I’ll be around to see if it comes true.

See Authors page for Sandra’s bio.

 

 

WHILE I WAS READING PROUST
by Michael D. Brown

Every afternoon she sat in the same seat, or if taken when she stepped on, she would stand over the passenger in the otherwise empty car until he or she either reached their destination or removed themselves, perhaps with a huff, so she could sit as she made it so obvious that was what she wished to do. She would then reach into her tattersall bag and pull out her Modern Library Finnegans Wake and pretend to read another page. I could see where this was going long before it came about. Completing Joyce’s most impenetrable opus was not her main goal.
The other regular, obviously moneyed, who did not express a preference for any particular seat, but did ride the same compartment, always traveled in dark clothing of blue, or gray, or brown, sometimes a business suit, but more often casual wear, would wait until her book appeared before he extracted his own hardcover copy of Gaddis’ JR from his attaché.
I often wondered why these two chose such heavy tomes to flirt with and why it took them so long to connect. We shared the ride for well into three months.
After a week of traveling solo, I read about his body being found in a dumpster. The police had no clues about his assailant, and though I could have offered them a hint or two, I would not. We had all worked so hard at not being noticed, I figured such a perfect situation should remain unresolved.

See Authors page for Michael’s bio.

 


Illustrations for Spot 042 by mdjb

 

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One Comment to “Spot 042: With Foresight”

  1. This Spot’s contributions from Bill, Paul and Michael read like entirely satisfying novels, totally negating the limit of the wordcount; I’d say Tardis-like except I am not a Dr. Who fan.

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