Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Raw Material for a piece

He would have had footsteps across the bricks of red square. I wonder what they sounded like. Soft shoes or hard boots. Did the fabric of his pants make sounds as he took purposeful steps towards his destination? Was his smell fresh or repugnant? Was he bald from chemo or from stress? Did he have an ex-wife who found a new husband with full hair or an erect penis? Did he talk with his children? Did his ears react to the wildcat scream of the passing skateboarders or did his eyes focus on the faces of the children walking by? Was his hand steady or clumsy or shakey as he unscrewed the cap from the container? Did the smell of the fumes excite him in the stomach or genitals or legs? Was it warm or cool as it ran over his body and soaked into his jeans? Was this a reminiscent of wetting his pants as a child? What was he afraid of? Did a wind chill him then? How many times did he fail to strike the match? To spark the flint? Were his hands practiced by years of cigarettes or did his virgin fingers pain easily like a day of picking of guitar? How long until he felt the heat in his eyes? Was he ever on a camping trip with his grandfather in the cascades or on the shores of red lake? Was he ever burnt by an oven furnace before? Did he ever receive as much attention as he did now? Was his mind retreated into fantasy or was he alive in the moment with senses blazing? Were his eyes open to a white light or caked shut by boiling flesh? Did he choke on his own smoke line? Was he conscious enough to feel disappointed he didn't die immediately? Was he ever in a spelling bee or first love in middle school? Was it fitting his final words were mumbled incoherently to be repeated later for attention by some cooze who never wore worn out shoes?

Am I right to tell my mother that you cant feel sympathy for everyone? Was it sorrow or irony that brought the rains the next day?

2 comments:

pfffitsLauren. said...

This is brilliant, Cooper.
The way you incorporate the reader into a glimpse of the writing process, perhaps. Like you're taking them along for the ride. It's such a different, detailed approach carried out quite well with the ending weaving about and wrapping it all up so nice and neat...

It gives a melancholic and haunting vibe. And it makes me wish I knew this man, what deferred him from his path of hope and what I could do to save him. I feel like we all know this man in a minimal sense.

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