Author Topic: Random Ramblings.  (Read 1943 times)


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Random Ramblings.
« on: July 03, 2009, 12:10:40 am »
So... a few years back, I went to a writers festival. One of the fun activities was to be given a photo, and write a story explaining it. Unfortunately, I've lost the story AND the picture, which annoys me to no end, because I've been reminded of it a lot lately. It was a pretty cool picture, of two young children (a boy and a girl) looking up at an old and crumbling prison wall. ... Anyhoo. I decided to find a picture to help with the followup to that story. That one was about a young boy dragged along on a daily basis by his friend to, basically, keep her company as she longed for the day her father would be released from prison.

I've expanded on those themes a bit, and I think it fits together pretty well as a short bit of fiction even without the original. No idea how good an idea it is to post this, buuuut, since otherwise the only people who are gonna read it are me and my grandmother, I'll post it anyway.

(Oh, and the picture was found via google image search. I -hope- the guy who took it doesn't mind my using it. Since he's put the whole set on his blog, I'm going to assume not.)

Revisiting Memories

I used to idolize Rachel.

I don't think I ever loved her. We were young, you see. Just friends. Very close friends. At times, I even remember hating her, I think. When she used to drag me along in the snow, or the rain, or the driving hail. But. I always idolized her.

Her appearance never showed the strength I saw, she was a gangly child, and malnourished- but weren't we all? In her patchwork dress and her too-worn shoes. She kept her hair in bunches, I recall. It was the color of dirt. My memory isn't what it used to be, though. Most things are the color of dirt these days, as I remember them.

Every day, we would come to look at the wall. After we'd done our chores and our schoolwork. Sometimes, if I was lucky, we'd bring a ball, and I would bounce it from the wall. Other times, we would stand and stare at it. Every day. It didn't matter what else had happened, or was going to happen. For us, the wall was the constant.

Most things seem smaller than I remember them being. Heh. Funny, that the wall is precisely as large as I remember.

I do remember hating it, though. Oh yes. Like nothing else.

Rachel never seemed to hate it as much as I did. Though I suppose, in retrospect, she did. She was just so quiet about it. Every day, she would stand, and stare, and regard it with that quiet strength that I always picture her with. No matter how hot in the summer, or how far in the depths of winter, she would always come and treat it the same way. With that level, judging look. It was a little frightening, actually, to a boy my age.

I never questioned it, though. Always, I came with her. Even if I complained, or tried to suggest other things to do. That became part of the game. I would try to find ways to get her not to make us go to the wall, but, in the end, we would. We always would.

In the old days, it was bare brick, you know. I used to fancy that it had a character of its own. Those walls must have been hundreds of years old. They must have stood up to the judgment of thousands of us. I used to imagine that it was growing tired of us, as I was of it. 'Why don't you just go home early today?' I would imagine it saying. 'I'm still going to be here tomorrow.'

And it was.

I used to idolize Rachel. She was always so much stronger than I was. On the day that it was decided we'd grown old enough to be classified a threat, I tried to get her to leave. The guards had grown tired of it, you see. The behavior was considered 'subversive', and we weren't lovable children any longer. I tried to get her to go, but, she wouldn't. She just looked at it, up at the wall, not the guards, with the same, the exact same, look.

I left.

Now look at the wall. The crumbling brick of the past is repaired, repainted, touched up. But it's the same height, the same shape, the same purpose. Only I am older. 'Why don't you just go home, old man?' It seems to say. 'You left before, and I'm still going to be here tomorrow'.

And it will be. But she won't.
Truly, though our element is time,
We are not suited to the long perspectives
Open at each instant of our lives.
They link us to our losses: worse,
They show us what we have as it once was,
Blindingly undiminished, just as though
By acting differently, we could have kept it so.

-Reference Back, Phillip Larkin