When cutting a headstone in an as yet to be determined timeframe, the family of Hans Rausch might well consider remembering him as a man of precision.
Not the sort to be late to his own funeral or indeed anyone else’s.
That’s not to say that Hans was an impatient man. On the contrary if he were a man to believe in such sanctities as sainthood, Hans Rausch could hold his own with any halo bearer in a game of wait quietly and, quite frankly, would wipe the floor with even the most patient pietist who dared challenge him to a quick round of who blinks dies.
Simply put, Hans was a stoic soul who would not stand for sloppiness, tardiness or unnecessary delay.
If I were to take a quick straw poll of average humans on an average day in Averageville (Popn: Lots) asking how they thought their lives could be improved I’m willing to bet (don’t quote me, I don’t have a lot of spare cash right now) an above average number would claim that the addition of stuff (or indeed, things) would be the way to go.
And they’d be wrong.
Poor, sweet, hypothetical fools.
Today marked the end of my fourth week in a new job. People change jobs all the time of course, but for me, smack in the middle of my forties and with no experience of life with another employer on the African continent it was quite a scary leap.
It’s the best decision I’ve made in a very long time.
Ah but you’ll miss it when they’re gone.
To some degree at least.
Wrote this quite a while ago. Like the idea but not sure I like what I’ve written.
Please have at it with sticks.
I push the button and wait for the chaos. Two shapes dart past the frosted glass of the front door. The gate buzzes, releases and swings open. I have just enough time to close it and turn around before I’m enveloped in a three way maelstrom of children and dog.
I fend off the dog with one hand, low five my son with the other and shuffle forward bearing the weight of a three year old blonde haired limpet on my right leg. She slides off me just before the steps.
“Yucch Daddy! Why are you all sweaty?” Her nose wrinkles.
“I’ve been running my love, that’s what happens.”
She gives me a serious look and then starts laughing. “StinkEEE Daddy!” She runs inside yelling and giggling.
According to my extensive internet-based research, a blog post at the tail end of one year or the beginning of the next is legally obliged to include some kind of list. Top ten achievements, number of words written, number of kilometres jogged* – that kind of thing.
So with that in mind here’s a list of blog-relevant stuff I didn’t do enough of in 2017.
End of list.
2017 was a very weird year for me and subsequently 2018 seems to have kicked off with the inevitable hangover. Somewhere during the course of the year I misplaced my ambition and I’m having a bugger of a job finding it.
As a general rule I tend to shy away from re-posting old stories but for some odd reason this one has been nagging at me for the last couple of days so while I’m busy with some new things I hope to like here’s an old thing I actually do like. As always with these things there’s a little bit of history threading its way through a whole heap of fiction…
“We’re really so sorry Craig. She was an amazing woman.”
“The best of the best.”
“She was so sweet, so gentle. We all loved her.”
“Amy was one of a kind, she didn’t deserve for this to…”
“I broke your pie dish.”
That one simple truth banished the spell of unending platitudes. Caught me off guard. “Sorry, you broke…?”
“The pie dish.” Deb looks at me and makes a circle with her hands. “Round thing. Generally used for the carrying and serving of pies.”
I’m in a room with mismatched curtains, wooden floors and freshly painted skirting boards. There’s nothing here except for a computer and an office chair on a rug that’s rucked up around the edges. I can’t see what to do…
“Come out! Come out!” screams a voice in my head and then I remember this is real life and not the fucking Crystal Maze and neither Ed Tudor-Pole nor Richard O’Brien can save me however much I beg, plead or wheedle.
Besides, it’s an automatic lock in.
The sky colours in the dark with pink and orange fingers.
Birds chatter their approval in myriad voices growing bolder with each passing minute. Guinea fowl screech from the rooftops, setting the dogs to lend their rumbling bass to the chorus greeting the dawn.
Today marks the 25th time that I’ve been fortunate enough to sneak some of my words past the editorial team at Literally Stories. They’ll see through all my limitations one of these days but until then I intend to wallow in the thrill of people I respect enjoying what I have to say.
The new piece is called February. I hope you like it.
“I told him it wasn’t on the menu but he said I should speak to you.”
“It’s fine, don’t worry. He’s been coming here for as long as I can remember.”
Harry Shaw didn’t hear the conversation from the kitchen but he was confident of the outcome. His starter portion of veal tonnato on a Thursday evening was the ballast that held the unravelling of his life firm and steady. He was as much a part of the A Tavola furniture as the black and white shots of spaghetti-eating celebrities that filled most of the walls. For Harry, Thursday nights offered up the perfect mix of ambience and peace. Enough noise for him to bask in the warm, familial murmur of a well run machine but not the overt harshness of a full house weekend.