Saturday, July 26, 2008

Concerning Toothpicks

Tonight I have decided to take up the Great Challenge (or rather Great Ones challenge) and write a quick short story. Well, a short story has a minimum of a thousand words and all Ive typed in the past fifteen minutes is only about 500 words so we cant call it that now can we - I vote for calling it a quickie fix or a choti choti story (watching Hindi songs at the moment)
As we write stories, we place restrictions that make it challenging. Waseems restriction is that it must not have profanity or sexually suggestive themes. Ive added to those restrictions and Waseem, for your piece It needs to be less than six hundred words and has to contain at least one pop culture reference.
I haven't decided a name for this piece. i'l leave it up to you guys. Will also need a few more restrictions to give Waseem a real challenge. Suggestions, criticisms, concerns and views are welcome.
Jack hated when his heart echoed inside him. It felt as if the sound was trying to escape, crashing against his skulls feeble yet immovable resistance. It made him feel like a hollow chocolate Easter Bunny. His heart would only beat when he thought of his beloved Nadia.


The mere spark of her name impaled him. She was the sole skewer that gave everything in the world meaning. What was a joke if Nadia did not laugh, a sentence if she did not like it, or a flavour if she would not taste it. What were words if they had no impact on her. Splinters of an Oak tree. Even the greatest of trees can be whittled into insignificant toothpicks. Had his love also whittled like the mighty Oak?

He was never the only one in the race (wouldn’t be a race then would it – it would just be a guy running) Maybe he wasn’t her type. He wasn’t one of those ‘Joeburg’ boys with their spikey hair, platform boots and daddys money. He would never wear pink or moisturize his elbows. His stubble would always be destined to be just that, stubble. He saw beauty in the bubble-wrap and not in the glass it encased. Perhaps that’s where he went wrong. He gave trinkets when she wanted gifts.

He glanced at the card again, couldn’t be late now could he. He wanted to be remembered for his contributions, his passion and his valor but often felt that he would just be the guy who always pitched up ten minutes late.

He felt ‘backgrounded’, like the music they play in the News broadcasts every evening. Significant, yet never recognized or commended. How could he let go? Everyone lets go of the things they love, but his feelings were more than love. He needed Nadia. You cant let go of something you need. She was his oxygen. He didn’t realize that everyone lets go at some point. The only thing eternal is letting go. He chuckled as he thought about this. Fart references are like Prozac you see.

He glanced at the card once more. As if he could change the words if he concentrated hard enough. He’d like to think that he had OCD, but the truth is that he was only obsessed with one thing. He’d like to think in terms of Psychology. These acronyms lend themselves well to self-flagellation. Increasingly, he was wondering what was wrong with him. Nothing could be wrong with Nadia, so it had to be him. ‘It is rational deduction after all’ he muttered as he laced his shoes. Perhaps he thought that if he vocalized his concerns he would be find it easier to believe them. Maybe he just needed to scream a bit louder, a bit more forceful and with a bit more conviction.

The card was beautiful. ‘It was so her’, he observed as he read the quirky quips and stroked the outlines. Bubbles in a bottle of coke. His memories were very vaudevillian and seemed to get clearer as the days went by.
With one last glance he put down the wedding invitation and adjusted his tie. Today he would finally be the bigger man. Today he will finally begin to hate. Today he will finally let go.



M Junaid said...

To answer three questions some people have already asked - firstly- the nadia in the story is fictional and does not refer to a living nadia. In fact- the first two name considerations were actually nurjahaan or andaleep.
Secondly- it has nothing to do with the girl i liked in 2002 even though the name is similar.
Finally- i don't believe in hate (like my character Jack does) i've written about this before in my concerning relationships post. And i stand by everything i write. Possible titles? Should i continue? Is it crap? Should i give up writing and start selling hangers at the street lights?

Zahera said...

:-D "You are the bubbles in my coke." LOL someone once said this and the line in the last paragraph reminded me of it!

Nadia... my husby says im his, "nadia." Its an interesting story and one that makes me smile every time.

I like this emmy :-) i dont know why but after reading it i just have a massive smile on my face although yes ofcourse i feel for Jack- poor bugger.

Shafinaaz Hassim said...

hey dude..

i enjoyed reading this...
will chat to u more about it :)
sell hangers if u like, but dont giv up on exploring the writers side of u :P


Khadija said...

'No such pain as the pain of unrequited love,' somebody said that, can't think who right now.

An entertaining piece. Stick to writing, there's not much satisfaction to be had from knowing someone has a wardrobe full of the hangers you sold them! But on the other hand, the hanger trade, much unlike the word trade, actually gets you real money... :p

M Junaid said...

Zesticles - I thought I made thatt up! Damn - well, it fits the context of what I wanted to day. My wife will be my jaan and my beloved.. and my woman! Like..'Woman! Make me food! (Kidding)

Kimya - im going to open a restaurant - and eat all my ingredients :)

Khadija - I like that quote. I'm still trying to define 'unrequited'