Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Time for some scratch fiction. Consider this a topic tag, too. If anyone wants to write on ESL - go! Let me know in the comments and I'll link to your story.

"Oh, my. Yes, it really looked so, um...he looked...what's the word..."

Eleanor tried to describe what she saw in her head with her hands, circling them around her head. Doug's boss nodded, smiling, a tiny clump of lipstick clinging to her front tooth. Doug's boss turned to answer somebody else's question and Doug squeezed Eleanor's knee under the table.

Eleanor was to be her best tonight. Charming. Brilliant. Dazzling. Doug's first dinner with the new company and she was on display.

But it chewed at her brain, while she sipped her wine. What was the word? She could see it, the man she was describing, backpack and coffe cup in one hand, books in another, reaching for his ringing cell phone. She saw it, but she couldn't think of the word to sum it up. Not silly. Not ridiculous. For some reason her brain threw up the plays of Samuel Becket, Ionesco. Waiting for Godot. Rhinoceros. What was it what was it?

Eleanor worked with words for a living. She didn't like to see one escape, a raw-muscled fish wriggling from her grasp.

"That's a lovely necklace," Doug's boss was talking to her again, "where did it come from?"

Eleanor touched her throat. "Thank you, it was a..." oh good lord you know this word, opening the wrapping, tied up in a ribbon..."um...from my mother." say something nice back, "your..." shit. Thing, the thing you wear to a formal dinner, Eleanor lightly touched Doug's boss' collar - was that strange? "...beautiful."

Doug's boss beamed. She touched her own collar, and started talking, and the words came from her mouth but seemed to drift somehow before they reached Eleanor's ears. What language was she speaking?

Doug spoke from Eleanor's side, the words colliding and cascading in front of Eleanor's eyes. It's like I'm forgetting my language, thought Eleanor, seeing foreign people sitting in a classroom, practicing words, what is it, what is my language called?

Eleanor smiled and nodded, watching the words pop out of Doug's boss' mouth like fat grapes, like shining ornaments, like puffs of flame, they lit up the room. Eleanor smiled at Doug, seeing images of him at his desk, Doug knocking on his boss' door, his eyes on his boss, his boss reaching across her desk to touch his arm once, twice, more, but she doesn't think "boss" "desk" "arm," she sees him, she sees her, she sees more than she's ever seen, more than she could wish.

Doug's boss turns to Eleanor and pushes out words that make a question, looking at Eleanor, but her breasts are looking at Doug and Eleanor opens her mouth, then closes it and smiles.

"Your wife is such a good listener," says Doug's boss, but Eleanor only sees the bright baubles falling from Doug's boss' mouth, her breasts looking at Doug and her thighs open and Doug and his cock nodding, nodding to his boss.


Bones said...

Poor Eleanor. Flashbacks can be so harsh.

Anonymous said...

Nice shifting of expectations. Hints of an Oliver Sacks case. Mostly nice twist toward adultery at the end.

Thanks for writing again, ma belle!!!