Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Finger Print on the Lens

(Farewell, 2008)

Dissecting a portion off, the meat rips from the bones, the bones shower the garbage can, and the waste is quickly disposed of soon after the cooking is done. The bread is grated and the oil is forming small bubbles gathering to burst. The kitchen fills with smells of a labor for hungry stomachs as a master of his own serves chicken, battered in bread chumps and spices, cooked just right, never to hard, always rightfully cooked.
Once the meal has been eaten the cook returns to the kitchen and cleans. In the sink over rushing water he notices a cut on his middle finger, the wound’s opening is folded over underneath the tap, the blood stops, and something happens. Inside this cook, inside his head, and deeper inside of his brain, a rush of activity rushes the networks of neurons; a small city of lights in a bird's eye view in the night sky.
The memory of a great tower being built appears from the depth of his childhood. How great this tower will be, it will take a million men to complete, some will lose their lives, their children left with widows, and the young boy destine to be a modest cook feels in his heart he will never see this tower completed in his lifetime. He thinks of his children seeing what he sees, a mighty tower, even mightier as when he was their age. The environment around them is different now, it’s the future, cars no longer use roads, they fly in the air. Everything is grey, concrete raises beside this mighty tower but stop to be taken by its shadow, swallowing all height as it rules the skies with the sun.
The memory of its beginnings are lost in the future, with its creators now gone, as a new generation builds skywards; this tower has no memory of its own. As the father to these children grows older his memory fades, his might as a modest cook withers to arthritis, and the man transforms into an old man. He looks up to the tower walking with his grand children as they watch ants in the sky dance with the sun. The man looks back down and sees another generation living underneath this mighty tower, he sees himself, these little eyes, glassy sky blue and shimmering earth brown, they see a tower with no memory, only they’re memory of it.

Most rememberable short stories I read this summer:
After I Was Thrown in the River and Before I Drowned by Dave Eggers (from How We Are Hungry)
The Tower by Steven Millhauser (from McSweeney's 25th)
Notes for a Story of a Man Who Will Not Die Alone by Dave Eggers (also from How We Are Hungry)

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