Sign Pile

Submitted into Contest #103 in response to: Write about a character looking for a sign.... view prompt

1 comment


I’ve something I need to tell him. Never have been the most decisive person, always playing into whatever other people wanted the decision to be, reading them for any clues I could find to help me on my way or just blatantly making them choose instead. I would say that nobody wants to make a decision that the other person didn’t want you to make, but it doesn’t seem everyone else has this same problem so that is probably not true. The problem is you see, I just don’t care. I care, don’t get me wrong, but I’m flexible, so I don’t really care. That doesn’t make sense, I know, I’m sorry, perhaps if I just say that I care equally about both options that will help? Faced with a decision about eating inside or outside, I’m not going to make that decision am I, that would be hard and I would have to worry too much whether I was making the wrong one. Instead I’ll think about all the good things about eating inside, and all the good things about eating outside, and then I won’t care. So I do care, I’ll enjoy eating in, I’ll enjoy eating out, I care, but I don’t.

Sometimes I might really want to eat inside, I’ll make undecisive noises hoping someone else will make the choice but they will be indecisive noises tailored toward the inside. And I’m not incapable of speaking my mind, if I really do have a preference for some reason, I might say so if you catch me on a particularly good, or bad, day. But if I want to eat inside but not need to eat inside, and we end up outside, that’s ok, I can adapt. I shall pick out good things, I shall remind myself it doesn’t really matter, and I shall begin to mould myself in here. I’m flexible, I’ve mentioned that, and whilst it's great for keeping me happy, it's also frustrating. When you know you can adapt to either outcome, it's extremely hard to know what you actually do want, because I really don’t want anything. I’m sitting on the fence, face to the sun, waiting for someone to tell me which side of it to jump down into.

Undeniable problem here so shall we address the elephant in the room, sometimes decisions simply do matter. Adapting to a decision on dining locations is possibly the most important decision you could make in your day if you have had a very boring day, but in the grand scheme of things, it's not life changing. Ok, perhaps it may be life changing, perhaps a tree falls on your table and crushes you, but you’re unlikely to have factored that into the deciding process. The be all and end all of it is, when faced with a decision, my conclusion is normally simply to not make one until it becomes impossible not to. In some ways I will admit, not making a decision does end up becoming your decision if the decision you’re faced with is ‘should I do this thing or should I not do this thing’. But it’s not quite the same, postponing making a decision for as long as possible doesn’t mean I won’t decide I should do that thing at some point soon.

The point is, I’ve got something I need to tell him. No, let me reword that, I’ve got something I want to tell him, or something I’m considering telling him. Anyway, something to tell him, whether it gets told or not. And the problem is making that decision. We’ve made a pros list, we’ve made a cons list and we’ve ended up with two very equal lists. I tell him, I risk losing, I do not, I lose too. And on reflection I can see what you’re thinking, best to tell him and take on the risk of a loss over the certainty of a loss, but the issue is, they’re not the same level of loss. It’s becoming rather tricky to get my point across without telling you all the details, I apologise for the confusion.

Now if my own brain and decision making faculties are going to give out on me as per usual, I’m going to have to find something else to make the decision for me. Not another person of course, that would just be annoying of me. So as per my favourite tactics, I shall pay extreme amounts of attention to everything around me, wonder if something I saw made me feel something unusual, and then struggle very much to decide just what that sign is trying to tell me. I saw a squirrel this morning, it was sat on a power line and it was beautiful. It was watching something I couldn’t see, something I seemed to find very interesting, probably looking for its breakfast. I watched it, and I thought it was so beautiful, and I took it as a sign but what for, I’m not sure. Also, the amount of green lights I hit this morning was insane, I’m not sure I’ve ever made it to work so quickly in my life. I sat in the car park for five minutes pretending I had very important business to deal with so I didn’t have to be too early to the morning briefing. I took those green lights as a sign, evaluated them, decided I wasn’t sure what they meant, and added them to the collection I was now making.

Walking back to work on his lunch break one sandwich heavier, I had come across many birds, too many birds to not be noticeable. There was a weather vane sat at the top of the church with a golden crucifix upon it and all those birds had made it home. They were sitting next to each other like best friends and they made quite an effect when you could look up at them and see them in the sunshine. They just looked happy, like they were having a good day for a bird, if that was a thing. I took it as a sign, turned it over once or twice and added it to the pile. Plenty of signs around, they just need to come with a guidebook.

July 20, 2021 18:51

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1 comment

Lee Jay
22:48 Jul 28, 2021

What an interesting stream of consciousness. I really enjoyed how in-depth thought processes of the narrator's mind. I only wish I knew more about the narrator personally, and "him"; it would help create a picture in my head of what's happening in the story. I liked that the big decision that causes the protagonist's endless indecisiveness can be left a secret (open to the reader's interpretation).


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