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Contemporary

The look on his face was one of disdain or distaste. Something beginning with ‘dis’ anyway, possibly even disagreement. A pea had escaped a fork at some point in the last half an hour, and he flicked a finger at it as if it took him a lot more energy than it was worth the interest of seeing where it ended up next. Sadly, the final destination of said pea did not appear to fascinate him, he had given up watching its progress before it had even stopped rolling and reverted back to his previous monotonous scooping of a lukewarm roast into his mouth, if a roast was something one could scoop, he certainly seemed to be able to do so. Watching him seemingly suffer through the experience, one could be forgiven for believing he was experiencing exactly zero positive emotions right about now and that he had a personal vendetta against roasts or cooked meals of any variety. But a look in his head and he was watching the sun creeping around the edge of the clouds in that way they only get around to when the sun is just about to go to bed and seems to have some yellow paint to spare. He was watching it and he was wondering how he could keep this moment, keep this view, as a tiny picture that would not fade away with time like he knew the memory would. He would wake up the next day and remember that he had seen a beautiful sunset in its own way, but he would not be able to picture it in his head anymore unless as some kind of generic idea he had of what nice clouds looked like. Come this time next week he would have forgotten it ever existed. So he would sit here now, feeling grateful for filling food and watching out of the window as the wind blew the clouds by in clumps, and he would wish he could remember.

Later that day, and there would be no offering to reach boxes of toilet roll down off of high shelves for innocent old ladies on their one day out of the week, that would be much too risky for his liking. What if they did not want help, what if he could not reach, what if he made a mistake and got the wrong ones or dropped something, it was not worth it. Instead he would grit his teeth and settle down into self-preservation mode, avoiding anything and everything that could cause some form of embarrassment for him. He passed through the isles like some kind of menacing shark, smoothly and silently, bringing minimal attention to himself and looking ready to kill someone at the drop of a hat if that became necessary. People watched him come and go, sparing him no thought and pulling their children out of his path instinctively, accepting him as a part of life and an undeniable danger, like he was a car driving around the supermarket doing his weekly shop. He watched them back, and he watched them debating with themselves as to whether they desired green or yellow bananas, watched them dance to avoid the trolly coming the other way, watched them dodging out of the way so somebody else could apologise and reach for something on a popular shelf, watched them maneuver themselves between trolley and old woman and fellow shopper in the least inconvenient method possible. They were endearing, all following the same very human pattern but each in their own way, it made him feel they really were all the same deep down, programmed to be polite and respectful. It made him think that perhaps there was still some hope for the human race, that perhaps they could be ok if they put their heads together. It made him think that perhaps the world was beautiful.

He had never been bought flowers. Everyone who knew him knew that he was one for logic, and use, and efficiency. Not at all one for waste or pointless decorations. Well at least as a rule that was true, but anyone who actually knew him well enough would know how much he desired to be thought of one day in the way one thinks of someone they appreciate enough to buy flowers. Sometimes he would watch the flowers, there might be reduced ones waiting to be thrown away, drooping and looking miserable and resigned to their fate. He would wonder whether he could buy flowers for himself, or whether that would make him feel worse about it. Feel ridiculous that he had to buy himself flowers because nobody else was going to do so. It would be the colours that would draw him in, the mixtures that somehow work, or the large clumps or different varieties of the same colour that seemed designed to fit in with some kind of theme. The smell of flowers had never been of large appeal to him, stopping to smell the flowers never extremely appealing. He felt they all smelt the same, something slightly too strong that reminded him of hayfever. It was not an easy problem to solve, losing his reputation as not one to be bought flowers without losing his reputation as not at all one for waste or pointless decorations. Being bought flowers being taken for granted as not a thing to do, he struggled to find it natural to buy flowers for other people, felt there were people missing out, felt he should have taken flowers to that wake he went to, and some to his grandmother’s when he had gone to visit. If he was known as one who had nothing to do with flowers, it felt odd to ever admit to their existence. Be it romantic, be it in general support on a hard day, be it in congratulations, be it because they walked through the shops and saw some pretty flowers that needed a good home, he simply wanted to be thought of.

August 08, 2021 22:38

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RBE | We made a writing app for you (photo) | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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