The Show (Part 4)
A Short Story by Alice Clark
Written using the suggestion ""I’ve Lost You" "morning" "receive" "kind" "crucial" "bees""
Originally featured on 08-10-2009
As part of our series "Stories Written for Mel Favara’s “1,000 Words” Reading Series"

 The men waited on the boat until morning, waiting to receive a message about when and how to leave the boat, I suppose. When they started exiting, I was there waiting, wanting to watch their shoes move.

James came back to me in the early light, as the men were unloading, and he handed me his cane. He said I could try it out and that it might react differently to younger legs. He said it was crucial to lean into it, to give it purpose, and I agreed and thanked him for his kind advice.

A note flew to the ground when the wind hit the boatmen’s parcels, and I picked it up and it said “I’ve lost you.” and its voice struck me as painful in the way it just owned that emotion, unapologetically, with no regard for the way that feeling would be perceived and I felt sorry for the man who wrote it and his honesty. His show was too obvious and too direct and didn’t leave enough room to pretend.

In order to get away from that feeling, I stood with my new cane, and started walking, slow bees following me in the sugared air as I tried to look older and circled the cakewalk. Tourists walked by with their drippy ice cream cones and I hoped that they thought I was interesting, that maybe I was the peace that could be found near oceans and that they could have some of it, if they waited here long enough.

 

Read More By Alice Clark

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Portland Fiction Project

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