What if?: Walking Bare

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Walking Bare

Woke up in a strange room again and it took me a while to remember it wasn't mine. Not that in my life I have often woken up in strange rooms to make the occurrence common place, but as of late it had been happening all too frequently. Just another night spent in a stranger's bed. Just another day drifting from town to town following the Lewis and Clark trail. I had set out on this journey with a grand plan in mind to retrace the steps of great explorers as they sought a route West to appease their president. But now I had lost my way. Cast my lot down the path of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Let me explain.

It started out as a friendly conversation in a bar at the end of a long hike. The advantage I had over Lewis and Clark is that there were always bars at the end of my day.

She was taller than me. Dark hair. Ivory skin set off by ocean blue eyes. She got me talking about myself. She got me thinking about me and her and what we might do later. Never dawned on me that she would want something for our evening. I was too naive to figure that out. I was shocked that she would accept money for the deed. But that soon gave way to titillation at the thought of that body and that skin and those eyes . . . for a night.

Money was not a problem. Since I sold my business, I had been looking for new challenges. That is why I took up this walk and took a break from the family. And then took a wrong turn.

She was the first, but not the last. Every new town I stopped in, I looked up the locals. It was easy with wireless connection and a laptop to find beauty. It became intoxication. A natural high. I justified it to myself in that my wild oats had to be sown sometime and now was that time. No one would know.

And now I find myself traveling in an odyssey, tempted in every town. Waking when it suited me. But this morning something was different. Something pervaded my sleep.

I rolled out of bed. She had left sometime in the night - so it was not her. Naked I walked over to the window. There struggling beyond the pane was a black-capped chickadee. Its claw had become trapped in the metal runner upon which the sliding window glided open. I reached to open the window to set the bird free, but I stopped. It was tattered and worn. And it dawned on me at that moment that it would soon draw its last breath. I just stood there hand frozen to the clasp as it rhythmically, almost in a coital cadence, rattled against the window. The tapping on the window grew louder, then stopped altogether.

4 Comments:

Blogger Giovanna said...

I just stood there hand frozen to the clasp as it rhythmically, almost in a coital cadence, rattled against the window.

Wow. That's just bloody brilliant.

Whee! Daniel gets bonus points for using two. Were you always an over achiever Daniel? LOL (I'm teasing.)

Seriously, this was really cool. The premise you constructed was creative, unique, and slightly surreal.

This is just a small thing but, I rolled out of bed. She had left sometime in the night - so it was not her. that transition lost me just a little. I had to go back and re-read, then caught the "something pervaded my sleep" and that's what "so it was not her" reflected back to. Also, you mention he "took a break from the family." I wonder if we need to know this. It makes him less sympathetic to think he is potentially cheating on a spouse, which is where my mind went, though I suppose it could just be his nuclear family, parents and siblings he left for adventure...

Good job!

5:45 AM  
Blogger Nancy Dancehall said...

I'm with Giovanna; I like the 'coital cadence' and the way he sees the repercussions of his sins in this bird, this harbinger.

8:59 AM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Giovanna - you are right I think it would read better like this:
Waking when it suited me. But this morning something was different. Something pervaded my sleep. She had left sometime in the night - so it was not her.

I rolled out of bed. etc.

In so far as the family thing - I left it ambiguous as to the nature of the 'family' that he left behind. This was more to call out that he was really alone in what he was doing, and not to pass judgement on whether he was cheating or not. It may not be relevant. I will ponder that.

Oh and in answer to your question: yes [insert self-effacing blush]

Thanks Nancy. I find it amazing how sometimes when one writes the symbolism is placed intentionally and other times it just flows out of you and you start making the connections after you write it. This case was the latter.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...

Poor black-capped chickadee! Love that it was a chickadee, though. Very clever.

12:30 PM  

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