"Those were hard things for me to come by, and I offer them to you for what they may be worth." - Toby Wolff



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Egg Full of Baskets

(SPOILER ALERT: This is a work of fiction, born of a dyslexic idiom my mind spoke. I think it turned into a metaphor about feelings, their origin within our issues...how they cycle, how we try and decipher and categorize them, devoid our mind of them, or hold them close. Maybe we stop trying to organizing them, train them, exercise them to be stronger, and just give them a break. This writing reminds me of my dreams...all worry and angst with no clear place to land or rest.)



She put all her baskets in one egg and carried it deep in her cleavage. It seemed ridiculous, but at this point ridiculous was far superior to sour. Ten years ago it was a real egg with a Sharpie face that she protected. Poor infant "died" when she let fate guard her backpack while necking with Billy Joe. There was a brief funeral and real tears, 'cuz Billy Joe's clumsy hands weren't worth the failing grade.

Wicker handles reached up from her pheasant blouse and switched at her chin like dry brush, but she didn't mind. She was taking these baskets to the quarry, and all their contents too. So many baskets, and all the cargo leaking and yelling and vying for attention. When her hands cramped last Spring, she thought about all she held, longing to spill it along the road like a broken yellow mile of highway, yet knowing it was treasure. So she hung on, until the cramp gained ground inside her mind. When your brain squeezes like that, it makes you loose your hands, like bowels after a meal of mystery meat turns suspect. All the will of holding eventually gives way to natures call. "Shit for brains" was coined after such a time. She was sure of it.

The quarry spread out below her with a toothless grin that labored under the lips of excavation. She worried at the buttons of her blouse. She worried at the handles of each basket. She fingered the smooth shell holding all the baggage that had worn grooves in her palms.

Years later, covered with the sediment of weathered cycles, she tore the last button from the tattered white flag of surrender she wore. The egg was carefully removed and the baskets plucked from delicacy, one by one. She lined them up like a broken yellow mile of highway and faced them towards a terra cotta moon.

Her last thought as she hit the cement surface of water was a good one. The baskets were hitch hiking their way to promise, and the egg...well...she took it with her.
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18 comments:

  1. Cool piece Annie, and good to see you writing fiction...you got the chops for it!

    Wander

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    1. Thanks Christopher. It is kinda fun.

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  2. Be still my tired heart. I love this, my Annie. The colors/feelings jump off the page and leap into my monochrome brain. You had me at "terra cotta moon". A wonderful, deep, healing write. I feel cleansed after reading it. Love you!! xo

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    1. What a lovely compliment my friend. Thank you My Marion!

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  3. i dont see the roughness of wicker here...

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  4. I enjoy your fiction. I think proclaiming something as fiction increases the readers interest (or imagination) of what may be hidden, or discovered. I love the imagery of the words, but am lost, a little, with the idea of baskets in an egg. I went with it though, I still can’t grasp the image.

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    1. That's part of the allure. Google came up with nothing in terms of an image, so perhaps it's never been done. I guess you will have to paint it. So...all your eggs in one basket indicates one vessel that carries all your things. What if all the vessels (abilities) you had to carry things (weights and responsibilities) were placed in one thin shell?

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  5. I dunno. I see reality could take a place here, as it often does in fiction. I liked the word play in this--the baskets in an egg. I liked how this metaphor could be applied in life to so many things. This writing reminded me in a way of erin's. The speaking of one thing that could mean many. I loved it.

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    1. Glad you liked it Amy! As much as I like to KNOW exactly what's going on in someone's writing, it's also cool when it is a moldable form that fits over your life at any given moment.

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  6. holy good god moly! could there be any more or any better metaphors mixed together to form one smooth smoothie of life?

    for me, this is not an easy piece to follow. i just have to let the metaphors create what they will. but in the end, i am left with loss and hope, rolled into one. the cement surface of water is not a good place to land, that's for sure. i don't think that makes for survival, and what happens to hope without survival. but the treasured egg is safely with her. i think of the blue pearl we all have within. not possible to extinguish it, whether we live or not.

    and then you have lined up the baskets of emotion hitch hiking their way to promise. how can that be? and yet.....

    it is interesting to read this as a story and not a poem. i'll bet it was interesting to write it that way.

    i keep thinking you have paid a such a price to write so beautifully, but i also keep thinking the sun also rises.

    maybe i over analyze? but i know you don't mind :^)

    happy easter, annie friend.
    please have some chocolate.
    love
    kj

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    1. It was an easy piece to write. Even I don't really know what it all means :)
      Thank you KJ. You have a blessed Easter too! I'll find a chocolate rabbit somewhere and devour it (ears first of course!)

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  7. reading this means rolling up my sleeves and enjoying myself. you churn dark matter over and stuff it in an egg that splatters all over a quarry lake. she carried this burden for a long time. i got a sense of relief in the end. i loved a cramp gaining ground inside her mind and worn grooves.
    and i thought i coined 'shit for brains' with some everyday action of mine someone noticed:)

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    1. Thank you! Glad you enjoyed yourself Shutter Bug! Heh heh on the shit for brains. I wonder who actually came up with that one! Now I'll have to Google it, which no doubt will wind up with some cruddy virus on my computer.

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  8. Reminds me of my dreams, too, after about six Black-n-Tans!

    Lord, woman. Love the shit-for-brains bit. Of course you know I would, eh.

    What a great piece. Total stream-of-consciousness. The fact that it has no clear place to land means that every reader reads something different.

    What you wrote is a mirror, you know. The words never change, but everyone who looks into it sees something different.

    In fact, we see something different every time we look into it.


    - Eric

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    1. You are kind with the praise. Thanks Eric. My mind belongs on the Island of Misfit Toys. But the silver lining is that it's rarely a boring place. Really cool notion that writing is a mirror, but it totally fits the concrete nature of ink to page as opposed to what bounces into view as we read. Nice. My friend was talking about Mexican food, saying it's the same ingredients over and over just in different shapes. I said, "Same with people!" My comment breaks down after organs and body parts. What's in our brains isn't the same at all.

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  9. I love the poetic quality brought by poets to fiction. You are no exception dear Annie!

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    1. Oh I'm an exception alright, LOL. Wackadoodle. One noodle short of a pasta. Okay, seriously...thank you. I would like to write more fiction but rarely have the patience for anything longer than a few paragraphs.

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Thank you for listening.