Day Sixteen – Third Time’s a Charm

They each walked up to the counter with the same slow pace. Every one of them dragging their heels, and every one of them carrying same sullen, but desperate, look on their face. At the counter they would ask the same type of question, “I am looking for black little box,” or “I can’t find the locket I had yesterday,” or “My bag is missing, is it here?” And each time the clerk would take the description, and rummage through the box under behind the counter.

Every morning, the was box filled to the brim with new lost stuff. And throughout the day it never seemed to empty. There was always something for someone. Sometimes the clerk would search through the box for three seconds, and other times for a few minutes. Whenever the clerk found something that matched the description, he would hand it over to the customer, and the customer always took a minute or two to look it over. They never handed anything back, or never said “this is not what I am looking for.” The clerk actually had no idea if he found the right object. Nor did he much care.

Each person searching for their lost trinket, bag, box, or what have you, never made any expression that they found what they were looking for. They just held their possession tightly in their hand, and with same slow pace walked out the exit on the right. The clerk would watch them leave the building, but never really paid attention to which door they took.

Late in the day on the clerk’s four thousandth straight day of searching for belongings for uncaring customers, a young customer walked up to the counter carrying them self in the same slow pace, and asked for a bronze pendant. The clerk searched for five minutes in the box of lost items, and finally found one matching the description. The young customer examined it and held it tightly in their hand and walked away. Near the exit, she stopped, looked at the pendant again, turned around, and walked through the exit left.


Dark Perfection

I filled her glass, the bottle was almost empty anyway and my glass was full.  It was getting late into the night.  We had a great dinner in the old part of town, wandered around the street festival, then headed back to my place, two dates earlier than I expected.

the slightest correction
couldn’t finely hone

There it is, the last song I heard.

She came back into the kitchen and asked, “You always mumble to yourself?”
She had a quirky smile on, the one that caught my attention 3 months ago.

“It’s a habit I have, the last song I hear usually stays stuck in my brain,” I took her hand to bring her to the window, “I’ve been doing it since I was three.”

She took a sip of wine while looking at the city through the picture window.

the sweetest infection
of body and mind

I don’t think I heard this today.

“You’ve been singing since you were three?” she moved a little closer, the light highlighting her nose piercing.

“I’ve been mumbling to myself since I was three,” I said leaning in closer, “I only sing in the shower.”

“Really?!” she let me take her hand and pulled her closer.

when i need a drug in me
and it brings out the thug in me

Maybe the guy upstairs has his music loud tonight.

“You have some lipstick on your cheek,” she said reaching for a napkin.

“I thought all lipstick was non-smudging these days,” I joked.

I had my hands on her hips when she started to wipe the smudge off my cheek.  She put the napkin in her half empty wine glass and started turning me towards my bedroom door.

things you’d expect to be
having effect on me

This song is not this long.

She smiled with that smile again, “No wonder you’re always late for work,” she said, “your duvet and mattress are all feather-filled…comfy.”

“I like my sleep,” I responded as she pulled me over her.

“Too much sleep is not good for you,” she whispered in my ear.

takes me completely
touches so sweetly…

The Local

It is rare these days where enough snow falls so early in the season. Opening day, which used to be a snow covered feast in late November, is now an ice filled accident waiting to happen. Even more rare is any sign of good skiing before the New Year. This year was a lucky exception, a week after the lifts started turning, an early season snowfall gave us an early Christmas present; ten inches of the wettest snow mother nature could spit out, followed by a cold snap, which was followed by another fifteen inches of perfect snow, and counting. On this Thursday, everyone who mattered invoked the “eight-inch” rule and called in sick.

This day, the parking lot was filled all the regular cars and trucks, and none of the tourists. As always, the orange truck was parked in the space it always was; right in the corner of the lot where the path the to lift and lodge meet. Like every other winter day, the owner of the orange truck, had placed his skis to mark his place in the lift line. And like always, they were first in line. We could always tell which were his skis. It was something all locals could knew. Maybe it was the combination of the bindings mounted on them and the ski poles beside them. Maybe one day we will be wrong, but I doubt it. We knew each other’s car, skis, boots, bindings, and jacket, but not necessarily hair colour.

On this day, I was lucky enough to be third in line, the closest to the front I have ever been. Once the bull wheel started turning, we all clipped into our skis, and let anticipation build. It was my first day out that year, and I could feel the ants in my pants. I was as restless as those behind me. Merlin, the owner of the orange truck, was calm, as though today was no big thing. As though fifteen inches of snow at the end of November was the most normal thing in the world. As I rode the lift, I watched Merlin ski off. Where everyone had went right to get to ther nearest run, he went left off the lift and into the trees. It took three more lift rides before he showed up in the line again.

When he showed up in the line again, he was covered in more snow than everyone else. We ended up on the same chair for that ride.

“Good day today,” I said.

“Yup,” was Merlin’s reply, “it doesn’t get this good this early anymore.”

“This used to happen all the time?”

“Used to be, not even ten years ago this was normal for this time of year.”

“You always ski alone?”

“Not always,” the local answered, “but usually.”

Riding the chair that day Merlin is when I noticed the patch sewn into his tuque. It looked that had been use since the dawn of time. That hat probably saw more winters than most people waiting in today’s line. That patch was the mark of a true local legend. Last year, I tried to find one in the local ski shop. The shop owner said they did not have any for sale. And would not say anything else. He would not even answer if he knew where to get one. The shop owner has one sewn into his jacket.

Near the top of lift, as we were getting ready ski off, Merlin asked, “You heading left or right?”

“Right,” I told him, “going to hit up the trees off the ridge. Only the patrollers have been in there today.”

“Nah, kid, you’re heading left.”

Inspired by the Weekly Writing Challenge, and partly by this.