Sunday, January 26, 2014

A Couple of Sets of Fears, One Immediate and the Other More Long-Term

An orange is trembling next to a subway grate,
a semi-sphere of an orange, from some careless boot's squishing.
A shard of its peel has come torn and unraveled to expose
how orangey-soft it is inside.

Reverberations on the street roll it around dangerously,
conjuring some immediate fears, some thoughts of bad outcomes.
Fear of falling into the grate, into the unknown undergound
transporation system below, where who knows what journey awaits?

Or not even getting that far. There is a high probability here
of complete a squish--a second boot, or even taxi tire on derring-do
leaving only one's rind and juice flowing all over, dispersed
like some cheap fizzy drink for the more ratty segments of society.

These are immediate fears, and we sourly discover the throat behind their tang.
Teleportation, or lack thereof. That instant transport has not been discovered.
Instead of being where it wants to be, the orange is where it is,
where it is, subsequently, is not a place for an orange.


"I assure you I'm not completely gone mad," says a long-termer.

"See, I just thought you were mumbling about orang--"

"No, I already found the way to teleport."

He'd been away for a few months and now had returned, and asked to be had a coffee with. There were signs. He had never worn scarves before, and now he was wearing one. He'd never worn fingerless gloves, but now wore a black leather pair.

"Looks more like you found a way to ride a motorcycle," smiled his friend.

He buried his face in his palm and sighed. "Look," came his muffled voice from his hands, "this isn't some bullshit prank. This isn't me making stories up. I found a way!" His face rose again from the confines of his clasp. "I found a way. To teleport."

But the way he was saying it--the look on his face--it was not as though this was a trolley of good news or joyous breakthrough. There was some real terror here.

Seeing the immense breakdown that danced behind his corporal visage, his friend pulled his chair close to him and put an arm around his shoulder. "Hey now, hang in there, hang in there. What's the problem? You found it, right?"

The long-termer began to break into quick, uneven breaths, his scarf flip-flopping and his ungloved fingers rattling upon the coffee house table. His friend held him fast, patting his back. "Alright, alright. Take it easy. Tell me what's the hassle?"

A few spasms here. He jerked left and right. A couple of tenuous shivers. And then, with some battle, regained himself. Taking a deep breath, he turned to his friend and, taking a moment to find the true being behind the eyes, he said, "I found out how to teleport. And I started it. And now I don't know how to stop i--"

And then he disappeared, his long-term fear barely exposed.

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