24 Nov 2014

Flash Fiction lunch break again.

Again, I was given the title. Last week, actually, and it hung around my neck like an albatross so today it gets cooked up.  Could have gone a zillion ways, but it's free-style.

The Albatross

We were born with the curse of the albatross, says my uncle, who too sleeps on the wing. We soar through life half awake, half asleep, here and not here.
            “Would you like to go to the play about the man looking for answers,” asks my girlfriend as I gaze out of the kitchen window. Everyone on this floor of the tower block is high, but I am higher, among the clouds. 
            “You know. Jamie told us about it. The one where the protagonist has to decide on the price to pay for everything he uses in 24 hours, and then there’s that accident…”
            I have a film between me and my girl. It’s like a gauze or membrane, and it means I never really see her, never really feel her and never care much if we’re together or apart. She doesn’t know this, of course, because I enjoy her company and I would rather she not dump me. Then I would need to find a new flat, new friends, get a damage deposit together… Oh, I can’t be bothered to think about it.
            “We’re not great thinkers,” says my uncle. “We’re not great doers either.”
            “Rob,” says my girlfriend. “Are you with me?”
            Well, I suppose I am, physically. It’s raining again, and the droplets dart diagonally. Down there I can see the garages, the car park, the shops, the faint glow of the Overground station.
            “You’re meant to be stirring the beans,” she says, nipping under my arm to take the wooden spatula. She flicks her long nails against my earlobe to get my attention but the pain is dull. I focus anyway, to avoid a fight. She’s pretty, if you care for pretty girls, and I’m surprised to see she has green eyes. I’m living with a girl with green eyes. Who knew.
            There’s a thump, then, against the window, and we both look around. This is the second time a bird has crashed into that pane since we moved in, four months ago or whenever.
            “I looked it up,” says Carla. Her name is Carla, my girlfriend. “They’re busy looking for moving objects down below so they make mistakes in flight.”

            “They’re busy looking for moving objects down below so they make mistakes,” said Carla, earlier. We’ve eaten dinner and it comes back to me, and I feel like there’s some kind of importance to that line but I’m not sure what it is. We were talking about something before. I don’t know what.