Goodbyes.

I love writing short stories which capture single moments; instances which are often overlooked. This is one such short piece inspired by the accompanying painting, observation and my own experience of leaving.


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Goodbyes are strange things, often they are the closing of a book before the end, before the story is finished, leaving so much unsaid and undone.

Forever a moment tinged with sadness for what may have been, whilst lingering expectation of future calls from beyond the now.

Enhanced for me by the hissing of steam locomotives and the rattle of passing railway carriages. I find the very intrinsic transient nature of the station heightens the poignancy. You see today I go to my future; a place where hesitant anxiety skulks in the shadows of trepidation.

Stepping from the platform onto the train is confirmation of my intent, yet my heart is heavy with sadness. The weighty clunk of the door signals finality. The solid steel and wood closing off possibility of concede.

Leaning from the open window I look into her eyes.  Deep brown pools glistening with wetness, teardrops not yet formed. My heart flutters in the presence of her beauty, as it always does.

Leaving her is my greatest regret. Pale skin, gentle, soft. Hair that cascades over her shoulders, which lays upon the morning pillow, a delta, a million threads sparkling in rising suns light. Oh, how I shall miss her warmth, her scent, her childish laughter and her smile.

I reach forward as she steps closer. Wrapping my arms about her slenderness I pull her to me, hold her close. Comfort, comradeship, love.

She lifts her face, powder and rouge, lipstick and Coco Chanel. Pouting she reaches to me. My lips taste hers, sweet, soft, eager. I can feel her skin through the light cotton of her dress. My body floods with desire, with passion. Yet overall the sadness of parting drapes around my soul, a black cloak of earnest despondency.

One moment. One solitary final moment. It is all I have left.

The shrill shriek of the stationmaster’s whistle pierces the air cutting lose the threads of safe harbour. Our lips part, my hands slip unwillingly from her body. The train moves, a grunt, a hiss of steam, another whistle.

My destiny awaits.

I stand looking back. One hand raised, a forlorn attempt to wave. She smiles back, gesturing in return. Small rivers, silver tears run down her cheeks. Too soon she is gone from sight. I fight to retain her image freshly in my mind. That last look. Sad inevitability painted upon her perfect face, the tears which enhanced her beauty. I want, need to capture that, burn it into my memory, etch it there for eternity.

Sitting back I keep my eyes closed, not wanting her light to escape. The faint odour of Coco Channel prevails, the waxy smudge of lipstick. Her laughter is conjured within my mind, giggles, childlike, almost a squeal.

I wonder if I shall ever set eyes upon her again.

Who knows the future, who knows what destiny holds in store?

Not I.

Goodbyes are strange things, often they are the closing of a book before the end, before the story is finished, leaving so much unsaid and undone.

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   © Paul White 2015

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Pub2

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You got any ideas?

1970-Dodge-Charger

She is a 1970 Dodge Challenger RT. Ya know the one, like was in that film, vanishing something… anyways, when I got her she was as rusty and as bent as an old pie tin in a trash can.

Now, ha, well. I’ve sorta darned gone an put my mark on her, made her mine, all mine.

I spent hours downtown. Rented a workshop and kinda of lived there for a while, well like two years a while.

Sometimes I would sleep in the shop, not wash for days, not sleep much either.

I was constantly an oily, greasy mess. My hair was lank and I stunk like the ass end of a skunk. If I ventured into town folk used to stare at me, wondrin what the heck I was.

I found that look of total incomprehension plastered across their slack-jawed faces as funny as Fu… well. darned funny anyways.

Two fucking years I spent working in that workshop. Two years, just seemed ta be gone, like that.

Time flew by.

Time weren’t nothin though, not while I was working on her. Not until I looked back, an you know what?

A lot happened in those two fucking years.

My divorce settlement came. I spent all of it on tools and parts and spares and paint. Well not all of it. I got a little food and a bottle or two of Kentucky smooth.

I got the house from the settlement too.

I sold the house. Too many memories I did not want to be living with any more.

So, I moved here, to this small place out of town and out of the way. Moved the Challenger out here too, into the barn.

That’s where I finished her. That’s where I got her looking the way I planned.

Not once, not for one single, solitary moment in all those two years that sorta slipped away when I weren’t lookin, did I deviate a fraction of one iota from my plan.

She was my baby.

Everything under the hood looks pristine now, betta than when she was new, when she rolled off the end of that production line.

The pipes and hoses are coloured, pale blue for cold water, dark blue for hot. Red for fuel, green for oil and so on. What is not covered in colour coded silicone or paint, is inside woven steel cable or under bright, shiny, polished mirror chromium.

Inside the seats are covered in soft cream leather, handstitched by me, with deep pink piping around the edges. Just like the door and roof lining and the deep pile carpets.

Polished wood, chrome switches all original design. All them, along with retro dials completed the dash.

Outside she was sweeter still, real sweet if you know what I mean.

I covered my baby in a solid, shocking pink paint, metallic flake topped with seven layers of high gloss lacquer.

Like I said, I put my own mark on her.

She is now a sorta Barbie car, a ferocious, mean, growling bitch of a Barbie car, right down to the hood ornament.

1970-dodge-challenger-rt-convertible-pink-side-sy

I designed it myself; a chrome plated sculpture of a severed penis. Yeah, you heard right. A small soft dick.

Just like my ex.

It puts the message out there. “Don’t you mess with this bitch; unless you want to lose your manhood.”

You see, two years livin in an oily back street workshop ain’t no place for a sweet girl likegrease me unless you gonna get something for keeps from it.  

And I was keeping my girl.

Now, all I gotta do now is find a real good name for her…

You got any ideas?

 

 

 

 

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