Heroes of Annihilated Empires

That is why I write – to try to turn sadness into longing, solitude into remembrance. ― Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Each person a collected marble every memory of them a tumbled stone like heroes of annihilated empires
Each person a collected marble, every memory of them a tumbled stone like heroes of annihilated empires.  Randstein

He sat silent at the table, his coffee hot and bitter.  He looked up to collect his runaway thoughts then continued to read an old book.  Around him life moved near light speed in tweets to Twitter.  Facebook connected ten thousand souls to only ten distracted minds that milled around in half-dazed skulls.  Next to him sat a woman. He knew in her day she was someone else’s love. Her hair was near solid gray, well dressed in blue, white, and spotless shoes.  She read a book he once read, perhaps thirty years ago.

Before he could catch himself, his voice jumped free from his lips and across the table it carried.  “Great story. I enjoyed it myself long ago.”  His hands felt a tiny tremor. He feared the coldness that must surely come his way. She smiled and with a long forgotten elegance noted he knew good books and had an old classic, she could tell.  And then he delighted to show her that it was his memoir he wrote; finished long ago.  She sat and listened to every tale and in a few words encouraged him on.

Tumblr, Pinterest, and Angie’s List too, silenced all the patrons, but couldn’t silence the old man and the woman with spotless shoes.  He poured out his memories to her  like marbles on a floor and every time he picked one up, he remembered more.  He took her polite smile as interest in his life. He could see that behind her eyes there were things she held close to her heart.

In a long-held gaze, too long to be polite, he apologized. “I can see that you have many memories too.” He sensed he had hurt her with stories of his youth.  “I’ve said such things, I shouldn’t have.”  “No, it’s okay. Please continue. There is no place I have to go just yet.” Her voice was soft and distant. He felt a deep shame that all this time he talked it was with a selfish need to never be alone with his thoughts.

 

13 thoughts on “Heroes of Annihilated Empires

    1. Thank you Katarina 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed it. Sharing our memories with strangers face to face can be fearful in these times of electronic bits of conversation. It’s thrilling to discover we still can if we choose to.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I think the “woman with spotless shoes” listened again and again… And where it awakened her own pain she was finally able to share her own pent-up thoughts… And that a bond was forged that day.
    Daniel, I’m so glad that I put my pre-work activities on hold to read this. It is a gift.
    > And because i can’t help myself — about those marbles… (By the way, i love that graphic. really do.)
    I had marbles when i was a little kid. My mother liked to take the prettiest ones and put them in a hot skillet to make that crystallized shattered effect inside them. They always, unfortunately did shatter when i played with them. Dang… I had not thought about that since those days… Little did i know what a prophetic circumstance it was. LOL. No marbles at all these days! 😀 Oh, i kill me. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! I just knew it! 🙂 I too had a nice collection of coveted marbles. I would never play for keeps because I couldn’t stand to lose any of them. And now, I’ve lost all my marbles and don’t know where the others are either. I think that is wonderful that your mother helped. My mother thought playing with marbles was a rite of passage from toddler to youth. She had this eagle eye and any marbles that went their own way in the house were ferreted out and returned with a friendly reminder that life is not nearly as fun when one loses their marbles. I didn’t understand precisely what she meant but now I do. 🙂 Thank you for your wonderful comment. I don’t think I’ll be able to stop smiling for a while.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. D
    We all have our marbles scattered at different times in life. You know the memories bouncing in my head right now. I to wished I had asked more questions, been less selfish. Maybe it’s human nature. No one wants to be alone, our minds grab to hold on. The feelings of being alone real or not are painful. Ministering to the elderly is on top of my list. I saw something on tv that hit soft spot hard. Strange when hear what. I will investigate ministering in jails and prison. I was inspired by a lady who heads up a jail choir.
    Bittersweet post. When do I get the next adventure with Cat?
    🙂
    M

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, and I almost forgot. I’ve posted the schedule for upcoming chapters on my Randstein page here. Basically, every Friday evening Cat and I will pour our marbles out on the floor. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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