On the surface this may seem an odd story for publishing on Christmas Day. However, here in LS Towers we like to think that we are a thoughtful bunch and you’ve already had a couple of ‘almost’ traditional Christmas Tales.
This piece blew our minds when it arrived – We have always known what makes ‘good’ writing is not comma placement and clever verbiage, what makes a good piece in our opinion, is passion. This writing is so powerful we wanted to share it, as it shows that the degree of passion in a piece can override grammatical and constructional anomalies, it can be cathartic and it can be moving and leave you feeling as if you have been slapped in the face by it.
So, why this – now?
Well, we agreed that apart from anything else this piece of writing reminds us all that at this time of the year when we are all pressured into ‘jolliness’ there are many for whom it’s a struggle to simply exist from day to day. The bloke at the table next to you, wearing a Santa hat and reading Christmas cracker jokes could be falling apart inside. Maybe not the usual Christmas message but if it makes us just a bit kinder to each other – we reckon this story is probably a gift to us all.
A NOISE THE HOUSE MAKES ON ITS OWN
Alone with his longing, he lies down on his bed
and sings a lament; everything seems too large,
the steadings and the fields.
Robert got up as he did every school day morning to his six-fifty alarm. Liz, his wife, was still asleep. She didn’t get up until seven. He woke his son Jonathan to begin the process of supervising him for getting ready for school. As the boy reluctantly dressed, Robert went to the kitchen and took his blood sugar. It was high, so he cursed under his breath and thought about all the bad things he’d eaten the night before.
Amanda would lie awake at 3am, swept under blankets, watching the darkest bedroom corners twist and snap spines and smile. And then she’d get up, and start the day like nothing happened. Like she didn’t know what it was like to be beckoned, to be wanted.
I dislike cheerful old people. Something’s wrong there: Them with their fastidiously kempt white hair; melanoma-proof golf course tans; smiling Hitler-blue eyes. The existence of cheerful old people proves that there isn’t an even distribution of pain in the Universe. Cheerful old people do not know the Endless Now.
There’d be silence in the seconds before the explosion. Even the crash and roar, the shifting of the sand and silt above would momentarily cease. Then you’d sit there crouched in the dark wondering what had happened to your breath. You’d count it in as somewhere ahead there’d be the movement of a body in scurrying retreat.
I always find her this one way, it seems: sitting on her bed, high on her knees yet hunched at the shoulders as she bends into her project of the day and fixes it with her hard, Catholic glare. She has been known to work up a sweat, just hunching and glaring. Peeking at her through the door-crack, I try to imagine what kind of exertion roasts her so from the inside out, but apparently, it is something not I nor the world can see.