It’s the pocket knife that I bought on a whim during a summer gig in college. It’s clustered on a low table with a pen, some bits and bobs of receipts and lint, and whatever other minutiae came out of the jean pocket that had housed it. It has plenty of stories to tell, though most of them wouldn’t be all that interesting.
But it is nosed up against a notepad, sun-bleached, battered, and ink-stained with doodles, scribblings, and the abstract shapes one makes while waiting on hold with the IRS. just visible beyond the folded, muted steel of the folded knife are phone numbers jotted in margins, lists of to-dos, and one start of a story.
A whole seven words made it onto the paper before being crossed out.
The coffee cup sits stage left, hot and steaming, making a mockery of the chill in the air while one fat, orange Tabby-Cat holds vigil on the corner, staring with golden-eyed lethargy at an empty spot on the ceiling.
The air is quiet, small noises giving the silence texture.
A drip in the sink.
The bass note of a water pipe in the old walls.
A life reduced.
The knife slides home into a pocket. Years and years of hard use have burnished the blade and frame, making them flash silver in the cold light.
Leoinine eyes flicker, and the king leaps from his throne, hitting the floor with a thud and a low grunt.
Paper rustles as pages are turned quickly, each small sound tearing onto the silence of the moment. The pen scratches out a new list – for a new day.
The coffee steam makes its way into lungs and one heart as the day begins again.