Going through some old files in preparation for an upcoming release of my older poetry and prose entitled Lingering on Past Melodies, I found a few short stories that have never really seen the light of day. I will be posting some of them periodically.
Here is a little morsel from 1998.
The Symptoms are the Cure (1998)
Saul Brimbraker generally liked to sleep until around ten in the morning, most often waking up at nine forty-two. Sometimes he stirred as late as ten thirteen and sometimes as early as nine twenty-three, but nine forty-two seemed to be the average. Of course, that was Mountain Standard Time and under the currently accepted Greenwich standard for temporal qualification.
This was a morning, however, that began with Saul not only waking up at nine forty-two on the dot, but also feeling slightly queasy. A quick self-diagnosis found that the problem was not diverticulosis as he first feared (Saul carried a deep-seated belief that one day, for his sins, he would develop this disease that he knew nothing about and thus feared unsubstantially), but instead was simply in his stomach. He had what his mother would have called a ‘shitty belly.’
“Does my baby have a shitty belly?”
“Not now, momma’s got a shitty belly.”
Being a slow to wake, Saul stumbled, using only momentum and blind familiarity, to the bathroom. A flick of the switch brought a light to the room and Saul yawned in unison with his tummy growling, although slightly off key.
It could have been the pizza.
It could have been the chicken wings that had been hot enough to make his eyes and nose drip.
It cold have been the company the night before, the droning conversation, the time of year, the influx of information, the color of his pajamas, the whiffle ball bat he owned as a child, the price of warmth, the delays, the doubts, the ‘Banana Boat Song,’ or even the Spaniards.
He looked at himself. His reflection made him lonely.
He decided it was the chicken wings and wiped a dot of toothpaste off of the reflection of his eye.