The old men sat in quiet comradery, sipping tall glasses of lager and reminiscing.
“Did I tell you about the time I caught a shark?” asked Jack.
The assembled company sighed. They’d heard it before and didn’t believe anymore upon its frequent retelling.
“I was fishing at the
pier, when all of a sudden my line went taut. It was fierce battle between man
and beast. My muscles strained, my arms ached, but the same fighting spirit
that got me through the war prevailed. After an hour of this, I reeled it in. A
They rolled their eyes. “Your round, Jack.”
I heard this story quite often at my Grandpa’s knee. I admit, that I didn’t believe it. It was a fishy story. And then I found this photo. Sorry Gramps. You did catch a shark.
I’m trying something new. Something to get me through a classic case of writer’s block. A daily challenge around relationships. Wish me luck.
Ricochet: To bounce off a surface wildly
A bullet ricochets. A squash ball ricochets. People do not ricochet. I am not most people. I ricochet off everything and everything. Getting from point A to point B takes me through the entire alphabet.
As I bumped into a waiter, careened off a side table and narrowly missed a glass of wine, I knew the inevitable.
This date was going to be a disaster.
For some reason, probably their own amusement, my colleagues saw fit to set me up on a blind date. I knew it was futile, but I lacked the backbone to point this out.
Hence, why I am stuck in a slow-motion remake of an action movie trying to make it to my date at a table at the far end of a crowded bar.
He watched with ill-concealed mirth. Said colleagues had also insisted on the heels. Some people look like graceful swans in heels. I look like an accident waiting to happen.
I tottered and teetered and finally came to a halt, where upon the chair leg tripped me up and I sprawled inelegantly over my date. My very good-looking date. Who smelt of new leather and sandalwood.
Mortification rose like the sunset up my face. You’d think by 25 years of this, I’d just shake it off like water from a duck’s back. Somehow, I don’t.
A solid hand prevented me from the indignity of landing on the floor. I gathered the tangled ends of my wits together and fell into the chair like a storm-tossed sailing ship making harbour.
I reached for the glass before me and downed it. Then my throat caught on fire, I breathed in the fumes and only by the grace of a heavenly omniscience, managed not to choke.
At this point my dinner companion was no
longer concealing his mirth. His shoulders were shuddering, and tears were
sneaking their way out of his eyes. Very blue ones. Like azure island seas.
“I wasn’t sure you were going to make it,”
“I’m never quite sure myself,” I heard my voice
through the roaring of blood in my ears.
“I’m Liam. Pleased to meet you.”
“Sara. No ‘h’. You too.” Apparently, single
staccato verbalisations were all I had right now.
“Is it always like that?”
“Yes. I’d leave now, but I can’t face the
return journey quite yet.”
“Do you want to leave?”
“Not really. I want lasagna. And cannoli.
And a yashmak.”
“I can help out with the first two, but the
yashmak you’re going have to order in.”
I was vaguely aware of him ordering for me
and a new glass of the venomous liquid being paced before me.
“Try sipping it this time. Lagavulin is generally
meant to be savoured. This one’s taken 16 years to mature, so you need to take
at least 16 minutes to drink it.”
“Oh. I thought it was… something else.”
“I thought it was iced tea.”
The laughter took me off guard. Great waves
of laughter that boomed around the too small space.
“I don’t drink, usually,” I stuttered.
“You drink unusually then?”
“You’d think it might balance out the human pinball thing, but it just makes it worse.”
“You’re a bit like a bumble bee, you know. Scientifically, there is no way you should have been able to get to this table without causing an accident. It was like a synchronised dance of wine glasses and waiters. I was utterly transfixed.”
This was not going to plan. I knew how this worked. By the time I got to meet a date, he has no doubt seen me coming and done a runner. I wasn’t sure about what happened after that point, but I was pretty certain that this bizarre conversation wasn’t it.
Something tickled at the edge of my awareness.
A knowledge that something was off. Something was wrong. Something I’d forgotten.
“I’m so sorry, what was your name again?”
“No. Whose Paul?”
“I don’t know, but you’re not him.”
“No, I’m not,” those damn blue eyes were twinkling
again and my tenuous hold on speech was slipping. Probably helped along by the
“Paul, is my blind date.”
“Ah. I think he left just as you arrived. A panicked looking young man with a face like a pilchard.”