Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Flash Fiction

            (I am a creature of habit.  I write on a schedule – even if I do not know what I am about to write.  I get up every morning and, with that first cup of coffee, pound on my computer.

            The other morning, I was forced to reinstall the computer; my grandson or my daughter visited a site they shouldn’t have and the laptop started acting like it was swimming in molasses.  This, needless to say, impinged on my work time.  I filled it, while I waited for Norton and Office and whatever updates Microsoft insists I needed, by doodling in my notebook.  The piece that follows wriggled to the surface without any pre-planning.  I like it for its brevity and its tone.)


The Martini, Extra-Dry

             My doctor suggested that I stop drinking as part of his post-physical comments.  I invited him home for dinner – I am quite the imaginative cook – and made us both a Martini to whet his appetite and to introduce him to a more reasoned, evening routine.  There is nothing more civilized that a chilled Martini at the end of a long day.
            My doctor passed away soon afterwards.  Cardiac dysrhythmias.  It was quite unexpected.  It took his wife and family completely by surprise when they received the call.  He was only – if I had to guess – forty-something.  Fit, forty-something and dead.
            The Martini is a classic drink, one that has withstood the ravages of time.  It is not easy to make and must be served in the appropriate glass with sufficient preparation to honor the drink.  Do you see how I have frosted our glasses? And the olives, three each, carefully pierced through the center with silver skewers.  I do not abide anything stuffed into the olive.  Nothing extraneous should be added to the liquor.  Just a hint of brine to compliment the gin.
            I find salt heightens a great many sensations.  I have been watching the tiniest droplet of sweat gliding down your delicate neck.  I don’t know if you can even feel it but it is enchanting.  I have an almost irresistible urge to kiss you.  To kiss your neck.  It is not the salt that makes me want to do that – that is all you, by the way – but that hint of salt, the thought of that special taste, magnifies the experience.
            See what I mean?
            You are quite beautiful.  I am sure you aware of your beauty; you must see it every morning in the mirror and men – myself included – cannot help mentioning it.  It is the nature of human beings to appreciate beauty. 
            Don’t get me wrong.  This is not some tawdry attempt at seduction.  I do not enjoy pick-up lines.  Look around you…I prize beauty.  I collect books and old records, mostly classical compositions, and art.  Small pieces.  Little sculptures.  Little porcelain pieces that are so incredibly delicate that you crave touching them but fear breaking them at the same time.  Their fragility makes them…well, I guess you could say…exciting.  I find holding them positively arousing. 
            But, enough of me and my things.  The Martinis are done.  I have taken extraordinary pains with yours.  My doctor would claim I am being cavalier with our health but he is not here.  I do not mean to be insolent, but his absence speaks volumes.  If you ask me, there are quantitative benefits to the occasional vice.  I do believe they have extended my life.  Would you like to try it now or should we retire to the bedroom?  I have never been a particularly doctrinaire host; you are so beautiful I would gladly forego my favorite addiction…or, at least, delay it until later.
            The choice is yours.  I am your servant.
            I understand completely: the drink.
            It would be an absolute shame to waste such a perfect Martini.

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