Blueprints & Wildflowers

Blueprints & Wildflowers

A Story by Charles Konsor

 

She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other.  Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text.  With two fingers she anticipated turning the page.  Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper. She never turned the page.

She doesn’t see him take this short video.  He leaves the camera sitting on the ground, capturing these thirty seconds of her while they sat in the park.

“There’s an article on the downtown rehabilitation here,” she says.  He stops the camera.

“Is there?  About what?”

“Luxury apartments.”

“Sounds interesting,” he says and coyly slips his camera back into his bag.

He’s afraid she might die someday and so he has begun to chronicle her.  He takes photos and videos and files away his favorite phrases.  When she does die he plans to spend months pouring over these memories.  He’ll curl up in bed and watch this video over and over again and he’ll remember the touch of those graceful fingers, her peaceful repose, and the gait of her darting eyes.

“Do you ever read the newspaper?” she asks.

“Sometimes, I suppose.”

He will read the newspaper everyday from then on.

 

~

 

She’s still foreign to him.  He imagines her skin is without blemish and believes her character is unparalleled.  He lies in bed with her and surveys her body"the long valley of her spine, the soft skin of her hip, and the gentle undulation of the vessels running through her neck.  Her hand rests innocently on his wrist.  He imagines she can feel his pulse through the skin and he tries to slow his heartbeat so that it matches hers.

When she leaves he begins to plan out what he will explore the next time she lays next to him.  He remembers how she smiled when he rubbed her nose with his and plans to do it again.  He files away a new favorite phrase"“I think I’m getting addicted to you”"and he watches the video again.

She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other.  She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity.  Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text.  She imagined her own articles on the page.  She became a great of journalists.  With two fingers she anticipated turning the page.  Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper. She never turned the page.

 

~

 

“How can you hate wild flowers?” she asks.

“I don’t know . . . they’re just too . . .”

“Too what?”  She asks, smiling in anticipation of his answer.  It’s an unabashed smile, unguarded and unembarrassed.  He admires her for that.  He’ll tell her someday when they’re lying in a hammock, rocking slowly in the ocean breeze.  He should really plan a trip to somewhere where they have hammocks, somewhere warm.  She’ll be happy then and she’ll smile without embarrassment.

“They’re just too wild,” he answers.  “They have no structure.”

 

~

 

She talks to him about spontaneity and he decides he’ll surprise her with a new flowerbed after they get married"wild flowers, her favorite.  Maybe he’ll plan an unexpected trip into the city, maybe they’ll go next weekend.  He will be the king of spontaneity then.

“So when will I see you again?” he asks.

“Umm . . . well, how about this.  Whenever you miss me you give me a call.”

“Alright,” he says.  He plans to call her on Tuesday at 8 PM.

 

~

 

She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other.  She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity.  Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text.  She imagined her own articles on the page.  She became a great of journalists and went to big parties, but she always brought her screenwriting boyfriend.  She watched him from across the room and smiled.

With two fingers she anticipated turning the page.  Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper. She never turned the page.

 

~

 

He puts Norah Jones on.  It’s her favorite and will surely steady her wavering heart. 

“I don’t know, Fred, it’s just . . .” Her eyes avoid his and she sits on the edge of the couch.  “I can’t really explain why.”

He’s changes the track to something more melancholy"Come Away With Me.  He’ll listen to this song on repeat for several days.  He’ll walk around for hours and serendipitously get caught in the rain.  He will get very sick and lose weight and find joy in nothing.  Food will taste like ash and alcohol will no longer cheer him up. 

“I’m sorry Fred,” she says and gets up to leave.

He’s already reforming their path.  They’ll have a friendly dinner late one night and they’ll be the only ones in the restaurant.  He’ll talk passionately of his new screenplay and she’ll think he never sounded so happy before.  At the bar afterwards he’ll give her quiet glances.  When it’s late he’ll put Norah Jones on the jukebox.  And when someday he gives a toast at their rehearsal dinner he’ll tell the story of their temporary parting, his persistent hope, and the cherished memory of their spontaneous reunion.  She will cry a little and kiss him when he’s done with the toast.

“Are you OK Fred?” she asks.

“Well . . . no, but . . . but I suppose there’s not really much I can do, is there?”

She shakes her head.

 

~

 

The nights are hardest for him.  He remembers the weight of her body on the mattress next to him.  He had barely begun to explore her skin before it was forbidden of him.  He had such plans for that skin"trails of kisses leading from her ear to the clavicle, light scratches which would leave fleeting streaks of red"and someday he’ll tell her all these things. 

Once she comes back to his bed he’ll hold her close and kiss her soft and tell her about how miserable he was without her.  She will comfort him and make him look her in the eyes and she will say, ‘I love you, dear’. 

 

~

 

She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other.  One night he bit her lip too hard in fit of passion and she yelled at him, but he took good care of her.  She loved him even more after that.

She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity.  Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text.  She imagined her own articles on the page.  She became a great of journalists and went to big parties, but she always brought her screenwriting boyfriend.  She watched him from across the room and smiled.

One day, when he had become famous, she had to interview him and they pretended they’d never met and laughed all through the interview.

With two fingers she anticipated turning the page.  Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper. She never turned the page.

 

~

 

Norah Jones plays on the juke box and he lets his hand brush against hers.

She walks home with him, clutching his arm and leaning against his shoulder.  She tells herself she’s just staying warm.

He plays Norah Jones again when they get to his house and goes to the kitchen to get the expensive bottle of wine, the one he saved for her return.

She sees a video on his computer.  A video of her.

He drops the wine glasses and rushes to the computer. 

“Sorry, I didn’t mean for you to see that.”

“Wait, what is it,” she asks and tries to keep him from closing it.

“Nothing.”

“Don’t worry, I don’t mind.  I just want to see"”

“No,” he says and pushes her hand away from the mouse.

“Fred . . . I’m not going to"”

He doesn’t mean to push her so hard.  He’s drunk and upset.  She falls, but not hard.  She doesn’t hurt herself and he wants to help her up, but he has to keep the video hidden. 

He wants to stop her from gathering her things, but he has to protect the video.

He wants to run down the street after her, but he doesn’t.  He sits alone and watches the video.

 

~

 

He’s going to think of her when he’s on his death bed.  He’s sure of this.

He’ll get married, of course, but he’ll hate his wife for not joining him in the hammock on their trip to Florida.  He’ll hate her olive skin because it doesn’t allow the fleeting red marks his fingernails leave.  He’ll resent his children for not having graceful hands.  And he’ll wake up at night, tip toe to his computer, and replay these thirty seconds of her.

She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other.  One night he bit her lip too hard in fit of passion and she yelled at him, but he took good care of her.  She loved him even more after that.

She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity.  She carried that serenity all throughout life.  She was always more patient with the children than he was.  They loved her more and he was jealous, but she always reassured him.  She made his favorite dinner and let the dog sleep in their bed and let him leave a trail of kisses from her ear to her clavicle.

Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text.  She imagined her own articles on the page.  She became a great of journalists and went to big parties, but she always brought her screenwriting boyfriend.  She watched him from across the room and smiled.

One day, when he had become famous, she had to interview him and they pretended they’d never met and laughed all through the interview.

With two fingers she anticipated turning the page.  She almost lost one of those fingers on a Florida beach when he dared her to touch the beached shark.  She laughed when it snapped at her, an unabashed, unembarrassed laugh.  That night they laid in a hammock and he told her how much he had missed her when she broke up with him.  She told him she would never leave him again.

Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper. She never turned the page.


© 2015 Charles Konsor



My Review

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Featured Review

I liked it over all. the first couple sentences were rough for me- just for me- because I instantly look for unhindered flow rather than substance which it later reveals itself as.
As usuall, as I kept reading, your voice came out and stongly too and then I think it turned into something very distinct and interesting in the sense that all your work does, melancholy and delicate from a romantic quirky mind, -my over all view again.
Besides those first sentences I really liked the progression of the rest of it, your word choices and your tense choices.

The only part where I wondered was here in this section: Norah Jones plays on the juke box and he lets his hand brush against hers.

She walks home with him, clutching his arm and leaning against his shoulder. She tells herself she's just staying warm.

In this paragraph above the timeline of the story was a bit confusing for a sec, unclear as to wether they had reunited after all or if it was his imagination taking over in a leadership role.
In the coming passages though, I felt it resolved itself, and getting more dreamlike it ceased to matter.

I went with it.

here , I believe it is the 3rd use of the paragraph...
She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other. She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity. Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text. She imagined her own articles on the page. She became a great of journalists and went to big parties, but she always brought her screenwriting boyfriend. She watched him from across the room and smiled.

With two fingers she anticipated turning the page. Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper.

She never turned the page.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Really enjoyed this. Well thought out and challenges the reader to establish the story in their own heads. The ending is clever, not falling into the obvious traps that it could so easily have done.

Posted 9 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I honestly thought that this would be a tragic-ending story.
And I'm glad that it wasn't.

The way that you wrote this was seemingly godly, no lie. I love the repetition, as it certainly built up the beauty in the ending.

The character that you set up here, that of the guy so passionately in love with someone, was absolutely beautiful. And the words were absolutely perfect in putting him together. I mean that, truely.
I suppose that everyone wants to be loved that much, but I was overwhelmed completely by him.

In the end, an arctic spike of chills crawled up my spine.
And I loved it.

//Vanessa Alyse

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This is an absolutely beautiful piece and as hard as it was to read at some parts, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Thank you for writing this!

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This story chokes me up... it hits a little to close to home for me. This was beautiful and I'm happy to read the ending.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Wow. That was so touching. I don't come across many men that feel this way about the women they love, at least no openly. It's so beautiful to read a story where a man's love is so apparent and naked.

I love the switching back and forth and the way you added more to the same story each time. I'm really impressed with this work. I'm sending it to my friend. ;)

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 9 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Yes, the story held my attention, I was thrown off by some shifting in tense when the story goes into italics. For example, "One day, when he had become famous, she had to interview him and they'll pretend they'd never met and laughed all through the interview." They'll should be they'd... I think. Or,

One day when he would become famous, she would have to interview him and they'll pretend they never met, and laugh all through the interview"

So, if you meant to have these tense shifts, I think they were just a bit distracting.
The story is very absract, there isn't a solid plot, it is more a stream of conscioussness, how very post modern of you.
Charlie... sigh...
I enjoyed reading your story.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I liked it over all. the first couple sentences were rough for me- just for me- because I instantly look for unhindered flow rather than substance which it later reveals itself as.
As usuall, as I kept reading, your voice came out and stongly too and then I think it turned into something very distinct and interesting in the sense that all your work does, melancholy and delicate from a romantic quirky mind, -my over all view again.
Besides those first sentences I really liked the progression of the rest of it, your word choices and your tense choices.

The only part where I wondered was here in this section: Norah Jones plays on the juke box and he lets his hand brush against hers.

She walks home with him, clutching his arm and leaning against his shoulder. She tells herself she's just staying warm.

In this paragraph above the timeline of the story was a bit confusing for a sec, unclear as to wether they had reunited after all or if it was his imagination taking over in a leadership role.
In the coming passages though, I felt it resolved itself, and getting more dreamlike it ceased to matter.

I went with it.

here , I believe it is the 3rd use of the paragraph...
She held the newspaper with one hand and pinched her lower lip with the other. She breathed slowly, a mark of her serenity. Her eyes jumped from photo to text, photo to text. She imagined her own articles on the page. She became a great of journalists and went to big parties, but she always brought her screenwriting boyfriend. She watched him from across the room and smiled.

With two fingers she anticipated turning the page. Her eyes moved slowly down the newspaper.

She never turned the page.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


2 of 2 people found this review constructive.


Call it morbid fascination, but your MC's voice carried me throughout the story! His tone was suspiciously deadpan - the excitement building with each watch of the video.

I even started reading into her movment in the video myself...which put me in his shoes. Very disturbing - excellent!

One point: He images her skin is without blemish and believes " - imagines?

Oh, IMO i don't think you need that last line. We know he thinks she's perfect, he watches and dreams of her - foreplanning etc. We, as reader, also know why it could never be. In that last line you're just telling us what we already know.

Awesome read - thank you.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It held my attention all the way through. Bit stalkeresque(is that a word?). But i liked it.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It most definitely held my attention - and caught me by surprise. There is a deep tension to this - as though reading the story of a stalker, I kept expecting the worst....yet the ending was a twist of the unexpected and I found myself feeling empathetic...almost a sadness.
Well written, creative, unique - a nose glued to the PC read.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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3589 Views
30 Reviews
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Shelved in 7 Libraries
Added on February 12, 2008
Last Updated on January 23, 2015
Tags: girl, fiction, obsession, nostalgia, memories, romance
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Author

Charles Konsor
Charles Konsor

Portland, OR



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