THE PEDDLER

THE PEDDLER

A Story by EKS
"

My personal favourite. The who, why, where and when are unlimited and personal to each reader

"

The Peddler
 EKS KORMAN

I.
 I shot my eyes over a shoulder and saw the sky's bruising.
Five streets merged. Me, on one corner, cars, bikes, bus streaming by, a boat floating on wheels: A new town in which the only thing usual was the feeling of being and having been nowhere.
This lostness excited an adventurousness that was bared of events. The town center boiled same as the last I had traveled. Horns beeped, heads shook and colorful lights shone; the same everywhere.
Degrees of beauty varied only by the sort of lostness hanging on my heart. Sameness everywhere changed only by what my spirit chose to frame. I could have physically not been there, no person or thing bumped me and I stood with my heaps of luggage in the shade.
Edging closer to the stone wall to bring a light cool over my sweat
Their dreams had become unrecognizable to me.
My watch still had another idea of time, but I gathered by the air about me that half a day had passed. Enough accomplished. I fumbled the key in my pocket and turned it into the door behind me.
A steep staircase inclined towards me and I did a balancing act up the narrow steps. The door on the cornered landing was open a frothy party sounded in progress. All but one small bag was dropped in the nearest closet and then I wove through a salon and kitchen onto the balcony where the sleep chair I had been gifted was waiting. I snuggled into its corner, and popped the bag open to empty its contents into my lap.
Bombarded by the jungle sounds of birds insisting wakefulness upon me with their cries, I made an electric start. Tourist pamphlets were strewn about peddling lectures and attractions, cutting me as the sculptural figure of some common artist. I stacked them onto a box, and deposited my feet onto the balcony's wooden frame.
In spite of the neglect to my sleep hide-away, the composition before me would have been appealing to the shapes-maker: a triangle cut a groggy sky and several boxes formed even corners reaching differing heights; the awning laced the top edge of the scene. I scratched my soles on the wooden edge and dressed them for day.
Without luggage, I was more comfortably perched on the street, also having brought a small canvas folding chair.
It took a long time for the day to pass, speeding up only when the sun gathered momentum in rolling off. The street lights came on and I folded my chair, turned the key in the lock, and repeated my rise and weave through the frothing party, landing in my pit for a second night of rest.

II.

A racy stillness swept through everything, forcing my eyes to open into the dark.
It was over-quiet but not in the least calm. I put my feet to the floor and sat straight-backed, widening my ears no less than my eyes due to the vivacious vibrations in the air.
The wait may not have been long; the voice said: "Thanks for filling my post during my absence." I then gave verbal notes of the last two days watch. The presence left.
I sat a while in the precious darkness and took to ease in preparing for the light. I enjoyed this time mixed of "waiting for day to come" and "stretching time by preparing for day".
In my anticipation, my mind allotted this as space to mingle ideas about the coming hours.
Making an exit before the Orchestra at Dawn cried its own final ovation, I lifted one of the bags across, onto my shoulder, and breathed in my descent to the street. I dropped the key into a change purse and began imagining the place I would have coffee while waiting for my train.

III.

I lowered my upholstered seat and fleetingly felt myself on the deck chair of a cruise ship.
My gaze dropped to the reflection on the glass of my watch which showed itself early afternoon rather than past midnight, as was the case. The cold coffee quenched my thirst not unlike the apple juice I imagined the orchards I knew we now passed had only last season just produced. I was coasting through the future of my past, glancing here and there for the open door freed of options which tire not from planting cactus needles among the fine hairs of human skin. My neighbor slept. He was a pleasant dog with gentle lips. I thought at him too loudly: his eyelids fluttered. I twisted myself towards the glass and inspected my own face, for a change. I swear I could see in my eye a reflection of the crescent moon. I emptied the silver from my pocket and lifted it to that spot for a bit of good luck (the apartment key figuring in that lot).
We pulled into the station about noon. The pleasant dog hung his head over me as he slipped his knapsack off the top rack. His open coat flew into my face and I spotted a pamphlet clipped there naming the place of my own destination. So without alarm, for introductions and explanations are more often tiring than necessary, once disembarking, I waited while he was properly oriented before following his path.
I had gentle memories of the place I now walked through: this path, that field - the water running through the brook; the same as always and like many others I have tempted my feet with.
 Though the area was fairly habited, the path being so wide gave into its element of vastness, and in spite of my re-entry to this place, for the present it was freeing.
Later, I considered that during those moments I had been fiercely under watch. Maybe those I had been in the Voice's absence watching, then watched me. The only difference perhaps, that I had been acting as a replacement; did that make me an accessory, and to what, I did not know. I might have concerned myself with the optional outcomes of that stretch of path. I might have minded that Pleasant Dog was no longer in my line of vision. Could I or not consider those moments as free?
To come to terms (with myself, I guess), I trotted down a grassy slope at the bottom of which abruptly stood a stone house with high grasses surrounding it. Not keen to announce my arrival, I pressed the handle securely and floated in. The smoothness of the stone surface permitted this entrance's success. I hooked my coat to make my arrival apparent and with a silvered palm caught the hand of a passing maid who directed me to my room.
Small and rectangular, I accepted the sterile greeting of its window whose sill reached my eye level. The armchair flattening to a bed, the closet with three hangers and some shelves, the small wooden desk and chair from some ancient village school were the staple ingredients. On the desk was the protocol welcome note. The lavatory seemed to have remained communal.
The dinner bell rang. I rocked my feet, restraining from acting upon my impulse. Then, taking with me everything I could without making bulges of my pockets, I went out pulling the door behind me.
In the long corridor, beside each open-mouthed room, there stood a figure. With the knob still in my hand, I turned it and giving a slight push to the door, also stood beside it.
Every temperature of sound squeezed the place. And although I felt myself to be a tightly rooted tree with each leaf an ear, I could make no sense of the sounds. My feet were fastened but eased as a lumpy silhouette, gliding softly through the corridor, lifted into the light.
The pleasant dog had made the grand entrance; two hands had just descended from a giraffe to tickle the corners of my mouth.
My attention drawn elsewhere the noise traffic pushed back. I breathed in the character of my recent acquaintance and shifted my eyes to see the door neighboring mine close.
A purse-lipped person in a white shirt and black slacks appeared at my end of the hall, clapping hands for attention and to signal the direction.
 I went partially out of duty but also hoping to find some amusement in the unappealing features of this crowd.
The white shirt bent into a hole in the wall, and its fluorescence led the way through a dim passage. The way declined then curved, then gently inclined.
The temperatures of sound were now the temperatures of breaths and soles.
There were instructions to remove shoes. I did so and stood again, lifting them by two fingers. There was a wait for resuming order, and then again walking.
One foot suddenly touched sand and I soon heard reactions behind me. The fluorescence joined the light and chips of blue. The sand warmed me through and my figure was exposed to sea beach.
The vehicles of noise dropped to their knees. Abrupt expansion being still familiar with me, I stayed put.
After a long time, I sat viewing the sun crawling behind the flat lengthy horizon. Both I and the sun had been smirking.
The snoring around me gradually lifted as the smell of a meal wafted through the air. Dinner was approaching.
An extended slat of wood placed on sand served a buffet with much food all of like color. It was contrary for the healthy appetite, but I spooned the varying sludge in a manner equal to my needs. The noise of my neighbors' bodies revved up once more, and sounded a kind of musical improvisation complete with violins and tuba.
I knew not when this eatage would transform. The commander had not come forward, so I leaned back on my hands to better allow the instruments hear each other play.

IV.

Fingers curled the eye of a statuette, pinched its nose. The eyes focused to the street, a worm with scales of grey umbrellas pointing against the wind. The rolling eyes saw people kiss glasses and chew on sticks. A large hand reached for the fingers and pulled them from the room.
Upstairs to a pillow, the fingers pointed the eyes to shapes upon a page. One pink finger turned white while the eyes changed their shapes until finally they closed.
Visions swirled in blankness.
On a chair, a jar of spiders had been carefully placed. It had been a torment to the child's parents; who were now downstairs tending to business with guests. That earlier ordeal was completely unuseful to their living.
Everyone knows that business is a better torment than spiders. And though neither should have anything to do with torment, whether business or spiders carry off the more graceful performance could be debated.

V.

I wished. Laying back against my arms, listening to the corporeal sounds, I wished to walk into the fantasy of the underwater world and to splash up near another shore.
As though tempting this wish, several instruments around me went to wade. Their quiet astounded me and I felt it perhaps to be a sign of respect for my own silence.
The rush of the urge to walk and keep walking passed. It became my turn to drop into the sand.
A red garment with handless sleeves stood over my position of rest. We spoke in the peaceful sounds of spiteful meaning. The red garment did not want to give up its power and though it regarded the duty of my arrival, I wavered under the hint it didn't correspond to me.
My indifference to diplomacy insulted, we snaked and snickered through a conversation built upon contradiction and controversy. I could not uphold any traditions or rites other than those that had been given to me, and of this sort the red garment would not have, once disrobing. I suggested to postpone the transfer of the robe. Yet, the garment-wearer threatened its own life so as to promulgate the carrying on of tradition. I considered the words, but feeling the wearer's need for power greater than the need to immortalize tradition I respectfully silenced and excused myself.
I returned to my room.
From its centre I saw circles mapping the floor, spiraling above and below only to take the right step and I would be void of this place; but a knock on the door made that chance regress.
It was the pleasant dog staring at me speaking through its eyes. It motioned for me to follow by waving the key I had kept to my earlier abode. With confusion, I shook out my pockets and finding my own still there, followed quickly behind Pleasant Dog into the neighboring room.
I traced back upon my previous considerations of Pleasant Dog, thinking to be the one contemplating our acquaintance.
In addition to producing the key, the voice I had heard in the stillness a few nights prior was produced. The nature of our togetherness blurred and explanations weren't coming forth.
Without believable control over my situation feeling events imminently compounding, my adventurousness lapsed.
Pleasant Dog might have noticed life escaping me for there was effort to help me breathe more calmly
Pleasant Dog might have noticed life escaping me for there was effort to help me breathe more calmly. Prescribed were the spirits and cigar so part of my ideas as a child of the significant actors of life.
I shook to stretch myself towards sleep to find my blanket of peace. The map of circles was returning about me. I wanted to swing from them as on a trapeze towards a new landing. I jumped for the window, pushed, and made my escape, setting the pace by running.

VI.

Seated back in a train, I was still running; believing my race would cheer the locomotive to incredible speed.
I felt the slaves at my back, though I nightmared of meeting them head on.
I wanted to stab time, to get to the apartment  bags hiding. I sweat, my hands numb even drops to sleep held my speed.
Such pressure to my system, nerves brightened with creativity, and by the time I jumped into town a wonderful bliss was shaking me to a new intelligence. I had the passion of a lover finding himself in the other. I was vagrant with dreams of tourism.
On a small square was a photo exhibit of people's faces.
I recognized some of the features. They were all under glass. The people parked in their cars looking at the view through their windshield were also portraits under glass. I touched my cheek and knew that it was rosy. Human conservation meant death to me and I willingly turned my face to the sun and wind to get a full dose of truth.
Rather than my imaginings on reason, that day was charged with the grace of the unearthly. In roaming, an excursion through the sun-sparkling illumination of the city became concocted: a gallop by the river; a skip over the bridge; a museum perused until closing.
Stayed the night in a small hostel overlooking water. From its ledge I basked in my newfound intelligence.
Nestled in warm blankets I excitedly fell asleep looking forward to renewing a wakeful state.
Morning crashed upon me with strong rains. Though I had enough risk left in me to pay another night's lodging my attack on living had flattened, and my concerns resumed. I hung in limbo with nothing to do; to speak with no one but myself; and the conversation was familiar, or was that really me? Unsuccessful attempts were made to sleep it off.
Through the open window I watched a clothesline weighted by a wardrobe abandon itself to the weather in a contortionist's spectacle. I was empty of expectancy: the consequences reeling from the past few days and its full related history, though reactions still waiting in the future I wore them now like clothes of moss, heavy and sporing.
But I wondered if I weren't an imposter of all that no longer sure as to my real story or how I belonged: maybe I could just become myself and discount all that did not correspond.
I spread myself to clutch a response that occasionally bobbed to the forefront of thought. An answer was there. If only like stepping through a cordoned circle to walk into another place I could hold that scampering thought to rotate it for a full view.
I probed that microscopically, for the find would lead to the reinvention of the human condition: to be able to hear the direction of Solution bypassing philosophical and practical speech, what I would do with that!
Like one simple effort of pushing a large rock over a ravine, my answer splashed and I swung into a new dimension. A breeze whisked beneath me and I fell through the window. A breath filled me and I was swiftly hurtled above the treetops. From a seated position, I was comfortably flying.
Or rather I was peddling through the substance of Sky, tossing my sustenance before me to cushion my way.
There was some effort to be made though: looking down, as tempting as it was, was best avoided.
Landscapes, sky, sea, beyond and beyond: the distance of seeing never before dreamed in waking hours.
I occasionally forgot to peddle the air, my substance, and would plummet, my stomach flip-flopping like during roller coaster rides.
A new breath would again bring me up to new views.
The entire being I consisted of was concentrated, centred.
I willingly somersaulted in celebration.
I dedicated one deep breath to my history, so it would hear my freedom, then gently peddled my way through the air.

            THE END


© 2020 EKS


Author's Note

EKS
I look forward to reading comments.

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Added on June 22, 2020
Last Updated on June 22, 2020
Tags: hopes; discovery; insights; poet

Author

EKS
EKS

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I wrote on and off after my husband introduced me to the idea. Only in the last four years have I made it a regular activity. This is the first writing group I have joined. I am not a very diplomati.. more..

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