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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Pursuing the Horizon


Alice couldn’t believe she was sitting in the Black Rose having a Guinness with Dave Brennan. It was heady. He was talking to her not as her bosses did – dismissively, as if they might lose some irretrievable gem by giving her their attention – but respectfully, as if her opinion – or her approval of his opinion – had some actual consequence in the universal scheme of things.
Alice tore her gaze away from his face – the intensity of his acceptance making her dizzy – and traced a drop of condensation down the side of her pint.
“When Noam Chomsky was last here,” Dave Brennan said, “we sat discussing Zellig Harris…”
Alice smiled and raised her eyebrows, unwilling to interrupt with a question that might reveal an inability to place a reference or recognize a player. Her mind raced to keep up with the connections that rolled off of Dave Brennan’s tongue. Harris believed… Surface structure meant… She made a snarky comment, unaware she’d spoken aloud until she saw his smile, heard his laugh and realized they were for her.
“Yes,” he said. “Exactly.” He continued unravelling the intricacies of structural linguistics while her brain kicked into overdrive. The timbre of his voice rose and fell around them like the tune to some anthem only they knew. Her head filled with sparkles, and her eyes lost focus.
Seconds later, Alice felt herself return to the table, the beer, Dave Brennan’s voice. She hoped he hadn’t noticed. She checked the corner of her mouth for drool with a quick lick of her tongue.
You’re sitting here with Dave Brennan, she thought. Dave Brennan is sitting here with you!
Alice was talking herself down from a paralyzing state of ecstasy. ‘Listen now,’ she told herself. ‘Pay attention.’
Dave Brennan’s voice once again took over the air between them, its cadence marking her heartbeat. She recognized the name of a local politician she’d once worked for, and nodded, ready to offer him this tidbit of information.
Dave Brennan talked on.
  
 

42 comments:

  1. "Alice was talking herself down from a paralyzing state of ecstasy."

    I know that feeling well. Years ago, when I was just a starry eyed young thing, I played pinball with some of the Seattle Mariners..(I just had to offer that tidbit!) ;)

    This was perfect kymm! Bravo and well done!!

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    1. Well, you and the Mariners! Did I tell you I stood in line behind Clarence Clemons once at Heathrow Airport? Long time ago. Hahaha
      Thank you so much, Valerie!

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  2. This was lovely. You did such a wonderful job of capturing star struck.

    And she might as well stay in her state of ecstasy because I don't think that Dave Brennan has any room for her to actually enter the conversation!

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    1. I don't think so either. lol Thank you so much, Jennifer!

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  3. Oh boy. This was great! Intriguing too! :D

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    1. Happy you found it intriguing. Thanks, Linda!

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  4. Oh yes...such feelings that you just float away into another world. Well done!

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    1. So, not too far-fetched... Thank you, Maggie!

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  5. Nice job of capturing that lost in the clouds, can't quite believe this is happening feeling. Though I think it will soon wear off as Dave's voice drones on. Nice writing.

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    1. It always does wear off sooner or later, doesn't it? haha
      Thank you, Steph!

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  6. As good a description of that star-struck phase as I've ever read. And I'm certain she'll come down to earth with a bump... So very well done

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    1. As long as it's just a bump. haha
      Glad you enjoyed it, and thank you so much for your very kind words, Sandra!

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  7. Very absorbing writing there, felt like she took me with her.

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    1. I can ask nothing more from a story about a trance. Thank you, Imaginator!

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  8. Love this bit- "She made a snarky comment, unaware she’d spoken aloud until she saw his smile, heard his laugh and realized they were for her." Really natural. Wonderful!

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    1. Appreciate the love. Thank you, Intarsia!

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  9. He just might talk her out of the attraction :) This is the same feeling I had when my high school crush actually had a conversation with me before graduation. (Mostly, I think I just stood there looking stupid!)

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    1. Look stupid, okay, but were you drooling??? haha And he most certainly will talk her out of it. Don't they all in the end?
      Thanks for your visit, Janna!

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  10. Hero worship at its best. I loved this, "She checked the corner of her mouth for drool ..."

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    1. Basking in your words. Thanks, Tara!

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  11. I liked this a lot, grinning at what I recognised of myself in it. Thank you.

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    1. I'm so glad you liked it. Thank you, Thomas!

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  12. Wonderful job capturing that state of awestruck hero worship! The piece flows really well too, makes you feel like you're right there with her.

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    1. Glad you went along for the ride. Thanks, Suzanne!

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  13. This story is so real and well written. You nailed this one!

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    1. Happy you think so. Thanks, lumdog!

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  14. It's a wonder she was able to track the conversation at all! (:

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    1. I still can't decide whether she's smitten in order to ignore the conversation entirely or not.

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  15. He has quite a lot to say. It makes me wonder if he's simply that sociable or if he's as nervous as her and is trying to beat back those nerves with constant chatter. The puppy love is adorable either way.

    Thanks for linking up!

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    1. Of course, every reader has her own story, but in this case, he's happy with the sound of his own voice.

      Thank you, Tri!

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  16. Great story! I love the Chomsky reference.

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    1. Ha! That reference went through a bunch of transformations before it hit Chomsky!
      Thank you, Kristin!!

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  17. I've been right where Alice is! So what does she do next? Please tell!

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    1. Haha She sits there and does what we all do. She listens. Thanks for being here, Gina!

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  18. I love the way her hero-worship and ecstasy put her in constant danger of losing the moment that she's craving to live within!!

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    1. Isn't that always the way. Thanks for the love, Jessie!

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  19. You have perfectly captured that heady transfixion that is only possible during the first moments of a deep crush. Beautifully done!

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    1. My only religion... Thank you so much, Tina!

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  20. Chomsky & Zelig - priceless!

    marc nash

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    1. Glad you got a kick out of it. Thanks for reading, marc!

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  21. Missed this last week what a great piece. Love the internal dialogue you pulled off so well.

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    1. Thank you so much, Sam. What a treat to have you peek back here!

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