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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Too Much Old Desire

She was lonely. Adele tsked to herself. That was all, she was just lonelier than she had allowed herself to recognize. She leaned her head back in the armchair and looked again at John, who sat splay-legged on the couch, intently studying the laptop while he drummed his long fingers against the coffee table. She knew every inch of his skin, every curve of every muscle, every sharply protruding bone, every deep wrinkle in his brow. She recognized in the depths of her entrails the almost square paunch of his belly, the sleek fall of his straight, dark hair. She followed the shadow along his jaw, a smattering of whiskers that brought memories flooding back. At first flush they were welcome, like old, intimate friends, but after consideration she drew in her breath, and turned away.
‘You are obviously too lonely,’ she told herself. ‘This cannot be.’
She pretended to count back, but she already knew the answer was ten years.
‘It’s been ten years,’ she told herself.
Time had raced past while standing still, and John was living, breathing testimony to that. There were flashes of him that had made her smile from the very beginning - a certain way of holding a knife, of crinkling a nose - but there was also a particular insistence on order and coherence that took her breath away, filling Adele with a longing she would never be able to shake.
Those graceful hands were the same ones that had held and caressed her, that wrinkled brow was the same one she had smoothed and kissed goodbye. He was his father’s flesh and blood alright, so much so that Adele could feel herself falling in love with him all over again.
‘But he’s not Jack,’ she told herself.

Adele patted John on the knee and stood heavily and slowly, her heart aching, her soul disheveled.
"You hungry?" she asked her son. "How about some dinner?"

[Title taken from Michael Cunningham's Flesh and Blood]

Trifecta week Seventy-Six Silver!

60 comments:

  1. Very different. Interesting ending.

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    1. I knew this one would be hard to take. Thanks, Maggie!

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    2. Congratulations! Well written different! I knew it was good because it stayed with me after I commented.

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    3. Thanks again, Maggie! Hope it doesn't overstay the welcome.

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  2. Very deep piece, so well-written, and feels very real. Really quite thought-provoking.

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    1. Thank you so much, Managua. It was risky, so I'm glad it provokes thought.

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  3. As I read this, I was thinking it was a husband and wife who had drifted apart. My first thought when I read the 'son' part was, "Ew!" but after I read the story again, I found it more sad than disturbing. Loneliness can be so cruel.

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    1. Both your reactions were kind of what I was shooting for, Janna. Thanks for relating them!

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  4. That hurt. Yes, loneliness hurts and loss does make one feel that perhaps it'd have been better not to have had it at all. sigh!

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    1. I think there is a point where one loses touch from loneliness. My jury is still out on whether tis better or not, but regret is a heavy burden as well. *sigh*
      Thanks, Rashmi!

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  5. A very different take. Excellent.

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    1. Different for me, too. Thank you so much, yarnspinnerr!

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  6. A very intriguing story. I like it. Most interesting and excellent.

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    1. Glad it intrigued you. Thanks for the flowers, Draug!

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  7. A fine twist at the end. I applaud the risk you took. It worked. These things happen, why not write about it? Nicely-written and evocative.

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    1. Glad to hear that it worked. So often it's these kinds of things that are the point of art.
      Thank you, Steph!

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  8. Kymm, I applaud this too! I took a big risk writing what I wrote this week, because it was written very definitely with specific individuals in mind. But it was also one of the most honest pieces I've ever written, and it felt good. I can completely see loneliness taking this woman to places like the one in your story. I think it shows her human side. Great writing, is my final verdict!

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    1. You are very kind, Valerie! I believe that the risky, tough writes are the ones that take us places we want to go.
      Thank you!

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  9. You are a real human. I must pay attention and learn from you Kymm.

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    1. Between the vampire story and that comment, you're beginning to freak me out, Sam!
      But I jest.
      We are all learning from each other. That's the point. I think.
      Thank you, kind sir.

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  10. There are a lot of good thing in this story. First of all the twist at the end where you have to re-evaluate everything you've read before. The images you paint, and the forbidden lust a mother might have for her son (almost like a Greek tragedy).

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    1. I do like the tales where you have to go back, reread and rethink.
      Greek tragedy... I guess then that they are still vital.
      Thank you, Björn!

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  11. I think loneliness is one of the hardest things, and it can be cruel. Very thought provoking, thank you LM x

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    1. Glad it provoked thought, along with whatever else it may have provoked.
      Thank you, Lyssa!

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  12. Creative and I really dug the ending. Well done.

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    1. Glad you liked it, Lance. Thank you!

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  13. You called my post, "a sweet and happy outpouring." Can't exactly say the same about yours, can I ? :)
    You did a fabulous job creating depth and complexity to the Mom's character. She is a flawed but, very real person. I have no problem where you went with this story. Yours is a tale well told.

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    1. I'd worry if you did, Tom : )
      Thank you so much for hanging with her, and for your thoughtful comments! And I am glad you didn't have a problem with it - nice to know.

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  14. Darn... commented and the site loaded funny and now no comment.. :(
    Anyway, to repeat the gist: I really enjoyed this as an exploration of time and perspective in life. It was well written and the lead- up to the end is well thought out. I like the emotional scope/view given of her character.
    However, if I may, I felt the first 3rd/half of this felt like a thing I had to slog a little to read through as it did not read so well. But the second half flowed great! Just something in case you decide to go back to this someday.
    Look forward to more in the coming weeks of trifect! :)
    Cheers!

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    1. I hate when that happens [losing comments].
      Thank you for taking the time to comment again. I'm glad you enjoyed the theme.
      I did intend it to be a slow rather than brisk read, because of the emotional load, but slogging is not good. I'll give it a few weeks and take another look.
      Thanks, Akshay!

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  15. Great ending, which I wasn't expecting! The first couple lines were really powerful, very well written. It made me like the character immediately as a unique and interesting soul.

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    1. I'm really glad you liked her, Kristin.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

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  16. This is very clever. I love the way you get the reader thinking about lovers and bring it round to mother and son. It could provoke revulsion. Instead I feel sorry for her. Really like the line '.. her heart aching, her soul disheveled.'

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    1. What a perfect read for my intentions, Sarah. Thanks for the love!

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  17. Oh wow Kymm, this is powerful stuff! Didn't expect the ending until I was reading it, but you've done such a great job with the subject. I like the disheveled soul imagery too. Great writing!

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    1. The ending is a hard place to reach, so I'm glad you let me take you there.
      Thanks, as always, for your encouraging words, Suzanne!

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  18. A soul disheveled is a brilliantly evocative image. You can sense her heart's confusion, trying to keep the ship upright. Great job!

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    1. So glad you liked it, that you got her confusion (love the ship uprght!)
      Thank you so much, Tina!

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  19. I agree you did an amazing job with a subject matter that is touchy (to say the least).I loved that she was fighting it, but not pretending she wasn't feeling it and I thought the bared truth in this line especially heart-wrenching as well as chilling; 'He was his father’s flesh and blood alright, so much so that Adele could feel herself falling in love with him all over again.'

    Really brave, haunting and great writing Kymm!

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    1. I'm glad I have such brave readers to go down these tricky paths with me.
      Thank you so much, Jennifer!

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  20. This was a tough read, but so well written.

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    1. It was tough to write, too. Thanks, Kelly!

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  21. This surprise ending carried with it not only the fact that mothers DO know every inch of their children, but it's a play with the "Nature vs. Nurture" concept. My nephew's dad died when he was four. Now he has so many of his dad's mannerisms, his singing voice... even the way he blinks his eyes and you can tell he's been smoking reefer! (He's 28.)

    At first blush, I was sort of taken aback, but then I remembered, it's so real, it's in my own family. WONderful write, Kymm. Hope you win the good stuff! Amy

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    1. This is the good stuff, Amy. Peeps who read through the difficult and leave encouraging comments Thanks!

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  22. Oh wow. That's so interesting. I get it. My son is a miniature version of his father and will probably continue to grow in that direction. It would be impossible to ignore that. You handled this really gracefully.

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    1. Thank you for the graceful.
      This actually came about because my daughter is the "spittin image" of her father, dead since she was almost 4. She gets more like him every day.

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  23. oooh that's poignant. The father-lover-husband mirrored in the son but a closed off desire. Wonderfully done

    marc nash

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    1. Thank you so much, marc! Glad you get it.

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  24. well, I don't know what I can say that hasn't been. This was just lyrical and sad. So sad for her, for what she is left without, what she is left with.

    Like a stove you know not to touch, sometimes it is impossible to not give it a thought.

    WOW.

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    1. Glad you went there with her, Kir. Left with, left without, exactly. Thank you!

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  25. There is humanity in this deeply troubling piece. Without the humanity, it would just be sick and twisted.

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    1. Thanks for finding the humanity, rangewriter. It was not intended to be sick or twisted.

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  26. I agree with rangewriter. The depth of humanity in this piece is astonishing. You really stepped off the ledge with this one, which is what one must do to write great work. Tremendously courageous of you and beautifully executed. Bravo!

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    1. Stepping off the ledge - I love that. Thank you so much for your terrific, encouraging comment, Jayne!

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  27. Poignant! Guess it would differ with a daughter? Full writing!

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    1. A bit different...
      Thanks, Dad!

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  28. i agree with the others ~ a "soul disheveled" is exquisite phrasing. and i loved the need to go back an reread the piece with an entirely different perspective after your surprise ending. absolutely brilliant writing!

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

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