Another Short Story from the City

Rain falls. Noise of the city drowns it out. No one is paying attention to rain. Maybe I pay too much attention. Is that possible?

There is talk at a table behind me. Urgent, knowing talk how to reverse the fortunes of American soccer on the World Cup stage, the men’s team that is. This table has the answer and the talk is led by a woman. She is loud. Maybe that’s what it will take.

Believe me, the answer is not at this table. The answer is somewhere on a bumpy field, perhaps even a pasture, where a regular game of pick up soccer is taking place, in rain, in mud, without coaches or adults around, and that regular game produces our Pele.

He won’t be white, I assure you.

Some Gershwin plays through the speakers. It feels wrong for this city.

One wonders if anyone ever meets anyone in cafes anymore.

Wind blows rain off the leaves and onto the pavement. Is that real rain?

A jogger jogs by. Terrible form.

An elderly couple plays loud videos on their phones the size of a waffle iron. I want to overturn their table but it’s bolted to the floor.

A man walks in wearing a blue velour jacket. He’s pulling it off.

I wrote a short story about a culvert. It has no commercial value. It has an audience of one. The story is based on true story that took place inside a culvert, on a salmon bearing stream, not far from a clearcut. It’s a love story.

A homeless man is whittling the end of staff. He’s standing up while doing so. I have never seen anyone whittle standing up, much less in rain. He could impale someone with this staff. We live in strange times when homeless men craft pikes.

I’m thinking about my dead dog. I’m thinking about stealing a husky off a chain. I’m thinking about reading Kafka’s short story about a dog that’s written by a dog. I bet Kafka wrote it in his cubicle, in between breaks from selling insurance. One wonders if Kafka even owned a dog. His writing doesn’t indicate that he did.

Aren’t 400-word short stories refreshing to read? They seem to stay with me longer than longer ones.

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