I write the passage every day from Raymond Chandler’s “The High Window”. I have done so now for more years than I care to contemplate. I don’t want to remember but it seems like a lifetime since I copied dutifully from the book. I trust now to memory and if any changes have been incurred over the years then so be it.
I have memorised just one short section and have divided it into two. When I have completed today’s part I will rip the page from the notebook and place it in a file.
I sit at my desk and switch on the reading lamp and the notebook is bathed in its glare. On occasion, in the past, as Chandler’s words tapered to a close I had been compelled to write a little more. I had simply recorded, as succinctly as I could, an episode from my life or from the world at large. Birthdays and anniversaries, our daughter’s wedding, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and my brother’s untimely death at just forty years of age. But these bulletins at the foot of the page had been few and far between and I can’t remember now when I last added to the script.
I can hear my wife moving around in the kitchen below. Although we haven’t ever spoken about it how can this ritual not have impacted on her life?
I look across at the filing cabinet standing in its corner. I wonder when was the last time she opened a drawer and pulled free one of the folders and sifted through the pages inside.
Suddenly I realise that the silence, that our not talking about it, has become almost intolerable, that I have reached that point at last and I need now to break the pact.
I glance at the clock and I am shocked to find I have been sitting up here for almost an hour. But I can hear my wife now on the stairs and I lift the almost empty notebook, readying to hand it over. I will ask her to help me and together we will shred it along with the contents of the cabinet.

16 thoughts on “THE CABINET

  1. This is so simply original Mark. I don’t need to know what the passage said, or what prompted him to adhere to this ritual. I’m not even curious. The impact is entirely here in these few paragraphs. Whew….!!!!

    1. I have been toying with this for quite some time and when I actually sat down and typed it out I was surprised at how short it is because in my head it seemed much, much longer. Thank you so much Jana. A valued comment.

      1. And yes, perhaps it will be a hopeful outcome – it certainly is the end of something and the beginning of something else. Thanks again Pam.

    1. As I said to Jana it feels longer in my mind and perhaps it is because of what is left out. I am pleased you think it interesting and worthy of a comment Miranda. Regards Mark.

  2. This seems a really raw piece in terms of emotions, and I found myself inevitably slipping into your lead. There is so much that is implied and yet not said here, Mark, which makes for excellent writing (and reading!)
    A great piece of work!

    1. Thank you Chris. Again, you have picked up the same feelings in this work as both Jana and Miranda. Another valued comment from you. Regards Mark.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: