GHOST LETTER 25

Chris R-0193 Image by Christine Renney

Stepping under the bridge I begin to slow down and, at about the midway point, I grind to a halt. I take in my surroundings and suddenly I have shelter, a roof over my head. I glance at the wall to my right. It is littered with graffiti. I cross and lean against it and, looking up, I listen to the traffic on the carriageway above. It is almost a constant up there, but if I concentrate I can hear the little gaps, the spaces in between each vehicle.
Down here, the cars and the trucks are far less frequent. The pauses are varied and unpredictable and much more difficult to fill. Fumbling, I remove my tie and, crouching down, I hold it with both hands.
I remember reading somewhere how in Romania, under Ceausescu, cars with odd numbers on their registration plates were only allowed to drive on ’odd number’ days. And I realise that I have forgotten today’s date and I don’t know if this is an odd number day.
I can’t read the plates on the vehicles that flash past me, they are moving too quickly. Anyhow it would be a pointless exercise. I am not in Romania and even if I were, Ceausescu’s reign of terror ended long ago.
I let the tie slip from my hands and I stare down at it coiled between my muddy shoes.

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12 thoughts on “GHOST LETTER 25

  1. chrisnelson61 June 10, 2016 / 5:47 pm

    For me the metaphor here is very strong: the idea of ‘busyness’ masks us from ourselves, and only when the pauses of ‘peace’ become too long do ee see ourselves as we really are. Does the fallen tie represent letting go or a sense of futility? I’m not sure, but this is an excellently written piece to stir the mind. Right up my street, Mark!

    • markrenney2 June 11, 2016 / 5:08 pm

      Thank you so much Chris for such an insightful comment.

  2. Jessie Martinovic June 11, 2016 / 2:07 am

    brilliant, I always found odd numbers to feel more even

    • markrenney2 June 11, 2016 / 5:10 pm

      Ha! Yes I know what you mean. Thanks Jessie.

  3. Jana H. White June 13, 2016 / 1:29 am

    It seems most writers write as “observers”. Mark, you write like a brain cell. I’m a total fan of the first person narrative.

    • markrenney2 June 13, 2016 / 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much Jana. I am really immersed in this character after writing him for so long, he and I are in sync I think.

  4. Aquileana June 18, 2016 / 4:09 am

    `I can’t read the plates on the vehicles that flash past me, they are moving too quickly. Anyhow it would be a pointless exercise. I am not in Romania and even if I were, Ceausescu’s reign of terror ended long ago´…

    that excerpt is conclusive… I would have said he was in Rumania, even when I knew he was not… It is interesting that you have achieved such ambiguity, as you initially made reference to something as strict as the fact that `cars with odd numbers on their registration plates were only allowed to drive on ’odd number’ days´.
    I truly liked your story, dear Mark… thank you…. best wishes. Aquileana 🙂

    • markrenney2 June 18, 2016 / 11:27 am

      Thank you so much Aquileana

  5. Geo Sans June 22, 2016 / 10:04 pm

    hundreds of metal salmon
    swimming under the bridge
    public art
    currently occupying
    homes of the homeless

    • markrenney2 June 23, 2016 / 4:04 pm

      Thank you Geo

    • markrenney2 July 1, 2016 / 4:52 pm

      Thank you.

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