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RLG8 - A Subtle Flick

by  Colonist

Posted: Monday, August 2, 2004
Word Count: 813
Summary: My take on the RLG8

A Subtle Flick
By Del Shannon

When I read back through my journals from that time, although I can see traces of myself in some of the entries, most of it sounds like the thoughts of an entirely different person. The odd thing is, it wasn’t even that long ago. What’s a year? One spin of the earth. I look at the globe next to the desk I’m sitting at and press a finger onto South Africa – holding for two counts – then spin it. Four years click by before I finish my exhale.

God must breathe like this, like me, I decide as Australia comes to a stop in front of me. Great sweeping breathes while decades are flung off the earth. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Every sense alive, absorbing the scene around me.

This was something I had to learn to do, breathe properly that is. Even last year I wasn’t doing it right. Gulping air like a cod thrown onto the deck was more like it. These gulps of air matched my journal entries perfectly. Abrupt passages explaining only the most important details. Like a monosyllabic newspaper reporter. Who – first name only. Where – cryptic things like “Hallway” or “Garden.” How – stupid things like “The usual.” When – “9 pm.”

It wasn’t until later, six months ago to be precise, that I started thinking about the subtle things, like why. And this is when I changed as well. No better proof of this than the journal. When I learned to slow down, to breathe, to spin the globe and send another day or week or month into history, I began to understand God.

No, I don’t think of myself as perfection personified, but I began to understand why He didn’t take another job. To spin the globe, to be in control, I liked that. I’m guessing God does as well.

So, what will it be tonight? Where will God’s hand come to rest? Does He go about it like me? I do my fair share of planning but I’m also quite opportunistic and decisive. Just like God.

I flip the pages forward to my latest entry and reread it. I know its good but I couldn’t tell how much so until I started at the beginning and forced myself through those first hacked up passages. Just for fun I stood, faced the window where my own reflection served as an audience, and read again the last passage – aloud this time to let the words echo around me liberated from the pages.

“Her name is Ann Fuller. I chose her for her hair, which is an earthen brown and is short, cute and flipped in a bob like so many of the young, beautiful women at my office. It spoke of her personality, almost begging to try anything once.

“We agreed to meet at Laudusio, one of the better restaurants downtown. The dinner was delightful and we both ate and drank just a little too much and laughed just a little too loud. I never get drunk on these dates. Instead of ordering a second bottle I slowed and reminded myself to breathe (in through the nose, out through the mouth) and drank in the rich smells of garlic and butter, while discretely checking my pocket. It was still there.

“The end of the meal brought tiara misu, shared in forkfuls passed across the table like wedding cake, and espresso to sober up for later. Stepping out of the restaurant a cab swooped upon us forcing a quick decision. This time it was her eyes that betrayed her. She’d love to share a ride home.

“We stopped at her place first and another impish smile invited me up. God should have been taking notes. As we climbed the stairs I stopped her in front of her door with a gentle hand on her bare shoulder and slowly I turned her toward me. Her eyes were practically drawing me inside her. We kissed, lightly at first, as if we would break each other if we pressed too hard. Then our bodies found their footing and we came together. Her hands, so desperate now, scooped under my shoulder blades and drew me tighter.

“The trap was sprung.

“My other hand unfolded the small knife, now removed from my pocket and held in my left hand, and swung to the back of her neck. A subtle flick was all it took.”

I finished the passage and looked at the wisp of hair lovingly taped to the bottom of the page. Your life was in my hands, Ann, and all I chose to take was the smallest lock of your hair. A lock just like all the others.

I closed the journal and shared a smile with myself. I am a benevolent God.

End A Subtle Flick