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Bejewelled Touch-Me-Not



You couldn’t have imagined it,

Nor could you have explained it,

Nor would it have made sense.

But there he sat enamoured by it. It... it, what was it? He couldn’t put a hoof to it. “It” was a nostalgic feeling; it was the feeling of a basement decorated in the previous century, with prayer beads, seashell lamps, sports cards with long expired gum, and small tchatchkes on a shelf. “It” was its orange glow, like a bejewelled touch-me-not’s flower, framed under orange lamplight.

“It” was probably nostalgia. Just... personified, flavoured a little, maybe.

It was there. “It” was there. Was he there?

He sat on the sofa further. No, he was there. He was there. He “was” there, right?

He tried to listen. Maybe he wasn’t there. Maybe he wasn’t. Maybe he was just intimately absorbed into the room, as if nothing else was there but the room itself.

He tried to listen, but the sound there fell on deaf ears. Just the buzz of the lights & of the wi-fi modem ringing in his ears.

He swivelled his ears. He heard the buzzing of the seashell lamp. He turned his head. His eyes glanced at the spider-ivy in the low basement-window’s moonlight - its light, which it had captured from outside. He breathed it in. He smelled it - almost a sweet taste, he imagined - his primal desire for foliage.

He looked to his side. There she was talking.

He couldn’t hear a word she had said.

What was that buzzing? He felt his ears. And why was she talking?

His memory failed him.

Her antlers gleamed. So why was she so upset when talking to him? And why were they in their basement? He couldn’t realize.

He grunted. Slowly, he lifted his creaking joints. Lifting them deliberately, he began to walk back up, up the corridor, upstairs.

Then he heard what seemed like the first words from his wife’s mouth: “Hairy oaf. Watch where those antlers go!”

He felt his head again. Had his hearing aids been turned on?

Edited by Yoserfael

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