A Future That Never Happened

You’re in the basement of an old home listening to footsteps and furniture as they scrape the hardwood floor above you. The wingback chair and the loveseat have already made their way out the door into the back of a thrift store truck, and when the movers return for the coffee table and the hutch their voices reflect the growing emptiness in harsher more hollow tones, reminding you of what you’re about to lose and what you’ve already lost, and the dull pain this produces inside you forces you to act, but it’s an empty act, and it makes you think of the guy you saw last week at the grocery store who stood there in the middle of the aisle checking the freshness of a loaf of bread while staring off into space at something he wished had never happened, and yes, you related to this man, and to the swallowed horror written plainly on the lines his face, because you catch glimpses of it in your own face, when you pass by windows, and  when you find yourself tagged in the backgrounds of other people’s pictures, and when you open the fridge and then close it again late at night because you’re looking for something, but you don’t know what it is, or where to find it, until now…As the last piece of furniture scrapes the wooden floor above you on its way out the door into the back of the thrift store truck, you feel pulled toward the far corner of the basement, so you go over there and you get down on your knees and you sweep the floor with your hand, and there it is, and you pick it up, and you bring it closer to your face until your eyes tell your brain it’s a key, and you rub this key between your thumb and forefinger wiping away decades of dust while looking up and to the left, in the direction of a cellar spider that you don’t actually see because you’re not looking at it, you’re looking through it, into the past, at the locking diary you got for your tenth birthday—the one you never used because you lost the key. You did, however, compose three entries in your mind, for when you found the key, and each was a declaration of how your future would unfold, and then suddenly you hear a voice, and it’s the voice of the key: “I’m lost…Do you know where I’m supposed to be?” And you shake your head at a future that never happened.


5 thoughts on “A Future That Never Happened

  1. You have changed. You are becoming a different person if a post on THs can be counted upon. This is a fine piece of writing. Now just write 60,000 pages more and you have a new book. Our writing has changed. WTF has it been four flicking years? I’m watching a dating show right now in a nice hotel room Mexico City. So maybe some things never change. Thanks. Duque

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks D. I look at sections like this as the meat of the sandwich. Sandwiches can’t be all meat. The bread and the sauce and the lettuce and tomato etc, are all in the mix and I’m guessing they’re the dialogue and the descriptive passages fleshing out the scenery and the character studies. Anyway, I like meat as much as the next guy, but a sandwich is a sandwich…and don’t forget the mystery sauce.


  2. I’m reading this on a darkened train stuck in limbo in Rhine something or other New York. It’s a train full of french speaking Quebecers and the train will soon run out of food and drink and the toilets will overflow and they’re laughing. Even if the train is allowed into Penn Station, we have heard that a train derailment has made the station a scene from Dante’s inferno.

    Perfect read for such a situation. Perhaps I will read it aloud.


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