(x) Days of Photography is a flash fiction/photography collaboration with Austin Andrews of Disposable Words. This is Day Twelve.

…all seemed to be waiting for something to occur; the dead man only was without expectation.

The Damned Thing, Ambrose Bierce

He tried to sleep on the streets, but couldn’t; he still had enough money to eat.

– Did you see it?

He tried to eat but it just brought on desire, and in digestion, a misguided hope in sleep.

– Did you see that?

He tried to find the young man who had taken photos of him, so as to forget them.

– I can see you now.

He tried for a job and got it.

– No wonder.

He tried to understand his contract and didn’t.

– Wait a little longer.

He tried to find a place as far away from his work as possible.

– Just turn your ear.

He tried to sleep on the train to and from work.

– Clutter!

He tried to read ghost stories.

He tried to stay scared when he woke up from nightmares.

He tried to take baths instead of watching television.

He tried bringing cats to his balcony with a tree made of fish-bones.

He tried reading great poetry against the mirror to correct his reflection.

He tried to remember what you can and can’t say about yourself.

He tried staying away, but couldn’t.

– Greed! A band of noise…

He tried to wait outside the entrance for someone to let him in.

– … always using up ideas.

He tried the side alley.

– You want movement?

He tried to smash the bathroom window with his fist wrapped in a jumper.

– Pick up my inconsistent breath.

He tried to balance with one foot on the sink and the other on the bath’s edge.

– If you hear it can you see?

He tried the light switch in the hallway.

– The scuttle of the cat’s claws…

He tried to let his eyes adjust.

– …day and night, without repeat…

He tried to feel his way around the apartment.

– …always in my ear.

He tried to hear her mumbling over the sound of his breath.

– If you want to know…

He tried to clean in search of her.

– …where you are going…

He tried to make out the trace of the dead man’s life to take her devotion.

– …turn around, my sweet, and go…

He opened the cupboard door again and again, but she didn’t re-appear.

– … back from whence you came.


Photo Copyright ©2008 Austin Andrews