an adolescent opening, or, “throwback”

He’d been sewing his melancholic roots all over the slabs of Budapest for almost three years now. They dragged along at the heel of his boot, cutting a slew of mire and wreckage in his wake. He heaved and pulled his way between buildings, slicing the streets and lugging this cadence with him like a vendor, plying his wares from district to park, from monument to tenement. Three years? No, two. His sense of time, his calendar was askew – there were springs, and autumns; he was able to distinguish the seasons, and held some sense of months. Wax, and wane, whichever was which. The slickly spitting waters of the Duna coughed themselves up as the moon breathed them in, and clenched back as it exhaled – the black sea swelled some thousand miles to the east. Hibernation sat in his mind as a subject of envy – somewhere beneath the silty drift of the river. Sleep, dust. Just.

A ship, an emissary of old English frustration, pitching to a reversed tide of the idea to escape. Some small success he’d had, but these weighed down his coasting and creaking frame like too-precious ballast; unbalancing, creating inertia and little else. The Black Sea screamed from across a lengthy border, grasping for her source. It moved through him, tossed him to shingle as it clambered through counties and lowlands, floodplains and summers.

About Benjamin Norris

Published writer of short stories, long stories, poems. Well received art critic and cultural commentator for Berlin magazines. Collaborator with operatic societies. Co-writer of fictional historic psycholinguistic journals. Lecturer of architecture and art history at a Budapest University. View all posts by Benjamin Norris

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