Tim (littlebluedog) wrote,

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My Friend Is Not Here Now

I was here only one week ago, and I saw my friend for a while between his classes at the University. He is not here now. The thick wooden door is closed behind me. There is nothing in the center of the room, except for a large rug. Many things are around the edges of the room, next to the walls; it is not a large room.

There is a note on the table near the window. The table is an end table, made of cheap wood papered to look as if it is oak. The table is between the east wall and the sofa, and there is a long radiator along the floorboard between the table and this wall, below the window ledge. The sofa extends from the table to an open doorway near the corner of the room.

The room is square though not cubic; the ceiling is much higher than the width of the room, which I can cross in five steps. A window frames almost all of the east wall, but nothing is visible beyond the room. The carpet is grey, and in the light of the lamp on the table near the window, rust-colored lines in the center of the carpet are barely visible. The lines form a shape which is partially covered by the large rectangular rug. One of the colors of the rug matches the sofa, which faces it from the north wall.

There is a damp circle around my feet. It is raining outside. It rained last week.

Near the open doorway, next to the west wall, there is a reclining chair. It is brown in the dim light of the room. To the left of the chair there is a cabinet, which has water on it. The cabinet is in the shape of a cube. The cabinet has many intricate designs cut into its wood. It has two small doors on the front. To the left of the cabinet, near the corner, on the south wall, is the thick wooden door. It is closed.

In the water on the cabinet there is a bust of a man, and above it are six tiny fish, transparent except for their eyes, brains, and stomachs. There is a also bust of another man that is partly covered with a light green film. Hanging from its nose is a green-grey fish. The surface of the bust near the fish is white. At the bottom of the water there are plastic plants; around the plastic plants are smooth purple pebbles. A thin, diamond-shaped silver fish is next to the glass in the aquarium. It is an angelfish. It has long, wispy antennae and spots of white liquid around its gills.

A plant is in front of the angelfish on the cabinet. It has small green leaves, bordered with yellow, that come to a point at the end. It is in a red clay pot. A small plastic spike in the clay pot in front of the angelfish reads “Weeping Fig.” There are droplets of water on the leaves of the Weeping Fig; they form tiny pools on the surface of the cabinet beneath them. It is raining quite hard outside.

The plant on the table near the window is larger than the plant near the fish. Under the large plant there is a plastic pot. In the plastic pot there are roots and dirt; there is no plastic spike in this pot. The dirt is dark; the dirt is almost muddy. The roots lead up to stems to which are attached leaves that are round at the base, then come to a point at their ends. There are droplets of liquid on the tips of the leaves, some of which hang above the note above the table. There are small pools of water below the ends of the leaves.

Next to the note on the table with the large plant is a magazine. There is a dried circle of smeared red ink on the note which is on the table, and the magazine is wrapped in plastic. The magazine is titled The New Yorker. There are two other magazines and several newspapers under the The New Yorker. The date on the magazine reads, "November, 1993".

There is a lamp on this table. The lamp is on but it is very dim. There is a circle of pale light on the table. An arc of the circle of light is on the arm of the sofa; the arc on the sofa distorts the circle. The sofa is burgundy, like the parts of the rug which are not dark blue or tan.

On the window sill near the table there is the round base of a stand which could hold a tobacco pipe. There is a pipe lying near the stand, with a mouthpiece that curves toward the window. The pipe is a mahogany color, and its bowl curves around sharply to the shiny black mouthpiece. Behind the pipe there are venetian blinds, which are closed. There are dripping noises behind the blinds. It is raining outside. There is a thin layer of dust covering the window sill; there is no dust on the pipe or the stand. The window sill is painted white. The walls of the room are painted white. The ceiling is dark and invisible except for a hole of light directly above the lamp on the table next to the window. The hole is pale brown in the darkness.

On the south wall there is a speaker box standing upright next to the closed door; the box is about half as tall as the doorway. The sides of the box are made of oak, and on the front of the box there are three circles of different sizes. The circles have circles inside of them. The circles are embedded in a black surface that comprises the front of the box. There is music in the room, playing softly. It is violin music that is very old. To the left of the box from which the music is coming there is a bookshelf; there is no empty space on it. There are many books stacked in the bookshelf. Some of the names on the books are "Kafka," "Camus," "Heideger," "Foucault."

Adjacent to the bookshelf there is a large television. There are buttons along the bottom edge of the front. It is on the upper shelf of a wooden cart which matches the bookcase in color. On the lower shelf there is a short stack of black metal boxes; they are covered by black buttons and red and amber lights on the front. The boxes are almost square on the top and bottom; the sides and the front and back are rectangular, with their longer sides parallel to the floor. The lights on the boxes cast a faint glow onto the rug which covers the carpet in the center of the room. There is another speaker box, and more music, to the left of the television. The music is very soft and I can hear pattering on the window, behind the venetian blinds. It is raining outside.

I sit on the sofa. On the south wall, above the bookshelf, there is a very large black and white photograph, framed in black metal. There is not much light there, and the photograph is impossible to see. There are two smaller photographs in black frames on the east wall, above the angelfish. The light from the water reflects on these pictures; the light is the color of the water's reflection. The angelfish is in the center of the water now. The photographs are of my friend and me. We used to be very good friends. My friend is not here now. I will come another time. I pick up my umbrella, which is leaning against the wall between one of the speaker boxes and the closed door which leads outside, and leave the room. I shut the door behind me, and go outside. It is raining. It has always rained. It shall rain forever.


It is Wednesday now. I knock on my friend's door. It is still raining outside. I open the door by the handle, which is brass, and tarnished. There is no one in the room. I close the thick wooden door behind me. An umbrella is leaning against the wall; there is no water on it. The carpet is damp around my feet, which are standing on it next to the closed door, near the umbrella.

It is very bright in the room, and the room has no shadows. The light is white, a brilliant white; there is also light between each slat of the venetian blinds which are closed and cover the window, but the light on the ceiling is much brighter than the light which is between the slats. The light on the ceiling is long and rectangular, and made of plastic. There are many books on the floor of the room; most are open. One has many small round holes burned on the pages; a package of cigarettes are on the window sill. There is a thick, square piece of glass on the cabinet opposite the window sill. There are many cigarette butts in the center of the piece of glass, which has a notch cut into each corner. There is water behind the cigarette butts in the piece of glass on the cabinet, which is next to a dying plant. In the water there are several fish. A green-grey fish and many tiny transparent fish are there. They are floating at the top of the water. There is not an angelfish in the water. A small bust of a man is at the bottom of the aquarium. The bust is coated with a dull brown film, and the ridges in the hair and the face of the bust are filled with a dark brown film. The water is low, and there is no light in the water.

There is a magazine on the table near the window, covered with plastic. The date on the magazine reads, "November, 1993." Near it there is a large plant with broad leaves which come to a point at the end. The points of the leaves are touching the table. The leaves are bent. The soil in the plastic pot is light brown. The lamp on the table near the dead plant is not on. There is a crack in the base of the lamp; it leads from the bottom of the lamp to under the lampshade. The lampshade is bent inward on the side facing the north wall. The sofa next to the table has stains and ashes on it. One stain is large, and is almost the same color of the sofa. There are two cushions on the sofa; there is a pipe lying on the right sofa cushion. There are white ashes all around the pipe, and there is a charred spot near the pipe on the right cushion. There is a blue flannel shirt on the sofa's back, and a white pair of shorts between the two cushions on the sofa.

Along the south wall of the room there is a large bookshelf. It is almost full of books. Next to the bookshelf there is a large television. Half of the television is covered by a white towel, which is hung over the top. There is a stack of black metal boxes below the cube. There are no lights on the black boxes. The room is silent. The rug in the center of the room is burgundy, dark blue, and tan. There is a large stain on the rug. It is directly in front of the large stain on the sofa. There is another stain on the rug, smaller than the large dark red stain, which is brown. There is a sofa cushion near the stains on the rug. A lock of hair is lying on the cushion.

Next to the water on the cabinet, there is a brown plant. It is dead. I take the small plastic spike from the soil in which the plant had lived. It reads "Weeping Fig."

Near the northwest corner of the room there is a doorway. The doorway is between the reclining chair and the sofa. The doorway is directly across from the closed door that leads outside. I do not want to go outside; it is raining. I walk to the doorway.


It is difficult to see in this room. Here it is much less bright than the room with two doors. There are two lights here. There is a yellow light, next to the bluish reflection on the smooth surface of a desk in the next room; the reflection is from the second light. It is dark except for this blue glow and the yellow light of a bulb which hangs from a desk lamp on the desk in the corner of the room ahead.

This room is a very short hallway which connects the two rooms; the hallway is actually a part of the room ahead. This room has four doors. One is the door which leads to the other room, which I walked through a very short time ago. On the left side of the hallway there are a pair of doors that open from the middle. One of these doors is ajar; there are clothes behind the doors. On the right side of the hallway there is a fourth door. It is open; behind it is a small, dark room with a toilet and a sink. There is a plastic curtain also, with part of a bathtub showing beneath the curtain. There is a reflection of light on water behind the curtain. It is quiet in this room.

The room ahead is exactly the same shape as the room with two doors. There is a window on the east side of this room. The window is covered by venetian blinds. The ceiling is very high, and dark. The walls are painted white, and the carpet is grey. There are rust-colored lines on the carpet.

There is a painting of a duck in a swamp on the wall above a computer monitor in the northeast corner of the room; the swamp in the painting is full of dead grasses and reeds. The monitor is on the desk next to the desk lamp. A blue light reflects from the desktop in front of the computer. A keyboard is in front of the monitor. To the left of the computer there is a machine made of black plastic. The machine is as tall as the monitor; it has a glass pot sitting within it. The pot in the machine is half full of liquid, and there is a heavy smell near it.

There is a string with a small square piece of yellow paper stapled to the end of it. The string begins in a mug next to the keyboard, and the piece of yellow paper is attached to the end of the string which hang over the edge of the mug. Between the mug and the surface of the desk there are small pages of white paper. Near the paper there is a small black leather binder with more white pages in it; it is open to the week of November 10. On the left page of the open binder there are three boxes; they fill the left page. In the upper left corner of each box there are letters: different letters in each box. The letters in the three boxes read: "Mon," "Tue," and "Wed;" these boxes are also full of handwriting in blue ink. On the right side of the binder there is another page with three boxes. They contain the letters "Thu," "Fri," and "Sat/Sun." There is no writing in any of these boxes.

Across from the desk, in the northeast corner of the room, there is a countertop. One part of it is metal, and the metal part has two hotplates on it. Below the hotplates on the right side is a cabinet door; on the left is a small refrigerator. There are many boxes of tea on the counter to the left of the hotplates, above the refrigerator. Three cans of tomato soup are on the counter in the corner next to the wall. There is something floating in the water in the metal sink near the corner; there is not enough light to see it clearly.

There is the sound of a telephone ringing, from the corner near the short hallway. There is a click and then the voice of my friend speaks. The machine next to the telephone makes a beep, and than a dial tone answers my friend. The computer is making a low humming noise. There is a small fern in a plastic pot next to the computer. The fern is light brown and there are fronds of the fern lying on the desk next to the computer. The blue light from the computer is from the words on the screen on the monitor. The words on the monitor are:

The angelfish is in the center of the water now. The photographs are of my friend and me. We used to be very good friends. My friend is not here now. I will come another time.
There is a bed parallel to the south wall. The bed occupies a large amount of space. A blue blanket and white sheets are on the bed. Lying on the sheet of the bed there is a leg, a hand, a head; my friend is on the bed. I go through the open door at the end of the hallway which is a part of this room, to the other room; I open the door to the outside with the doorknob which is made of brass, and tarnished. I close the thick wooden door behind me, and walk outside. It is raining.
Tags: writing

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