No Umbrella by Stephen V. Ramey

September 6, 2012 Comments Off on No Umbrella by Stephen V. Ramey

A moment of sunshine erupts on a rainy day, leaving no time to defragment my drive, my life, my frantic impulse. I dash for the cafe, laptop clutched beneath one arm. I have no umbrella.

The café features pastries made up from scratch and a counter clerk I fancy. My philanthropist father would say to stand firm against temptation. The world is rife with cataclysms more pressing than my cock. I think of him booking a flight to The Congo, Ethiopia, Darfur. I think of his direct stride and gaze; the immaculate slacks, shirt … no tie. He enters turmoil like the calm at the center of a storm. Oh, to walk in his shoes, to experience his wealth of ambition.

Enough! What matters now is that this mad dash culminates in reward: Amy the counter clerk and a Napoleon, dripping crème. Twin hungers on the cusp of explosion.

The curb trips me. The laptop skitters, collides with brick façade. Crack! comes the shame, dark like a womb, a cloud begging release. I glimpse flashes of Father, mending the fencepost I had crashed the dirt bike into, and flashes of him gripping the U-Haul steering wheel as we drove back from the college I’d flunked out of. What’s behind that placid face? those industrious hands? and why must his life so often be postponed to repair what I have broken?

© 2012 Stephen V. Ramey

Stephen V. Ramey lives in beautiful New Castle, Pennsylvania, home to not one, but two pyrotechnics manufacturers. His work has appeared in various places, including The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Bartleby Snopes, and Caper Literary Journal.

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