Old Habits By Ori Fienberg

August 21, 2014 Comments Off on Old Habits By Ori Fienberg

It’s a familiar story: a man pushes a boulder up a mountain, when it rolls back down, he grudgingly pushes it back up. It’s not exciting, but it’s steady work, and also the only work available. Eventually, the stone feels like less of a burden, the rough parts smoothed from aeon upon aeon of rolling.

Something rattles from within. It sounds like furniture. It sounds like a chair, a desk, and a bed. Mostly he hears the thumps and rustles of books, and within the books he can make out the jingle of fine print, a few bright, sharp notes, like long, thin wind chimes. Something clinks that must be a magnifying glass. He has had plenty of time to be sure; hence, he pushes the boulder carefully, so as not to upset its contents. Eventually, he does the natural thing and burrows into the stone, making himself at home.

Everything is in its place, just the way he heard it. The magnifying glass remains intact, the wood handle smooth, as if from heavy use. He begins reading each book, ready to decipher the fine print. The stone misses its old routine: it continues to roll up and down the mountain, with the man inside.

© 2014 Ori Fienberg

Ori Fienberg has had prose poems and fiction flashes published in bunches of places including Diagram, The Cincinnati Review, the Mid-American Review, and Pank.


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