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Lost in translation

March 5, 2019

It would be nice to say I packed the basket neatly, but the reality is that I threw in everything that reminded me of once-upon-a-time and I didn’t much care how it landed. I was beyond making anything look pretty.

Five years. Five forever years. Five years of pushing, prodding, praying, needling, cajoling, dragging, forcing, begging…five years of mostly silence, occasionally broken by fleeting hope. Enough to keep me hanging around, watching for signs of life.

Five years to the day.

He walked up and I handed him the basket.

“Pretty crappy” were the only words I could muster. He smiled a little, neither agreeing or disagreeing, and said “I’ll take it”…and he did.

I watched him poke around the contents of the basket, wondering why he even bothered. What was that thing he pulled out and wadded up and tossed away? I didn’t catch what it was. And why pick trash out of the trash anyway?

He looked up and fixed a kind but direct eye on me. “You have any dreams you want to throw in here while you’re at it?”

I thought for a moment. “No. I don’t think so.”

“Then make up a couple and just toss them in.” He stood still, waiting, so I figured I’d better do it.

I pulled a couple of ridiculous dreams out of somewhere in the thin blue air, and dumped them on the heap in the basket. Strange. Why was it painful to discard something I’d only possessed for a few seconds? Nevertheless…it was better to let them go before getting attached to them.

Satisfied that the basket was ready, although I did not know for what, he produced an entire bottle of red wine, uncorked it, and began dousing the contents of the basket until it was dripping. Then I watched him drizzle an entire large jar of honey over it all.

“Wait!” I said, pulling a full ring of keys from my pocket. “I have all these keys. Should I throw some of them in there?”

“Hmm. What do you think? Should you?” He paused, waiting for me to decide.

“I don’t think so,” I said slowly. He nodded and turned back to his work.

He opened and glugged out a large bottle of what appeared to be olive oil, turning the bottle up until every last drop drained from its depths. The basket was a wet, slick, sticky mess.

I don’t know how, but a box of matches appeared in his hand. Without a word or a pause, with one swift strike a spark leapt to life, and he dropped it straight into the basket. I watched as it immediately exploded in flames.

It burned furiously. It burned hot. It burned as if it couldn’t burn hard enough, flames reaching and dancing, making the very air around them boil.

He handed the basket with its roaring contents to his assistant, who had quietly appeared at his side. “Tend to this,” he directed, and his assistant nodded and carried the basket to the burning pit where it continued its white hot dance of sparks and fury.

I stood watching, torn between grief and relief. It was over. It was out of my hands.

I once translated glory and dust. But that was then.

And this is now.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 6, 2019 2:39 pm

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