The Little Book of Oblivion:Part Two.

by | Dec 11, 2023 | Uncategorized | 1 comment

After two minutes, I poured a cup of the tawny brew

I stared at the crumpled sheet, with its brown tea stains and the odd swollen leaf of Assam stuck to it. It resembled an old treasure map a pirate would have killed for. All that was missing was ‘x’ marks the spot.

I pinned it to the table with two fingers and attempted to smooth it out, for what reason, I had no idea. I looked at my hand and it was shaking. My little finger was dancing a jig next to its neighbour.

The tremors travelled up my arm, eventually enveloping my whole body. A combination of excitement and trepidation were their cause. In a few minutes, I had been admitted into a world of sorcery that I could never imagine. My broken mind was desperately trying to weigh up the potential of this magic. I could literally rewrite my past. Or, at least, erase it.

Potentially, it was a dream come true for me. My depression had been brought on by a relationship that should never have been given house room; a union that was destined to die, the day it was born.

The day it was born – yes – I remembered it well, just like one of the tea stains on the discarded sheet, it had tainted my memory along with many others. It left me unable to go anywhere, do anything or eat anything we’d shared in our brief time together. It was too painful, leaving me in a state of vitual paralysis, shrinking my world to that of a few select places. One such venue was Paris, a city we’d written about but to which she was barred from visiting because of the visa situation. Something that had been a source of annoyance to us was now a refuge for the solitary yours truly.

My frequent visits to the French capital were the only respite from the incessant misery of missing the subject in question. I dismissed the expense in search of the sanctuary that The Left Bank and Montmartre offered.

As the shaking subsided, I dispatched the errant sheet into the bin for the second time and returned to the book. I took the original pen and tried again to write on the next page, to no avail. I opened the Metro paper at the crossword page and tried it there. Success. Needless to say, another attempt to record anything on the pink page, was ineffective. I decided to have a break from my newfound wizardry and make some tea. My solution to everything she used to say.

The pause enabled me to tackle the situation from another perspective. It had suddenly occurred to me; from which end of this tragic chasm of disaster would I begin? I recalled a quote from The Time Machine: by H. G. Wells:

“I had made myself the most complicated and the most hopeless trap that ever a man devised.”

That very prediction began to nibble away at my subconscious. Before me lay a solution to my woes. However,there was an existential minefield to negotiate before I was free of their torment. What would happen if I deleted that first day? July fourteenth, twenty twenty? Would it create a chain reaction, obliterating subsequent encounters? Or would I have to relive every agonising recollection in order to commit it to insensibility. What would be the outcome of starting at the end? A stab of pain penetrated my being at the notion of that fateful day. The day before her birthday, the day when we would have been finally reunited forever, the day when, in her culture, she’d be on the shelf.

The kettle rumbled to boiling point and clicked off. I spooned two heaps of Treasure Island into the diffuser of my Wittards teapot and drenched them in boiling water. After two minutes, I poured a cup of the tawny brew, and added half a spoon of sugar. As I stirred the tea, I made the fateful decision.

1 Comment

  1. Lee

    Paris, July 14th, Bastille Day?
    Viva la revolution!


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