Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Unknowable Skill

Tristina and Willem knew how large the baby would grow from the size of his hands and feet, and the duration and difficulty of the labor. They knew what his voice would become from the pitch of his cries for the tit. Before he had developed will or reason, they read to him from the classics, and only fed him a butterscotch when he could name the author of a randomly selected passage. So they treated him to sweets, but fed him culture and dignity, and he grew quite large.

Thirty years hence he was the tallest man in the parliament, with the longest strides and the furthest echoing voice. No man could shy from his gaze in debate. They instinctively feared him in the most cordial settings, struck by the irrational intimidation of a man who would never unholster his pistol, but who had one nonetheless. It was pearl-handled, a gift from his parents.

He became Minister of Affairs, and his acceptance speech brought wives and children to tears. Even the partisan press applauded. When asked why he was such a great orator, he said he didn’t know. Old Tristina overheard the answer and rolled her eyes at Heaven, hoping somewhere Willem was rolling them down.

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed this story. Lovely, concise style. I can see an example of how to keep the structure tight and still create strong characterization.



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