From the loaded egg timer I saw you touch your King’s Bishop. You saw me see you touch it, left your index finger there, and put your elbow on the table. I offered you an understanding glance to say it was fine if you wanted to move a different piece, but you were in your own world and were looking straight through me.
So, while you were rethinking about where to move your King’s Bishop, I quietly slipped a sheet of tracing paper under your elbow and graphed the function of its print. I’ve double checked it and checked it again and again.
How come your elbow’s the same as your thumb? Are you going to move your King’s Bishop anytime soon?
One of my favorite dishes when I go beach fishing of an evening is freshly shuffled and shucked pipi meat stewed in a thermos flask of lemon grass, garlic, and green chili broth. I can’t recall how long ago the last time was that I made this particular dish; only that I only made it once as an experiment sometime after I got the idea in my head from a short story I wrote for what was, at the time, the TAFE equivalent of a year 10 English class final exam.
You see, I started my short story by introducing this character just as he buried a Peter Stuyvesant cigarette butt on a sand hill and emerged from a hidey-hole in the scrub with some fishing gear. I didn’t know what I was going to do with him once he was down on the beach but I was under a time limit and was thinking on my feet so the next thing I thought was that he’d stolen the smoke from his Aunt and littered as well so somehow I’d have to make it turn out that he was caught.
Once he was down on the beach he started shuffling in the wash for pipis to use for bait. That’s what I used to do for bait, so it wasn’t hard to describe how he’d stop shuffling as soon as he felt a pipi and reach between his feet to grab it before the backwash could drag it away. I made him chase a really big one that was getting away and almost fall over attempting to snatch it as I was all too aware of the minimum word count required.
He had collected a nice pile of pipis into a bucket after a while and was reaching under his foot for the last one when it slipped and grabbed hold of his big toe and wouldn’t let go. I made him panic for a couple of minutes while I described the stocky body of the bully – who’d made me run away from home and school a few years earlier – in detail, from bottom to top, as he was slowly slurped up and had his oily, black hair spat out on the beach by a pipi.
The pipi put its foot down with the next wave and buried itself in the sand. I took the first name of the bully to use in the title, decided the story was finished, and moved on to the comprehension activity.
… especially in the sense that while certain things can remain unsaid between friends, that needn’t stop certain themes from developing; to which I feel should be added for the sake of clarity that there are traditional expectations among friends and Winston Churchill is said to have said
Without tradition, art is a flock of sheep without a shepherd.
One wonders… is that a premise for defending tradition? Or proof that a flock of sheep are one shepherd away from freedom?
Churchill is said to have continued
Without innovation, it [art] is a corpse.
Where did the sheep go?