the deaf listener

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Young and the Rested.”

“When was the last time I felt truly young and rested? Well, that doesn’t come to mind easily. Instead I think of the way babies get on, their little red faces contorting as they cry out at the anxiety of being in the world. Waking only when hunger wakes them. That’s hardly being rested is it?”

Lauren moved the dictophone in her hands, shuffling the hardened rock against her thinning body.

“And I wonder if children ever think of themselves as young? Does a child look in the mirror and contemplate their youth? Ever reconsider something they’ve said and realise it was naive and reposition themselves accordingly? I don’t think so.

“And yet I know what the question means. It’s that feeling of effortlessness you sometimes get. When your body is not being its usual stubborn self. When you don’t feel that dull ache that comes with being in the world. Weary, responsible.”

She put the dictophone down. Its batteries had run out weeks ago. It functioned only symbolically. And what did it symbolise? Perhaps the preservation of her thoughts, the preservation of herself. Perhaps a communion with others, others far away looking in. At best it made Lauren feel like a character in a short story with avid readers wanting to know what happened after her love afair with Lucy, the one that caused the Govenor to resign, after recovering from cancer and after going on the run with Nick – if that was his real name – the cocaine smuggler. And after the plane crash that left her stranded on an island populated by canibals, what would happen next?

Being a soap star was hardly preparation for a life on a quiet island. She watched the seagulls, the cannibals as she called them, and looked into the grey skies. Part of her liked being back with her dad after her short-lived acting career, doing little but eating, talking and paddling in the shallows. Taking a deep drag on the cool air, suddenly realising that part of her life was over and she was at the beginning of something new, she shivered. Nothing would happen for the next few weeks. She would just stay here and get better. She’d be able to loose herself in the sublime horizons of her thoughts, sqander time and play havok with her routines. To her suprise she also found that she felt young, rested even. She picked up the deaf listening machine and whispered new secrets into it, the gentle tapping of her lips audible over the maudlin air.



2 Comments Add yours

  1. LindaGHill says:

    Nice story. I like the way you eventually got to the title, with a twist. 🙂

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