Water

Returning the handheld medical instrument to a shallow metal dish, the doctor explained my affliction as ‘classic water on the brain’.
“While in the shower, you have this habit of turning your head over onto one side during the morning washing routine.” She said, her voice inflected with a pleasing Low German accent. “That’s how it happened.”
Earlier, I had included in my explanation to the doctor exactly how much I enjoyed the sensation created, by allowing hot water to stream into my ears. Also, how I would adjust the tilt of my head, judging carefully, until locked on target and able to direct the water into my actual ear hole.
“I like the sound.” I had told her. “I find it comforting and with the door to the bathroom closed shut, steam accumulates abundant and I feel warm. The only impossible improvement would be if I were suspended freely in mid air.”
“Ja, you like the sound.” She sighed and sat down heavily in a chair. Removing her glasses from the contour of her nose, the doctor wiped the lenses with the sleeve of her cardigan. “You like the warmth and whatever, but you dislike the significant side-effects you feel afterwards?”
“Yes, correct.” This happened to be the truth. Outside of cleansing rituals and the needs of my body’s rehydration, water and I were not friends. Stemming from childhood, never taught how to swim and with the passing of time, I had come to view H2O with a consistently high-level of suspicion and mistrust.
“Okay, well, the decision is yours, stop your habits, just use a dampened flannel to clean your ears like everyone else. Or, these unwanted watery themed events you report, they will continue in your life, on repeat.” The doctor gave me a serious look and briefly pursed her lips together.

The Marshland Influencer

1.
Late evening, on the edge of a remote field located in Middle-England, three score and ten years forward of this day, two romantics made preparation for a starkly different kind of date, to the usual.
Charlotte lifted out a fat gun from a portable case they’d brought along with them and handed it to her lover.
“Actually, it’s not as heavy as it looks!” Chris said.
“That’s right, it’s mostly hollow in construction.” Charlotte replied, knowledgeably. “Here, let me help with the cartridge, then you can do the honours.”
The crescent moon and clustering Milky Way stars spread across the cloudless night sky, providing adequate light to assist with prompt loading of the firearm.
There,” she said, cocking the mechanism, “you’re good-to-go.”
“Are you sure it’s safe?” Chris tested the weight with a loose grip, peering at the gun inquisitively. As he rolled it back and forth through a one-hundred-and-eighty degree arc, Charlotte studied Chris, unsure if his question had been a serious one or not.
“Yes darling,” she said, taking a firm hold of his arm, “especially if you point like so, up in this direction.” From her pockets, she produced four foam earplugs and gently inserted them, first in Chris’s and then her own ears.
“It doesn’t make a loud bang,” she said, her voice raised by five decibels, “it’s not like a starter’s pistol. But, safety-first, just in case. We don’t want to go down in history as the first couple to lose our hearing, in such a manner.”
“In case of a malfunction, you mean?” Chris asked.
“Exactly so.”

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Buses For Women, By Women.

We’re women and we’re bus drivin’,
’round your neighbourhood.
We only take onboard women,
(and girls)
is that understood?

If you’re a man looking,
hoped to catch a jolly ride,
know we’re pleased to taser,
should you try’an get inside.

We’re out to guard against,
malevolence, attack and rape.
Not only here in London,
we’ve spread ‘cross the landscape.

And it’s not just in England,
we’re needed everywhere.
Depots soon common,
through donations and ticket fares.

Opening up across the world,
like a new found faith.
While culture learns to civilise,
women, will feel safe.

© Brinkinfield 2020 All Rights Reserved
Part of the Ekphrasis Project (poem inspired by a collage)

Stroke, Fondle and Poke.

Alfrid had sight of him: location Gallery 2. Using the zoom function on the security camera monitor, he watched awhile, as the man lightly stroked a high value piece with his fingertips.
Excuse me sir!” Alfrid yodelled, skidding to a stop on the polished gallery floor. “You can’t touch this.”
Surrounded by non-figurative paintings on the walls were five sculptures, located near the centre of the room. Each, human-sized in scale, formed from richly veined marble and oil-finished ash timber, broadly cylindrical and smooth. Bored into the sides, round-shaped holes added interest, some through the marble, other holes appearing in the wood. Naturally, the sculptures called out to be touched and the man doing the touching, stood dressed in full military fatigues.
“I sanitized my hands thoroughly.” He said, pulling away sharply from the sculpture he’d been caught fondling. “At the entrance, when I came in.” He held his hands up in front of his chest, palms showing, his long fingers stretching outwards.
“Well.” Alfrid hesitated. Abstract words collided with each other inside his mind, while he tried to formulate a coherent sentence.
“I thought the problem with touching, had to do with dirt and grease from people’s hands, transferring onto the sculpture.” The army man looked at the gallery custodian, appealing for a judgement. “Coupled with the passage of time, it’s these minute abrasives and oils which cause the damage.”
“Look, it’s just, if I say ‘yes’ to you,” Alfrid’s voice vibrated with a conciliatory tone, “you know what I mean?”
“Others will think it’s alright to touch the exhibits too?”
“That’s right, sir.”
Although,” the military man countered, “there’s no one else in here, just you and I. No one else will see me touching.” Both men threw glances around the room, unnecessarily.
Alfrid placed his hands on his hips; he felt close to conceding the point. Staring out through the shopfront earlier, had demonstrated the street outside as empty. No cars, no people, no stray dogs, no vapour trails intersecting across the blue sky. Following the second-wave onslaught of the virus pandemic, this had become the new normal.
The telephone at the reception in Gallery 1 rang. “One moment, please.” Alfrid said, raising a relaxed index finger up in the air, as he backed out of the space.

Continue reading “Stroke, Fondle and Poke.”

Cry Baby Counsellor

“Yes, well when I read your advert on the local web directory,” Eva seated herself on the park bench, “under the eye-catching title ‘Cry Baby Counsellor’, I immediately thought to myself, ‘Yes, that’s for me!’ Next, I followed the link and filled out the appointment form.”
“Did you find the process straight-forward?” Counsellor Diana Thebes asked, “And, you read all the information about how I operate, no problems as far as you are concerned?”
“No, none at all my dear, and I read them all again in your email reply.” Eva looked around the immediate vicinity, “I think it’s all rather novel, outside in the park, the fresh air, next to the river having a counselling session, with the old mill factories situated opposite. It’s rather scenic, I’d say.” She undid the top two buttons of her coat and placed her handbag next to herself on the seat. It had turned into a warm and hazy, late-summer’s day. “What will you do in winter? It won’t be much fun in the rain and snow, will it?”

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