He uses the leaves, bunches of them, to show me. He gathers them up, piles in his hands. I can see the pleasure, the deep throaty joy in him, as he makes fists, squeezes those mucky fingers together, his eyes are bright under grey lashes, white dots in the dampness. He wants to show me, he runs around in a circle, tossing them high, he grunts, they swish by his veiny legs, under his bare feet, he looks, stares open-mouthed at me, tears come. The reaction, it must not have been, not what he expected from me, or what he wanted.
You’ve got to love it, it was great. Real great. You’ve got to love a man for trying. He might find, no he will fail. That’s for sure, but he did try, he fell a lot of times. A lot, a lot of times, but he did try. He got the end or start, no matter. He didn’t care that much for all he said about it, the end, that is. You’ve got to love a man for trying. If he even was a man, if he was even a her or a she, who knew, must needs this, but you’ve got to love him, nevertheless.
He got out of it. He got to the end or something did, or the start, no matter. Try and fail, fail and fail. You’ve got to love them.
We’ve been here for centuries now. Time does not exist here. Nothing does. We do eat, but not in time. We toilet, but not here. We reproduce, but not as nearby. We lead and follow, but only in the future. There is no time to lose or find. It is puzzling and clear. We drill holes all day for millennia. Then holes are filled, we drill more. We talk in silence. We think to others. There are no others ever, only at times. Times of the landed nearby. This time in time. We are alone together.
He was tidy, she was not. They extended the kitchen. He brought her a flower one day, name not important, put it in a vase on the table in the new section.
She was laughing about it, much later, why he had brought in the flower, can never ask him now. Soft idea, she said, silly man.
Martin Keaveney has been widely published in Ireland, the UK and the US. Fiction, Poetry and Flash may be found at Crannog (IRL), The Crazy Oik (UK) and Burning Word (US) among many others. He has a B.A. and M.A. in English and is currently a PhD. candidate at NUIG.