21 April 2008

Inexplicable Fragments of Imagined Lives

Inexplicably, the word inexplicably began to show up in my blog. A lot. I have no explanation for this. It just seemed called for. And, after too long sitting on planes today, I found myself scrawling this on pages of a legal pad. I have no excuse (or explanation) for any of this. Perhaps it’ll provoke you to write a great novel – or to stop reading blogs altogether and go back to the daily newspaper.


Love seemed like too strong a word to use, but it was not her idea. This was tennis. When you have nothing, they call it love. She shrugged, stretched to her full height and began her serve.


For some reason he thought his life would improve immeasurably if only he could get a visa for Japan.


For Jeremy, nothing better captured the 70s than Barry Gibb, in falsetto voice, singing “I’m a man.” 30 years later, he still lost sleep trying to make sense of that decade, something he refused to admit even to his therapist.


He did not actually take candy from children but he did take a special kind of glee in taunting them with it when their mothers were not watching.


Naomi’s thesis project consumed the whole of her twenties. Her once promising academic career had been waylaid by an inexplicable desire to understand the apparent overuse of Jake as a character name in daytime soap operas.


It was not as though Oswald woke up that morning intending to start a fire in his French Literature class. But in retrospect, it seemed like the turning point in his life.


If Desiree had only realized that the cashier’s sunny disposition and friendly banter would have been the highlight of her day, she would have paid more attention. The entries in her gratitude journal were becoming more anemic.


Once again, Fred peered into the fridge and wondered, Did the woman pay no attention at all? Did she have “buy pickles” on a monthly grocery shopping list? Did she not realize that the pickles were building up in the space behind the leftovers? And didn’t she realize that with his Freudian training this act of passive hostility would take on inescapable meaning? Oh why couldn’t he have studied Jungian psychology instead? It seemed as though it would be so much easier to laugh off her idiosyncratic behaviors if only he’d chosen differently in grad school.


He watched the corn rows flash by, his eyes beginning to hurt from flicking his gaze down the rows. Even he did not know what he was looking for or why he thought he might find it in a corn field.


Gladys had the most powerful urge to prove her goodness that day. Still, she herself could not explain the chain of logic that translated that impulse into the tragic mishap that caused her to run over Mrs. Glumongo’s foot.


The field trip might have gone well if Todd and Ernesto had not somehow gotten their hands on the PCP. And who, really, would sell such a thing to 3rd graders?


His research into longevity was inspired by his love for Bjork. The thought of her dying – of her growing old, even – was more than he could bear. The Noble Prize seemed almost incidental.


As quickly and as inexplicably as the random thoughts – the fictional excerpts – had come to him, they stopped. He was left with half-written postings on the evolution of system thinking, portions of the inaugural address he would like to hear, an argument between Bernard and Maddie about family values, and a recipe that used a dishwasher and bullion cubes in the soap dispenser in lieu of a microwave oven.


Anonymous said...

though no apparent pattern nor occasion, these vignettes were curiously entertaining.

jen said...

Inexplicably, my research has also been prompted by my own love for Bjork.

Anonymous said...

I read today, that just because something is written on a legal pad...does not necessarily make it legal. Maybe you were writing on an inexplicable pad?

Ron Davison said...

Hmm, two out of three of the comments are from "anonymous." Now I'm wondering if my regular readers just didn't want to be associated with this particular post.

Oh, there is hope. The fact that you'd comment on a lack of pattern suggests that you normally see one here at R World. And, I am glad to have entertained.

it is such a small world - and bjork is such a unique part of it.

very clever and funny. An "inexplicable pad" would explain a lot.

cce said...

Geez, are you a novelist? Now I'm feeling just completely unimaginative and blank while staring at your page full of brilliance. This makes me want to hang it up and do yard work or, at the very least, steal your tennis excerpt, call it my own and write that novel you've been coaxing me to tackle.

LSD said...

It's fitting that there should be no explanation for the appearance of 'inexplicably.

Which reminds me that when I observe the use of the word 'immemorial' I suppose that Faulkner has left an impression.

Could it be that something you are reading has planted this seed?

But then again, it's fitting that there be no explanation. -And if I were you, I would be more concerned about the latent danger of having a recipe which involves the use of a dishwasher.

Ron Davison said...

thank you. And the whole tennis thing - feel free to give it a good home.

You are right - it does make sense that it has no explanation. And you are right to caution me about the recipe thing, but I have to confess, it really is a tempting post.

Norman said...

Somebody we know took PCP from 3rd graders and hid in a corn field hoping to prolong his life by avoiding spontaneous combustion.

You really should take up skydiving. People would come just to hear the stories at day's end.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Caveat: As it's already down on the ground, I too shall give the word INEXPLICABLY an unpenitent kick.

-In response to this post of yours, my otherwise verbose self inexplicably generated a sincere but iron deficient "wow." Then my brain kind of kicked into gear and I found a more awesomely descriptive word of praise: "brilliant" came to mind. Still, I thought, it doesn't feel right to use just one word to tell you how very wonderfully and amazingly good these little worlds in miniature are. THAT, is when I realized I was sinking into redundancies trying to tell you what everyone else has done already. I will just sit here quietly then... waiting for whatever comes to me out of those corn fields.

David said...

That comment from GAH sounds a bit suspicious. Is that really Sandi?

Quite clever Ron. "The Fourth Ecoomy" never had that kind of clarity and zing. Where has this been?

Ron Davison said...

I'm afraid that falling from great heights would steal my voice. I'd be the quiet, terrified guy if I were in that world.

Thank you for the effusive praise. As mentioned, these are about 300 pages short of anything significant.

Now that is an interesting idea - just write the fourth economy as a series of vignettes, or snippets, from the past and future. Let the reader provide the links. I like it.

David said...

You mean that wasn't how you wrote it? I've lost the manuscript.