The Walk: The Biker with Her Mouth Full

walk3

I woke this morning with a headache that had already grown up and learned how to say “coffee.”

The camp I’ve been counseling at, being mostly filled with children, understandably, had none. So, I’ve been walking for thirty minutes now. The sun is still out. It would be a record if I were back in St. Petersburg.

After stopping at a shop that turned out to not be the shop I’ve been looking for, I press on. There is a garage to my left. A man sits outside on a bucket. He looks like any man, sitting on any bucket, outside of any garage, anywhere in the world. He waves.

I wave, like a pro.

I walk further. A lawn is being mowed. It smells like it. Then, finally, I see an intersection. I vaguely recollect–from a lifetime ago–when I was told of this store that “it’s somewhere, kinda near an intersection.”

I look to my left.

“Boo-yah!” I say, skipping toward it. Then, I see the door. It is a fat white door. There is a fat white sign with fat blue letters.

ME-LR 9:00-17:00

LA 9:00-13:00

Is what it says. I realize it is Saturday, late afternoon. But, Finnish, being what it is, does not translate well into comprehensible abbreviations.

I cross the empty parking lot, toward the light-less building with a hung-man’s hope.

I pull on the door. I sigh. I turn in shame. I trudge back across the wasteland of a parking-lot. I spot some bikers across the way. I wave to them, they wave back.

“English?” I ask. The man jerks his thumb towards who I imagine to be his wife.

“Hi, uh–do you know where the next closest shop is?” I ask.

She nods. “Twelve kilometers that way,” she says, with a mouthful of accent.

I don’t bother to ask which way and she doesn’t bother to point.

“Well, shit.” I sigh.

“Yes.” She gives me a sympathetic smile. They bike on. I turn, thirsty, hungry, tired. I start to walk back.

I quickly pass the house of one-thousand post cards; eyes at war and black teeth wave to me as I go. I am starting to sweat. A fly, or maybe a bee, flies in front of my face. It lands on my cheek.

Instinctively, I reach up and smack myself across the mouth, knocking my headphones off. I pick them up, the sun beats down on my neck.

Whitney Houston has lost half her volume. I place the headphones around my neck instead. A car peels around the corner. I don’t have time to wave.

The sun starts to burn when I realize I have to go to the bathroom, bad.

“Oh yeah, that’s why I left the country-side,” I tell the horse across the pond, starting to run.

THE END.

 

27 comments

  1. This is extraordenary excellent, Flash. The whole story occurs like a journey through time and at the same time, to get to know countrysidelife, from the beautiful big things, to the different little. Reflecting what living on countryside can be like. The third one is the most complex, or? I love the joke in words a lot, “Boo-yah!”…hahaha… too many favorites to write down…Well I would say one of my favorit story….so, put on the headphones and turn Whitney Houston double loud, and never ever forget to wave like a pro!

    Liked by 2 people

    • thanks Penny, you get me always to see more perspectives…: )…this is great, the more often I read, the more ideas I get. The bucket man is still a “?” for me, what he is doing next to the shop that turned out to not be the shop. By the way I forgot to compliment Nikita, for the excellent colours. I have the feeling, that the blue and red beside the big yellow, fits very good to this context!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. hmm, I rad again, this was really a bad day:
    headache, than crossing again this weired non-shop, locked door and a not very nice woman with a mouthful of accent, who reacts with yes, and a symphatic smile instead of beeing a lit complaisant….well, no wonder he left….: (

    Liked by 1 person

      • O yes, I can understand this! I´ve always problems because of translations. It´s difficult to find the right words, which express the same than in my mother language. I´m sure this sounds sometimes very strange. And on the other hand I do not understand 100% of what I´m reading or hearing.
        Relating to the posts here there are even more problems. On one hand I want to express my respect to the excellent artistic work I´m always happy, when I have the feeling, that I understood, what the autor wants to tell. I´m enthusiastic about all this informations, which come trought a short text. So I glorify, the well chosen colours and expressions.
        On the other hand, I´m human, and I ´m feeling sorrow, sadness, remorse or joy for character inside this story, which I also want to express, not only the fact, that I think I understood the story. I do not really know how to seperate this.

        Like

      • I find the first line oppressive, Poor boy, seems he has really problems with his headache a long time. And then a Story with only some vague lucky moments like the smell of moved lawn, the man of the bucket ( still no idea about the role of this man), and a sympathic smile. The rest of the story is build of fruitless efforts, a mix of Ingnorance, missunderstandings. I feel sorry for this!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I had to read your comment a few times, and the other comments you have left to help me understand your intent. But from what I can figure you are a very sympathetic person who is sorry for what has happened in the story? Perhaps missing some of the humour as English is not your first language? Details like the man on the bucket help to set the scene, it is a fantastic, quirky detail that enriches the storytelling. In fact, it is filled with such great details! The sympathetic smile can speak volumes when there is a language barrier. But it would be better for the author to speak for themselves. 🙂 It is a really wonderfully crafted piece of writing, in my opinion, that made me laugh out loud at times! I would guess they wouldn’t want you to be too sad over it 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thank you so much, ” saynotoclowns” for taking your time to read and answering my comment. You are very kind! Yes you´re right, that I´m missing most time the humour in foreign languages, because most of the “pointes” are most difficult to understand. The bucketman for example…no idea. Even if I do not understand all, I love to read this stories and also think, they are wunderful written and littered with great details. I´m sure, that they wouldn’t want the reader to be too sad over it. Well normally I can laugh a lot over this stories, but sometimes there are bad moods, which let you feel, like laughing about your own poor existence.

        Liked by 1 person

      • You are most welcome.
        And yes, they are great stories! And often it is about laughing at how crazy life can be. You are right about that, and it’s good to keep that in mind as you read 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Hey. I responded to saynotoclowns with this but it’s meant for you too: Thank you for responding to this as well. I don’t always know how to put things into words about my writing. When I write I don’t really think. I don’t try to be clever or put lots of hidden meanings. Many if not most of my stories come from small observations I make throughout the day and I often build my stories around those. Maybe something someone says or something I see or feel. Often I don’t understand why it is important but it feels that way to me. I write because of these things that I experience. Even when a story is absurd it is often born from something that struck me as important but didn’t quite know why. Hmm… I’m not sure if I put that well. Basically if I come off as deep or clever it is not because I intentionally and painstakingly craft stories to be that way. My mother always told me to “write what you know” and basically all I know is that I don’t know much and so I try to give some understanding to these things by building scenes around them so other people can try to feel it and maybe understand better. Which many people do. When I read comments I am often enlightened myself about certain things that are in the stories. I sit down and write and it usually takes 10-20 minutes to write a story. I almost never edit or even read them before posting. I wish I could say that I have some deep meanings to life I want to tell people about but really what you’re reading is my own weird attempts to figure it out for myself…which I imagine can be difficult to always discern if English in not your first language. Hmm… I hope this helps? And thank you again for these comments. They really do always give me more to think about and strive for.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for responding to this as well. I don’t always know how to put things into words about my writing. When I write I don’t really think. I don’t try to be clever or put lots of hidden meanings. Many if not most of my stories come from small observations I make throughout the day and I often build my stories around those. Maybe something someone says or something I see or feel. Often I don’t understand why it is important but it feels that way to me. I write because of these things that I experience. Even when a story is absurd it is often born from something that struck me as important but didn’t quite know why. Hmm… I’m not sure if I put that well. Basically if I come off as deep or clever it is not because I intentionally and painstakingly craft stories to be that way. My mother always told me to “write what you know” and basically all I know is that I don’t know much and so I try to give some understanding to these things by building scenes around them so other people can try to feel it and maybe understand better. Which many people do. When I read comments I am often enlightened myself about certain things that are in the stories. I sit down and write and it usually takes 10-20 minutes to write a story. I almost never edit or even read them before posting. I wish I could say that I have some deep meanings to life I want to tell people about but really what you’re reading is my own weird attempts to figure it out for myself…which I imagine can be difficult to always discern if English in not your first language. Hmm… I hope this helps? And thank you again for these comments. They really do always give me more to think about and strive for.

        Liked by 2 people

      • It came up as a comment on my comment so rather than trying to figure out if the questions were really meant for me, I just answered them anyway. 🙂 I know the ‘reply’ animal on WP can get tricky sometimes haha
        Your comments are interesting! I agree that the writing process can be so sub conscious at times, and you really do have a knack for expressing things in such entertaining and/or thought provoking ways! However you do it, don’t change it! And it is awesome to get other people’s input, so enlightening!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Well I like the ideas and conversations it starts. And most of the time everything is quite clear. Just some times I don’t know how to answer some questions because I’ve never thought about them before haha which is great.

        Liked by 1 person

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