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A Friend

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TITLE (EDIT)
A Friend
DESCRIPTION
I was like clay, so soft and yellow. I listened and followed because I didn't know that I could talk and lead. This is one of those times.
[917 words]
AUTHOR
Peter Izdebski
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
I'd love to describe myself however nothing comes to mind. Actaully, as a matter of fact, too much comes to mind. Have you ever had a box of puzzle pieces and spilled them on the table only to begin with the corners? I am that which is in the center. The only problem is that I haven't even assembled my corners yet.
[October 2002]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (3)
The Thinker (Poetry) - [118 words]
The Way I Am (Non-Fiction) The title of my story is The Way I Am. It's something I sat down and wrote over a few days. I took it out of my dreams. The scenarios and situations are all dreams. It's a glimpse into what makes ... [4,592 words]
They Stole It From Me (Short Stories) A moment stolen; one which could have answered all that I needed to know; a moment which having could have changed the way I am now. A regret which never will be settled until the moment comes agai... [960 words] [Mind]
A Friend
Peter Izdebski

I don't remember what time I woke but the air was still crisp and cold when I made my way to school. My rout was routine and safe. I walked on sidewalks and crosswalks and was stared down by neighbours out having their first mind-calming cigarettes of the day. Their tired eyes set in greasy and red faces moved like a compass set on a ships deck, seeking the way but unable to go unless allowed, unless taken. I suppose the morning brought with itself troubles one could have smoked away but I am sure their thoughts were wrestling with more than the beginning of a new day. I have absolutely no recolection of what I could have been thinking that morning. Could it have been something about the war games I used to play? Games where we would launch small crab-apples from long sharpened sticks trying to kill each other or when we'd burn plasting and admire how it dripped and buzzed through the air? The mind I see now in the head of the boy then is empty. I would trully not be surprised if someone were to tell me now that children don't have thoughts. I essence that is all I was, a boy walking to school as an egg shell making its way to a pan, empty.

 School was a small red building oposite a big green park. Heavy metal gates barred the windows from rocks which miracilously took flight with intent to disturb peace in the classroom. But the design flaw was serious as most windows were broken from the inside by lost tempers and passionate outburst of sorrow which skewed our view of the outside, inserting long cracks in our line of sight of the big green park and the safe sidewalks and crosswalks. But there was Bartek.
I do not propose this fact as a 'however' or a 'yet' but as a 'but'. What ever happened or whatever did not there was always him and I trusted he would always be there.

I don't remember how we came to talk and I suppose I don't remember what we talked about, but that has no significance. Except Iza. When reces came I was out there by his side walking through the halls of Num.18. An unatural arch in my back and my chin superbly high mirrored my elation. If I was one man among all animals, I'd walk the same.


"Peter, come here and see."
"What is it?" I asked, feeling the curiosity hasten my steps.
"Iza. That's the girl I told you I kissed." he said with an air of nobility.
"Let me see... She is beautifull." Said I, nodding my head and my eyes too. Short pings of thought ran through my mind posing questions, not in words but in pictures. What is beauty? Who is she? "Can I kiss her too?" I asked, surely if Bartek kissed her first he'd have some property rights. "Sure, of course you can" was what I heard, and I was happy. "Come to the library," he called, "I need to show you something."

I followed him to the library, a brown room sachurated with the smell of glue and old book bindings. It greated us with the artifically warm feel of low wattage bulbs and a thick taste of stale air. The librarian was an older woman with a hooked nose and long brown hair tied back so tight you could almost see it hanging on to her scalp for dear life. Her desk was located under a solitary window through which the sun came and pierced a long, almost tangible bar of light through the dust suspended in the room. I saw the air was still despite the people who moved in the library. They were empty people; carcasses void of emotion for which the air had no need to stir. High above the ground on the wall oposite the window in the room hung a painting. Its brown frame caught people's eyes first before they conscieously moved their eyes to the portrait within its strong hold.

It was a portrait of a young girl with brown hair and grey eyes. She was painted sad, sitting on a chair with her hands crossed on her lap, dressed in a fancy white lace dress embroidered with beads of red and green. Her eyes were too oval and her lips too wide. A green broach was pinned to her breast and her lips were obviously done up like a woman's are, without the delicate nuanse of sexual intent. Either the artist's technique was flawed or suberb, I couldn't decide if the discolorations on her face were intentional or not. She was a hideous thing to look at.

"Isn't she beautiful?" asked Bartek not taking his eyes off her. "She looks just like Iza." And he was right. There was no mistaking the similarity between the two girls although the one in the portrait was sad and morphed. I blinked. A split second out of my life and much less out of the history of the universe but what happened in that shred of time was frightful. The girl in the picture was now beautiful to me. Her unproportioned head was complimented by her eyes, and her lips were like those of Iza; lips I wanted to kiss. I turned to Bartek then placed my gaze on the portrait and uttered in a soft, yellow voice, "It is a great painting." And I believed it.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"Fix your spelling and grammatical errors and your story will be stronger. I'm glad to see more Polish writers publishing on the web. It's great that you used the original Polish names like Bartek and Iza in your story, without "Americanizing" them. I liked the story, and I agree with you that the way you view people and things depends on your emotions. " -- Randy Cebulski, Chicago, IL, USA.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2004 Peter Izdebski
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
January 2004
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1933
 

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