Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Backstage Traveler

Globe pic Roosevelt
With a nod of thanks to the postman, he cradles the paper and string-bound package in his arms, and closes his front door.  Glancing at the assortment of exotic rainbow-colored squares affixed to the parcel’s upper right hand corner, he’s inspired to remark to no one other than himself, “My goodness!  Just look at all those stamps!”

Carrying the box over to his horsehair sofa, he sits nearest a bookcase cluttered with an impressive collection of objects from a host of foreign countries, and framed by walls covered with gelatin silver photographs of ocean liners and pagodas.  The Eiffel Tower. Startling white cliffs, and the Golden Gate Bridge.  With deliberate care, he unknots the string and peels the paper away, and lifting the top of the box, feels a rush of excitement as the secrets inside are revealed-a picture of the Great Pyramids, a diminutive stone sphinx, a fossilized fish, and a jar of sand.  “Egypt!” he exclaims, like an enthusiastic school boy responding to a teacher’s question.

Shifting his weight forward, he stands up-creating a flutter of paper and string-and conveys the box over to a large globe near his front window. “Now then, where exactly is Egypt?” he wonders aloud, slowly spinning the green and blue sphere until his eyes single out the block-lettered name.  Tracing a finger tipped line from Alexandria to Aswan, he follows the route Lawrence may have taken, and as he does so, the familiar flood of admiration mixed with envy washes over him.  Lawrence, his identical twin, fearlessly traveling the world, while he tags vicariously along on this smaller, less daunting version of it.  If only Lawrence and he truly were identical.

Lifting the jar of sand as he sets down the box, he unscrews the lid-and pouring a few grains into his palm, he can only imagine how hot the desert must be this time of day.

 

Welcome to my new blog, replacing my former blog-For the Love of Pete.

I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be to suffer from extreme agoraphobia… 

This weeks prompt:  The third definition of the word DELIBERATE
1: characterized by or resulting from careful and thorough consideration <a deliberate decision>
2: characterized by awareness of the consequences<deliberate falsehood>
3: slow, unhurried, and steady as though allowing time for decision on each individual action involved <a deliberate pace>

32 comments:

  1. I could feel the excitement when he opened the package! It's always so much fun to get mail. I don't think that ever goes away. Too bad he won't join his brother, though!

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    1. Thanks Tammy! I'm with you-I love getting packages in the mail-it is fun! I feel sorry for my character too!

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  2. Oh Valerie I love this I felt like I was standing there waiting for that parcel to be opened. I felt the intense feeling of disappointment and sadness knowing it was his brother that was travelling and he could not. B

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    1. I'm so glad, B! He got some interesting items, didn't he;) It's such a compliment to know that my writing evokes such intense emotions-thank you!!

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  3. Hello again my Author friend!!! Glad to see a new entry with hopefully many more to come. (hug)

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    1. Thanks Renae-and I sure hope so! Writer's block, please keep away;) A hug to you too:)

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  4. It would be so hard to be the twin left behind.

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  5. Lisa, I think so too-especially when the desire to go along was there, but anxiety got in the way of actually doing so.

    I wonder if Lawrence has a van with a Yakima rack on top? ;)

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  6. I love the vintage feel of this. Not only is the premise an interesting one, but also, I think you really did a nice job of describing the feel of the days when we weren't all so connected and people looked at globes and used stamps. I could almost hear the ticking of the clock in the background.

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    1. Linda, that's a great comment! I love globes, and stamps, and ticking clocks:)

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  7. An interesting life, lived vicariously. How fascinating if Lawrence of Arabia did have a twin and they had such a relationship. Excellently written story.

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    1. I'm so glad you got that Lawrence just might be Lawrence of Arabia! Thank you so much!

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  8. I love the feel of this piece. It's sad that he couldn't join his twin on the adventures, but it's a sweet gesture for him to send his brother artifacts from the places he visited. Not quite the same as being there, but thought counts.

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    1. Thanks Janna! I'm glad you enjoyed this one!

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  9. My daughter spent a month in Morocco for a Study-Abroad college course. She sent me a very similar package, including a small vial of sand from the Sahara. I can completely understand Lawrence's excitement.

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    1. Tara-how very cool of your daughter! My own daughter has a great longing to travel-maybe she'll send me some interesting artifacts some day too:)

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  10. Ah, I like this! What a nice twin (:

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  11. Awww ... this is sad ! But I can totally relate. But no vicarious fun can ever suffice !

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    1. Shreya-that is so true! Vicarious is no substitute for the real thing:)

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  12. I really loved the feel and poignancy of this - sand in a jar, such an evocative thing

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    1. Thanks so much Thomas!! I'm so glad you liked it!

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  13. I love the travel your can do in your mind triggered by a simple package... sand pictures all trigger fantasies...

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    1. Me too Bjorn! Me too!! :) Thanks for reading!

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  14. First of all that package wrapped up in string is such a treat. I love that he has to live vicariously through his brother. Terrific ending line.

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    1. Thanks you so much Kelly! I appreciate that!!

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  15. This is wonderful Valerie! Love the sense of anticipation at the beginning, and the slow unfolding of his story. Great use of the prompt!

    P.S. I adore the photo you chose for the header of your blog!

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    1. Oh, Suzanne, I'm so happy! Coming from you, that is just the best compliment! It was scary, jumping blogs like I did, but I feel like it was time, and that photo suits me so well:) Thank you, my friend!!

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  16. All of the movement words you used made me feel I was on a journey with him.

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  17. Oh, I wish I had a twin like his! Hate to travel but would love the desert sand.
    Terrific vignette.

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  18. This little vignette demands so much: pity, joy, nostalgia and wishful thinking, all wrapped up such a complicated package.

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  19. Firstly, you had me with the photo of Teddy.
    Secondly, you had me with the envelope with all the stamps.
    Thirdly, you had me with the impressive and cluttered bookshelf.
    All in all, how could I NOT have loved this story?!

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