Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Ghost Notes


On a pedestal in the shade of the ash tree at my childhood home, a large wooden bowl has just been filled with pipe tobacco. An old uncle happens by. Delighted, he fills his pipe, lights it, and draws on it with great contentment. Then he departs, disappearing into the atmosphere, which seems to be made more of memory than it is of air. I find a pipe in my hands, the one I keep on my desk that belonged to my father’s brother before he was killed in the second world war. But when I go to fill it, the wooden bowl on the pedestal contains damp, mostly decayed ash leaves. And so I clear the bowl with my hands. Soon thereafter, it’s filled with tobacco again, how or by whom, I don’t know. I’m joined then by a friend I haven’t seen since my father’s funeral in 1995. He sees my pipe and says my uncle’s name. I fill it, light it in his presence, and inhale. “Ghost notes,” is my reply.

6 comments:

RUDHI - Chance said...

Nice story, William!

all ways 11 o'clock said...

Oh William, you transcend time
so beautifully here.

This is a wonderful story.

~robert

Nevine said...

A dream that makes the blood shudder in my bones. Lovely!

Nevine

Old 333 said...

A pleasant vignette; William, you must have a good booksworth of dreams and moments at least! Thanks, as always, for this one -
PG

Indigo said...

I could almost smell the waif of tobacco smoke. Delightful sojourn into your dream. (Hugs)Indigo

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Rudhi!

Thank you, Robert. I love the way time bends in dreams.

Nevine, thank you. I think sometimes the bones know things before the mind does.

Thanks, Peter. I do. There are dreams stacked up everywhere I turn — harmless enough during the day, but at night they have full run of the place. Just try to get a glass of water. You might not return for hours.

Indigo, I really did enjoy that pipeful. Thank you.