Arrivals by Matt Potter

The key scratched in the lock and his travel bag skidded across the floorboards as he threw it inside.

Floating candles glowed on tables.

‘His’ and ‘His’ towels hung in the bathroom.

The poppers, the Viagra, the chorizo – all had been ordered and all had arrived.

I hugged his broad shoulders, kissed him long on the lips, and then I saw it – a tattoo.

“Where did you get this?” I asked, fingertips tracing the 666 on his forehead, red and bumpy.

“What?” he said.

I looked into his eyes.

“Oh, that,” he said, hand closing his fringe over the new scar. “It’s a lot less offensive when I stand on my head.”

He smiled, walked down the hallway, and closed the toilet door behind him.

My knuckles rapped softly against the wood.

“Who is it?” he said.

“I think we need to talk, Nathan. What’s happened?”

He opened the door a crack, fully dressed. “Oh, you know,” he sighed. “My endless search for meaning. Sometimes things can take a bit of a wrong turn.”

I reached for his forehead through the doorway but he flinched.

“No,” he said.

I stood beside the closed door for a full five minutes. Once, perhaps, I heard muffled sobs.

“Can I get you anything?” I asked.

“Some chorizo would be nice,” came his voice from the other side. “You can leave it on a plate by the door.”

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14 responses to “Arrivals by Matt Potter

  1. quite mysterious this one, enjoyed the humor and the existentialism between the lines.

    • Matt Potter

      A friend was quite spooked by it – I was amused by the idea at first and then became a bit disturbed about it myself, after I finished it! Danke

    • Matt Potter

      Ja … everyone who has read it has focussed on that. I just laughed when the ‘666’ idea came into my head … but given everyone’s reactions thus far, perhaps I am the one out of step …

  2. Creepy. Revelation as a personal revelation between two people. *chills*

    • Matt Potter

      Oooh, clearly I have weirded people out and what is even weirder is that I wasn’t before … which is even weirder again. Hmmm. That said, I would never get a tattoo anywhere, even ‘666’ …

  3. for me, it didn’t feel eerie – more on the melancholic side. / “My endless search for meaning…”
    left me curious for more.


    • Matt Potter

      Oh thank you … yes, I think that is what I thought I was striving (?) for, some rash decision made while away from home (holiday, business? am unsure) having enormous ramifications so soon afterwards. And it’s permanent and still he has not found what he is looking for, whatever that is, which he still doesn’t know … thanks for reading, and interpreting!

  4. Kelly Grotke

    maybe it’s me, but this made me laugh. In a slightly rueful way, but still. maybe it takes a lot to creep me out, hehe

  5. I wasn’t weirded out at all — more sad that all the effort awaiting his arrival was for naught. Especially all those poppers and V wasted… very sad ;^) Peace…

    • Matt Potter

      Yes, it is sad … those are my favourite kinds of stories, the funny ones that actually, are very sad, filled with disappointment and longing and unrealised … something. Thanks for reading, and commenting – I always appreciate both. But the breadth of reactions to “Arrivals” has been very interesting..

      • Matt Potter

        I just re-read your comment Linda and realised I completely missed your point! Ha ha – I do not even have jetlag to blame it on!

  6. Pingback: Week #14 – I can’t wait « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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