Holes by Stephen Hastings-King

Every morning he is awakened by jack hammers. He feels around his head to make sure all the parts are there. Then he says his name to see if it still fits. Over coffee he watches a video loop metallic sky against which reproduction birds bob in the wind. He rehearses the day’s emotions. At roughly the same moment each morning he leans forward to scrutinize a coming irregularity in the loop, a joke inserted by whoever shot the sequence. When it comes he deplores the lack of normal people in the arts. He makes lists of potential experiences. What I Will Encounter. What I Will Explore. What I Will Avoid. He examines critically his haircut. In the shower he sings Verdi. His laughs operatically as he rummages for socks. Over another cup of coffee he watches the video loop metallic sky across which reproduction birds fall like ash. He girds his feet and prepares to encounter the day. He arrives before the door. His hand moves toward the knob. It is possible that the burner is still on. If he goes upstairs he will have to start over. If he doesn’t the house could burn down. He sits on the stairs. Every morning he forgets to make a list of everything that he did that morning. But there is no space for a list of everything because that list would engulf the others. Every morning he sits on the stairs, pinned by the holes in everything.


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Filed under Stephen Hastings-King

5 responses to “Holes by Stephen Hastings-King

  1. Very interesting character you have created here for us. I feel a relationship with him, the sense of control maybe lost. Nice.

  2. His OCD seems so debilitating; I feel sorry for him. Nice character sketch.

  3. guy

    I like the last part. Somehow this guy reminds me of Bouvard or Pécuchet.

    I have him singing “Alfredo, Alfredo di questo core” rather than something like “La Dona e mobile”.

  4. stephen

    thanks for the reads and comments. this is edited down from a longer version (not alot longer, but still) and i’ve been going back and forth about which i think works better.

    i see this character as continually ambushed by his own compulsiveness. i like his sensibility, but can’t figure out how to get him past the stairs….

  5. Pingback: Week #26 – bad haircut « 52|250 A Year of Flash

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