Token by Dorothee Lang

A room. Shelves filled with things, trinkets, pictures, gifts, little statues. An open suitcase on the bed. I put those things inside, the pictures, the gifts, the trinkets. They are my memories, tokens of time. Then I close the suitcase, and walk down streets, past a park, until I arrive at the bridge. There’s a bench there, a waiting place for the bus that will come and carry me home.

Sitting there, I realize that I forgot the things in the drawer. So I leave the suitcase, and walk back to the room, to gather them. But I get lost on the way. Instead of the park, there is a huge hotel, alleys with stores that are filled with antiques. I follow another street, thinking it will take me to the bridge, to my suitcase, and the bus stop. But the street only leads to more shops. I walk on, disorientated, and finally enter a café. A woman offers a seat at her table, she talks of Japan, and shows me pictures of a lake, of trees covered with snow. Still she talks of summer. I can understand her, even though her language is different. Others I can’t understand, even though they talk the same language as I do.

The day moves on, but we all remain sitting there, trying to communicate, and I think, maybe we all got lost somewhere, and missed the bus that would take us home.


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Filed under Dorothee Lang

13 responses to “Token by Dorothee Lang

  1. Indeed, Dorothee! We’ve all missed the bus! It brings to mind the Odyssey… I liked the way you introduced the ‘distractions.’ Nicely done!

  2. Surreal, lovely. It hits us in what we attach to things, yet somehow leave behind, the things in the drawer, the suitcase. Nicely done, Dorothee.

  3. Len

    this had a great tone. i like how it started–blunt and choppy. felt like an old movie real or a blinking dream. the ending was really nice, too. way to go.

  4. i shoule have added a line to the story: it’s based on dream fragments. the blunt and choppy starting sentences are the original writes i scribbled down after waking.
    yes, the baggage: the things we keep, but also those we leave behind while still attached to them.

  5. Wonderful, dreamlike quality to this story, like a fable. Nicely done, especially the ending.

  6. Kim Hutchinson

    Love the dreamlike quality, and the mis/understandings of language. Very nicely done.

  7. wonderful atmosphere building here. enjoyed.

  8. The sensory details are woven, like a tapestry, tight, as the loosening of the protagonist progresses. I like the dreamy quality, the possibility that we have, indeed, all missed the bus going home. Hmm…

  9. Al McDermid

    Great atmosphere. Of the things she gathers, none seem essential, except on a personal, but then she leaves them, to get other ‘things’. Then, she’s not all that concerned at getting lost. I just everything about this. Bravo!

  10. So lyrical. I immediately felt she was dreaming and would wake up. Love the baggage left and taken. What items are important in the end? Perhaps none, just being in the moment. Peace…

  11. I think they all need to get out of Berlin quick!

  12. Pingback: Week #31 – Missed the bus | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  13. I love ‘tokens of time’. I can see how it came out of dream fragments – it’s surreal, this futile wandering, and yet – describes perfectly a very real variation of human consciousness. Beautiful.

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