Knitting by Alex Lockwood

I think she’s trying to blow me up.

It’s not the fact she dislikes people knitting in public (she finds it annoying). It’s that when I challenge her on why, she reels back, like curds in water. That drives me nuts. I mean, knitting. Who’s it hurting? I guess there’s an attitude to perling while waiting for the bus. Those damn carefree click-clacking needles. I thought it was harmless, like doodling. But doodlers annoy her too (mindless, she says).

She says my dislikes are just as arbitrary. Noisy eating, for example.

I don’t think they’re arbitrary. All my annoyances are based on obvious injustices from childhood. Helpless at the family table.

(Ok, stop. Think. If mine are all based on…).

No, I make a list of why SHE should apologise. I’ve written it out on the back of a beer label that came off in one. It’s waxy, and the ink doesn’t take. But I can make out the words:

1. It’s her turn.

2. How many times have I apologised when I didn’t think I was wrong?

3. What she withholds from me is just as corrosive as what I withhold from her.

The old guy at the bar asks what I’m doing. I don’t answer. (Noisy fucking drinker slurping beer.)

But I guess how hurt she must have been once to be so hardened now. Just the crust of a scab.

I see what I’m doing. Helpless. I look at my list. I blow up


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Filed under Alex Lockwood

11 responses to “Knitting by Alex Lockwood

  1. Al McDermid

    I was laughing by the end; an easily annoyed person complaining about another easily annoyed person. And you did so well (I wanted to blow her up). The beer label was a nice touch. My step-mother did that.

  2. Catherine Davis

    I like the tone, like the rhythms. Snappy, clever. Enjoyed very much.

  3. Nicely put together. I really like, “Just the crust of a scab.” That explains it so well.

  4. John Riley

    I like how he justifies his faults while fixating on hers. Good insight into the character.

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Little things all blown up. Nice take on the theme.

  6. thanks very much for the feedback. appreciated. A

  7. The crust of a scab was good, not sure if it was metaphorical or literal. I started thinking in the beginning that maybe she perceived the knitting needles as a threat, was hit as a child with one or something.

    Btw, my husband got me knitting lessons for Xmas. I was thinking it might be nice to knit in public, but now I’m not so sure… :D

  8. I liked the complaining! Well done!
    I was also interested in the kniting in public bit. In fact, I am writing a kniting story, and, interested in knitting, I joined a knitters group, meeting to knit in public in central London regularly!!! Here is the link to their website:

  9. Great voice riddled with contradictions. Love the way his thoughts meander. One of the most original responses to the theme I’ve read.

    As for knitting, I am helpless. I collect skeins — love the color, the feel, the texture — and am now destroying a gorgeous varigated silk/wool/bamboo blend by trying to knit one of those silly faux scarves. Can I call on someone when it’s time to cast off? Peace…

    • alockwood

      a late reply, but thanks again for all the extra comments. I definitely support public knitting. Anything that takes people’s faces away from screens to produce something warm, lovely and creative definitely gets my vote. If you’re looking for a novel with knitting as a central action of a wannabe writer, then read Scarlett Thomas’ Our Tragic Universe (although The End of Mr Y is a better book, but no knitting)

  10. Pingback: Week #33 – Spontaneous combustion | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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