Listen to Graham
Home, Shell, Listening By Graham Stanford
The back story - On a cold winters day in December 2021 three friends came together to write. We gave each other 15 minutes to write about three words. Graham wrote this! Click play to listen along.
“Darla, where be the…” The word dangled in the dust of the slanted light. The carpet was green, hardened, not at all pleasing to walk barefoot upon. Darla was thinking upon this. He never finished his sentences when he wanted her attention, which was often and often for no good reason.
Her hand swept slowly through the dust, swirling it. The walls were brown and paneled. Everything smelled of the 60s and never a window opened. He wouldn’t be looking at her. The unfinished sentence was even worse than someone staring at her, waiting. The longest finger of her hand diddled the light of the low winter sun.
“Jesus. Where be the what, Carl?” Darla refused to make this a question. He pretended not to be listening. The fist dropped to her side running a clear highway of air, then it disappeared.
“You took off the ring.” “Yes.” “Why?” “It bothered me.” “Get it resized.” “One day I will. When it matters.” “What? You mumbled.”
She knew Carl had heard her. He played dumb as if he were smart and not a fool.
“Where be the what, Carl? This place… it’s…”
“It’s what?” There was no question in his voice either. He was moving when he said it, pushing the lazy boys around as if there was a final resting place for them. She watched him. The room filled even thicker. She tried not to breathe.
He stormed out of the room.
“Why do you even care?” She said it loud enough for the other room to hear. No answer came. She listened until the blood rang in her ears. The grey out the windows matched the broken screens.
“This fucking carpet.” She dug the toe of her boot into the crevice of the pattern. The fibers wouldn’t move. Darla dug the heel of her thick boots into it and ground into it as if it was a face… “this fucking carpet.” She muttered.
Carl stormed back in and heaved the old vacuum into the room, then cut over to the windows and snatched the drapes off the windows.
“You want to shell out?” “Watch your mouth” “Or what?” “We’re not kids anymore” “When did that stop you?” “Don’t get all high and mighty, I don’t hit women.” “What was I?” “Jesus fuck, we was kids.” “I don’t want to be here no more.” “Yeah, well… it’s in us