The dip and the stoke of the paddle in the clear mountain lake hypnotized me. Gravel, rocks, and boulders glided beneath me. Their refracted positions making them look magnified. I hardly noticed as the level surface before me bent sinuously into a hole of falling water.
Plap, plap, plap, plap. Wake waves splashed out a brief beat at the corner of the fishing dock.
We’d been talking. I’d just said, "I’m not sure I understand anymore. I’m not even sure I want to try to understand." It didn’t seem like a great thing to say. I know I wouldn’t want to hear it, but it was the truth. The effort to understand her moods, her thoughts, and her feelings exceeded what I was willing to invest. I thought she was going to reply.
In the past she might have said, "What the hell?" or "Brian, please think of this from my perspective." or even "You always were a lazy prick." Instead she stared at her drink.
Water condensed on the cold glass. A fog of humidity grew to a field of speckles. Those coalesced into droplets. The droplets cohered into light refracting beads that further obscured the whiskey tainted light–yes, she drank whiskey. The combined mass of water was too much for one drop. It ran down the glass and escaped.
"You know, you’re right."
The forgotten spill soaked into his sock from the carpet. Instantly he clenched his teeth and raged inside.
Fr. Tom could still feel the coolness in the handle. The metal had not fully warmed to his hand. Any other time of the year. Any other Mass and he’d feel solitary. He never felt alone, that was not possible, but he never felt with his Prisoners. When they renewed their Baptismal vows and he anointed them with three shakes of holy water from the aspergillum it shouldn’t have made him feel more connected, but it did.
Splashing near strangers in the chest and the eyes and the hair with water separates people.
At first I thought I could pull out ten of those, but five felt good for a first run of this exercise.
Word count: 350