Author Topic: The Man Who Was Never Free (excerpt)  (Read 88 times)

Offline NothingName1

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The Man Who Was Never Free (excerpt)
« on: May 20, 2018, 07:44:22 PM »
The man who was never free

Dr Rudolph Ilesley, a man who was widely regarded by all who knew him, as a prudent and practical man; a little bombastic in his speech; softened, however, by a slightly nervous delivery. He possessed an air, both proud and stately, despite his small stature, which was, as it were, elevated by the close-inset of piercing, be-speckled eyes; suggesting a creature of high intelligence and discernment.  Above all, Rudolph regarded orderliness and punctuality, as virtues that all men, despite their class or station, should strive to honour, as the bedrock upon which all civility is conducted. Anyone who failed in this respect was simply an oaf. As such, there was nothing more displeasing to Ruldoph then to admit a patient into his practice—for, Rudolph was an orthodontist—who was tardy, or behind-time. And though, he would never call a man an oaf; he would nevertheless, greet his belated patient by regarding his gold watch in amazement, even giving it a few raps with his finger, in disbelief. This is as far as his timid nature would permit and, in all the years of practicing his craft in the dreary, rain-soaked and almost forgotten galleria of shops, balustrades, plazas, moribund with lines of interurban expressways; this eccentric, simple-hearted man, had never been known to utter a single disagreeable word; to lose his temper, and conversely, never to have expressed joy or conviction in very much at all. All was simply: as it was, and ought to be.

One day, however, Rudolph began to cry. He later imagined, this sudden attack would not have so appalled him, if he were not at the time in the process of examining a patient—a young boy—for realignment. On his drive home, he pondered whether it was the sight of boy's crowded teeth— brought on a by a fractured jaw which he had seen so many times before; and which, moreover, were showing signs of progress— that had hailed such an uncommon fit. He recalled how the fit had first manifested as a knot in the pit of his stomach, then, erupted forth with such force, he was unsure, whether he were indeed crying, or laughing. He had concealed the first sobs with a battery of coughs and sputters; until they finally breached forth in such an uncontrollable torrent of tears, as to wrack his body in pure sorrow. Sorrow? No. It could not have been sorrow. Nerves. But I don't feel nervous. He inspected his face in the Rear View Mirror, a bleary-eyed red devil stared back at him. It's true, I don't look well. But that's only shame. I'm burning up in shame! How I had to settle that poor boy, who thought his condition was incurable. Rudolph gritted his teeth, he could not believe he had been so unprofessional.    
       The route to Great Horkesley was jammed; the radio blared an acetone song, as a welcome breeze from the open window soothed his temper: “I'm gonna use myself, It's happened all before. And in all these years. I've never known more. Than I see...” Rudolph began to laugh; he was laughing as the sunset hit his eyes, as the engines of a passing motorcade drowned out the music. He was laughing still, as the lights turned green. At the interchange he swerved dangerously over to the hard shoulder, since he was laughing so hard his sides hurt; doubled with laughter, eyes closed, he gasped for air. In panic, Rudolph rolled out of his car, clawing the turf, his airways blocked by riotous laughter. When, at last, the laughter ceased, Rudolph, for the longest time, embraced himself; like a fetus, and wept, until his tears ran dry.
In this world, that never changes.

          “What are you doing with that ghastly thing?” Agatha shrieked, fanning the air, as if to ward of an evil vapor.
           “This... I found in the garage,” Rudolph replied with a hint of pride, surveying the painting, “I painted it in college, before I decided on Mclindent. I was experimenting with split-complementaries, but, somehow, I see something in it now—I was thinking beneath the stairwell. What do you say?”
           “I'd say you're mad! ugh, the eyes! It looks positively demonic! Rudolph, I love you, dearly. But I will not tolerate that painting in this house; not for a moment.” Agatha bellowed below, as she crossed from the atop the stairs to the bathroom, readying for the evening's dinner with the Altschuls.   

   “Aggy, I think it will be good for me.” Rudolph cried, feeling a resentment that he need must shout to be heard above the noise of her hairdryer. He clenched his fist: “ I don't feel I create anything anymore. Yes, there was the butterfly house, and the bird house, and the gemology... stuff. Just, stuff. But I don't create anymore.”
   “I can't hear, you! What about the bird house!” She cried above the dryer. Suddenly, it cut off. “Have you spoken to Gerrard about your crying thing.”


   Rudolph did not dignify a response.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2018, 10:04:03 AM by NothingName1 »