Trevor Abes: Writer

Tag: story

The Tobacco Defenestration

The Tobacco Defenestration

Photograph by Jenny Downing.

From Record One: Peep Show

I’m sitting in a vanilla bean office chair next to my bedroom window on the 28th
floor of my postmodern apartment complex, Sonatina, where there’s never any music
playing. The chair used to belong to my uncle: he died from asbestos in the university
where he served as professor, from drinking whiskey and from smoking cigarettes. He
liked Dunhills, the ones with a crimson stripe on the filter.

I’m smoking a cigarette with a blue stripe on the filter, a beer-and-a-smoke kind
of cigarette that imprints on my lungs a hot patch tingle. Not a Dunhill, a Canadian
Classic. The pack has snow on it.

Despite the warmth of an atomic orange hoodie and thick green-scale
lumberjack-chequered pyjama pants, I’m sick as a parrot on a 3-day saltine bender.
My nostrils are dripping. Wiggly phlegm is coalescing in my throat.

The wind tends to blow in on the 28th floor, and I’ve taken precautions. There’s
a pair of dark blue skinny jeans slotted under the door with a wet Martha Stewart striped
towel to prevent smoke-swirls from sliding into the living room where mom
and dad are on the internet. A plastic fan whizzes against the breeze – blades
speckled with soot and ash because I only look at them when they’re spinning – and I
try to exhale into it from behind, into the window.

I don’t know it’s my last cigarette. At a more basic and less demanding location
in my brain, where the fundamental processes that keep me alive are carried out by
idiots and country bumpkins, I’ve known for a while. I’ve felt the tipping point
approaching on piles of guilt and cancer googling.

Read the rest here by downloading the anthology: Record One: Peep Show.

The Short Life Of Shapes On Sun-Kissed Eyelids.

black-red-green-backgroundShe sees Connick Jr. now has a microphone. He is singing “All of Me” as if he meant her to take all of him. The other two players are sitting cross-legged, stage left, and their instruments are playing  themselves. Harry drops to the floor and maintains a spontaneously splayed position, as does his microphone. The song continues.

“It was a perfect lip-sync,” Harry bellows from the floor. “Those ain’t in my nature, dahlin’, but I did one for you.”

She remembers that she is in hospital, dying, and prone to dementia. Her name is Mabel Woodhouse, 89, born in the month of May.

She forgets.

She thinks someone is listening.

She would like you, whoever you are, to know that she has learned diddlysquat during her 89 years on Earth. Why? Because moments of clarity like these are all she has to look forward to anymore, and they only come every few weeks. She may have seen too many retirement-home commercials, but she thinks she deserves better. At least basic motor skills.

She does not believe that you are God or any other high holy being, although your lack of kindness is not here supposed. She’s simply trying to say that she remembers that she was talking to someone, but since she can’t exactly see you, she’s going to stop talking now.

Her room is off-white and smells like it’s caked in ammonia. It is Christmas.

She turns on the TV and sees Harry Connick Jr. singing “Danny Boy” in a bright red turtleneck. She smiles and sighs at the serendipity.

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