07 October 2010

"Dirty Dish" #Fridayflash


Yet another experiment in writing. Dead silence does work wonders. - CC   


She’s taken her small shoes and handbags and left him with closet space. He appreciates the extra three feet of davenport. He’s covered up the flowered print. He’ll put it out for bulk rubbish in February.

She’s grilled for CAUCASIAN MALE. It seems wise. Her mother would have approved of his severe haircut and pencil-thin mustache.

He thinks about CAUCASIAN MALE often. 5’11” with a slight list to his step from an old football injury. CAUCASIAN MALE with the sideways smile—he should have caught that the first time she shared it with him over boiled potatoes.

He’s stretched out. He’s waiting.

The dirty dish is still in the sink. He’s decided to leave it til Wednesday. She’d hate that.

Photo credit: alvimann from morguefile.com

25 comments:

Wookies Girl said...

Interesting...

susan said...

Intrigue...I do like.

Deanna said...

I admit I'm a bit confused, but I do like the foreshadowing (if I'm guessing correctly). I always enjoy the way you play with words Carrie.

The Frog Queen said...

Mysterious....I like that.

Cheers!

ganymeder said...

I hate to say it, but I don't really understand what's happening. Is she eating someone and her cannibal partner is refusing to do dishes?

I like your overall writing style, but I'm sort of confused on this one. Sorry.

afullnessinbrevity said...

The craftsmanship is as honed as ever. I like the mystery and suspense.
Adam B @revhappiness

Icy Sedgwick said...

To me, this reads as the satisfaction of a man who's been left by an OCD woman who nagged him for being messy and took up too much space. He's obviously not her mother's favourite, whereas the new man is. I could be wrong, but that's how I read it. I like it!

Carrie said...

Thanks everyone for stopping by. As I do with most of my writing, I merely present you wit the facts of the moment. The decision of what has/will/is happen(ing) is all up to you. I'd love to see what you guys think happened, but if it confuses you, here's my take:

She left him for another man. He's trying to rebel because it makes him feel better. The dirty dish is his absolute statement of disagreement.

Icy has this right.

*No characters died (that we know of) in the making of this flash.

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

OK here's my take on this...CAUCASIAN MALE is how some guy listed himself in the personals. The main guy is tickled since the woman in the story let him for CAUCASIAN MALE, who her mother approves of, and has left him with extra closet space and no nagging about the dirty dishes in the sink.

Sulci Collective said...

I also thought it had something to do with the small ads because of the Caucasian male. The removing of the shoes from the closet is a very clear & wonderfully economic way of hinting that she's left him.

That's how it reads to me.

marc nash

Carrie said...

I love this. This telling me what YOU see. Thank you.

Laura Eno said...

I thought the same as Icy, Rachel and Marc. She left him for another man from the personals and he's leaving the dirty dish as a statement. (even though she's not there to notice)

~Tim said...

Lovely and compact. I like it a lot.

Since this was an experiment, will you be publishing your thesis, observations, and conclusion?

Marisa Birns said...

This piece says this to me: Woman lived with a man her mother did not approve of because of his appearance and race.

Woman left man for some one else.

Man is stretched out fully on the sofa, now that he doesn't have to share it with her. A sofa he's throwing out.

She was very finicky and his leaving the dish in the sink because it's something she would never have allowed.

He's free to do what he wants now.

So, you've given us a whole story in a few paragraphs. Wonderful!

Sam said...

Intense, intriguing and very thought provoking. I really, really like the statement of the dirty dish (if you could see the state of my kitchen at the moment, you'd have an idea why; and no, she's back tonight!)

pegjet said...

I read it twice before I read the comments, going back and forth between break-up and cannibal. I decided you wouldn't give me a picture of potatoes if cannibalism was your intent, so I went with break-up. Thanks for the potatoes, they look yummy.

Eric J. Krause said...

Excellent writing in this. I like how he gets his revenge on her. Sure, she won't know about it, but it makes him feel better, so it's all good. Enjoyed this a TON.

Bukowski's Basement said...

Neat experiment, Carrie. Upon re-reading, I'd say this more than delivered. It's ambiguity worked...

John Wiswell said...

Interesting verb choice on "grilled." I can understand Gany's confusion - it's a logically discordant piece. Without that one verb, her ditching him for another guy would seem the implication.

But since you invited us to interpret as we like, Carrie - I say he's waiting for his new mail-order Venusian bride.

John Wiswell said...

Since it might not have been clear, I like the vagueness.

AidanF said...

I saw this as bittersweet. He tried to look at the good points (more closet space; getting rid of the flower-print paper; more davenport), but he missed her as well and thought about her current boyfriend. Seemed like he was living in the past. I like that I can dig all this out of the piece.

placebythefire said...

This is one of those pieces you have to read more than once to get everything out of it, I think. That's not a bad thing.
The "CAUCASIAN MALE" confused me at first, mainly because that kind of all-caps vague descriptor is the sort of thing I use as a placeholder when I'm writing for NaNoWriMo and don't have time to think of a good name!

Mari said...

I had a completely different interpretation. The CAUCASIAN MALE thing brought me the idea of a crime scene. I thought she had killed him after the last provocation of the dirty dishes.

Reading the comments I see that I got it all wrong. O.o I like the tale all the same though. It's interesting how you leave subtle space for interpretation.

Jason Coggins said...

As experiments go you got me thinking about how folks like all the T's crossed and I's dotted for them. Personally I'm a Get the Girl, Kill the Baddy, Save the Entire Planet kind of guy but I can appreciate you screwing with readers expectations.

Rebecca Emin said...

I read this through twice. I love how you make us all think about it. I read your explaination afterwards and it matched with what I had come up with in my head. Looking forward to your next one!