Digital Ischemia

16/08/2018

Wratislaw part 5 of 10

A drily hyperbolic, humorous short story – a pianist with a passion for Janáček’s music finds the composer’s unrequited infatuation is part of the bargain

Wratislaw series begins at part 1

Why had Kamila been talking to Wratislaw, back then? Her answer had been brilliant. She gazed out across the cityscape. First, of course, she asked him what he saw. He stated the obvious. Then she explained it.
“Buildings, streets, green space, activity, movement, travel, glitter and shadow… Zoom in or out, pan across. This is a vast and deep fascination. I see infinite interest in finite space, a fractal psyche.”
It was him.
“You think of me as a Mandelbrot set?” He had been pleased with himself for dredging up that reference. Until she hit it out of the park.
“I think of you as Wratislaw.”
He was unable to resist grinning. As always, she took it further than he could have imagined. “So, I know who you are, obviously, and you know who I am, for what this is worth. Can we please not talk about professions and partners and parenting and all this cliché competitive life shit?”
“In favour of?”
“Interesting things!”
“And interesting names?”
“Yes; what will you call me?”
“Kamila, obviously.”

As Wratislaw crouches in the darkening jaggy shrubbery, tickled by leaves and probably things on legs, that memory still warms. He recalls taking several moments to regroup. He gestured the cityscape.
“Where would you like to go next?”
“In the real world or in your head?”
“It’s your metaphor.”
“There.”
She pointed decisively to a tree-clad eruption a few miles north-west. He had only one move.
“May I take you?”

Wratislaw decides that Kamila, for all her superiority, is probably tactically stuck at this point. Probably because he isn’t behaving as she expects, i.e. intelligently. He’s feeling tingles in intimate places, and not all of them can be attributed to invading insects. He’ll have to move. Any move will gain the initiative. For no reason other than his innate perversity, he sets out vigorously from the rhododendron in the opposite direction.

Too late he remembers how she ended her discussion at the fateful event. “Go out now, go away, go back to your lives. Don’t think any more about this. I don’t ask you to think about any of this stuff; I only ask you to think.” Drat.

Surrounding the ensemble of quaint river bank, shady willow, shadier pine with possible occupied perch, and bruised rhododendron, is a band of thicker mature trees. These turn out to be planted on a ridge. The ridge turns out to be ideally suited for pretending you’re in a tree when you’re not. Now they both are. Pretending.

One slender birch sapling suggests to Wratislaw a cunning wheeze. He manoeuvres around to its ‘safe’ side and triangulates his target. With careful force the birch curls over beautifully. A couple of thrashes sweep the perceived vantage point and several small pine cones hit the ground. Why no squeal or proclamation of acquiescence to his masterful offensive? He detests a silent audience.

…continues at part 6

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1 Comment »

  1. […] …continues at part 5 […]

    Pingback by Wratislaw part 4 of 10 | Digital Ischemia — 17/08/2018 @ 07:58


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