Haunted Flesh Flames go to Dinner

They sort of careened into each other downtown, spinning around each other’s drunken trajectory, somehow instant friends, bonded by the endless night, by the pact of debauchery, all the edges of daily grinding, the hard knocks, and pay-the-bills headaches, put on hold. But all that was in the background, chasing them down with their drinks.

They followed Emmanuel up the hill, which seemed replete with buildings, superimposed on each other, stacked on each other; Emmanuel was taking in the surrounding city like an Escher painting, a new permutation of seeing double. It was all part of the film these people he met were making. They took advantage of their drunken ascent to get some choice shots. Unfortunately the twilight was only allowing them a few surfaces upon which they could project artistically meaningful and humorous phrases. They only got two in.

The phrases failed to really register on Emmanuel; it was their thing, this film business, and he only brushed up against it obliquely. Well, maybe it was becoming more his thing too. He was kind of escorting them, had fallen into the role of organizing the mood.

On the way they related to Emmanuel their intense distaste for cutthroat restaurant kitchens. They seemed to be getting across that they worked in such, to be giving Emmanuel their impression of them. They were using him as an audience, a sounding board for their displeasure at being used, being driven by the insane, selfish busyness of these greasy consumer culture kitchens, which trapped them in a double bind of ‘I need money but I hate this, and I am so much more but here I am trapped in these stuff-your-face factories, getting paid shit to do shit…’

They were like haunted flesh flames, and he could see their Celtic blood harking back in them, feeding their presence, that old proud fire, and they could be roaming the battlefield, a war band of headhunting picts, finally rising up to settle the score with the infidels who’d broken the bonds of honour.

Emmanuel took them into the restaurant at the top of the hill. He knew it would be different, a counterpoint. Inside it was mellow, respectful. The atmosphere was truly aesthetic, understated, beautiful in that soft, gentle way, reconciled with the hard lines of the world, finding balance and peace and sober artistry anyway, but not in spite—just so.

They sat down.

There was a subtle feeling from the kitchen. It was like a sort of concern, a conscientiousness that was intent to do well by them without being cloying. It was an intelligent feeling, the organized intent to create an aesthetically pleasing, efficient and enlightened atmosphere.

They were all simply wordlessly impressed by this. The kind of thing where your heart hurts because it is relaxing, when so used to constricting in defence.

Natalie’s eyes took on an odd focus then. She swore. They looked where she was gazing. Out the window, visible from a few blocks away, high up, was one of those eye-grabbing, digital animation advertisement billboards, the ones with the cleverly psychological phrases that dig into your psyche, trying to find that piece of ground to plant its flag into, to claim you for the corporate empire. Natalie didn’t say it, but it was clear how her reaction was a bitter reproach for the way it intruded into this beautiful, considerate restaurant realm. Cognitive trespassing.

Emmanuel didn’t react, continuing to let the atmosphere take him, to assume it as the rising sign of their evening. He watched as the haunted intensity slipped into a place that was like an opening in the woods, with mossy green rocks to sit on, and a river to contemplate, after walking out of the hardcore porn, quick easy buck, concrete jungle district. It takes a moment to adjust, but the contrast is clear, the effect obvious.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Globe Drifting

Global issues, travel, photography & fashion. Drifting across the globe; the world is my oyster, my oyster through a lens.

Gotta Find a Home

Conversations with Street People

CultFit

Form, Flow and Grace

THE LOS PERSPECTIVE

The Journey and Adventures of a Hindu Pagan

Simon Vigneault's Blog

The Infinite Living Room

prophetbrahmarishi

Just another WordPress.com site

ArchangelTravel

This WordPress.com site is the bee's knees

apARTment

Meet, Create & Share

Witchy Quirks

Witchy Misadventures in Northern California

Simple Pleasures

Visual Poetry, Photography and Quotes

soulpatterns

light and matter intersections

Lila's Twist

writing stories, bit by bit

Wytchfae

Conjuring the Magic

Caravan Dreams༻

The travels & adventures of Desert Flower

Druid Life

Pagan reflections from a Druid author - life, community, inspiration, health, hope, and radical change

The Blog of Litwits

I read. I blog.

ReviewsbyLola's Blog

A blog about books

An Unfettered Mind

The Search for Truth in an Uncertain World

Life Medicine and Life Doctoring

counselling for serious or chronic illnesss

THE NEW YOGA FORUM

a forum for all those interested in The New Yoga of Awareness

Daily (w)rite

A DAILY RITUAL OF WRITING

Mused by Magdalene

Updates, events, hints, odd thoughts and an occasional poem

Banned Books Club

Celebrate Your Right to Read-Read a Banned Book!

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction

Official blog of the editorial team

Putting the life back in science fiction

Just another WordPress.com weblog

Sf-Fandom's Wordpress Blog

Science Fiction & Fantasy News and Information from SF-Fandom.com

Indian SF

Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

Beamer Books

The official blogsite of the Beam Me Up Science Fiction Book Club

Book Blogger Directory

The Big Blog of Book Blogs

The World SF Blog

Speculative Fiction from Around the World

Blisstival

Dharmic Adventures for those with Grid Aversion Syndrome

How to Lucid Dream Tonight

A topnotch WordPress.com site

Buddhist Art News

News on Buddhist art, architecture, archaeology, music, dance, and academia.

Proposition Zen

Finding daily serenity in a chaotic world

Zen Flash

The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a single step

Plastic Bodies

thinking about material identities

annemichael

Poetry, nature, books, & speculative philosophical musings

Transition Consciousness

Making the transition to a better world

NASEP blog

Official Blog of The North American Society For Early Phenomenology

The Great Conversation

Literature, Philosophy, Art, Music, Drama

Nightwolf A.D.E.

Art, Design, Editing, and the Nuances of Storytelling According to Kisa Whipkey

%d bloggers like this: