"I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the naked self merges with the nonhuman world and somehow survives...Paradox and bedrock."-Edward Abbey

11 September 2011

Burning Napkins

He sat in a smokey gin joint, drinking, as one is wont to do in such establishments, and writing on napkins. The words were poems and love letters he burned in the ashtray before ink dried on the paper. In his head, he recited a single name over and over. Someone he could not forget, no matter how hard he tried. No matter how much he drank.

Then he looked up and saw her standing in front of him. At first, he was sure he was dreaming, or at the very least, hallucinating. All he could do was stare, looking into her soul whilst she read him like a book.

He was afraid to speak. He'd been drinking and writing on napkins. There were so many things he wanted so desperately to say, but feared any words would be muddled by the accent of intoxication. It was embarrassing enough she had to see him like that.

But she knew him well and smiled. Gave him one of those looks he so loved her for. She took his hand and squeezed.

"I'll never leave you again," she whispered. "Let's get out of here."

Then she kissed him. He realized he was very wide awake, sobriety coming back in a flash. They walked out, leaving a half finished drink and a napkin smoldering in the ashtray.


  1. I love this. There are times you just don't need words with others. I will get round to reading your other recent posts this evening hopefully.

  2. That was lovely, really lovely. Thank you.

  3. Light208 and Sharon; Thank you both. Glad you enjoyed it.

  4. I've seen a few guys do that napkin thing. Writing, burning, drinking, writing again.
    Your story had a happier ending than theirs.

  5. Me too. Part of this was inspired by some song lyrics from the Sisters of Mercy;

    "Sitting in this
    bar for hours,
    trying to write it down..."

  6. Sadly 99% of the time it never turns out this way, seen it quite a few times, like your ending much better.

  7. Sadly, you're right. Thank you for compliment.

  8. I'm glad you mentioned the Sisters of Mercy reference in the comments because I thought of that as well when I was reading your post. I think someone famously wrote a prenup on a cocktail napkin once which didn't stand up in court years later.

    Loved the writing and story in this post.

  9. Thank you. Although I'm not as into the Sisters as I was in my roaring twenties, I still like that song. That's a great story about the prenup.

  10. Beautifully written but I don't believe her!

  11. Well, my father has often said women lie, so you might be onto something...

    Thank you for the compliment.

  12. Dear God, this made me ache, then my heart rose the way it can only in the presence of someone you love.

    I loved this :)