no we can’t. really not? no. not a chance? no. you’ve heard it. nothing we can do. nothing to do with us.
the neighbour had left the house this morning. never arrived where he was expected. never returned to where no-one was waiting. never called. we couldn’t tell what happened.
so we’ll never hear the end of it, said sponge. no, we won’t.
the man had sat down of a metal chair outside the cafe. he waited. nobody came to take his orders, nobody joined his wait. the cafe was closed. the owner had declared himself bankrupt. why where the chairs still outside? why did everything look as if the cafe was still open for business? the man asked none of these questions, instead, after a brief glance at his watch, he got up and left and a while later somebody came to carried table and chairs inside as the owner had hung himself in the kitchen. no need to keep up appearances. the man walked for an hour or so until he came to a bridge.
symbolic that. indeed. will he cross it, said breadroll.
the man stood there and waited, crossing a bridge, he thought, very symbolic, who knows what’s to happen, let’s not get excited. he stood without moving and was forgotten about. there was no bridge anyway, but a river or a canal, or a fence. dust caught in his trouser legs and they blended in with the pavement. leaves gathered around him and he saw autumn turning to winter. people ceased running into him and paths showed around a heap of leaves.
that stuff happens only in poems, novels and films. true enough, said sponge. although i read a story once where a man had turned into a slug or a spider or something. some kind of creature. wasn’t a novel.
the man turned left. he walked until he came to a small square, lined with caf├ęs and shops, where waiters were serving people and a grocer spoke to a an old lady. i shall be off, the lady said, and left. she went to the butcher’s for pork chops and the butcher asked whether she could be interested in some lamb. no right now, she said, but later, perhaps. we’ll see how it goes. some customers showed more interest. the old lady left. she didn’t come back. she didn’t make pork chop. she fell on the way home. nothing that could be done. it was a beautiful funeral. most people said so. the priest said some improvements could have been made, some seemingly necessary changes in burial practices, long overdue but not yet implemented. not fully, a working group is currently reviewing the progress. said the priest, and he should know. after all he’s chairing the panel tasked with the supervision of the working group
so, no trace of the neighbour anymore. no. that’s a pity. it’s a shame.
we really can’t do anything. keep trying so.
i think it was a story, said sponge.