and so long beards grow in the spirit of things

another week passed and time stood still in fastslow passing. sponge grew a beard and breadroll a fungus that looked like a beard. that’s how it goes. said sponge, we’ve been good and are being rewarded with growth. bit itchy though, said breadroll. that’s to keep us on our toes, said sponge. we must not become complacent.

some lives are worse than others but the stories are all the same

with a head in his hat and feet in his shoes he left the house, whistling a tune; he stopped whistling when he was hit by a breeze. that’s in short what happened in the first five minutes. then man joined the first queue he saw. people were queuing for all sorts of things, depending who you cared to ask. in the evening everyone remaining in the queue was arrested for loitering, the man decided to leave the house a bit earlier next time. due to an administrative error, however, the man was flown to an undisclosed location where he had to endure interrogation, abuse, torture, one civil war, two violent uprisings, a series of civil unrest and two general election, the second preceeded by a bloodbath during which the winning party promised to do away with all those responsible for the bloodbath, the only promise they kept after the election, which caused a third bloodbath and the survivors sent the man home. on return he joined the queue outside his house, he felt confident but was arrested again. the story gets a bit repetitive here.
is that a true story, said breadroll.
based on one, said sponge.

anything is good for something in the end

the thought of having to come up with something, anything, was too much. i can’t bear that, said sponge. breadroll entered the room and sat down. you are very formal today, said sponge, entering the room, like that. other people just come in. other people, as breadroll replied, also simply had enough, rather than claiming to be unable to bear an event or location. true, said sponge. they waited. perhaps something happens, said sponge, so that we do not have to come up with something. or anything at all, said breadroll, which, as they agreed, was a good way to end the conversation.

come to mention it a melody sounds like the other

it is impossible to describe music, yet this is precisely what would be required now, as breadroll whistled, as sponge whistled, both whistled a song. whistling they plodded along, alas, the plodding is not the subject here. let’s focus on the whistling.
can we stop whistling, said breadroll between C-sharp and E.
wait a minute, said sponge. it was a short tune.

the trail of art

so it is. won’t say more. enough said, spoken more. the artist, specialising in chocolate and red berries, and that’s were the sentence trails off, i assume, says sponge, painting, picture or some other, related word would have followed, if the artist, let’s call him that name, had lead a healthier life, healthy is the keyword here, a lot has been said in that context, and not suffered a heart attack, a stroke or whatever, no need for this sentence to be finished either, we get the drift.
the artist, who had not suffered a heart attack as it turned out, was fine after a good rest, just had generally overdone it a bit, became later known as the author sisal penville, a rather popular author at that. his sentences never trailed off but he started to drink so his speech was slurry. trailed off. he thought of going back into art but that never happened.

word for the day

just one word: embroidery. said sponge. he added that people should be too concern about an explanation as the morning soon would turn to evening and queues would dissolve and waiting lists would be folded up for the night. he went on to state that embroidery as such had little to no part in the foundation of the united states of america.

something gives nothing the end of the day

and we are sure, said sponge, that it came to nothing? Absolutely nothing?
breadroll said nothing.
i take that as a witty comment, said sponge. doesn’t really add to the topic. so nothing it is. that’s something. at least we are certain an outcome, a result, something to show with with a precise certainty. for i am going to stop talking right now and here and that’ll be the end.
you weren’t going to trust me, were you. that’s a silly ending, just like that. it has happened before though. nothing to show for it as we plod along, for certain. we could queue somewhere for a rest.
we could.
a lengthy dialog develops and fades out. they say nothing.

a new day lasts as long as the old one

if you think you’ve been here before, you’re right, said sponge, but it won’t help. the end of the platform is just its beginning. you’ll take it from there; you’ll move on.
the setting of the train station’s shopping mall provides an impressive backdrop for these words. it was an ordinary shopping mall. shops and drunks and security staff. time drawn to thin lines, ringing in the breath of the passer-by. lashings, beatings, joy and sadness. bitterness.
bitterness adds negativity to the setting, said breadroll, though people ought to be positive. about things and stuff.

the plight and sorrow of some

a young father of three was shot at after a party, a gathering of sorts, and a head wound appeared as a result. the entire head fell off shortly after, leaving a nasty stain on the carpet. many witnesses felt reminded of the recent warning by the government not to hang on to threadbare carpets. he had already lost part of his leg, and walked with the aid of prosthetic limb (which went missing ever so often) and a chinese prostitute (who always brought it back). wonders, reckons and reasons are out and raving to see if his head will be replaced by a plastic bag, as some say, or a nice cup of tea in the local pub, a solution favoured by most. a woman, who described him as a lovely chap, said he had to have part of his leg removed following a court order not to leave the room before certain issues were settled. offally does not need stories like that in times like this, said sponge, never did. sponge pouted. the man beside him did not. the contrast still did not make for a great picture. sponge always looks big in photographies.

the horror the terror imagine

we’ve seen the horror, said sponge, the horror. that line we had to quote.
exactly, said breadroll, war on horror, the terror of war. very sombre. i recall offally.
offally was an awful mess, said sponge, still is. can’t put your foot anywhere there, it’s all covered in shit and goo.

the ability of people

evolution has equipped train people very well for whatever they are doing. whatever it is, they excel in it, word has it. they meet to discuss, and resolve without hesitation. they sell tickets in anticipation of oncoming trains. sponge wants to buy a ticket. train people now will be able, in a position so to speak, well trained and with a mandate to perform this very service to the general public. sponge here is lucky, you could spell that out for him, to be able to receive this service.
possible hickups aside, sponge will soon be the proud holder of a valid train ticket. he will also be permitted to apply for one on behalf of breadroll.

one or the other morning

whatever the damage, it will be done, the man said and left the house. he strolled for a bit and came home again. he had a sandwich, plain, frugal. he drank coffee, water, fanta. in that order. he burped. very rude, he said to himself. cheer up, he said but he wouldn’t listen. he never does. pointless, he said. not worth the effort. he left the house. those very the highlights of the day.
another man had his hair cut, got injured, ill, died. but that is a different story.

like a block in the woods

remember the block, said sponge. no, said breadroll. gone a long time now, said sponge, we should leave too, but where too. we ask ourselves all the time, everybody else would have lost patience. not we, said breadroll. he tried to find the edge of the platform with his eyes. no avail, too vast it was. we’re lost, he said. big time, said sponge, that platform is a forest. would you believe, so vast and void. and insects, said breadoll.

all the sunshine now and never

all the sunshine now, the man said, folded his umbrella and threw it away. just like that. how wet he got then in the rain. we laughed. it was a quiet afternoon then, later. nobody said much, to be honest, after that; there’s no denying it.
i remember well, says sponge, although i’d almost forgotten. a rainy day.

the where we were

one day we should go to russia, said sponge, the wide there and the long, plains and landscape. we could do a lot of waiting there. until someone comes and boots us away. we move on a bit, report to somebody. so we get to wait more. the wait is the goal.

the ability to sleep

were you able to get some sleep, said sponge.
we had a presentation on counting sheep the other day but it did no good, said breadroll, sheep are just not convincing enough.
tomorrow will be better, said sponge, something is done on the presentation, too. they had other bits of conversation, which we couldn’t overhear properly. people just don’t articulate well anymore.

literature is the summary of words within a story

they can kiss my dactylion, which i’m more than happy to extend in their general direction. sponge paused. continued to talk about a christmas party some years ago, where he hadn’t been. ranted. raved. on and on. more to be said.
so many fullstops, improperly parting words, assuming full sentences where there are none. that’s it. round bits of chewing gum are the stars in a pavement universe. if only the man with the lucozade knew what worlds he’s stepping on. what difference would that make? he would be walking as before, having no alternative.
so sponge was stuck for a cue, what next, you tell me. a story is only good of it has a story in it, a string of event or thoughts or opinions, spirited or spiteful, for readers to pick and mix. maybe they make a film out of it or a tv show, a late night special. the setting is a platform of station between two other stations, straightforward. someone could push the guy over thee in front of a train, he looks innocent enough to make it into the news as a father of four or a well-liked neighbour of sorts, one other neighbours remember, old-school character. but that won’t happen. there won’t be a train for ages and if one comes it’ll be crawling along so the man would have to be tied up or drugged or otherwise immobilised but then the train people might intervene, they always do, they think they can,  so they need to be dealt with and how do you do that? train people can be dealt with, they can be talked out of and into things but that requires time and time is what the villians don’t have. the train, albeit slow to arrive is often swift to go. what then? load the now immobilised man into a car, a black van perhaps or some boxy builders’ transport (white), handcuff and muffle him, ask a few questions, the man might know something, easy ones, we don’t know him very well, try to catch up with the train at the next station, that is one option; let him have it at the next station. to wait for the next train here, there another, trying not to draw a lot of attention. the job can drag on, hours pass one could put to better use, the fence needs mending, ages since a coat of protective paint had been applied, five years they say it’ll last and we started thinking about a new coat five years ago, we were talking, joking almost that five years on we’d still be talking and joking and here we are, talking and joking, but what can we do? we kind of stuck.
the first option adds rapid action to the story whereas the second introduces a time element, characters can be developed better in the rather static setting of a platform. (that theory, however, is not entirely proven to be correct). some cigarettes, smoked angrily, with haste, impatience, the wait tears nerves, they get to know the victim although he would have to be muffled. they stomp on their cigarettes, flung to the ground unfinished, no time to finish before the next. they might reconsider. maybe they beat him. or they go home altogether, the victim plodding along, it’s all delayed. they should have planned to push him in front of oncoming traffic. push and done, but no, it’s all delayed instead. the victim goes home with them, lives with them. it’s all delayed, how to get rid of him now.
that won’t happen here, said sponge. he wondered what the first sentence (they can kiss…) was meant to mean. that’s the thing, he said, when you pack too much into a story – it makes people wonder why.

across the nations peace, evils and friends

the dead bird won’t look more like a turkey, said sponge, when you stomp it. it’s a dead bird.
almost the size of a turkey breast, said breadroll.
that’s because you stomped it, said sponge.
you said that, said breadroll.
they felt very silly. only one was saved, they say. only one, but one is not bad. saved. that means he’s alright. one. saved. imagine that.

the bit between now and then

yes. a sudden. great now and in a sudden small and crushed. the sudden certainly makes the difference, said sponge. he also said, he didn’t think a phonecall would be necessary but that’s a different matter all together.

that is no more an option than the other option

it was good, said sponge, even i find the thought revolting now when i come to think of it.
although it did happen all a bit of a sudden, said breadroll. no build up to it really. normally there is a hint of some sort. something at least. and we could have found other ways of entertainment.
i don’t think people liked it much, said sponge.
probably not, said breadroll. we do tend to labour on about things.
yea well, but are you going to do. ring in some cabaret?
phone would be outside.

spread your wings and learn to tick the right thing

fart. fart, what’s that but a highlighted pee or poo in waiting, not a pee perhaps. i can’t believe anyone wants to know that, said sponge.
the public, after all we are celebrities. says breadroll without meaning it nor clarifying which bit; which bit, said sponge, you know we all tire from time to time. maybe brekst doesn’t but he’s one of those arty types.
sulky silence. just tick yes, we don’t want to cause problems. after all.

pay the eggman

i’m not paying. sponge was sure. no way; no matter who he is.
he is the man who can provide egg sandwiches at office parties, said breadroll.
we put it on the account, said sponge. we should.

to meet the train people

to ask, to dare. who wouldn’t. and who would? the train man would look at the ticket, would nod and out? he would look at the ticket, and again, and compare with what, and look at the ticket once more, just to make sure, would say no, no return, no can’t get back in, cunt, he wouldn’t use those words. off you go the train man says.
sounds easy enough, said sponge. who wouldn’t try.
hang on, the train man says, wait a second, let me see again.
not necessarily, said breadroll. there could be complications.
freedom is just another word for a day spent outside a train company’s detention cell. and i shall protect your freedom by locking you in the bogs. the man seems satisfied with his decision.

the economy is running hot

people in dun laoghaire do not feel a lot of sympathy for people from offally, said sponge after all they used to sell offal and overcharge greatly. back in history that was. nowadays they don’t sell much at all. they have been bombed recently.
yeah, said breadroll, as a sidekick i obviously agree but anyway, the town is full of refugees.
the prices they charge for sex are appalling, says block of wood.

© the Book of Sponge and Others.