Thursday, 14 October 2010

The Names - Friday Flash

Sanchez (SS), Rodriguez (CF), Palmeiro (DH), Valdez (2B), Guerrero (1B), Reyes (LF), Castillo (3B), Martinez (C), Cruz (RF). The Dominican daily newspaper faithfully reported the baseball box scores. Day after day the players dreamed of a fat contract in the Major Leagues just across the ocean. The numbers against their name would be the key factor to securing that new life.

Morris (x4) 8.15. Carhart (x2) 9pm. O'Shaugnessey (x5) 8.45. Davidovich (x8) 8.30. Somers (x2) 9pm. Vickers (x4) 10pm. The Strickland party has just cancelled their reservation. That's eight meals the restaurant is out on, unless we get some walk up custom. Vickers, once a year on their anniversary; if you look back in the book exactly one year, there they'll be. Complementary drinks for them. Put the O'Shaugnessey party on the table for eight. Then we won't look so bereft...

Francoise Mauriac, Francis Jeansen, Jean-Paul Sartre, Guy Debord, Andre Breton, Marguerite Duras, Andre Masson, Alain Resnais, Simone Signoret, Maurice Blanchot, we the undersigned wish to state our opposition to the present governmental and national policy. We hope that the value and weight of our names on the spines of our books, on the credits of our movies and on the corners of our canvasses will help sway the minds of countless of our countrymen to apply their own names to our petition. Merci et vive la Republique!

Wayne Crawford Perth, Australia. Carla Baldelli, Bari, Richard and Diane Wood, Bath, UK. Angelos Charisteas, Thessaloniki. Radoslaw Murawski & Dariusz Glowacki, Wrocklaw, Polska. We love your holy cathedral, it is very inspiring. But we don't understand why people scratch their names into the wall when we are happy to sign this book of visitors. They spoil its beauty we think. You must take better care of the holy.

J.Clark 607701, 3 books history. N.Hardiman 644093, 2 books fiction, 1 book literary criticism. V.Stanger 688156, 1 book popular science. G.Oswald 633271, 3 audiobooks. K.Guptil 649757, 2 books renewed cookery /house and garden. L.Simmonds 656920, 5 books, romance (overdue fines paid in full)

Merrick L, Merrill N, Merry D, Merryman K, Merryweather B, Merryweather H, Mervyn P, Line after line, column after column, the ranks slaughtered trying to rush the enemy trenches of the First World War. The men drawn from this modest village into a worldwide conflict. Commemorated on the marble plinth bearing a white obelisk atop. The Church that played host to it now without a congregation as the youth have all long since left the area.

8.15 Miller B to D. 9.15 Coleman Brow Lift. 11.30 McCallister C to E. 13.30 Kavanagh Tummy Tuck 16.00 Reed Liposuction 17.45 Vincent B to DD. The names on the notes change, but not the hankering to be somebody else.

33 comments:

Linda said...

Very funny utility of lists. Like that last para muchly; I once had a patient who's name was Ovarian; her mom liked the sound of it. Oh well. Peace...

ThomG said...

There's such a beauty to this, Marc. I'm blown away for not realizing the symmetry in such lists.

afullnessinbrevity said...

The disparate lists provide a clever symmetry that reveals as much as verbose description. Such a climactic end.
Adam B @revhappiness

John Wiswell said...

Haven't seen list fiction used like this in quite some time. Definitely amusing for a variety of reasons, Mr. Marc.

alisonwells said...

I love this, reminds me of your tour of the tube statiotns, little snippets of the human condition, a sense of the python 'we are all individuals.' 'I'm not!'.People are so precious about themselves, society chooses those to be considered prestigious, but its all just a swarm of humanity doing its thing.

Icy Sedgwick said...

There's a good contrast between the contents of these lists, especially between the war dead and those willing to go under the knife in the name of beauty.

I actually found this rather poignant.

Rebecca Emin said...

Never seen anything like this before and it's both intriguing and a thought-provoker.

I love how you regularly write things that are quite unique and yet still work very well.

Marisa Birns said...

You are always so good at taking a unique slant to your stories. Do like this very much!

I remember that in Catholic school, the nuns always reminded us that "God" was keeping a list of names of all the kids who behaved in a holy way (!)

Jessica Rosen said...

I got a real smile out of this. Such a clever idea with an incisive ending. Well done.

Take care,
Jess

Deanna Schrayer said...

Such a creative, original work Marc. This brought about so many memories for me: of finding a list of school supplies in a mall restroom for "Nova and Star", of all the notes to friends in old books, and many more.

Love the overdue fines on the romance books. :) That reminds me that a couple weeks ago I searched our local library's catalog for the book "The Book Thief" and they were all - all ten or so - listed as missing.

Thanks for a great read!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful! I adore lists :)
Pen

Pamila Payne said...

You must be a list maker yourself. I know I am. And if I look back at old lists, I can see right away where my head was at. This was great, so abstract but also very narrative.

The Four Part Land said...

Very nicely done, the words just flow together to form a kind of poetry.

Emma Newman said...

Refreshing, different and one that I read twice. Really good stuff.

Gracie said...

I agree, very poetic. It makes me think of genealogies, census lists, all kinds of records where the only information remaining about a life is a name.

Lovely flow and an intimate kind of grandeur here. Well done.

shannon said...

This made me think about the importance of names to our sense of individuality. Really thought-provoking!

G.P. Ching said...

Made me think of the importance of what we put our name to. The weight of a name can be significant or show our pitiful insignificance. I agree with Icy -poignant.

Mandy K James said...

I love the way your writing makes me puzzle, re-read and then say ahhh, yes!

I am a name not a number speaks volumes - so I'll shut up.

Really enjoyed it. Thanks.

CathrynLouis said...

Imaginative. A poetry of lists. Liked it a lot.

Eric J. Krause said...

Very cool story. An interesting concept for a flash, and it worked quite well.

Virginia Moffatt said...

Brilliant! Love it!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the link, but unfortunately it seems to be down... Does anybody have a mirror or another source? Please reply to my post if you do!

I would appreciate if someone here at sulcicollective.blogspot.com could repost it.

Thanks,
Harry

Janet Lingel Aldrich said...

Your writing always makes me work, and that's a good thing. I really liked this. There's a certain poignance about the lists, as though you were rustling through the detritus of someone else's thoughts ...

Rachel Blackbirdsong said...

Love the lists. I feel inspired by this to come up with a list of my own. Your last paragraph made me think of a OB/GYN named Bloodgood.

mazzz in Leeds said...

I couldn't tell you why, but I particularly liked the restaurant one!

Karen from Mentor said...

I'm with Mazzz, the restaurant list made me smile. I think it was the picture of their anniversary being nailed to the page as a given year after year,book after book. So sweet.

This was fun.
:0)

David G Shrock said...

It's weird. That's what I like about it.

placebythefire said...

Different, very interesting, very cleverly done.
Kari @ The Best Place By The Fire

Tony Noland said...

All of these accidental communities, cataloged, collected, listed. A whole different way of looking at the world.

Laurita said...

So creative and clever. Little groups of people who, perhaps, don't know they are group at all. The second to last paragraph was my favourite.

ganymeder said...

Interesting way to present the information. Stark approach to different subjects!

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Ha! I loved David's comment. It IS weird - and, like the Irish Spring commercial, I like it too!

dijeratic said...

I love your humor, but what I loved about this was that it moved me. The naming of things is a delicate matter - this is a stroke of genius.