20071231

New Year's Eve

by Ian Rochford

Curiously, I don’t hate New Year’s Eve, despite everything, even though every year it’s the same. My son Christopher will ring shortly after midnight because he’s been drinking, he’s alone and he just wants to talk about how his life has taken a downturn and how he has no one to share his misery and his desperation. He’ll tell me how he can’t face University anymore, how he’s failing because some girl he loved has dumped him... all those things that seem to happen simultaneously when you’re at your lowest. At first my wife used to talk to him because she wanted so much to comfort him, to let him know he was loved and not alone, but after a couple of years she would let me take the call; then she would go to bed early to avoid it; then she just left, forever. The phone rings, just after midnight, when all the horns and shouts are fading away and I answer it as usual and I listen as Christopher talks. I don’t talk back, just listen as he talks, and I listen as his words fade into broken sobs, listening to him for hours, crying softly on the phone as I gaze at the urn containing his ashes and wonder if it’s time to join him on the other end of the line.

6S

Ian Rochford, author of Minibar Blues, is an unemployed Australian screenwriter (ostensibly of comedy) who recently rediscovered the pleasures of writing short stories. He is now plundering his fading memory for all the good ideas that came and went unrecorded, which probably accounts for the maddening inconsistency of his output.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

YES! Awesome! Write more!

margery said...

I read this, and then I read the next Six Sentences entry, and yet I was still "reading" this one / processing it, so then I came back and read it again. Very clean, very nice, thank you, please do give us more.

Leatherdykeuk said...

Stunning piece. Thank you.

mgirl said...

Your last sentence is haunting, and I go back to read it over and over. Amazing six!

Joe said...

A wrenching piece. Very nicely executed. Please write more. Writing is a good cathartic exercise for you the writer and us the reader. We’ve all experienced loss. Hang in there, Ian.

Linda said...

Super story, Ian. Three lives lost in six sentences... peace, Linda

Ian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ian said...

Wow, thanks! This is a personal favourite of mine, I wish they all hit the mark like this. (It's fiction too, roughly based on someone I knew)

Happy New Year to all of you!

--Ian (with corrections!)

Anonymous said...

Oh the relief to hear this is fiction - beautifully executed fiction. This piece really grabbed me.
Thank you.
Caccy46

CRUSTYBEEF said...

You moved me, thank you very much!
Always,
Crusty~

Jp said...

Excellent 6S.

Quin said...

i had to read this... think about it, come back and read it again.


beautifully done.

oceana setaysha said...

A fantastic piece of writing...

I hope to hear more soon...

Ian said...

Embarrassment - first at leaving it so long to say 'thank you', and second 'cause it looks like I'm bumping. Oh well... it's nearly New Year again, have a great one!