Writing Practice – 11/17/2018

An acorn falls from a tree.

It bounces on the sidewalk, for this tree is inside a neighborhood. or, rather, the neighborhood was built around the tree. It has been here for two hundred years; the sidewalks for two decades. The acorn bounces along the hard surface and comes to rest against another pile of acorns, all very similar size, shape, color, consistency, for they have all fallen from the same tree in the past two days or so, have all bounced a couple of times on the sidewalk, all have rolled to his stop here in this pile at the base of the little slope, where the sidewalk makes a slight curve around, following the road.

In a few days there will be a thunderstorm, a big one, and at that time much of this pile of acorns will be swept away. They will tumble and roll, haphazardly forced into their swirling gambol by the flowing rainwaters, which will make their own way down the hill, around the curve (they are not impeded in their progress by such little inconveniences as curbs and humps), and then the rainwaters will flow into the storm sewer and take the acorns with them. They will waterfall down over this manmade edge, and will cascade into this manmade pit; and then follow this manmade riverbed for miles and miles and inside in the dark underground silently, and perseverantly making their way from high ground to the lower. They will flow with their acorn hitchhikers through the sewers and finally into the discharge zone, another manmade chute that looks like a huge, hollow phallus jutting out over the river, and once there they will emerge into the daylight, waters mingling with waters, acorns floating on the surface and bobbing, gently, repetitiously, until the river flow them away, away, away away neighbor.

The river flows on, inexorable, a much bigger bath than the rainwater or the acorns have yet experienced. It, too, moves at its own pace, sometimes flowing wide and slow, sometimes hurrying through a narrow channel, sometimes meandering back and forth in a serpentine path which takes many leagues to travel only a few kilometers, as the crow may fly.

Along the way the acorn dries in the sun. It may seem ironic to think of a waterlogged, floating acorn as dry, but that is exactly what happens. Part of it remains submerged, of course, but the tilted over part remains a little less than half of its apart body and exposed to the sun and the wind at all times, and so this particular acorn, nothing particular about it, really, remember, it was essentially just like all the others, it is floating on the river and making its way downstream, and all the time the sun’s baking the upside while the river leaches in, or at least tries, to, from the underside. Soon the hard-backed edge begins to flick away, at the eroding insistence of the wind, or at the teeth and claws of passing sparrows, or at the random insistence of a wandering mayfly or mosquito or midge.

These things take their toll on our beloved acorn. Before its journey along the river has ended, our hero has become much less. Weather-worn and hollow, hollowed out, [illegible] [illegible] [illegible] of some future out or nothing more than the floating shell of its former self, all of the good, rich, hearty valuable fats and proteins inside hollowed out by the destruction of water.

All that is left is for the shell to float, undisturbed now, on the rover for these last few distances, until the river mouth empties in to the wide ocean.

And from there? Well, the story has just begun.

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