Sunday, September 6, 2009

File Cabinet

Oak Burrs by Forrest

As though led into a true archive, find the paper nest receiving an almost filial attention: common field mouse filing itself away inside the cabinet, the detritus cozy where pointed out. And even it had a name. Fine. That’s fine, the caretaker beams, and, really, the records almost keep themselves. It’s a stone age technology. But it all gets uncovered processed and ascertained. Everyone stays home. This knowledge after six o’clock would seem akin to making peace with leashed demons. Fine checks out. So reach in. Try piercing hardened mold. Lift a card with worst prospect. It’s likely any everyone—just don’t expect the everyone sought. Or do and be faint about it. Be that reasonable.


At Least Read the Card, to Remember by Bill

Where NAME, the NAME remains un-spelt. Pen-tip touch, line. Unfaded. Incomplete. No mark there. Music somewhere, a series of strings and a few tooting horns, then a long thin line out towards the side, drifting slowly off center. Corners folded. “Don’t fold the corners please Philip." Philip, an idiot put to work entering information in the front office. Mild mannered. Penchant for bending the corners of papers. Will work for an hour or so in unbending dedication transcribing information without a crease. NOK. Unknown. COUNTY EXECUTOR: Line Line Cross. A. Line Bloop Bloop. B.ABERNATHY, H. PLOT 172 DOB 4/1/1892. “Janice, when he is done, have him sort the county admissions.”

Now, the office, waiting. Cedar limbs in the window, moldering bats on the floor.DOD 9/8/1---. MARKER: 172. DOD nothing so much, unreadable, stained. Capillary desecration.


Pareidolia by Beth

In her long days alone in the rented house, she searches for company. Faces of deer in the knotty pine walls, fat ducks in the kitchen canisters, a bent-backed man in the curve of the stairs.

More tangible signs of people come and gone – a filing cabinet stuffed with index cards, worn-out chairs that bear the imprints of bodies, a small handprint low in a kitchen corner.

She sleeps as late as she can each morning, then lies in bed watching the voile curtain move in the breeze. When it rains she breathes in the smell of wet pines and spruces. She waits until the curtain is darkened with drops, then shuts the window and tries to sleep again.

Afternoons she sits in sunlight on the kitchen floor, next to the handprint. She makes herself small again, trying to see the room with a child’s complete attention. The way the light moves across the linoleum. The way an ant drags a dead comrade. The bloom of cream in her coffee. If she can keep track of things, if the details matter…maybe.


The Files on Me by Michael

It probably would've been good to include something true in there. All those identities, mixed up together, they can't have got far looking for me there. But now I wonder why I wanted so much to be lost in that shuffle of paper. It might have been good to leave some hints. A bread crumb paper trail. Now it would seem my only legacy is to be a labyrinth. I got no strings to hold me down, and so off I float, a homeless helium balloon. Looking down, looking back, there's no one looking back. Not at me, but I catch their profiles, catching the shadows I set to play against the translucent rap sheet that makes up what I did in my time here. Or there, I guess, now.
Invisibility was part of it, but it became all of it. Then there was nothing. I didn't exist. That was it.


Nishant and the Beach by Alan

Remnants of the blast had Nishant laughing for days. First it was the fat end of a ubiquitous Garcia tie that just appeared one day not too long ago after Greg and Arto rehashed their younger days in southern Jersey, the edges frayed and darkened. Then, continuing down memory lane, he came across several boxes of large binding clips emptied like machine gun cartridges. He could only think of Susanna. Oh beautiful Susanna…how he never made her smile. Not once.

In fact, he stayed on the beach in fairly good humor for over three weeks, during which he came across three swivel chairs, incandescent lighting, the hot water knob of a water cooler, and the company file cabinet. Though a bit worse for wear anyway – and significantly worsened because of the IED – old reliable held up pretty well and almost smiled back at Nishant as he held up his iPhone to block the sun.

The mobile post: Almost a month after the attack. Why do I feel so free? Where r you?


Card Weevils and the Clerk by Lyle

The clerk, if you could call him that, filed the photo of the burr oak filing cabinet in the burr oak filing cabinet and left it open.

A worn shoelace against the back of his head held the tortoise shell glasses on the tip of his nose.

Beside the burr oak filing cabinet was another burr oak filing cabinet, the bottom drawer open a couple of inches and the third drawer open nearly a foot. The card weevils had been in it and cards shredded out littering the floor.

The “clerk” put his tortoise shell glasses into their shagreen case, but removed the shoelace before he did. He formed the end into a noose and put himself in between the two burr oak filing cabinets, the noose loosely laying on top of the cards in the open third drawer.

Burr oak filing cabinets spanned the narrow hall, which disappeared into slits at either ends (one end a black slash, the other a white one). The card weevils had chosen CT-07739 to infest. The clerk did not understand why.

And so the clerk spent his evening waiting for the weevils.