Flash Fiction of the day, God’s Bones, by Yasunari Kawabata

“Time flows in the same way for all human beings; every human being flows through time in a different way.”
― Yasunari Kawabata

Tony Bones detail

From my old online journal The Daily Epiphany – Saturday, November 28, 1998

Thank goodness, you forget

Nick and I were hiking, we were somewhere along a trail between here and there. I wasn’t sure how much farther we had to go. “I’m tired, Dad!” he’d complain. I’d carry Nick on my shoulders for awhile, then he’d want down. He’d walk and say, “My feet hurt! My legs are tired!”

Not too far along after that we popped out where the trail crosses a road, we knew where we were, found it on the map. Nick said, “Now it doesn’t seem so far.” I told him that was always how it was. When you’re in the middle of it, it seems so difficult, so long, so far. But after you’ve done it, you forget how hard it was.

That’s it isn’t it? How many times every day do we get to the point where we don’t know if we can take it any more, if we can take another step. But we do, we stick it out. Later, we forget how bad it was. Thank goodness.

It can be anything. For me it’s usually screaming, misbehaving kids. The constant din, the whining, the griping, the demanding grates and wears ’til I simply don’t know if I can stand another second. I do stand it though. Later when they’re asleep they look so calm, beatific, I forget how tired and angry I was earlier.

Or people asking me to fix stuff. I get to the point that if one more person comes to me with their busted doo-dad or gizmo, confident that I can fix it, I’m afraid I’ll flop on the floor screaming. Their TV’s won’t get the channels they want, their computers won’t do what they want them to, the reports (written by someone else) don’t print in the right order. I have to drop my own work, time that is precious to me, and supplicate myself to their problems. When the solution isn’t as simple as they want, they blame me, as if it was me that put them in the predicament in the first place. The worst is, they insist that I act like I care.

I get through it somehow, then I forget.

When I was younger, I used to dream that someday this would drop away, that the way would suddenly become clear and the daily struggles would become easier. Now I know that this is life, this is what it is. Every day, every hour, something difficult, frustrating, humiliating, presents itself, demands to be attended to. Again and again, all the time, worn out, tired, bored, struggling.

When you get through it, when you reach the road you forget the pain, only remember the little victories.

Thank goodness.

And today’s flash fiction – God’s Bones, by Kawabata Yasunari

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