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Syndic Literary Journal

Syndic No.45 ~ Three from Booth of Sighs

Three from Booth of Sighs

Written by David Giannini

Narrated by Charles Rammelkamp


Three from Booth of Sighs (Anecdotes of Nunc)

Booth of Sighs

The massacre at the end allows the meaning along the way, said Nunc, enigmatically for sure. He told me what he meant to say was just that. It is still an enigma to me, I said, and added, What massacre? You’ll see. He proceeded to tell me that people often hold their breaths when they are anxious and uptight, afraid to express their emotions and ideas to others or even, sometimes, to themselves, often throughout their entire lives. That’s why I’ve set up booths near graveyards. Booths? Graveyards? I questioned, worrying a bit that Nunc, whom I had known in fleeting moments only for about a year, was insane. Yes, booths of sighs, said Nunc. Please explain, I said. People may purchase sighs, one for 60 cents or two-for-a-dollar.. Buy them? I said. Yes, he said, on the ‘honor system’, since no one is there to sell. In the end most people pay in some way other than money. The sighs first come in pills, like opiates and Tylenol, but chewy like gummy candy worms. Chew one and you can sigh for relief. But first people must enter a booth, one at a time, and hold on to the bars, like entering a ride at carnival. The booth then tilts abruptly, then gently, and comes to rest on the ground, so whoever is inside one is lying down, munching. People inside the booths soon sigh, looking up at the sky, often using their last breath, but just before they do they are able to view their entire lives and truly understand that their last breath was always inevitable, that that is what gives meaning to all else, that last exhalation spreading its soft explosion of all that happened to them, all the pain and misfortune, love and pleasure, fear of expressing, all of each life finally coming down to the enigmatic massacre at the end.

The Accident


As I was walking past two boys locked in play-tackle football, the boy being gripped looked up at me and threw me a perfect ‘spiral’ which I caught confidently, for some reason, and then, since he was free of the ball the other boy let go of him. I threw an under-hand perfect ‘spiral’ back to the boys now free to run away. It had been so many years since I caught or threw a football. I became aware of repeating geometric figures (triangles, hexagons, and so forth) occurring between the boys and me, yet somehow inside me, too. It occurred to me that perhaps the boys were merely figments of something else. I also felt disembodied, almost air. I felt, rather than saw, the geometric figures when the boy-with-ball caught my eye, as did the boy trying to mock-tackle him. I began to sense that each geometric figure was an electric moment inside me, a saved and configured memory stored since I had lived in my own boyhood, and each was now responsible for me reliving each moment as I had at eight, nine, 10 years old; but now in this event occurring just after losing control of my motorcycle, with that truck barreling toward me, yes, about a minute after my decapitation, a kind of spirit of geometry entered with the large, slow, last, electrical, wave through my brain.


Domestic Blip


A man got a thunderclap headache from eating a Carolina Reaper pepper, ‘maybe the hottest in the world.’


Within the man’s head ceilings leaked, walls wept, interior floors spit lightning.


Then he heard the woman he loves say nothing, yet somehow spoke of love.


Imprisoned by headache, what came next was him remembering his six-word story of Whitey Bulger:  Mob rat. Dried tongue. Best offer.


But sense was beginning to exit. Even slime-molds like oatmeal and can learn to hunt, he said, but elephants can’t jump.


Huh? asked the woman?


The man experienced hypnic jerks or sleep-starts, muscle spasms occurring spontaneously or maybe induced by sound, light or other external stimuli, and the sensation of falling, bright lights and loud noises coming from inside his head, where the woman he loved was trying to fix leaks and lighting fixtures, before cooking sausage and peppers.









Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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