Creative Writing Wednesday: “Talk to Me, Goose”: Part 3 of 4

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Creative Writing Wednesday
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More “Talk to Me, Goose” today.

Can’t stay to talk long. So busy. So sleepy.

~ Ian


Their relationship, if you could call it that, progressed over time.

The woman always brought bread for the other birds, but she saved something for him. Something special. Maybe it was something like a freshly-baked focaccia, or a cranberry muffin, or something else delicious. Whatever she brought, it was always perfect.

Everything about her was perfect.

She would talk, and he would listen. If humans were good at anything, it was talking. And since the goose never had anyone to talk to in his language, he just listened. He slowly became good at listening over time, and she shared more and more with him.

At first she talked mostly about her boyfriend, the infamous Connor. They’d met at a freshman mixer, back two years ago. At first she wasn’t interested when he hit on her. But as time went by, she started to see something in him. They hooked up one winter, after a basketball game. Then they started dating, and things went on from there.

Connor and the woman apparently had incredible sex. The gander’s one-sided sex discussion with the woman of his dreams was, to be honest, a little uncomfortable. But he gained a certain knowledge of human sex from her. He’d had good sex in the past, but to be honest, it was goose sex. There was no emotion involved, just lust and honking. When humans had sex, more than just bodily fluids passed between them. There was something else, too. In fact, the woman had a word for sex that he liked: “making love”. It was an idiom that he liked, as if humans could create love out of nothing.

However, things were, as the woman put it, “on the rocks” between Connor and the woman. Ever since the summer of sophomore year, Connor had been drinking pretty heavily. It started out innocently enough, a little beer or some cocktails at a frat party. But then Connor began to drink more and more. He began pregaming, and then drinking earlier in the week. Eventually Connor would go to bars and get plastered even on weekdays. He’d drink before class. And when he drank, he’d get angry.

“Sometimes he scares me,” said the woman. “And sometimes, when I see him drunk and angry, I say, ‘That’s it. I’m done with him. No more.’” And she smiled, faintly. “And then suddenly he does something that reminds me of how I fell in love with him. Something that lets me see the real him.”

The woman sniffed, and the gander realized that she was crying. He was startled– the only humans he’d seen crying were little children, and they cried in an unashamed full-on klaxon wail. The woman was just making little sniffling noises, and her eyes were leaking. She pulled a couple of tissues out of her messenger bag and blew her nose.

The gander decided to comfort her. But how? He didn’t know what to do in this kind of situation. Eventually, he slumped somewhat confusedly against her, pressing his weight into her side.

Somehow, that seemed to work. The woman smiled, and her eyes were shining like moonlight on a wet street. “Thank you,” she said. “Somehow you always seem to know the right thing to do.”

The woman put an arm around him. “The funny thing is, I don’t have any friends outside of Connor.” She snuggled in closer to him, warm against his feathers. “I know Connor’s friends, and his teammates, and his friends’ and teammates’ girlfriends, and that’s it. I don’t ever talk to my roommate from freshman year. I only talk to my roommate from last year once or twice a month. So I guess that makes you my only real friend.”

The gander decided to try something he’d never done before.

“I’m in love with you,” he said. It took all his courage to say it, but he managed somehow.

Of course she didn’t understand him.

“I wish I could talk to you for real,” the woman said. “Somehow you always know what so say.”

# # #

Spring changed into summer. The world grew warmer and brighter.

It rained a lot in this particular city. Even if it wasn’t raining, the sky always seemed to be on the verge of raining, with gray, looming clouds that were ready to spit at any moment. When a truly sunny day broke out, with white fluffy clouds and a brilliant blue sky, the park would be crowded with people.

On those days, the gander and the woman would move from their usual park bench. The woman would lie in the sun on a beach towel, wearing sunglasses and a bikini as she talked with the gander. And the gander would listen to every word.

Occasionally the gander would have dreams where he was able to speak the human language, that he could tell the woman how much she meant to him. Sometimes he dreamed that he was a human male, and that they could be together. When the gander dreamed, he felt happiness for a while.

When he awoke, the dreams would melt like fog, and he was an ordinary goose again, with a ridiculous walk and an oversized beak.

The woman told the goose that she was staying in the city for the summer to take more classes. It was the first time that she spent the summer away from Yakima. “I feel pretty nervous,” she said. “But I’m looking forward to staying over the summer. Besides, Connor’s living in the city now. We’re sharing an apartment.”

The woman’s relationship with Connor wasn’t going well, despite their cohabitation. He was getting sullen and angry. One day she told the gander that he’d come home at two AM and punched the wall in their apartment over and over again. He smashed a gaping hole in the sheetrock and broke two fingers.

Another time, the woman said that Connor was drinking even in the middle of the day, that he would go through an 18-pack of Coors in two days, and that he was saying things to her. Abusive things. Hurtful things.

One day in the middle of summer, while the woman was talking with the gander, she suddenly burst into hot tears. Later on the gander realized that she had been talking about one of her favorite coffeshops– a place where the woman and Connor went on one of their first dates.

The gander knew that the woman was dependent on Connor. And soon the gander realized he was dependent in a similar way on the woman. He found that he needed to be around her. Every moment of every day, when she wasn’t there, was simply a gap. There just wasn’t anything there. Every day she didn’t come to the park was a day that didn’t happen. She defined his life.

The summer slowly faded away into autumn, and the rains came again to the city.

  1. sleepyjoe256 says:

    This is incredibly absorbing. I’ve rarely read anything that sucks me in like this; in fact, I think the last thing that did was the Kingkiller Chronicle.

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