Black Box

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Photo by Grant McCurdy

At parties, he’d tell strangers he was a problem solving janitor, piquing interest to proceed with tales of clearing debris from crash sites, labeling and cataloging pieces of aircraft jig saw to reveal the reason for lives abruptly left behind.

There was the official record, he’d tell them; black boxes that were sole survivors, names, dates of birth, nationalities, scattered corpses confirmed by dental records. For the still interested, and by that point having finished the wine he’d been nursing on first introductions, he’d confide that what he most loved about his job was the unofficial records, stories pieced together after surreptitiously removing film from cameras in varying degrees of integrity, watching traces of lives lost in flight reform in subterranean chemical baths; his new acquaintances usually excused themselves to mingle or get another drink before he had a chance to pull out his little album of best ofs.

 

Inspired by Sonya’s Three Line Tales Week Forty-Five

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45 thoughts on “Black Box

  1. That is a really great character study. Over stepping the boundaries of his job – in a highly inapropriate and possibly illegal manner – being socially unaware and thick skinned to the point of oddness. There is definitely more mileage in this character. I really enjoyed this

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    1. Thanks so much Lynn. I really got the feeling that this is a character I’d like to explore a little more, particularly in light of discussions on authenticity I have been having on another recent post…perhaps those thoughts were playing in the back of my mind when I wrote this 3LT.

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  2. Excellent Mek! Very well-written, imaginative, creative, witty, humorous (yes, in a morbid sort of way) and shows off your ability to juxtapose (hope I’m using the word correctly here – early morning an all that. Brain cells not fully awake yet. Yea, I know that’s no excuse!!!!), the realities of a tragic situation and the ‘boring’ party guest we all have had the experience of having to mingle with, before being ‘rescued’.

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    1. Thank you so much Marie, I really appreciate your words of encouragement. I’m glad you saw the humour in it too as I thought that may be lost with the darkness of the subject matter and the character’s behaviour.

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      1. No worries mate (How’s my Australian??). haha Do you know, I think there is humour in almost every situation and sometimes in the darkest moments. Why this is, I don’t know, but it strikes me that this may be the body/mind’s way of managing trauma and stuff like that. Humour tends to dilute the impact and they say laughter is good for the soul. That’s my philosophising for today!!!
        Is it Sat’day marnin over dere in ‘Stralia? You must be fed up of me asking silly time questions, but I just like to know what time of day we’ve connected. Call me strange! LOL

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      2. You have to say ‘strayan’ to really get the accent haha. Surely you watch Neighbours? haha.

        I agree- humour is essential in managing trauma or just the pain in life.

        It is Friday night still 10:11 pm right NOW

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      3. I’m hopeless at maths, Mek. I saw that you gave the same explanation about the time difference to Kathy a while back, and we’re like say whaaaattt??
        We’re hopeless. I’m getting the picture a bit clearer now: It is Saturday morning here, and it is Saturday night there. So that’s how I’m going to figure it out from now.

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      4. Mek, I know YOU are the clever one, but do give me a little credit, please.:)))))
        What I mean is that when it’s morning here it is night time there. The 10+ means very little to me. I have only 10 fingers….

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      5. Cheeky! :))) My fingers and toes are not talking at the moment. So they won’t co-operate. They’re jealous of each other: fingers think I count on toes most. Toes think I count on fingers. They want me to choose between them. I can’t figure it out …:))
        I think I’ll pretend I didn’t just write that …

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      6. Yes, slept as well as one with a toddler can. It was 7 somethimh when you messaged but now the day is almost done and I’m getting ready for a work week ahead and about to get to sleep. Have a lovely sunday x

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    1. Well I was first in the queue when they were handing out ‘cleverness’, so that accounts for it. Guess you must have been first in the queue when they were handing out ‘brains’ huh? :)))
      Funny about what you ‘intend’ when you’re writing. It’s like you picking up on ‘crowded room’ and the link with agoraphobia – I just did not see that at all ’til you pointed it out.

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      1. What is the difference between ‘cleverness’ and ‘brains’?

        Exactly- although I was kinda not sure if you had intended the crowded room reference as a joke or not, which is why I trod carefully 🙂

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      2. ‘Cleverness and brains’? Dear Mek, can you not let some things go?? Is it really necessary to ‘observe’ everything and comment on it? My dear it was a throw away comment – nothing to worry your little head about! haahahahahhhhaaaaaaaaaaaa
        I didn’t mean the crowded room ref at all, but I’m so glad you not only picked up on it, but were clever enough to point it out to me. Not always necessary to tread carefully with me – my sensitivity can take it. LOL x

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      3. Mek, I don’t often have people challenging me in this way. My word is nearly always the ‘final’ word on the matter! 🙂
        No wonder you are such an accomplished individual! You don’t take any prisoners do you?? hahahahah
        Btw, I wonder if you see the ‘connection’ between ‘prisoners’ and ‘Straylia’. I thought that was rather clever of me! :))))
        Have a good day! Or should that be ‘gudday:?:)

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      4. Are you a leo by any chance? Cause I am. And I was also born in the year of the dragon AND I am a middle child- so it all compounds to challenging everything around me hahaha. Not sure about ‘accomplished’ but I try. That connection with convicts is a little bit of a stretch, but I’ll be kind and let you have it. It is G’day. I have never actually used the word except in imitating people who do haha. I don’t do ‘cheers’ either on the end of emails which it seems so many people do. How do you sign off on emails? I see you as a ‘Sincerely yours’ kind of person 🙂

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      5. No I’m a Libra (the scales/balance). I am a snake. My father is a Leo and boy did he think he was king of all he surveyed. He was also a psychopath, so that didn’t do his ‘humility’ function much good. LOL
        I’m not saying you’re any of those things, Mek. I do tend to get on with Leos (other than the one I just mentioned!) I can’t really compare other Leos with my dad – it wouldn’t be fair.
        I will challenge things too, so perhaps both our signs are that way inclined. I never had you down as into astrological signs. Just goes to show doesn’t it, that you should not presume?
        Thanks for being kind to me about
        the convicts thing which was said really light-heartedly and in fun. I am a ‘Sincerely yours’ type of gal, but just to rattle your cage, this time I’m going to say: cheers cobba! LOL

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      6. I don’t know about each and every sign but know of the leo qualities. Yes- never assume. Sorry about your psychopath dad, but rightly so, not all psychopaths are born leos. I know a cancerian psychopath, and Trump is a gemini. Hope you are having a lovely marnin 🙂

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      7. My marnin is just fine, Mek. What do your Saturday’s look like? Shopping, cleaning, washing clothes? Or are you super organised and that’s done already leaving you time to get your teeth into ‘White Teeth’?:)))
        My good friend is a Gemini … eeeek! I hope he doesn’t start exhibiting psychopathic tendencies anytime soon like Don.:)

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      8. Typically involves a trip to the playground, shopping and cooking but today was at home all day- only left the house to hang clothes on the line! I will shortly turn off the computer and read white teeth. I’m sure the Donald is an anomaly in many ways.

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      9. OK. At least you have that wonderful sunshine in which to do all those things. It’s miserable here in London. I’m reading about 5 books at the moment (all at the same time), one of which is about slavery. The others are novels, autobiography, and one about meditation. I keep meaning to get ‘White Teeth’ though.
        Good night Mek. Lovely chatting and speak again soon. 🙂

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