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THE GREYLING ©

THE GREYLING ©

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Published by Dick Croy
SHORT STORY By Dick Croy -

Grey dissolution of the day. He stared transfixed, his gaze a greying itself. His fingertips had melted holes in the cool glass pane: holes with edges as smooth as the rim of a glass, a goblet. If he closed his hand suddenly, he¶d pull away a piece of the window. The rest might shatter like shards of ice out over the street, six floors below. No depth in this grey. West was anything past the Atlantic Richfield towers. All day now their steel skeletons clamored to be
SHORT STORY By Dick Croy -

Grey dissolution of the day. He stared transfixed, his gaze a greying itself. His fingertips had melted holes in the cool glass pane: holes with edges as smooth as the rim of a glass, a goblet. If he closed his hand suddenly, he¶d pull away a piece of the window. The rest might shatter like shards of ice out over the street, six floors below. No depth in this grey. West was anything past the Atlantic Richfield towers. All day now their steel skeletons clamored to be

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Published by: Dick Croy on Dec 28, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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05/13/2014

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 ©THE GREYLINGBy Dick CroyGrey dissolution of the day. He stared transfixed, his gaze a greying itself. His fingertips hadmelted holes in the cool glass pane: holes with edges as smooth as the rim of a glass, agoblet. If he closed
his hand suddenly, he’
d pull away a piece of the window. The rest mightshatter like shards of ice out over the street, six floors below.No depth in this grey. West was anything past the Atlantic Richfield towers. All daynow their steel skeletons clamored to be born. The shrill lifting cries had the chill of something dark, predatory, prehistoric about them, beyond memory of the brain but not of the spine or skin.
Behind him, in all the halls of the building the day’s clockwork accelerated toward its
end. In the suite of rooms at his back rustled the homing urge. Fluorescented forms andmemos littering the floor drifted into piles of mutant colors against the baseboards. Daylightemptied through west windows as the afternoon receded; the rooms became electric lakes of rippling glue-green light, inhospitable.
 
Commutation: living cells of the edifice for reverberations in guarded corridors; theseechoes all that kept the marbled and occluded veins from collapsing at night. The grey peopleerupting into the evening, with only the bright colors of their clothing to distinguish them
from it. He watched them surge up the hill to their parked cars…and then he was among
them, bobbing in the torrent of motion, eddying in vehicular backwaters, trafficking in thelarger stream, finally caught in its current as it became steadily swifter.The river flowed west to the sea. On clear days he could see the shimmer from atransition ramp which arched over the confluence of two freeways like a woman sexuallyecstatic. Today, in this time, the ramp swooped up into grey, rolled slightly on its side in aprolonged curve, then righted itself and descended again into grey.His steering wheel controlled a rudder which he used to direct the inexorable currentagainst itself, deflecting his course deftly across stream to the transition channel. Swept to thetop of the arc, he hung upside down momentarily in its centrifugal/centripetal equation. Fromthis vantage point, before coming back to earth, he could see that the city lay spavined andcrushed beneath him.The thickest fog since his move to the beach mired the rest of the drive home. Itseemed the first stage in a gradual concretion of space. There were objects and structures,beings, in space and there was all that was
not 
these things, but there was no space. The hoodof his car had become the prow of a ship by which he was able to cleave his way homeward.At the beach itself the fog was virtually impenetrable. He was incredulous: within anhour of arriving he could see no more than five or six feet in front of him. The idea of hisusual run along the beach seemed laughable, yet as he imagined the experience of jogging atthe edge of waves he could hear and smell, feel against his legs but not see, the eerie novelty
 
began to lure him. He paced through the small apartment only ostensibly occupied withdistracted gestures toward housecleaning. Each time he strode past the mirror in the darkenedliving room he glanced surreptitiously at the enigmatic figure that parodied his displacedenergy. Finally, as he passed it headed for the bedroom, his reflection, face suffused withexcitement, was shedding its shirt.It took him, he guessed, ten minutes or more to probe stealthily between apartmentbuildings, walk one block down the alley and across the narrow street fronting the beach,then through the small park between street and sand. Usually the walk took perhaps a minuteand a half.Sounds, even smells were muffled by the oppressively damp and heavy air so that thehair on his arms and legs began just perceptibly to undulate, like a kelp bed in tranquil seas.And the heightened sense of touch made his fingertips and the soles of his bare feel seemalmost to crackle with incoming stimuli. Recognizing that his somewhat labored breathingwas the effect more of apprehension than of the walk or humidity, he was surprised andamused.When he had crossed the strip of beach, the packed wet sand visited by the tide andfinally, with open mouth, felt the invisible, inquisitive waves themselves about his ankles, hebecame aware for the first time of his isolation from the land. As he began to jog just beyondthe reach of all but the most determined of the incoming waves, following the concave curve
of the beach, he realized he no longer knew the direction back to his apartment. He’d have toretrace his steps to his starting point at the water’s
edge, then return in a path roughly
 perpendicular to the water from there. But how would he know when he’d found this spot?
He let the idea of being marooned from familiar surroundings develop as freely as the fog

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