“Proper Tools of Triangulation,” by Joachim Frank
- I’m writing this in a state of paralysis, sitting on a plastic chair that threatens to make scraping noises on the tiled floor every time I make a move. I have settled in a posture of minimal pain from the muscle spasms in my back, which I acquired by moving a large flower pot from a place A to a place B on my back porch back home. Three backs causing one big problem.
- I have closed all windows, to protect my family from the blaring music coming from the gardener’s shed. This man has been busy since early morning watering the plants, dragging a green garden hose into every corner of this geometric garden. He is the secret behind the astonishingly lush appearance of the garden in the middle of summer.
- Cicadas are starting their shrill songs outside, then fall silent as if in despair. The fridge starts humming, then stops with a “plop” sound. For the moment, all chickens and dogs are quiet.
- The roosters started crowing early in the morning when it was still pitch-black outside. Each crowing woke up the dogs. Of these, one is shrill and bad-tempered.
- Now, from my new observation point in the kitchen, I also find out that the shuffling sounds I have been hearing all morning comes from the gardener dragging his sandals on the floor.
- A dolphin-shaped beam of light, three feet long, has crept into the kitchen. By the time it reaches the table it has transformed into a fat exclamation mark. I watch as the dot approaches, then tangentially touches, then crosses the crevice between two adjacent tiles.
- Again the shuffling sound outside.
- A truck passes by on the empty road.
- The dolphin-exclamation mark has grown into a large protuberance that inches toward me. It now has the shape of the letter T.
- The radio carries on with the agitated voice of an announcer, perhaps the early morning news. I cannot figure out what time it is since all watches are hidden at places I cannot get to.
- This leaves me with the observation of the now-gigantic letter T, which is about to cross my feet. It does document celestial time, in a way, and with the knowledge of the precise geometry of this [handwriting unreadable] and, given proper tools of triangulation, I would be able to gauge hours, minutes, seconds.
About the Author:
Joachim Frank, a German-born scientist and writer, moved in 1975 to Albany, New York and recently (2008) relocated to New York City. He has published short stories and prose poems in Lost and Found Times, The Agent, Inkblot, Heidelberg Review, Bartleby Snopes, and elsewhere. Some portfolios of his photographs are found at zonezero.com. His website is franxfiction.com.
Image Credit: © Marina / Dollar Photo Club