Discarded [Flash Fiction]

Discarding his jumper, Professor Bradley P. Lawrence did a few push-ups in his office. He remembered the exercise classes he used to go to with friends, back in the 80s, when it was all the rage to “feel the burn”. He missed those days, not because he particularly liked exercising (he didn’t) but because he had been fit and it hadn’t seemed to take so much effort. Now his lifestyle was too sedentary, his doctor said he needed to cut down on the red meat, and his body didn’t seem to belong to him. Those weren’t his white hairs on his chest, those weren’t his fingers that were so puffy and red every time he came in from the cold, and it definitely wasn’t his stomach that was jutting over his pants. Somebody else, some alien being, had performed on operation on him (he was sometimes almost certain of this, in his worst moments at the corner pub) over the years, replacing his body parts with those of his uncle’s.
He had a picture of his uncle that he kept in his desk drawer and took out whenever he was expecting distinguished visitors. He had smashed the glass against the wall once, in a fit of rage, and had never replaced it. He hoped it wasn’t too noticeable. Nobody had yet remarked on it yet, anyway. It was the kind of thing most visitors, if they were indeed distinguished, wouldn’t do.
After five vigorous push-ups, he felt he’d done quite enough exercise. He lay on the floor of his office, resting, and looked around. It was a marvelous view, one that he hadn’t seen since he’d slept with one of his students many years ago, and then he’d been far to absorbed in impressing her while simultaneously trying to enjoy the experience, and hadn’t particularly taken notice of his surroundings. He did so now. The light fell very nicely on the little rug he kept in front of his easy chair. There was a lot of dust beneath his desk that he ought to clean up.
A glint beneath a bookcase caught his attention and he shimmied forward and stretched his arm out to reach under it and see what it was. Pulling it out, he saw that it was a piece of glass. It must have been there since he’d broken his uncle’s picture. He turned the glass fragment over and over between his fingers, until it cut him and he had to get up to find a plaster to put on his hand.

New Year

New Year’s Eve. All around the world, there will be people counting down to their own time zone’s midnight, raising glasses of champagne to their lips and toasting each other and the entrance of the new year. People will kiss, dance, rejoice in something that feels monumental to them. Some will be saddened, feeling the holiday season’s last gasp come to a close and thinking bleakly about the coming week which will be completely back to normal.

New Year’s Eve. A holiday of sorts that should mean something – the beginning of something new and the farewell to something old. It should be a time for resolutions and dreams, hopes and ambitions, fears overcome and disappointments shrugged off.

New Year’s Eve. It’s never meant much to me, honestly. It should mean a lot of things, but it never seems to live up to what I would expect it to be. It’s just a night like any other night, to me. I feel like we should always be ushering in the new and making resolutions and hoping for the future – not just one evening a year.