5 Flashes

Ticket Booth

I return to Italy, eat octopus in a little bistro in the Cinque Terre, hike high into the hills the next morning, sit on a rock and look down on the seaside villages, mere blurs of color to my tired, old eyes.
The last time I was there with my wife, the trail between the villages was slick with recent rain. She slipped at the top of a wooden staircase and bounced down the steps on her ample derriere. I rushed to her, sitting at the bottom. She said: Would you like to see that again?
That was before age caught up with us and made pratfalls less humorous, then not humorous at all.

After that, I return to southern France, to the mental hospital where Vincent van Gogh spent the last year of his life. The woman in the booth tears off my ticket. She’s dark-haired, attractive, with a small tight body and sinewy hands and forearms. She must be a mental patient, I think, whose progress has earned her the privilege of working this ticket booth. It is the only reason I can think of for the frank, deeply sexual look she gives me as she hands me my change.

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Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over fourteen-hundred of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for numerous prizes, and. was awarded the 2017 Booranga Writers’ Centre (Australia) Prize for Fiction. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To read more of his work, Google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver, Colorado, USA.
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