the timekeeper

Page Nineteen, website outline

The timekeeper holds to the corner of his cave, breathing dust. Dust is the floor of this hole of his, dust is the blanket of his rocks, dust whispers and floats in every exhalation of his mouth. His metronome of old bones rests beside him, never resting. Tap, tap, tap, tap without cease….

…This cave is long, and I wonder do I go forward. I thirst already in this haven of dust. The tap, tap, tap makes me need the outside, the tapless air of the space around this cave. I am compelled by him to come closer, and can’t know why. Closer to the tapping and his dusted brown cloak, closer to his hooded head which shows me no face, closer to the barrenness he breathes. Turn. Turn around and make for the space outside the dust. But I do not turn. I stand still…


(Friday 12 February 1999, and Friday 12 February 2010)


…What does this give me to know, this stillstanding? Neither forward to meet the metronome and the faceless cloak, nor backward to breathe in open air…


This bit of prose is something I started in 1997, intending it eventually to become a short story. I worked on it off and on over two years. It’s not here in its entirety, because its entirety is imprisoned in a storage unit, and I had to do this from memory. The reason it’s put here on the website is one that I choose at the moment to keep to myself. There are other prose pieces of a similar nature called Streams on the Braonwandering blog.


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all photos, graphics, poems and text copyright 2010-2012 by anne nakis, unless otherwise stated. all rights reserved.



  1. contoveros said,

    September 13, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    “Stuck in the middle with you” are the words to some song that jumps out while reading this.

    Almost frozen-like, unable to extracate myself from a mystery I want to solve before taking another step. Or die trying to solve.

    Better yet, why not write about this feeling after returning to the Light of day and Fresh air away from that cloaked and dusty world?

  2. braonthree said,

    September 21, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Well, I missed this comment, Michael. Only found it today. I remember that stuck-in-the-middle song: “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.” Well, that’s all I got in Franklin County, Michael: clowns to the left and jokers to the right.

  3. contoveros said,

    September 22, 2010 at 12:42 am

    You got my feet tapping and my fingers snapping.

  4. braonthree said,

    September 22, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Well, Michael, got a piano? Got a metronome? I’d love a piano, but don’t have one.

  5. braonthree said,

    September 22, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    But I wonder, Michael: do you ever take ANYONE’S disasters seriously, or are they always something to be flippant about?

  6. contoveros said,

    September 23, 2010 at 3:03 am

    Not flippant. Try “gallows’ humor.” Sometimes laughter is the only way to disquise the pain and cheer up a person worse off than your Self . . .

  7. braonthree said,

    September 23, 2010 at 2:23 pm

    Hello Michael. Ah, gallows humor. Well, I use it myself in my writing, but about my OWN horrors. I don’t know that I’ve ever taken that tack about OTHER people’s pain. And please don’t feel you need to cheer me up. The things that were done to me and my animals by others were so devastating that there IS no cheering up. But acknowledging the wrong, the extent of the devastation does make me feel to some degree understood.

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