Zest Lit Issue 2, October 2013 - Page 184

The Egyptians | Bruce H Hinrichs


‘Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.’

– Oscar Wilde

What’s done is done, she said.

I know, he said. I only meant I wish we would have done things differently, that things would have been different.

We did what we did, she said. She looked into her coffee cup. I’m tired and I don’t really want to get into all of that now.

He moved slightly on the hard wooden chair and repositioned his feet on the floor. I’m sorry you’re tired, I only meant . . .

He plopped a sugar cube into his coffee and picked up a second, which he held delicately, inspecting it carefully.

Did you pay the bills today? She asked.

He held the small white cube between his thumb and index finger, staring at it. He felt its grainy texture. Meticulously, he turned the cube to better feel the firm, stubbly surface that to him seemed in a curious way to be quite unlike anything else. He placed the sugar cube on the tabletop where it stood lonely and upright, majestic, like a tiny, pure white pyramid. He imagined miniature Egyptians with ropes and levers, toiling year after year, piling grain after grain, working under the whip to construct this perfect, noble cube, this monument to humankind.