Friday, January 08, 2010


It was my turn to hold the remote. This was more difficult than it sounds, the remote being a cool and elusive thing, often hard to grasp. But there is lay in my palm, jabbering.

“I think your toast is burning,” I said to my husband.

We’d spent so much time quarrelling over the remote. He said I was too rough with it. I hated the way he held it, with his sweaty palms.

Worst was the time he sat down on it, which sent the room spinning.

He quit the room, leaving me in control, if only from the look of things, since what the remote offers isn’t really control, but manipulation. Because it’s what the remote conjures that has the controlling hand, proven simply by how much we want to hold it.

Sometimes I put such a tight grip on the remote that the buttons jam. It’s as if the battery’s dead, and I’m stuck in place.

It happened when my husband went to check his toast, leaving me husbandless, just as I was in the long-ago, and might remain, suspended, into far-off future.


Kass said...

Absolutely splendid!

Liz said...

Brillo, what happened here!

P.s. And happyneweverything too! ; )

ron hardy said...

I like this Sarah, especially the ambiguity and mystery of what is being referenced by the remote's manipulations . It reminds me of Ray Badbury's story "The Veldt", where the children's nursery gets stuck in African mode and the parents can't turn the room off.

SarahJane said...

I love the word "Veldt."
Of course it's a relative of field, but of the velvety variety.

Jim Murdoch said...

In our house I take control of the 'zappers' (our euphemism for remotes). My wife is not normally one to give in when it comes to mechanical or electronic gizmos but these are the exception. That said I never attempt anything clever. As long as I can change channels and adjust the volume that about does us.

Good story.

ron hardy said...

Yes. Veldtveeta, a creamier field. Life should feel like that. smile.

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