Elephant in the City by Nora Nadjarian


It happened as I was crossing over and I saw it, him, right in the middle of the street, blocking the traffic.

A woman stood in front, and everyone watched in horror at first, because she might get trampled, the elephant might stampede and she might die. But none of that happened in the next few minutes. The woman touched his thick skin with her hands, and she wept and wept, as if she’d found the one precious thing in life which she’d lost, and more traffic stopped and people stared. No beeping of horns, just complete silence. No panic, just calmness. There’s this one word: serendipity. If she hadn’t gone shopping that day, they wouldn’t have met. If he hadn’t escaped, she would never have found him. If the cars hadn’t stopped, I wouldn’t have looked. If the woman hadn’t wept this story might not have been written. Think of it as a kind of sequence, luck in slow motion, people escaping their lives for a few minutes in order to find what they’re looking for.

The woman would not move, and neither did the elephant. I wrote a love story. It happened.

© Nora Nadjarian

Comments · 11

  1. Incredible precision of capturing the moment,
    Putting it in focus and reducing it to only few
    Sentences which can make you shed a tear.
    I love the “luck in slow motion”.

    John Barry

  2. Bmx
    Vintage Armenian whimsy. The monolithic pachyderm is just – well – there; and all the emotion comes from the woman. How come? Nora leaves us to work it out for ourselves. Nice one.

  3. Nora, as w/ yr other stories, I love how you create a scene with such clear, sensory details and the subtle levels of meaning you offer your reader. Such a beautiful story!

  4. I love this sentence:” The woman touched his thick skin with her hands, and she wept and wept, as if she’d found the one precious thing in life which she’d lost, and more traffic stopped and people stared.” The whole piece seems like you’ve expanded emotion and then compressed it in a time capsule. I love the symmetry of the beginning and end,

  5. Beautiful and intriguing story, unexpected and charming wit and way to see, feel and express things, it generates passionate admiration and deep apprerciation!!!

  6. wonderful.

    loved this line: “Think of it as a kind of sequence, luck in slow motion.” — that’s what reading this story, is, too: luck in slow motion.

  7. marvelous piece, nora. it’s wonderful how you establish ‘slow motion’ in your writing. perfect coalition of mood content and structure. sooo strong. oddly enough i’ve also wrote about elephant love last spring – perhaps it was in the air?

Leave a Reply to Debra Zaslow Cancel reply

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.