Monthly Archives: November 2012

Sudden Monday the First

Ryan over at Labora Editions has handily solved my blogging angst with his new link up, Sudden Mondays.

This is the deal:  write a short story, no more than 500 words, link up and share!  I am a little nervous that this may not be in the spirit Ryan is hoping to foster, so here is advance warning – profanity ahead!  Now with no further fanfare, here is my offering:

NATIVITY

I am haunted by the memories of other people.

She could feel the mounting pressure before it took away her breath. She didn’t know where he was, and now she was afraid it would be too late.

From the floor below she heard keys clang as the front door swung open.

“Ed?” she called.

Footsteps trudged heavily up the steps. On the landing appeared Daniel, drunk.

She snarled, “Where the piss have you been?”

Daniel gave a teenager shrug and she would have given him hell had not a contraction seized her right then, bending her sideways as her waterbed mattress sloshed beneath her.

“Are you okay?” Daniel asked.

“No,” she gasped when the worst was over. “I’m having the baby.”

“I can’t find Ed,” she said, and then burst into tears.

Daniel looked down, pained. A bedroom door creaked beside him in the hall and his younger sister peered out.

“This is the plan,” he said to Melissa, “You help Anita get ready. I’ll find Ed.”

Melissa nodded and stepped into the hall.

From her waterbed Anita yelled, “You can’t leave! I need the fucking car.”

“I’ll be back in half an hour,” he said quietly to Melissa.

“Jenny’s already asleep,” Melissa whispered back, “Should I wake her up?”

He thought a moment.  “No, when I get back you can take Anita to the hospital and I’ll stay here with her.”

He ran down the steps. From above Anita was still yelling, “Don’t you dare drive my car drunk! Get back here you little son of a bitch!”

He slammed out the front door.

Ed was exactly where Dan knew he’d be. Dan knocked on the unmarked door and was met by a balding, watery-eyed man who looked him over but did not check his ID before letting him in.

Ed was at the bar, of course. Beside him, a scantily clad woman hung on his arm. She was noticeably pregnant.

“Ed,” Daniel called out.

Ed turned, his bronze badge catching the light from the bar and twinkling as he moved. His mouth hardened.

“Anita is having the baby,”

Ed stood then, shedding the clinging woman with a shrug of his shoulders and brushing past Daniel as he walked out.

In the parking lot Dan watched Ed fumble with his car door. Dan waited, intending to follow him back home. Ed was much more drunk than he was.

“Ed,” he called out, finally, through his car window. Ed looked up. “You are an asshole.”

Ed put his keys into his pocket and stumbled to Dan’s window. He looked in for a moment, swaying, and then punched Dan in the face. Then he went around to the passenger side door and got in.

 

This is my memory: I woke to see my Uncle Dan kneeling beside me, smiling. “You have a baby sister!” he said. I was so happy.

Seven Quick Takes while I let my child rot in her crib, because it’s naptime darnit!

It’s Friday already?  Shoot!  Let’s see how fast I can do 7 Quick Takes.

1. My husband and I went to our first grown-up Halloween party since college.  Can you guess who we were?  It didn’t show up well in the pic, but I worked very, very hard at giving myself a realistic black eye.  I watched youtube videos and everything.

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2. My toddler is trying to give up naps.  This is the first time in a decade that I have only one kid at home with me, and I was really looking forward to getting all sorts of creative and organizational things done during naptime.  And now she wants to take it all away.  Seriously, does God do these things to us on purpose?  “Hey, were you really looking forward to getting your first consistent break in a decade?  SUCKER!”

3. I know God doesn’t really operate that way.  Still….aaaaurgh!

4. I love Jen’s Conversion Diary blog for so many reasons, but this one really hit me last weekend:  It is such a relief to realize that getting overwhelmed by life and coping by ignoring it is, like, a thing and not just an indicator that I am a bad person.  Case in point:  my daughter’s friend spent the night here last weekend, and when her father came to pick her up he knocked on the wrong door.

We have two doors leading into our house:  one is in the front, facing the road and looking pretty front-door-ish.  This door is broken.  The second door is on the side, past the lean-to that should house our garbage, only pulling the cans in and out is a pain, so we just leave them laying around.  Also, we forget recycling-day all the time, so our recycling can is usually overflowing into multiple cardboard boxes set around it.  The boxes are generally soggy and half-deteriorated.  This door works.

I can’t say I blame the Dad for picking the wrong one.

To unfasten the broken door, I have to unlock it, unchain it, and then pull with all my might until it opens enough that I can wriggle my hand inside and unhook the bungee cords we use to keep the screen door from banging in the wind.  It takes a solid minute, but when you are staring through the glass at someone who is gaping in shock and disbelief at you, it feels much longer.

So anyway this Dad comes, and I should mention that he lives in a mansion that is seriously gorgeous, immaculate, and still somehow very cozy and inviting.  Once I’d unsecured the bungee cords and led him through, stealthily trying to knock off a hornet’s nest in the top corner, he kindly apologizing for coming to the wrong door.  “Yeah, we need to get that fixed,” I said, trying to seem a little less irresponsible, “It was broken when we moved in.”  I should have thought it through before saying this because of course his next question would be:

“How long have you lived here?”

“Uh, six years.”

5. Back to Jen:  I wish I had her ability to come across as charming and eclectic in situations like this.  Unfortunately I’m pretty sure I just seem weird and shiftless.

6.  Here are my children this Halloween:

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A lioness, an elf maiden, a woodland fairy, a pirate, an orange monster (do you know how hard that is to pull off when you don’t know how to sew???) and an adorable clown.

7.  None of these quick takes has anything to do with the purported aim of this blog, but my toddler is not napping.  I don’t see how I can be expected to put thought into stuff under the circumstances..