Posts Tagged ‘Short Story’

Feels Like Vacation

February 18, 2014

How’s the time off been going?

An acquaintance asked me this evening as I wheeled my bike across the intersection at 7th and Irving.

“I slept until noon,” I said, the awe apparent in the tone of my voice.  “I wore my slippers until I came up here on my bike, about um, oh, fifteen minutes ago.”

I had gotten dressed, yes, but I did not leave the house until almost 6p.m. this evening.

These things happen when I don’t go to bed until 4a.m.

Yup.

That’s about how long it took for me to write last night’s blog, unwind, and get myself to bed.

Getting up at noon, though an extreme time difference from my usual hours, was not all that crazy–I got 8 hours–but not really packing in anything to said day was the difference.

I sent my housemate a message about not having gotten in until late, let’s reschedule our utility talk for another time (which we pretty much addressed already anyhow) and took a really long hot shower to get myself going.

But, not going too far.

When I think of all the energy I expended last night, riding to and from the club, three plus hours of solid dancing, it makes sense for me to have laid low.

I was recuperating and I didn’t have anywhere to be until 6:30 p.m. so I let myself, well, chill the fuck out.

My only regret was that I had not picked up a book yesterday when I had a moment in between this place and that place and had gone in to Aardvark Books to ramble through the aisles.

I could have used a book to curl up with.

Yeah, there is a book here that I could have been reading, but I was not in that kind of place for it.

I do hope to be in that space on Wednesday.

I have plans to hang out with a friend tomorrow and I think we will probably cruise around all day, maybe check out his scooter, drink a good bit of coffee and play some bones.

Dominoes that is.

Wednesday, then, seems the day.

The day I told myself, hey, lady, why don’t you pick up the manuscript your friend so kindly printed off and edited for you laborious page by laborious page, and give it a read.

I am prompted to do this because it stares at me when I walk by it, taunting me to pick it up, come on, what are you afraid of.

I am afraid it is shit and not worth the effort is what I am.

Yet, pick it up I will.

I am also inspired by a good friend of mine who has been sending me his short stories and asking me for editing suggestions.

I have read drafts of each of the stories, made comments, asked for him to not use adverbs, pesky little fuckers those, and to clarify what I as a reader am feeling or hearing or not understanding.

His stories have gotten better and better and he’s sending them out.

I want to be doing that as well.

I could not get myself to address any of that today and I was alright with that.

Fun needed to be had yesterday.

Fun was had.

Recuperation from said fun had to be done as well.

It was also a holiday for the housemate’s daughter  and there was general melee in the house as a play date with twin five-year olds and a little two and a half-year old galloped about the upstairs.

No way was I going to have the quiet to do what I wanted to do.

One of them jumped on something so hard or off something or slammed something, who knows what it was, but as I was sitting on the chaise I heard the bang then watched as the reverberation from it shook a glass jar out of my dish drainer and saw it crash to the floor.

Yeah.

Not really the day to sit and read my memoir.

Tomorrow neither as it really is a rare thing for me to have the same day off as my friend who typically works weekends, so Wednesday, when school is back in and I am back to or heading into my typical work schedule (I am on for Thursday, possibly Friday as well, though I am waiting to hear back about that), then I shall sit and read.

I suspect I won’t like what I am reading.

However, I get to honor my process and not judge it and just do it.

Every little action a step forward with it.

I just made a notation in my calendar and scheduled myself the afternoon to read it.

Five hours should be enough to kick through it.

I just want to read it and let myself soak in it.

I can go back over it with a fine tooth comb later.

Then I have the Motorcycle Safety Course in the evening.

I will have a day of study on Wednesday.

I know that I can beat myself up about not moving forward with the writing or the stories or what piece am I working on.  But I realize, with certainty, that I am doing a big part of what is going to make my book a better book by this daily practice of writing.

I am the type of person who works during their “vacation”.

Keeps me sane and happy.

Sure, I was a bit of a sloth today, but I still wrote my morning pages, a few extra then the typical three since I had the day to do so, I did a good meditation, I ate some homemade soup, did some laundry, did some service, and sat down to do this blog.

It’s all about the balance for me.

I don’t need to swim frantically to keep a float, but I do need to keep a gentle pace going, even when I have some down time.

Most especially then, it would seem.

But vacation it did feel like and slippers were had.

What’s nice for me to realize is that I don’t have to justify the down time to anyone, just myself, and ever more and more, not even to me.

That is the best vacation of all.

Short Story

November 15, 2012

I will most likely post another blog, a “real” blog later this evening when I get back from my out and about.

However, I felt compelled to post this piece.  I wrote it earlier today.  My room mate last night had suggested to me when I feel overwhelmed by Paris and I feel overwhelmed with my book and I am “thinking” that I write something else entirely.

Not my blog.

Not my morning pages.

Not working on my book.

Maybe, just something fun, just a short little story.

I did just that.

The Button Boy

I noticed him as I sat down on the train seat.  His button was so much bigger than mine.  I riffled my fingers discreetly through my hair, touching the edge of my button softly, but not activating the medication.

I did not need it.

I did not feel compelled to send the rush of drugs bubbling through my blood stream like so many tiny champagne bubbles.

That is how I thought of my button, the activator of my tipsy champagne dreams.  Who was that old American who relentlessly hunted the rich and famous, and I am, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, wishing you champagne and caviar dreams, or some such trash.  I knew what he meant though.

I have champagne dreams.

I activate my button at night.  I like to drift to sleep on the bubbles.

This little boy, Pan Asiatic, with short cropped hair did not look like he had champagne dreams.  His button was old, and wired directly from the back of his skull into his ear.  One could see the line of demarcation from the round grey plastic button, the slight elevation, and the thin wire snaking through his hair to the canal of his ear.

He fidgeted often and reached for the button, scratching around it with pudgy fingers.

I wondered if he was teased for it.

I could see him in a schoolyard ring of bullies being pushed back and forth, “Button Boy!  You’re a Button Boy!  Sad face!  Button Boy!  What’s wrong?  Why are you sad? Sad little Button Boy!  Stupid weak Button Boy!”

The buttons had begun being dispensed by the government five years ago; they were meant to provide relief form the gray air and the constant chemical tang that slowly drove a portion of the populace insane.

Modern life was a boon.

The trains so fast, the jobs everyone had, the marriages arranged, the children, the turnstile turning, the false light that was not really sunlight, the smog had long ago covered up the real rays of the sun.

Do not pay attention to the sunlight that is not sunlight.   You might go crazy.

The buttons were the government’s way of dispensing vitamin E and D and what ever else it was that one needed to get from the sun—love, serotonin, chemical relief from the gray, the unrelenting gray of the sky pushing down on you.

Until the government had discovered that all one needed to do was get enough vitamin D into the populace, the rates of suicide had been extreme after the last of the true sky had disappeared over ten years ago.

No one wanted to go to work.  Everyone was addicted to soap operas and reality drama shows.  But the work must go on, the ores must be mined, the trains have to run on time.

Have to run on time.

I looked up from my reverie, smoothing my hair again, freshly rinsed light brunette and caramel colored, my hairdresser the only one in my circle that knew I wore a button too.  My friends would be so askance if they knew how sad I was.  How really truly sorrowful I was at my core.

It was not allowed, this sadness.

Only efficiency.  I could not be efficient without my button.  I was tempted to push a little bubble of joy into my blood.  Just a tiny little bump off my button, then I could make it through the day and laugh at the bad jokes my boss told in the meetings and ignore my lunch, I have to be happy and thin at my job, and just a little, maybe just a little before I get off the train.

I turned and looked at my reflection, my lipstick was perfect, but I could stand to reapply.  I saw the little boy staring at me.

We always knew each other, the button people, he knew me for what I really was.  I stared back at him in the reflection of the window.

“Button Boy,” I mouthed, “go die.”

And he did.

He pushed over the doors and he fell in between the train track and the platform.

The news reported later that the government was recalling a batch of buttons again from the lower East side of the town.   It was just another case of a bad government bid, but it was all being worked out, and there would be a new button, a better button, soon.  Be assured, the anchor reported serenely with a warm look glowing from her eyes, be assured.

I clicked off the news steam and pushed my button oh so lovingly, as I sank onto my satin pillows.  I had a black market button, they were the only way to go–expensive, yes, but reliable relief that the government could not guarantee.

The champagne bubbles drained into my blood and I feel asleep with my hands folded across my chest and a small, sad smile on my face.

I would soon be rested for another day of work and smiling, always smiling.

As long as I was smiling, there was nothing wrong.


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