Saturday, October 15, 2011

what am I on, part 4?

The wind blew a whole lot today. I sold vegetables at the farmers market and hung onto my hat and our tent. I took home a bountiful haul of squash and turnips and mustard greens and chicken. Then I hung out with the kids and made dinner and did the dishes and gave them a bath and put them to bed.

And in between the cracks of all that, I thought about the little bit of fiction I've been playing with, and I got down a few more paragraphs. I'm loving writing it this way...a little at a pressure to know exactly where it's going until I start to go there.

So, here are the first two parts, in case you missed the beginning.

Then I added some more.

And here's the continuation....


She never told me that.

No, she wouldn't. Her voice is soft, directed at the bare walls and not at me.

She's right. Mom isn't exactly an open book. If you want to know something, you have to ask. And you better know the right question. But I'm surprised Annie knows her well enough to hit that nail so squarely on the head.

The steam from the cup in front of me rises like a curtain between us. I decide to hold my questions. So I pick up the cup and let it warm the winter from my hands. Whatever is brewing smells spicy and sharp and deep. I hold it to my lips but its too hot to sip. I set it down again. It's something to do.

I notice the clock ticking. The furnace humming. I look into the tea. Maybe the answer is there -- is it my turn to speak? Annie seems to still be looking at the bare wall. I hope she's not falling asleep. Old people do that sometimes, right? Suddenly she speaks.

Give me your hand. 

Okay, this is it. Some sort of voodoo is going to happen now. I don't cringe or draw away or hesitate. I just hold out my right hand. Whatever she's going to do, I want to know right now what it's going to be.

She takes my hand in both of hers, sliding her thumbs under my palms. Her skin feels hot to me. Not in a feverish short of way. But almost -- electric. I don't want to pull away.

She sits still as stone for a minute and my whole body starts to get warmer. I'm burning. And then she let's go.

I thought so, she says as she sits back in her chair. I leave my hand on the table. I can't stop looking at it. The clock ticks and the furnace shuts off. I'm silent for a whole minute.

And then: I felt that, I say. I hear the accusation in my voice but I don't correct it.

Then you will do it. Knead my name into some bread.

I look up and meet her eyes. They're piercing now. Beyond blue. I nod once. Then I get up, grab my things, and I'm out the door. I run down the driveway and across the street with my jacket unzipped. The cold shoots through my sweater and snakes around my stomach. I can't inhale fast enough by the time I reach my front door. I'm breathless.


maybe next time I'll finish it?