--MAYBE THERE'S NOTHING ELSE TO DO
…What have you got planned for the weekend? I bet you’re going to have a great time. Try to, okay?
…I had these two things published in Pure Slush, as I’m their featured writer of the month:
…Sometimes writing is arduous and slow for me. Other times, when I’m lucky, it spews out.
I’m in two different writing groups. One is virtual, and we send out prompts. The prompt was a very short piece—500 words or less—that needed to include words: celebrate, New York, animation, gag and Triscuit.
I wrote this in about 30 minutes:
Before the bodies were found, there was calm, the days bloated and dull like slow-moving Zeppelins, days we wanted to reclaim now, having taken them for granted, always saying we were bored, there’s nothing to do in this cow town, can’t we move to the city?
Months after, our mother took us to New York. In the street, people celebrated something. A parade of gay Iranians trundled down the street in a flush of color, raucous and happy as we sat in silence at the coffee shop.
My sister had frosting on her nose, but we didn’t say anything. Mother stared at a skyscraper, not realizing she kept clicking her fingernails together. No one was looking at me and so I filched Triscuits from my coat pocket, softly chewing each cracker, trying not to gag, the taste of food now something that repulsed me.
Outside an animated Iranian man dressed in bright green silk blew me a kiss through the window. When I didn’t respond, he scrunched his face and flapped his hand as if shooing a fly.
The parade ended and the street was bare and then in just a few minutes it was full again. I looked at every face, especially the girls, teen girls about my age, so many of them everywhere. I wondered if they’d stay safe the rest of their lives. I wanted to warn them about men who seem friendly but are evil instead, men like my father. He’d said he didn’t do it, protesting all through the trial, but the evidence was clear and those girls didn’t bury themselves.When it was time to go, we walked through the crowded sidewalks, the same as anybody. I held my sister’s hand, giving it squeezes.