Once a boy I was dating during the summer before my last year of college brought me a bunch of flowers that he'd stolen from the graveyard, the very one where everyone in high school went to make out late at night. I did not much like the boy at that point, having set my sights on another local laddie that I'd spotted at the Pink Poodle, the classy drinking establishment in Mineral Wells (the Saddle Club was the other, rougher version -- it was not uncommon to see bar fights ending in an ambulance ride during a full moon) so I looked askance at the stolen graveyard goods after he left, much to the horror of my mother. He brought you flowers, Michelle. Does that mean nothing to you? Of course, she threw them out when she looked down at the table, now covered in tiny black ants from said gesture. My relationship with Mr. I Don't Believe In FTD ended when I started seeing the other guy, who as my friend Hank reminded me, had wet his sleeping bag during a boy scout trip many years ago and obtained the unfortunate nickname "Wee Wee Willie." Friends, if you don't believe a small town can be too small, this should be all the evidence you need.
I dated the sleeping bag wetter for a few weeks until he left me to return to his ex, offering up as way of explanation, She's very good at math. Sweet Lord, good at math?! I didn't have a chance with men if this were the criteria. The summer was almost over. What did I have to show for it? Two boyfriends, both ending in a mess. Hank and I laughed about it all when we got back to campus, the way the very young can enjoy messes without consequences. We were still at the Pink Poodle, of course. The Saddle Club years loomed ahead of us, our lives punctuated by things that could not be so easily undone, a weight we only had an intimation of back in days when flowers by a grave didn't mean anything more than something to laugh about and discard.Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I cannot and do not live in the world of discretion, not as a writer, anyway. I would prefer to, I assure you - it would make life easier. But discretion is, unfortunately, not for novelists." Philip Roth
Drinking novella suggestion: Who Will Run Frog Hospital? Lorrie Moore
Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Friday! And happy belated birthday wishes to my dear friend, Mark! Check out his wonderful observations on my link to The Walking Man!