Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cokes And Donuts

Here's the penultimate installment. Thanks for reading!

I wake to another gray slushy bitter cold day with no sun. Last night in my dreams, my mother asked me to put a tarantula in the freezer, and I forgot to seal the jar tightly. A few hours later, I went to get a snack from the refrigerator and the tarantula had escaped from the freezer and was crawling around near the salad crisper, a little worse for the wear but not dead.

When Jeff pulls up to my house, he lays on the horn until I come out. I start to give him grief about this, but I can tell he's in no mood by the way he's mumbling about not being able to see through his fogged windshield.

I situate myself in the trashmobile and grab a towel from his laundry basket, putting it over the seat to make sure I don't get any dirt or food on my dress, then say: "I could stop breathing."


"It might help," I say, pointing.

"Doubtful," he says, offering his first smile. "You look good." I'm wearing my one formal winter dress, off-white with an empress waist, and my hair is piled on top of my head, held together by gold chopsticks.

"You look like hell," I say, although he doesn't by any normal standard. I've known Jeff long enough to forget how beautiful he is, which takes some doing. Strangely enough, I've never felt more than friendship toward him. I wonder if it's some self-protective reflex that keeps me from falling for someone more attractive than I am.

"What did you do last night?" I poke at his suit, a faded gray that looks slightly worn and elegant at the same time.

"Sat around and looked at back issues of Playboy. I thought about Joy."

I start to hum Paul Simon's "One Trick Pony."

He laughs. "You want to see a movie tonight?"

"I've got plans." I don't, but I also don't feel like tromping around in the cold with Mr. Gloomy Boy.

"Nuh uh," he says.

"Uh huh."

"What?" He scratches his nose with a gloved hand and I almost say someone's thinking about you, but I don't, knowing that line of thought can't go anywhere good.

"The same thing I always do," I say, looking out the window at the people on the streets, their faces covered against the wind.

"You're turning down a date with a hot guy like me so you can sit in your apartment and watch the snow?"

I shrug. It's funny how sometimes doing things you don't want to do is considered a move toward health, sometimes a move away from it.

He turns and looks at me for a long moment with what seems like real admiration and says: "You're way worse off than I am."

"I am so not way worse off."

We stop to get Cokes and donuts, and I begin to feel better. I wake up every morning sick to my stomach, which would scare most women, but it's a state I find oddly reassuring. The day tends to get better from there.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I hope there's a tinge of disgrace about me. Hopefully, I have one good scandal left in me." Dianna Rigg

Cocktail Hour
Drinking Easter appetizer suggestion: Pigs in a blanket

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


Anonymous said...

Oink, Oink.--Porky

the walking man said...

Hey anonymous, just for no reason other than I feel like saying it to you...use your dildo on yourself it might make you more civil.

Michelle I liked this short story but for some reason it resonates of others of yours that I have seen, like reading a remake of an original, not a bad thing actually because it has its differences but it has its sameness in the line of thought.



OH yeah you owe me an e-mail and I won't update you on all the shit going on with my stuff 'til I hear about the shit going on in your stuff...of course you know that's a lie because as soon as everything gets figured out about the implant I won't be able to not let you know. Don't you love these personal messages in a public forum...hell I might make this a habit.

not peace but the other thing

mark ha ha ha ha ha

Charles Gramlich said...

Really great dialogue here. Particularly good is the protagonist's internal dialogue, about how she thinks of something to say but it can lead to nowhere good. Good stuff. Tight ending as well.

Course, being a genre author I was wondering when the zombie outbreak was going to take place. But I'll settle for a good emotional kick.