The screen door is open and I walk in. Jeremy likes it open so I don’t nag anymore. I smell spaghetti. He cooked? I hear his voice and call out to him. He walks out of the den as if he has not heard me, his hand resting at the small of the back of a blonde who looks familiar. Is she Jack’s teacher? I duck around the corner. I want to catch him in the act. I am furious when I see my favourite red pumps dangling from her fingers, as they walk through the kitchen and out the door. He closes and locks it and I run out the side way to watch from around the garage. They take off in -presumably-<em> her</em> burgundy BMW and I grab my bike and hop on, hurrying to keep abreast of where they are headed. They don’t go far, turning off the side entrance of the old arboretum where we used to walk. I am crushed. Why would Jeremy cheat on me?
They sat together and talked while the clouds couldn’t decide whether to be dark or white, changing and dancing in their indecision of midday. She would say, ‘I think it will rain,’ and look for her umbrella in the bag though she knew damn well she did not pack it. He would lean back and watch her shoulders move with her emotions, straight and soldier’d when content, shaking, when she laughed at his jokes, then later, sagging under the knowledge of what was taking place. The day was heavy for her, but not to him, because she had not told him in advance. It was a picnic. It was sandwiches cut into rooftops with potato chips and red grapes in zip-lock baggies. It was a checkered tablecloth on the grass, still damp with May when one leaned with an elbow, feeling the earth depress.
He sat up and crossed his legs, looking at his hands. They were soft from pushing a pen and typing for thirty-five years. One arm bent to go around her shoulders, his hand hanging relaxed. “My mom asked if you could come to dinner on Thursday,” he said, and coughed, reaching for a pack of cigarettes. With a little shake, one flew up vertically and he took it between his lips. He replaced the pack with a lighter, and sparked the tip, inhaling deeply. He lounged again, exhaling the other way from her. She did not answer. Those shoulders stayed very still. Scary still. “Can I give her an answer tonight? We’ve been together a year and she wants to meet you.” He cocked his head to read her face, but the sun got into his eyes.
“We can’t make it.”
As I am one of the three people in the world that does not use a cell phone, I am going to toss this question out to you. I’m working on a story and this dude is 38 and doesn’t pay attention to trends, or hang out on the internet. He has an older phone that he uses only for a phone. I first wrote it in 2013 and said he used a Blackberry. Does anyone still use a Blackberry? Do they still function? Might they still a year from now (when this book might get published)?
What would be the oldest functioning phone he might use still? Any suggestions? I’d really appreciate it. I have no clue about these things and I don’t want it to sound stupid.
Your two cents is requested-
Blondes have more fun, some people say. It’s all fine and good until someone gets hurt.
(an excerpt of a work in progress)
Jorie was always putting out fires. It was not the way she had envisioned her life but here it was in her lap. If it wasn’t her children, it was her husband. If it wasn’t her husband and children, it was herself, lost in a burning house and trying to get to the ground floor. How would she see daylight again without getting burned? There was always this sort of negotiation. How many burns could she stand to live with? Counting the cost, always giving up something. Trade-offs.
(written for Jenny Lind, a character in one of my stories
as I’ve been fleshing out the character in twitter)
Don’t you know girl this defeat never stays that long, taking
two rooms in your house, dense and impermeable
every sadness now is just the mortar between the bricks
the glue that keeps all the memories from flying about
In your pink world, you make everything possible
and when he knocked you flat, you thought you were through
but these are changeable times and they pass
not only the good but the bad times too they go
So tie up your hair in a satin bow and sing with me
let’s sing about your sweet cakes and the friends you seek
shall we sing of grief and soft desires, or shall we
burn up on the fire all the memories to make way for new
The screen door is open and I walk in. Jeremy likes it open so I don’t nag anymore. I smell spaghetti. He cooked? I hear his voice and call out. He suddenly walks out of the den as if he has not heard, his hand resting on the back of a blonde who looks familiar. Is she Jack’s teacher? I duck around the corner. I want to catch him in the act, furious now, when I see my favourite red pumps, dangling from her fingers as they walk through the kitchen and out the door. He closes and locks it and I run out the side way to watch from around the garage. They take off in presumably her burgundy BMW and I grab my bike and hop on, hurrying to keep abreast of where they are headed. They don’t go far, turning off the side entrance of the old arboretum where we used to walk. I am crushed. Why would Jeremy cheat on me? And why would he bring her here?