It's fiction dontcha know. If you've made it this far, you were probably invited. Enjoy the writing process with me and feel free to leave feedback.

Monday, June 26, 2006

She Bit, And I Spilled The Whole Story

“Is that weird, or is it just me?” I asked.



“How long are you going to live like this?”

“I don’t know.” I said, “I’m just scared that I wouldn’t make it on my own.”

“Exactly how much worse could it get? What would you not have without him that you have and want right now?”

I nibbled the skin on the inside of my mouth. It’s a nervous habit I’ve had since I was a kid.

“I’ve never thought of it that way, I guess. I’m always hoping he’ll make good, you know?”

“I know, Kiddo, but one of these days you’re going to have to invest in CeCe. It’s like watching you swim around in flood water—it’s not so bad in some places but if you don’t get to higher ground soon, you could be caught off-guard and swept away.”

Madge always had a way of saying things out loud that I had whispering in my head. I chomped the corner of my mouth and squinted back a tear that was threatening to swell up.

“Yeah. Exactly. You know, as soon as he gets this Newman job done I’m going to--“ She cut me off.

“I know you will.” She said as if I’d finished my sentence.

I’d said it all before. I’d planned it all before. Each time I had it all figured out, I started feeling like a jerk. I’d start feeling guilty thinking about what he would do if I didn’t take care of things, if I didn’t find a way to help him finagle his career. What if I didn’t have him to blame for the life I wasn’t living?

“Thanks. You’re always picking me back up by the scruff.” I said.

“That’s what girlfriends are for, now point your chin a little higher and put on your ass kickin’ boots. If you can’t find yours you know you can always borrow mine.” Madge rousted.

“Lacin’ ‘em up right now.” I said re-gathering my moxy. I heard playful babbling from upstairs.
“Ohp! The baby’s up, gotta go!”

“Alright, Girl. Hang in there. Give me a call anytime.” Madge said and we clicked off.

“I’m coming, Chloe! Mommy’s coming!” I sing-songed. I took the stairs at the usual two-at-a-time stride up to my bedroom. I pushed the door open, all smiles. Suddenly, my knees went soft and I felt my eyes go wide. I heard my voice morph into recorded slow-motion sound.

N-N-N-NnnnnnnnnnnnOH-Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I dove onto the bed both arms outstretched lunging for the baby’s face. She was chewing on the Red Ring.

When my hand connected with it, full-life speed returned to the scene and within a moment of snatching the toy from her little hand, she gave out a startled wail. My brain twisted. I threw the damned thing in my dressing table drawer, scooped Chloe up and held her head to my shoulder. I stared at the scuffed up apartment-white wall. My mind felt like it had busted a few gears as it clicked over reviewing the bad scene I was hoping I hadn’t just really been a part of. I felt the “flood water” rise up to my neck.

I heard the jingle of dog tags and a lumbering up the stairs. Stimey rounded to the doorway but stopped short, her black, velvet ears hung forward, and you could see what neck she had. Stimey stood at full attention and didn’t blink her bulging eyes until I made a move for the staircase.

“Stime, Momma needs a plan. You know what they say, Girl? The CIA ain’t got nothin’ on a woman with a plan. Isn’t that right, Chlo?” I said to the two of them on the way downstairs. In the time it took to descend twenty-six steps, I had at least the first two steps in what would end up being the off-road detour of what had become my life. A phone call to the good ‘ol temp agency and a stroller walk to the jewelry store a mile down the road sporting the vinyl sign that reads, “We Buy Estate Jewelry”. This was going to be like driving in the fog.


Post a Comment

<< Home