Monday, June 26, 2006

fff, hardcore

this week, jj gave us a choice of flash fiction starters. i, for some reason, wanted to try using them all, in spite of knowing how little time i'd have. once i thought of it, i couldn't let it go, so i had to try, and i had to try to not only use them all, but to write 4 individual fff's that were somehow connected. so i hope i worked this out right, and i hope my writing hasn't suffered in this format-heavy attempt, and i want you to know that if i made a mess of this one, it's not jj's fault- i coulda just chosen one to focus on...
lemme know if this works or not, and big-up jj for providing the very-important weekly challenge:

It all started with a ham sandwich. if he hadn’t been so desperate for a grilled ham+cheese he’d never have set foot in the diner on the corner – not his style. he’d lived in the neighbourhood for years without ever finding a reason to venture in, and when he finally did, it was with the knowledge that if the grocery weren’t closed or he had ham in his own refrigerator, he’d happily have gone another day, another lifetime, without hesitantly standing on their seemingly out-of-place welcome mat (since when were diners attempting to be welcoming?) wondering how safe the kitchen was.
but then, if he hadn’t braved it, if he hadn’t walked up to the long counter and grabbed a menu, he wouldn’t’ve been there, perfectly positioned to catch the waitress as she slipped on some liquid mess on the floor to his left. it was his most graceful moment, he’d later tell her. somehow, he saw her foot slide out from under her and reacted quickly enough, jumping up and grabbing her before she went down.
she spilled coffee on his shirt and tie, the room-temperature end of a pot.
words fell from her, unheard, profuse apologies for the coffee spill and thanks for catching her tumbling over each other in their haste to pass through her lips – which he couldn’t stop staring at. once upright and steady, she was the prettiest woman he’d ever seen – not beautiful, not movie-star, but so pretty that she made him want to laugh out loud to release the joy he felt bubbling in his nether regions. it took him a few moments to decipher the jumble of sounds coming from this unexpected object of desire.
she stopped speaking, and smiled, thinking him confused by their collision, and guided him to a seat on the stool just behind. he managed a smile back and finally said that it was nothing – neither coffee nor catching was comment-worthy, and they could forget the whole thing.
he ordered a chocolate milkshake.
she smiled again and said that sounded like just the thing.
it felt like a million years ago now. 1 chocolate milkshake, a million grilled ham+cheeses that somehow never satisfied, and a million years ago.

How did my underwear wind up...up here? i mean, i don’t think anybody has ever gone up to their roof expecting to find a pair of their panties blowing from the vane like a faulty, or perhaps poorly-designed, wind-sock.
i had a moment’s hope when i realised they could be anybody’s – no reason to assume they were mine – they were relatively nondescript…then i realised that their very nondescriptness meant that, were they mine, as suspected on first sighting, that fact could be confirmed by checking the inside-waist, because the nondescript panties i owned that resembled this soggy windcatcher were left over from my last camp counselor gig, and had my name on them.
which these did indeed turn out to have inscribed, in the appropriate place.
at that point, i could no longer act like they were some weirdo’s crazy-stunt-leftovers, and accepted them as mine, assuming that it’d come to me eventually just how they arrived at this situation.
but he would not let it go. he kept asking, kept pestering me, as if his continuous pressing would somehow induce me to think that he was more deserving of the details than he had been when 1st denied. of course, there were no details in my memory to be divulged, but i wasn’t about to confess that – frankly, he’d already stumbled upon too much damaging information about me, even without details. and we weren’t up there to discuss my underwear placement anyway. whatever he might invent when he told this story to his 3 friends, it couldn’t be worse than the truth, seeing as i’d apparently blocked the truth from myself, it was so bad…but maybe he wouldn’t be telling anyone anything, since his questioning was obviously an exercise in avoidance. we both knew what he needed to say, and my underwear would soon be moot – for him anyway.
i racked my brain for hours after he left, to no avail, then just as it seemed that the travelling panties were never to be explained, marcia called.
apparently we’d had a night of man-hating and liberated-women-representing up on the roof, with wine. apparently, our night on the roof was the genesis of my plan to take him up to the roof and make him end it, properly. apparently we’d stripped, up on the roof, and apparently, in gathering my stuff for the naked dash back to the apartment, i missed my unmentionables. and, since i didn’t get dressed again until bathing the next morning, the bundle apparently went into the basket unchecked, the panties unmissed…

That can't be my mother...i was horrified – here i’d finally brought the man of my dreams home, and here was my mother, apparently having a meltdown.
since we met in the diner he’d been nothing but wonderful – charming, considerate, funny, smart, a good lover – except for his grilled-ham+cheese-fixation, he was as close to perfect as i cared to be around – any closer to perfect and he’d be boring.
i’d been telling my mother for weeks, warming her up to him in preparation for their meeting – i knew she could be difficult, and i knew patience was a virtue hard to maintain for him, so i wanted to smooth the waters between them until they got to know each other – once they did, i figured they’d be fine.
i’d been reminding him of everything my mother’d been through too, trying to encourage his forgiving nature as much as possible. i’d thought things were looking good. safe.
but now it was clear, my preparation was all for naught. it was not safe. it was a disaster.
i looked up @ my mother, hanging precariously, begging for her chair so she could get down before the chandelier broke – even to someone in her condition it was obvious it couldn’t hold her weight much longer.
she had no how or why to offer. she was incoherent afterwards. i gathered that she had no idea. about anything.
it wasn’t long after that.
she deteriorated faster than i could manage, faster than i could come to terms with what was happening to her. it was the hardest thing i’d ever done, watching her decline, and knowing it’d be over sooner than later was no consolation.
his excuse was that i was too busy taking care of her, but we both knew he was scared i was crazy too. that it was lurking within me, waiting to jump out @ him. he couldn’t look at me in the last days. he stopped calling, stopped coming to the diner, stopped seeing me entirely, and i think he wouldn’t have offered an excuse if i hadn’t forced him to. i couldn’t make it easy for him – it was unfair to me. i made him look at me, up on the roof, and tell me we were over because of something that hadn’t happened and might never.

He woke up, wondering where his... underwear was, then wondering why he’d be wondering that when he slept in them every night, and thus, knew exactly where they were. he sat up, rubbing an eye with the back of his hand as the dream came back to him – he’d been naked, on a rooftop, searching for his underwear for what felt like forever…rooftop…now it made sense, kind of – he’d been on a roof the night before – but it wasn’t his roof…
he finished stretching and made his way to the bathroom, the rest of the night becoming clearer by the second.
it was finally over.
he could relax.
grilled ham+cheese for breakfast, and everything’d be fine...

walk good.


Blogger angel said...

BUCKING FRILLIANT trini, truly! spooky, sexy, sweet, intriguing, scary... LOVE IT!

and great minds think alike doll- i was also trying to write four interlinking "posts" using all the starters... i couldn't finish it though!
very frustrating!

2:10 pm  
Blogger Trish said...

great work, Trini. I don't know how you did it, coming up with story for each line.

12:35 pm  
Blogger Display Name said...

I, too, considered merging four starter stories together but I just couldn't think of anything. I love your imagination. You totally pulled it off girlie - as usual! lol

2:04 pm  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

All four blended nicely, way to go! Though my favorite is the first as I am a slave to my stomach and will drive miles for my cravings.

2:11 pm  
Anonymous zed aka ( only by my sister ) gremlin said...

sis!!! your amazing!!! wicked storytelling, we need to ge tyour book published

3:28 pm  
Blogger Lisa Allen-Agostini said...

trigger words:

He pushed in with his thumbs, kneading the tight muscles at the back of my neck and shoulders so hard I knew I’d have bruises the next day. At least bruises would remind me he’d touched me. A crumb, but I’d take it.
Cigarette. Night air smoky and cold. Concrete bench. Old lies and love piled up on the grass beneath our feet. His lies. My love. He walked over them to sit on the other bench facing me. His rum and coke was watery by then. Condensation left the glass dripping wet. Like me. Dripping wet. Jealous of the glass his lips was on, the sliver of ice melting on his tongue like he used to have me, melting on his tongue. But he always had more than one piece of ice.
He was a bum but I loved him, wanted him even in spite of all the shit that had gone before. That shit was why I hadn’t seen him in months but I’m such a dumb cunt, so crazy for him that all he had to do was call and here I was, sitting in a dream waiting for him to say he had changed his mind. That he’d be mine.
Course it didn’t happen. Course we just laughed and talked and made as if it was all good. Dumb.
I got up, eventually. Walked away. Hoped he’d call again. Thought about the bruises. Liked the pain.--Lisa Allen-Agostini

10:36 am  

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