400 words, well if I don’t think I have ever written 400 words on this blog. But here goes nothing. I’m realizing through Writing 101 that I not all interested in fiction. Especially if I have to base it on my own life. I’m not that interesting, I guess. Or maybe I just really like completely creating something out of nothing. There was a time when I was could have definitely seen myself doing fiction for the rest of my life, but now I don’t know. Poetry or prose is more my lane.
90 words in and I’m stumped. This is harder then I thought it would be.
Why I love poetry
I love poetry because its simple yet so effective. Isn’t it amazing the emotions it evokes in you. I love that there’s so many different types and kinds. Even from a young age poetry can have an effect on you. Shel Silverstein proved to be a favorite of mine as a kid. I would try to memorize them, I’d read them over and over. Sometimes I feel bad that I’m not super well read on all the great poets out there. But I know who they are and that’s good enough right?
Ok so I’m half way through. Now I remember why I don’t free write very much. Do they really expect me to post this? I need a prompt or something. 400 words, who has the time?
When I was twelve I lived in a housing complex for military families. It was an ideal place to grow up. Even though we were in the city, the complex seemed a world apart. Very rarely did you here sirens or see cops driving by. There was plenty of playgrounds and even a recreation center for the kids. It was the kind of place where people felt safe letting their kids roam around unattended. My brother and I freely rode our scooters and bikes around without even a second thought about “predators”. The only time I ever felt unsafe was when I was walking around in the some of the canyon landscape, where I really shouldn’t have been. I’ll never forget the time my friend had to pluck cactus needles out of my knee because I had tripped and fell on a small cactus. Needless to say I never went back into the canyon again. When I think of home, I think of that quaint little suburb in the city. I felt safe there and I haven’t felt that safe since.
When I was kid whenever my parents would take me out to a restaurant I only got one thing. Chicken strips and french fries. Unless they took me to a Mexican restaurant then all food on the menu was an option because I just love Mexican food. But if it wasn’t Mexican, chicken strips were my go to. You see I was a very picky eater as a kid. There was more things that I didn’t like than liked. I was particular about certain seasonings, textures, and just the way things looked. My food had to look perfectly presentable. If I got a burger or a taco and it fell apart I would cry (not kidding) because it no longer looked like the picture. Now with chicken strips and fries I didn’t have to worry about any of that. No exotic seasonings, nothing that could fall apart, just glorious, easy finger food. With a side of ranch, I was perfectly satisfied, restaurant style ranch was so much better than Kraft. Ihop was my favorite place because they had the best chicken strips, crispy but not too hard. It’s amazing how such simple things can bring back such vivid memories. I still really like chicken strips and fries but whenever I’m in a restaurant that serves it there always something more alluring on the menu. But when in doubt I’ve got my old stand by.
“I waited for you,” He said. I waited a long time for you.”
A heavy silence passed between them. It had been nearly 10 years since they last saw each other. She never thought this day would come, he had waited eagerly for it. His eyes were searching hers, he needed an explanation.
“It was the hardest decision I ever had to make, but I had to stay for Marcie.”
“I wanted Marcie too.”
“I know,” She whimpered. “But he’s her father.”
Tears began to blur his vision but he never took his eyes off her.
“He’s a good Father.”
“Yeah but a shitty husband.” He replied.
“I had to do what I thought was best.”
“Best for who!” He shouted. “You and Marcie would have been happy with me! You were just scared!
The tear were rolling down her cheeks, she could no longer hold back.
“I’m sorry,” Was all she could manage to get out.
“I’m sorry too, I’m sorry that you had more fear of him than love for me.”
Pulling her into his arms he stroked her hair. They held their embrace as she gathered herself.
“Forgive me.”She said.
Closing his eyes, he kissed her gently on the forehead.
“Of course,” He replied “Goodbye Jenny.”
I woke up that morning flying high. After a hard-fought four years I had graduated. I had survived high school. My whole life was in front of me, I had so many choices to make, and I was happy to be making them. But my cap and gown hardly had time to collect dust before that all changed.
“Me and your Dad are breaking up.”
My jaw dropped and my mind swirled. This was the last thing that I ever expected to come out of her mouth. I searched for emotion in her face but there was none. It was like she’d told me that her and my Dad were going to the grocery store.
“So you don’t love him anymore?”
“No, I guess not.”
Still no emotion.
“What’s gonna happen to me?”
“Well you’re gonna stay here with your Dad and I’m moving out. We’ve just been pretty much pretending for a while. We were waiting until you graduated to tell you.”
It had only been a few days since I’d graduated, couldn’t this have waited? It was like she couldn’t wait to tell me. It was like she had been counting down the days. I rushed to my room before the tears could come flowing. For so long I had been the exception among my friends. My parents were married, we were all together under the same roof. We were a family. Now I’d be another child of divorce. It felt like I had been slapped in the face, nothing had seemed different that I could remember. They argued and bickered like they normally did. But maybe I was too wrapped in my own issues too notice anything, or maybe they had hidden it well. Then I thought of my Dad and what he must be feeling right now.
Me: I love u Dad
Daddy: I take it your Mom talked to you
Daddy: Its gonna be alright
I didn’t believe it was going be alright, in fact I knew there was more pain to come……
20 minutes of free write you say…. Well I’m at work and I honestly don’t think I will get
Nope just got interrupted
You might say then “Why don’t you do this at home then?” Well, I will not be home until late tonight and I won’t feel like writing, so I have to do it now. My job also doubles as my writing studio, and God I hope my boss isn’t reading this. I may not share this one on social media so she won’t see it. You know what’s sad though? I came in this morning feeling that Monday morning fog hanging over me, and then the moment I looked at today’s prompt I was instantly giddy. I’m smiling now staring at the computer screen. Well it just goes to show what writing does to me. It gives me joy, I feel like how I used to feel when I rode my bike as a kid. Just happy and at peace. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy my job, the people here have become like my family. But I like a lot of other creatives out there feel like a fraud sitting behind desk getting paid to answer someone else’s phone. I go through the motions with this job, some days I hate myself for saying things like that. “I should be grateful to have a job, so many are out of work.” But then other days I say to myself, “Look what you’ve become! Another pencil pusher, making the rich richer!” As you can see I’m obviously still working through some things within myself.
So my 20 minutes is about up, and as you can see I didn’t get much out. The troubles of a desk jockey/student/blogger.