Thursday, April 24, 2008

How Many Words Did I Write Today? Day 5

Today? Only 299 words. But that's not bad considering I've been out of the house all day. And it may add up to more by midnight tonight. I'm heading off to bed right now with my notebook and hot water bottle. I feel a bit like I'm cheating by not posting any of this writing, but they are all the draftiest of drafts. There are gaping holes and loud, creaking, faulty sentences. I can't even bring myself to show my own partner or mother.

I'm not that foolhardy. You'll just have to wait.

Update: Damn. I had nearly turned off the computer, but I could hear that little voice in my head hissing coward...! Ok, this little bit is the first two paragraphs of a short story I started today. This afternoon. A couple of hours ago. It's rough and it's corny, I know, but I hope it will lead somewhere else.

Copy/Paste/Publish. *cringe*

Dear M,

I don’t know how to start this letter. You were so full of life - I know, it’s a cliche - that it’s impossible to believe the rumours. Whispers, sombre conspiratorial mouths half hidden behind cupped hands. They say you are dying. It can’t be true. They talk of your visits to hospital, but I can’t believe them. M, are they lying? Mistaken? Are they talking of another M? I try to think of you, pinned under waffle blankets on a shifting metal bed; cold, labeled, all fluorescent green. Your faint freckles would stand out in that light, the flush on your cheeks would flare a hot red. But if you are ill, maybe your cheeks are pale, drawn; your eyes dull, your mouth pulling down at the corners with the gravity of your condition.

No! It’s impossible. I can only see you dancing, your face flushed with effort and delight, your eyes and mouth wide open and laughing. Oh, my M. I loved you. That night, all those years ago, I first saw you dancing alone and glowing with cheap ruby wine. In another life I would have thought to myself, “I’m going to marry that girl. Sweep her off her feet and dance her to bed.” It was impossible. That night I could not even speak to you. I was trapped at that sombre table, with K and that other couple. Who were they? The Kingstons? The Bartlets? I don’t know. I only saw you. Then you were gone my darling. As you walked out the door, with friends I think, still laughing, it was as though all the colour in the room had wound around you while you danced and when you left, you pulled it all out of the door behind you.

1 comment:

noble pig said...

The writing is beautiful...even if only 299.