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Posts Tagged ‘fiction and junk like that’

Afterward, when she let herself into the apartment, it was with a great sense of satisfaction. She felt easy, taut, sated; all her senses were heightened in a way that made her feel triumphant. She sure did have a knack for the During, but the After always made everything so delicious to her. The gentle music of her keys against the inside curve of the bowl by the door gave her pause, for instance. Why, imagine! Such a marvel that things so simple as door keys and her grandmother’s silky white bowl could come together and make subtle, pleasurable sounds!

Everything, every one thing in The After was pleasure; she drank in the tactile, reveled in tastes, lingered over sounds. Today she had sung ‘Mannish Boy’ to herself in her head the entire ride home, looking doe-eyed on the press of bodies. The jostles and jerks (and the smooth forward momentums between) were just the natural extension of their prelude back there fourteen blocks away.

He had been possessed of exquisite taste in linens. She appreciated that in a man. Also appreciated was his lack of worry at where those fine linens ended up; not every man wants his stupidly expensive sheets ground into the wall of a stairwell. She adored a sporting attitude.

Icy orange juice to slake a thirst: There was no hunger, not yet. She still felt full in that tender way, her stomach not inclined toward want for a little while longer.

She took her time in the shower, lollygagging there in the light steam, greedily enjoying the smell of her sweet almond soap. Someone had made her a present of it five or six years ago and she’d been using it since. The gift-giver had moved far away; she didn’t miss him when he did. If they discontinued the soap, she would search high and low for bars of it for years and years and probably a couple minutes after that.

When she turned off the spray, she paused for a moment, getting caught up in the sensation of a drop of water on her eyelashes. It executed a perfect dive onto her right foot, splashing messily there, ending itself and beginning four more droplets. She thought about this while wrapping herself in a downy robe, while pouring herself a cup of coffee. She grabbed a book from the stack of six or so she was reading (she was always paying her attentions to several concurrently) and headed for the reading nook she’d crafted next to the window. After placing her coffee and book on the tiered table next to it, she settled into her overlarge chair, propping her heels on the seat’s edge. The orange velour kissed her arches and welcomed them home.

She pointed her toes, she looked out over the city. She admired the light. She smiled as she thought about the fact that she was always the leaver and never the stayer; she wrapped her arms tightly about herself, dropped her head and grinned like a giddy fool, pleasure emanating from her every part.

|| March 4, 2010 || 2:06 pm || Comments (6) ||


One of the best things about being part of the Polite Fictions team is that I am presently writing more fiction with the thought of public consumption actively at the forefront of my mind. I’ve long had character upon character piled into notebooks throughout the house (AND in the car), peeking out and suggesting activities for themselves, but I haven’t decided who I want to place into public view as yet. I may never make that decision, for all I know.

I do like writing fiction a great deal, because it allows me the opportunity to try on different voices and to work out different points of view. I get to play a part, much as an actor would, but without the hassle of things like getting out of my yoga pants or continuing after the creative impetus has peaked. For instance, in our last PF round we each approached the topic of the Afterlife. As I neared my turn at bat I began to wonder what it would be like to lose faith at a very formative age (from a spiritual standpoint rather than a chronological one, that is), to grow disillusioned and frustrated with God at a time in one’s life where belief becomes an all-or-none proposition.

So for the span of a handful of paragraphs I was Lucia, believing with everything I had that God would never fail or deny me because of my faithfulness and affections for Him. And I was Lucia whose service held a somewhat selfish motive (“Look at me, I am the Truth-Bringer!”) and also Lucia who didn’t have the kind of faith to sustain her and found this out at age eleven rather than age thirty-one, when it is a different (and less jarring?) sort of revelation altogether.

I love that the theme of Polite Fictions 3.0 is ‘The Alphabet of Regret‘. It’s a genius idea. And, if you’re a writer charged with that as your assignment, it’s a somewhat scary one. I put my post, based on the letter D, up in the wee hours this morning. Sure, it’d make me happy if you’d go read and give me a thumbs up or thumbs down, but more than that I wish you’d start at the beginning. My friend TwoBusy set the bar extremely high with his gorgeous deconstruction of the letter A; three to four writers will be adding entries each week until we’ve made it through to ‘Z’.

Every entry may not strike something in you. Some may even bore or disappoint you. But I can guarantee you’re going to find some gold over on that site. I can’t tell you how many times those guys have amazed me with their words, and they do so with a great level of consistency.

Do I still have your attention? Now seems like the time to tell you that I’ll be killing off [Abuantg.] before too long. I’ve got something else in the works and when it’s finished this place will be vapor. I’ll still have the deca domain until October, though, so if one of you has need of it let me know and it’s yours. Cheers. I’ve been having fun in this space for a long damn time.

|| August 7, 2009 || 12:27 am || Comments (0) ||

He was asked every time…every time that he could recall, anyway.

“Is this really the hill you want to die on, son?” This was his father, head so impossibly distant that to peg its details against the sky the boy had to squint.

“Yes,” the boy said each of those times, once he was sure he was looking his father in the eye, once he had squared his shoulders in a stance that he approximated as brave.

The boy was given this passive out in a myriad of situations and outright fuckups and still he said with his ‘yes’, I am not a quitter, I am not a coward, I would rather find myself foolish than forgotten. And he would continue to push headlong into mistakes that became lessons that became Knowing.

Wasn’t Knowing, after all, a mount worthy of shedding ones tears and guts upon?

One day, when the boy was of an age that he no longer had to cock back his head and squint to find his father’s eyes, an old woman approached him. He had been mindlessly tending the inventory of his hurts while seated on a bench beside a fountain. It was autumn, and the bare fingertips emerging from the wool tubes that fit snugly against the fingers’ knuckles worked at a corner of the boy’s jacket.

She shuffled across the wide brick walk, this stranger, until she stood facing him; the messy fluff of her hair busied itself defying the sobriety of the look on her face.

“God wants me to tell you,” the old woman said, “that you can stop fighting. Put those hands of yours down and let Him do your fighting for you. That heart of yours is for something else altogether.”

Later that night a brutal pain ripped across his chest as he sobbed into the phone’s receiver.

“Then she just walked away, leaving me with all this frustration! Leaving me right there where she found me, but taking my equilibrium with her! And I only had one question, just one, I just want to know how? How do I do that? How do I just stop fighting when I’ve had my dukes up the whole of my life and it’s all I fucking know?

“Why won’t He tell me how to do what it takes to achieve His desires instead of just telling me what His will for me is??”