Skip to main content

Exercising

My brain.  This is the short piece I started working on based on someone else's brainstorm image from class.  I am still trying to write every day, but some days my laziness is just too strong.  Like the force, only less cool.  Still, I'm writing a bit of something most days (and I am not short changing myself when that 'writing' is part of school work.  I have a LOT of it right now, and we're only two weeks in.  Last semester I got a bit lazy and paid the price with last minute rushing; this semester I want to go out nice and easy...if possible.)

---


Safe Haven
In the milk aisle at Costco, Elise’s four year old daughter Candy announced that she had to use the restroom again. She bobbed on her little feet, knock kneed and bubbling over with all the urgency of her four-year-old full bladder. She pulled at the hem of her pink tutu and tried not to make eye contact with her mom. Looking down at the top of her daughter’s restless blonde head, Elise tried to hold back the irritation that churned in her stomach like bad yogurt. They had already stopped to use the restroom four times since they left the house, and that was only two hours ago. Once for Candy, once for her two year old brother Tyler, once when the baby in Elise’s belly began to push painfully on her bladder, and once when Tyler spilled a drink down the front of his frog-dotted green shirt.
“Are you sure you have to go?” Elise said.  It came out as something like a growl and split the word sure so that it had two sliding syllables. Shhurah.
Candy nodded, pigtail braids bobbing against her chest. The purple ribbons had come untied and flapped loosely against her white cotton shirt. She bit the bottom of her lip hard, turning it white between her small teeth.
Elise sighed and turned the cart toward the bathroom. In the little seat at the front, Tyler swung his legs haphazardly, his shoes bumping against Elise’s thighs. Candy skipped along beside, bladder momentarily forgotten because of the bright lights and bulk goods stacked high.
Back at the front, Elise waited with Tyler just outside the door while Candy tripped through into the women’s restroom.  Elise could just make out the pitter patter of Candy’s mary-jane shoes and then the silence that follows a closed stall door.  It always made Elise nervous to use this kind of arrangement, but it was easier than taking everything, including Tyler, out of the cart.  Tyler started to fuss while they waited and Elise had to strain to hear through the door. 
 After a few minutes Elise started to feel nervous.
 A few minutes more and she started to unbuckle Tyler from the metal cart.  She pushed the door open with her toe while she fought the buckle.
“Candy?  Candy honey, you alright?” she said.  Tyler slapped playfully at her face with his chubby hand and pulled the russet hair that spilled over her shoulder.  “Candy?”  Her heart seemed to be creeping up the back side of her throat with every ticking second.
“I’m coming, Momma,” Candy said finally.  “There’s hair on the floor, I’m trying to clean it up.”
“Ugh, gross,” Elise said to herself.  Tyler came free and they pushed in through the red bathroom door.
Inside, there was more than a little hair on the glossy tile floor.  Long black sections snaked down the whole length and Candy had her hands full of inky tendrils. 
“I’m helping, Momma,” she said smiling and holding up the hair like an offering.
“You’re a good helper,” Elise said, but distracted and hurrying over to take the hair from her daughter’s hands at the same time.  “Don’t pick up anymore, come over and wash your hands.” 
Tyler bobbled against her side and reached for the hair Elise had taken from Candy’s small pink hands.  The smile fluttered on Candy’s face and fell from her cheeks.
“Are you mad, Momma?” she said, sliding her hands down her shirt to wipe off the hair.  “I’m sorry.”  Her rosebud lips trembled, her blue eyes wide. 
“Don’t do that! No, honey, I’m not mad.  Where did this all come from?  Was it on the floor?”
“The crying girl behind the big door, she was cutting it off and throwing it on the floor.  I told her she’d get in trouble, but I don’t think she could hear me because she’s so noisy.”
“I don’t hear anything,” Elise said, growing more alarmed.  She pushed Candy behind her and edged toward the gray metal door at the end of the row.  It stood slightly ajar, unmoving on its hinges.  “Stay here, Candy,” she said. 
She shifted Tyler on her hip, tucking him closer to her side, before she pushed the door open with red lacquered fingertips.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dear Carly,

I assume that one day you will come to me wanting to know who you are, where you came from, where your other family is and why they gave you to us.  I offer you little bits of information already, but certainly not crumbs enough to satisfy the appetite.  Perhaps it won't matter to you.  I am assuming a lot, already, about how adoption will impact your life.

People often wonder why adoptive parents are hurt when their children seek out biological roots.  I have the answer, and it's very simple.  Adoption - at its core - makes us question the legality, authority, voracity, and validity of parenthood.  For most adoptive parents, first you must come to terms with an issue that strikes at the foundations of mortality: fertility.  From birth, most of us are driven to form families.  First we are nestlings, nurtured and weened and eventually taught to fly.  Then we are nest-builders, filling our lives with the stuff necessary to drive life forward.  Knowledge, safety, money, a sturdy …

On being away from home and turning sixteen: a letter to my son

Dear Josh,

I missed your sixteenth birthday.  I'm sure you recall - or maybe it wasn't so bad because you spent the whole day with your friend watching movies.  Godzilla and Guardians of the Galaxy, you've said.  It's no surprise to me that Godzilla was your favorite of the two.  That atomic green monster holds a special place in your heart.

It was very difficult for me to be away from you when you crossed this threshold in your life.  I remember turning sixteen, being sixteen, and wondering when I would feel like I was actually sixteen.  When I was sixteen, I went and found my first job, I started driving myself around, and I pretty much felt like I was in the wrong skin.  I'm only now, at 37, beginning to feel in the right skin.  Or at least comfortable with the skin I'm in.  But you - well, you don't seem to have a problem being you.  I can't explain how very happy that makes me feel, how very reassured.  Because it can be really hard not to like you…

Fragmented re-introduction

I dreamed a dream once of what this would be like.  Of life.  Of patterns and songs and ticking off boxes to find my way. 

Trouble was, I keep looking at the wrong list.

This year's list:

- Turn 40 (check)
- Move again (check)
- Send the boy on a mission (check)
- Finish admin license
- Get lost (check)
- Get found (check)
- Lost again (check)

Wait, that went off track. 

Adulthood is a lot of getting off track.  And back on.  It's weird.

I thought at 40, I would have it all together.

But, I'm barely keeping it from falling apart. 

Weird.

So, this is me where I am now.

40, working, waiting.  My boy's on a mission in Boise.  My girl's 12 going on 20.  My husband hates his job most days, and loves it alternatively.  Same for me.  We live in a small town I don't like very much and dream of going somewhere else, but we don't know where that is. 

I want to be a writer, but I don't spend time writing.

I read something the other day that gave me hope: Guy Fieri…