Thursday, August 28, 2008

Next...

Daily Stats:
Words: shouldn't it be Friday already?
Caffeine: morning cup so far
Evil Calories: I'm amping up for this weekend...we're having a bbq and I'm making cupcakes.
Reality TV: DVR'd finale of Sheer Genius (don't tell me who won!)

First, I apologize for taking so long with my next installment of "Tell Me What To Do". You must understand that the creative process is a fickle little thing, and cannot be manipulated or bribed with chocolate.

Okay, though that's true, the REAL reason it's taken me so long is because my computer is the biggest piece of poo ever in the history of time, and if I EVER stumble upon an extra $2K I will promptly run it over with my car, put the remains in a blender and burn the rest!

I was knee deep in the prompt from my devoted reader Rags, probably a good six paragraphs in, when my computer froze. Of course I had to shut it down, and when it rebooted, guess what it didn't save? Then I had to spend the rest of the day banging my head against the wall.

So, last night I accepted defeat and rewrote it the best I could. So, here it is!

The original prompt from Rags was:

We were together for 7 years, and I miss him. No. I miss what he was. By the end, it was torture to be with someone who resembles the man you love, but, quite simply, wasn’t him.

Rags had also mentioned that this was a true story, so I hope I've done it a little bit of justice.

Now, again, my disclaimer, it's in "bag of poo" stage, hasn't been edited, and I wrote it during the commercial breaks of last night's Project Runway (so if there's a "make it work" in there, you'll know why.)

We were together for 7 years, and I miss him. No. I miss what he was. By the end, it was torture to be with someone who resembles the man you love, but, quite simply, wasn’t him.

It all fell apart at Winslow’s Christmas Tree Lot. Our futile attempt to make it through the holidays. I huddled close to an enormous Fraser Fir, trying to shield myself from the wind, as Jason stood picking at a Blue Spruce with his phone plastered to his ear. Any moment he would look over, see me shivering; see my eyes watering and my cheeks turning an alarming shade of red, and he’d rush over and wrap himself around me.

It must’ve been the Fraser’s upward turning branches giving me a spark of optimism. It certainly wasn’t Jason’s demeanor. He was assuming his usual rigid stance, keeping his distance, letting the space between us breathe. Gasp. Choke.

I wiped my watering eye on my shoulder and stuffed both my hands into one glove. I used to be worth keeping warm. I used to be worth hugs and silly grins, phone calls at work making sure my day hadn’t gone pear shaped, homemade spaghetti dinners and late night emergency Cherry Garcia runs. But that was someone else. That wasn’t the man in front of me. This man may have looked like Jason. Vaguely sounded like Jason. But it wasn’t him.

It was like the man I met and fell in love with seven years ago went out for coffee one morning and never came back. In his place was an impostor who was trying to continue with Jason’s life. Only he forgot to upload the “Katie” file. The new Jason knew he was supposed to love listening to the Pixies and eating mustard on his burgers, but he didn’t know that he was supposed to love me.

A man stuffed into a pair of overalls approached and asked if I needed help with a tree. I looked over at Jason. He’d finally closed his phone, but continued to pick at the frosty needles of the Spruce.

“I think we’re still looking,” I told the man, trying to sound convincing, as if “we” were even looking. As if there was even a “we”.

The man left just as Jason finally let up on the poor Spruce. “Can we hurry this up? It’s fucking freezing out here.”

“I know, look.” I held out my one glove.

He glanced at it quickly, then resumed his fidgeting, this time with the button on his coat. The old Jason would have found that funny. He would have laughed, taken my hands and tried to warm them with his breath. He would have called back the man in the overalls and we would make a quick decision right then and there, just so he could get me back in the car to get warm. And we would end up with some poor, sad little Charlie Brown tree, but we would love it anyway, and we’d decorate it with strings of popcorn and candy canes, and we’d use all our presents to each other to prop up the branches. We’d keep it in the apartment far too many weeks after Christmas because we wouldn’t be able to bring ourselves to let it go.

“Earth to Katie,” he said, waving his hand in front of my face. “I’m going to wait in the car, just get whatever you want.”

He turned, grazing the branch of Spruce. I watched as a handful of cool blue needles tumbled to the ground and blew around in tiny circles. The branch was now completely bare, sagging from the weight of the other branches. I pulled my hands out of my one glove, left the safety of the Fraser Fir, and followed him to the car.

5 comments:

Rags said...

I love it.
Perfect.
Very well done missy, and very fitting! :) x

Elizabeth said...

Um. I love it.
Use it.
Cuz now I want to know more.

Big Plain V said...

Beautiful.

Normally I'd gag on something like this, but you had me riveted.

Very. Well. Done.

So you've written novels, yes? Are you subbing them? You need to make this writing thing real, heels-lady.

Serena Woods said...

Oh, my gosh! I love this. I would read this. I want to read this. More, I mean. What girl doesn't go through this? This is goooood!

Oh, I found you on Elizabeth's blog.

:)

Serena

Vivi Alden said...

wow, thanks for the kindness, peeps!

And welcome Serena and big plain v! So glad you could make it!

(oh, and, BPV - yes, I've written novel...singular, subbed the daylights out of it, and alas, there it sits. Unloved. Oh, well...am working on two more as we speak. Onward and upward and all that stuff ;>)