Between crying and eating pie at the writer’s workshop, I found time to write. Or, as is often the case when I’m asked to write on demand, I bitched about how much I hate to write and how shitty my work is. It’s what I do.
We did a series of writing prompts, most of which I find very helpful. (I’ll post some here if anyone is interested.) This one, Things I Remember, was the first mostly serious piece I’ve done in a long while. And it took about 3.5 minutes. Lesson? Write. Let it be rough and quick and honest and easy. Write. Even if it’s crap. Even if you hate it. Even if you never look at it again. Write.
Things I Remember
I remember sweat tea. She brewed it on the stovetop and added two cups of white sugar to the plastic gallon pitcher. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Always sweet tea. She had a clear mug for the tea, one that I think came from her office, a stock brokerage firm. The bottom of the mug showed various company’s stocks, printed on a plastic-encased, maze thing. There were two tiny silver balls that moved between the raised maze walls. I remember.
She takes the cup by the handle. The balls scurry around the maze, obscured by the orange-brown liquid sky that sloshes above. She tilts the cup, raises the mug to her lips and takes a long sip. The balls move again, finding the lowest spot to briefly rest. She sits the cup back down on the scuffed side table and the balls migrate to different company’s stocks.
My memories fail. I’m not always sure what is real and what is imagined. This, a cup, is one of the few concrete memories I hold onto. A plastic cup. I can’t remember her laughter. I know her eyes were brown, but I know that only through photos. I don’t know who she was, what made her laugh, what she loved. I don’t know how she smelled. I wish I could remember those things.
I remember she watched, “60 Minutes.” I hated it.
I remember she once called me a “little bitch.”
I remember her smallest toe, flat on the inside and pointed into a ridge, one side smooth and one side rough.
I remember fried chicken, the smell sinking into the couch cushions.
I remember she told me she loved me often.
I remember her cup.