Tuesday, January 3, 2017


Just one more word, that’s all he wanted, one word to finish the story. The perfect word. He sat staring at the cursor blinking at the bottom of the page. The story was told. Every other word in place. The last sentence incomplete. He read it again.
Adrianna felt the world would…
Would what?
Would what?
Nothing. Silence. Both good words, but not the right words. First of all they wouldn’t make sense. Second of all in the context of the story they were meaningless. He knew the obvious word would be or should be know.
Adrianna felt the world would know.
He wanted something better though. Something with meaning and style. Pizzazz. The sentence felt more like a question with the word know at the end.
Adrianna felt the world would know? You can’t end the story with a question, can you? He glanced at the email icon on the task bar. The number one superimposed over an envelope.
I have mail.
He clicked the icon, opening Outlook. Ughhh. A letter from his mom.

I’ve been trying to call you. Is your phone on?
(Yes mom my phone is on. I’m ignoring you.)
I just wanted to tell you that your father has a doctor appointment tomorrow. I think he’s nervous about it. He’s been particularly grouchy today. He nearly took my head off when I told him to take his medicine. You know if I don’t tell him to take it he forgets and then his blood pressure goes sky high.
(His blood pressure is sky high because you make him crazy, mom. Just like everybody else in your life because you don’t know when to shut up.)
He tried to cut the grass today but the lawnmower wouldn’t start. I could hear him yelling at it from the bathroom. It’s Tuesday and you know I go to the beauty parlor on Tuesday. Dorothy is coming to pick me up today. She’s using her son’s car. Do you know her son, James? I think you’ve met. Didn’t you play baseball with him? He’s a chiropractor. I don’t trust chiropractors; I’m afraid something will pop out and not pop back in. So I was getting ready and I could actually hear him from the upstairs bathroom yelling at the lawnmower. When I looked out of the window he was kicking the lawnmower and shouting at it. Maureen, you know Maureen our next door neighbor. Her cat has been sneaking over and pooping in the flowerbed. At least I think it’s her cat. The poor thing. I think she forgets to feed it. Anyway. Your father was standing in the middle of the yard kicking the lawnmower, shouting at the top of his lungs. It was so embarrassing. Do you think I should feed the cat? Have you been looking for a job? Please answer your phone.
I love you,

(God mom, you truly are batshit crazy aren’t you?)
He could picture the scene. His father, sweating, face red, his white tank top stuck to his back, back hair dripping, a wrench in one hand and beer in the other. Maureen clenching her robe tight to her chest, a look of shock on her face. The scrawny cat hiding behind her tree trunk legs.
He started laughing. It started as a small chuckle, a grin spreading across his face. And then it became a genuine laugh. Starting at the bottom of his feet and rolling through his body, shaking his insides. He sat back in his chair and howled with laughter, tears rolling down his cheeks, his knees banging the bottom of his desk.
The laughter rolled away like a summer storm. One minute here and gone the next. He wiped his face. The last vestige of laughter bubbling away to a simmer. He stretched his face, trying to make the goofy grin go away.
He closed Outlook and looked the page in front of him, cursor still blinking. He clapped his hands together, the sound of the slap refocusing his thoughts. Okay. Let’s get back to work. He giggled again and shook his head. His dad was a classic. A left over from a dying breed. He could hear one of the ridiculous sayings his father would inadvertently blurt out. A man from a different era, back when the ships were made of wood and the men were made of steel. Something like that anyway. He brought his thoughts back to the story.
Let’s see where were we?
Adrianna felt the world would…

©Tony Whitford 1/1/2017

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