Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Little Talks

"Did you just say the f-word?"
The catchy song continued playing, and I sang every word loudly when the chorus repeated the profanity. We both laughed.
"You know, my life goal is to get you to quote me saying that in a short story."
We laughed again as the quiet green countryside passed by the car windows. It may have been a lazy afternoon outside the old minivan, but inside we were belting out alternative music in between inside jokes and philosophical comments.
"I think I'm going to try to go a month only eating beans, rice, and broccoli."
"Why broccoli?"
"Well, I know in a lot of other countries people survive on beans and rice plus some local veggies. I figure broccoli is one of the healthiest, so I'll choose that one. Plus, I think I could eat that every meal without getting sick of it. I mean, it's so delicious, you know."
She laughed at my broccoli comment so hard that we swerved on the narrow highway.
"Watch the road!" I shouted, "Broccoli's not worth dying for!"
We laughed again and turned our focus to the cliffs rising up on either side of us. The highway created the flat black bottom of a vibrant green ravine. Every couple of miles we caught a glimpse of a tiny waterfall dripping down against the rock exposed among the foliage.
"This drive is so gorgeous."
"Let's go on a road trip every weekend."
"But seriously," I said after a pause, "Broccoli's got to be one of the best vegetables to choose if you're only going to eat one for a month."
"Why do you only need to eat one?"
"Well, it seemed like a good idea if I was going to cut out all other food other than beans and rice. It'd be kinda like a cleanse, but also a bonus because it's super cheap. With my savings, I'll take a creative writing class and write that story you're dreaming of - the one where you shout profanities. I can see it now, you're running through a meadow and shouting them with glee."
"You can't shout profanity with glee; you've got to use it appropriately."
"I'm sorry, you did not provide that parameter in your life goal."

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Love Note

Greg strutted from the grocery store with his fresh six pack of beer and unlocked his flashy street car parked in the handicapped spot. The six pack sat in the front seat next to him as he roared out of the parking lot, making his engine rumble the whole mile back to his house.

The neighborhood was eerily quiet once Greg silenced his engine. He slammed the driver's door after he got out, unaware of the peace he was disturbing. He swaggered up to the front door and turned the handle hard to let himself in. He was surprised to find the door locked. Sheila usually left it unlocked for him when he came home in the evenings. The beer bottles clinked in one hand as he fumbled for the keys in his pocket with his other hand. Once he got the door opened, he called out Sheila's name.

There was no response.

"Where are you?"

His booming question received no response.

For the first time Greg could hear the silence. There were no kids playing outside, no dogs barking, no lawnmowers running, and no wife making dinner. Greg made his way into the kitchen and looked around. Everything looked clean and put away. Even the table was cleared of its usual clutter except for a conspicuous envelope with Greg's name on it.

He snatched up the enveloped and opened it to find Sheila's wedding ring and a note inside. He didn't need to read the note to guess the message, but he watned to know any details as to the reason Sheila had left him.

I love you. Your behavior towards me has made it clear that you do not feel the same way towards me. I'm going to find somewhere I can be loved.

Greg sank into the closest kitchen chair and reread the note a dozen times. It didn't make any more sense to him the twelfth time than it did the first, but he kept rereading because he couldn't think of anything else to do.