This wasn’t my best writing day. I received news this morning of the passing of someone important to me, a woman who was another mother to me when I was in college and grad school. I’ve spent a good part of the day trying to figure out how to afford the plane ticket to go to the funeral. It’s days like this when I wonder why I insist on career choices that allow me to write and make art. I mean, I could have done something that made money. But since I didn’t, here I am. I forced myself to write something for today’s prompt, which is about someone talking directly to the camera.
Thanks for stopping by. Not sure how the writing will go this week, especially since I’ll be traveling midweek and staying in someone else’s house. But I’ll try to scribble something along the way.
“What do you want me to say? How was I supposed to know? Don’t look at me like that. Yeah. Fine. He did make that comment, but don’t we all make, you know, comments? I once said I was going to strangle my little sister, but look. She’s walking around to. This. Day. Anyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t hurt anyone. So, maybe I didn’t take his comments seriously. Who did? How many people saw this comments and did nothing? Lots. Why was I supposed to be any different?”
“Don’t look at me that way. Yes. I did give him ride. Why even ask? You’ve got the video. I can’t deny it. Not that I would because I wasn’t doing anything wrong, was I? It’s not illegal to give a person a ride. Maybe it isn’t smart, I grant you. But did I ever claim to be Einstein’s cousin? My mum always did say, ‘If a sharp tack’s what you need, you gotta go to someone else’s house.’ She didn’t pretty things up at all, my mum. I mean, look at this place. Would you even try? No amount of spit n polish would work around here.
“But boy, I’m glad my mum isn’t around to see this mess. Oh, it sure would killed her. Times like this I’m glad she’s already dead. Some people, you know, some people go do nice things, like getting married and graduating, and they say, ‘Oh, I wish me mum could see me now!’ I don’t ever got no reason to say anything like that.
“Now you just stop lookin at me like that. I got off track, is all. I was not asking you to feel sorry for me. Not that you would. I can tell your type never do feel sorry for the likes of me. You’re pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps kinda person, aren’t you? Like you did, right? In those nice boots you got on. Who gave you those? Your mum? Oh, I know. Your grandpa. Anyways, as I sayin, yeah, I gave him a ride, but what I know about what he was up to. He was sweet to me. He was. I know you’re shocked, but he was. And he done me a good turn so I had to do right by him. I pay my debts. If you lent me a fiver, rest issue I’d pay you back. You could count on it. Not that I’m asking for nothing. I’m not.
“And no, I don’t mean I owed him a favor like that. He didn’t have anything over me or nothin. Course not. It wasn’t like that. It was just…
“Now you let me think…
“You got me all flustered with that camera and all. Okay. So he might’ve mentioned he was up to something, I don’t know what. I don’t. But you know, he talks a lot, like you ever hear him? And he’s so sweet lookin, maybe sometimes I don’t pay attention to everything he says cuz I’m lookin at him lookin at me, and I feel, you know, special, like I can do anything. And that he can do anything to help me.
“Not that he was helping me. What do I got against those people? The were practicality strangers to me, weren’t they? I barely knew them. You can’t prove I knew them. You can’t. Can you? Course you can’t. I don’t care what he’s told you. This was all his idea. He had the problem with those people. No. I don’t need to see that video. That don’t prove anything. So I spoke to them a couple a times? That doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean I had a problem with them or that he’d hurt them like that. I love everyone. Go on. Ask anyone. Ask him. All I got is love for people. Even people who wrong me. Why, I bet those people would tell you themselves, if, you know, they could talk. They’d say, ‘Why, she’s as nice as anyone. Her mum was always bragging bout her. Always bragging.’
“Now, we’ve had a right friendly chat, don’t you think? I really don’t know what else we could talk about, do you? So, if you’d just let me out of here, I’d be much obliged. C’mon. I don’t got all day. Oh, wait. One more thing. Are you gonna see him? I bet you are. Well, tell him something for me, will you? Tell him, I’m waiting for him. Tell him, I’ll never forget him. Tell him…I been talking to his mum. And we both miss him. He loves his mum. Isn’t that sweet? It’s the sweetest.”
4 thoughts on “Story-a-Day. Oh boy.”
Beautifully done, as always. I’m very sorry for your loss. 😦
Thank you. I know you understand. It’s been a hard time for you, and you’ve been in my thoughts.
Love this — really love it. It invites reader participation in the story, because there are all these information gaps: the identity of the interviewer (and -ee, for that matter), who the “he” is and what he did, etc. So as we read as long we’re busily plugging those gaps. Very absorbing.
Plus, it ratchets up the previous dialogue-only prompt’s challenge: here, you were reduced to just ONE.
And I love the dialect!
Thanks! I wanted it to have enough but not too much.