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Mourning Pieces (II)

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Jan. 30th, 2012 | 08:31 pm

Three weeks after the wake, I’m in Memphis. Mourning hits in tiny asteroidal fragments, cratering me in the greeting cards aisle, choking my eyes with ashes while making a Taco Bell run. I wonder if black clothes and umbrellas beside a rectangle in the earth would have brought convenient tears. Instead there was a memorial in a tiki bar, my stepmother whispering, “Yer dad’s friend didn’t come, kin you get up and say something?”—a speech I’d semi-prepared, suspecting this would happen—the dry-eyed, gracious daughter, hearing over and over again, “He always remembered my name.”

I pull the shards together (no time!) and ask “What’s faster, drive-thru or go in?” while making an executive decision and pulling into the parking lot. “Two burritos, two burritos?”

My partner is digging for dollars, my other partner for his card.

“Got it,” and I’m out of the car, shutting the door on their “Thanks, boss”. I yelled yesterday and was cranky the day before, not fair—we’re all underslept and under pressure. Spending money I have and they have less of is one way to even it out, let them know I love them, let them know I’m sorry, I’m selfish, I’m sorry.


Mourning Pieces I
Mourning Pieces III
Mourning Pieces IV
Mourning Pieces V

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Comments {7}

Jess

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from: mymisguided
date: Jan. 31st, 2012 02:35 am (UTC)
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I really like these; this story in particular. The writing is very tight, the word choice is very purposeful, and I appreciate that. The vignette style of these pieces work; I hope people decide to read more than one!

Good work.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Feb. 6th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
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Thanks :) I think most did read more than one, but boy was it ever tough to let that be their decision!

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A Karmic Sandbox

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from: karmasoup
date: Jan. 31st, 2012 07:36 pm (UTC)
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I know what it's like to get hit with those moments, they just come when they want to, in flashes you have no control over, and you're left standing with peas in your hand, shaking in the frozen produce section, hoping no one asks what's wrong, because the last thing you want to have to deal with right then is the answer.

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Feb. 6th, 2012 02:13 am (UTC)
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Yes. This.

Thanks.

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Andrea Blythe

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from: blythe025
date: Feb. 2nd, 2012 12:49 am (UTC)
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I don't really have any comments on this one. it tightly conveys the scene. In a way I get a feel that the I'm sorry at the end is not just for the people in the car..., maybe for your dad, too?

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whipchick

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from: whipchick
date: Feb. 6th, 2012 02:14 am (UTC)
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Yes, definitely. He and I were so much alike, and both pretty self-centered.

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The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors

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from: halfshellvenus
date: Feb. 2nd, 2012 06:49 pm (UTC)
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Spending money I have and they have less of is one way to even it out, let them know I love them, let them know I’m sorry, I’m selfish, I’m sorry.
This sounds like an echo of something played out in your family dynamic, either being given money rather than time, or the failure to have much of either left over for you. Judging from one of the other pieces, I'm guessing it's the first. Decoding love from behaviors is always hard, but it helps to know it's there.

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