Thursday December 26th, 2013

The exercise:

Write about: going back.

I always struggle to come up with the first writing prompt after a theme week has concluded. This was no different, though it did help that my brother-in-law Jake lent me Stephen King's 11/22/63 a few days ago.

We had a very nice Christmas in Calgary, with lots of snow and pleasant temperatures outside. Indoors featured fun family moments and a surprisingly (relatively) healthy Max. We're all hoping his improvement stays on its current track and that his cold will be left behind long before we board our plane for home on Saturday morning.

Today we went out to visit a classmate of Kat's from her online counseling course, before going bowling this afternoon with my family. It was just Jake, Kat, my dad, and myself bowling, while my sister and mom watched Max.

That was definitely a two person job.


There are moments in the past that linger long past the time that they are welcome to do so. Not content to remain part of our history, they reappear at random. While we wait in line at the grocery store. During lulls in telephone conversations. At night, in our dreams.

So often in our dreams.

We all have them. None of us are immune.

Yet so rarely are these moments brought into the light, dissected, shared. Are we ashamed of them? Or do we just fear them and the mystical hold they have on us? A little of both, perhaps.

No matter the reasons, no matter the exact details of a haunting moment, they follow us like shadows. But these shadows have weight. They are heavy, and they seem to only grow heavier with the passage of time. We drag them here and there, allowing them to slow our steps.

They are tiresome, these moments that refuse to live in the past. That insist on invading our present. I have had enough of mine. I will not carry this burden another day.

It is time for me to go back, find my moment in the fog of memory and emotions. Confront it in the past where it was born, and leave it there forever.


Greg said...

How did you score at the bowling, now that you're getting all this extra practice in? It sounds like a fun day though, and I'm sure Max was a complete handful.
The burden you're writing about comes through very strongly in your writing today, there's a definite heavy, leaden feeling in there. It lifts slightly at the end, just as the narrator explains how he intends to discard it, so very nicely done!

Going back
Lucy wrestled with the gear-stick, but it seemed to be fighting back. Paula, sat in the passenger seat, raised an eyebrow.
"Trouble?" she asked, her tone saccharine with sweetness. Lucy's lips stretched thin, and there was a noticeable pause before she answered.
"I can't get out of reverse," she said. "In fact, given how little I can feel when I depress the clutch and re-engage, I don't think this car's got any other gears."
Paula laughed. Her husband described it as a chorus of angels singing, but Lucy and many other ladies from the Women's Institute tending to refer to it as sounding like an excited donkey. In heat. "Don't be silly," she said. "Car's have lots of gears!"
"You don't drive," said Lucy, trying again. The gear-stick would only stay fixed in the R position. "In fact, I've no idea why you bought this car, since you don't drive."
"Oh, but there are lots of people who can drive for me," said Paula. She pulled the sun-visor down and started checking her make-up in the mirror.
"Well, you've got one fewer," said Lucy with finality. She opened the door and got out. She leaned back in before she closed it though: "Trust me, Paula," she said, "with this car, you're only going back."
She slammed the door hard enough to jolt Paula, who promptly poked herself in the eye with the finger that was smoothing down her eyebrows, and walked off. Backwards, just to make her point.

Marc said...

Greg - ugh, not very well. But I'm happy to blame that on new lanes and being distracted by Max!

Hah, great take on the prompt. And I am left feeling that Paula got exactly what she deserved, though I'm sure she'll recover quickly.