Wednesday April 8th, 2015

The exercise:

Write about: the U-turn.

I had planned on spending most of my morning with Max in town, running a couple errands and going to the park. We ended up at and around Kat's parents place instead because I need to learn to stop making plans while he's in this phase.

A lot of my afternoon was spent doing things I'd hoped to get done in the morning, so it was a generally unproductive day for me.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better in that regard.


One moment we were going full steam ahead, the view out the passenger window a green blur of trees. The next you were heavy on the breaks, bringing everything gradually back into focus. And now we're going back the way we came.

"I forgot something."

Those are your words. Innocent enough on their own, I suppose. But I don't like the way you said them. And I especially don't like the way you started chewing on the inside of your right cheek after you said it.

"What is it?"

I don't really want to know the answer, but I ask anyway. I feel obligated to inquire. As though if I only offered silence in reply I wouldn't be holding up my end of our unspoken agreement.

"It's a... it's sort of... hard to explain."

God, it's that bad? Maybe I should just undo my seat belt, open my door, and take my chances. The immediate physical damage would surely be less than the long term psychological punishment of staying.

"Oh." A short pause that feels much longer. "I guess... I'll just have to wait and see, huh?"

You smile and nod, obviously relieved. About what... who knows. I go back to studying the green ocean of trees you're driving us through and... what? Find something to distract myself with, get my thoughts elsewhere. I do what I need to do.

It's going to be a long two hours until we get back home.


Greg said...

Sounds like Max is engaging in the terribles two then... I wish you the best of luck :) Clearly you're going to have to dig your copy of Ms. Office back out and start planning things in a Gant chart so that when Max aborts one line of work you've got the next one ready to switch over on to straight away!
I was really enjoying your tale today, with the beautiful descriptions of the scenery and the cheek-chewing, and the just-the-right-amount of conversation until I realised that from the context it could only be Max driving. And I'm sure he's not yet tall enough to reach the pedals. However, it is a beautifully rendered piece, one of your best to date!

The U-turn
The corps-de-ballet were fluttering around the stage like agitated moths, white tutus rustling against each other as the girls darted hither and thither; lost in their midst were the two male leads, one of whom might have been having a crafty cigarette while he waited for the commotion to subside. Lydia Rakitov, the choreographer, came through the fire-exit door wreathed in smoke and stopped, staring at the stage.
"WHAT – is happening?" she said, her voice carrying even from the back of auditorium. The corps-de-ballet halted, with only minor collisions and one collapse, and the Junior Choreographer, Matt, turned round in his seat. Lydia was sure he looked guilty.
"Uh, we're doing Scene four," he said. "Like you told me to."
Lydia stalked down the aisle between the seats, her shoes clicking like an epileptic flamenco dancer's castanets. She had the toes and heels soled with steel plates because she wore leather down so quickly with the way she marched.
"Which play?" she demanded. "That looked nothing like Swan Lake to me. Since when do ducks run around like headless chickens?" Her voice was throaty and she tended to snarl when she wasn't making an effort to be nice.
"Uh, yes, it's Swan Lake," said Matt. He was shaking now that she was getting closer. "It's the new version. You gave... me... the script... yourself." His voice got quieter and quieter as she got closer and closer.
"I did no–." She paused. "Hang on, you mean the Lloyd-Webbe rewrite?"
Matt nodded, no longer trusting his voice not to break and quiver like a teenager's.
"Ah." Lydia was unsure of the validity of the rewrite, but the opera's owner was insisting, believing it to be a coup. "Scene four is..."
"The one where the hydro-electric dam is turned on the first time and Hilda and Bruno see their cygnets sucked into the turbines," said Matt, glad of a question he knew the right answer to. "So all the swans do a U-turn and try and swim away from the horror again, except for Hilda who sits there and sings the Devourer Aria."
"Yes, that's totally what I'd do too if my children were being torn apart by monstrous industrial machinery," said Lydia, unaware that everyone listening believed her. "Right, fine, well that was a poor excuse for U-turn." She turned her gaze to the corps-de-ballet. "Let's take this from the beginning, bitches!"

morganna said...

Round and round we go
Back and forth, up and down
I'm sure the turn
We're looking for is just ahead.

Marc said...

Greg - yeah, fully engaged. Fully.

Thank you for the kind words on mine. The inspiration behind it was totally unrelated to Max... but I can still see where you got that from :)

That... sounds like one hell of a play. I'd buy a ticket to see it!

Morganna - I have been there before. Many times. U-turn, u-turn, u-turn... maybe? Nope. U-turn...