Monday, February 15, 2010

moving, a story

Bleek, hopeless rainclouds: that’s you. Infinite mimosas: that’s me. But, sometimes, you’re wet, warm puppy kisses, and sometimes I’m fresh fruit gone bad. Sometimes we’re children playing together in a backyard running away from, then into sprinklers. Sometimes we’re coffee stains on light-colored business suits on our way to important interviews. Today, we’re just us: rain clouds and mimosas.

We’re fixing breakfast together, and over the crackling of the bacon, you drop a bomb on me.

“I’m moving to New York in August.”

I continue arranging the wet plates on the drying rack as I choose my words.

“I don’t want you to be upset,” you tell me.

“Flick the fan on. I don’t want the smoke alarm to go off again.” I turn down the heat. “Do you have a place to live?” I bring the salt and pepper to the table.


“Do you have a job lined up?”

“No.” You plate the bacon and bring it to the table with a paper towel on top to de-grease it.

“When did you decide this?”

“I’ve been thinking about it for a while.”

“Do we need anything else?” I ask, surveying the spread.

“I don’t think so,” you say, taking the chair across from me. You dip your toast into the center of your egg, and the yellow starts running out like a shoplifter. My fork and knife make that scraping noise against the plate that reverberates like a cartoon character who’s gotten his head stuck in a bell.

“Why New York?”

“Why not?”

I fish for the crispiest piece of bacon. You reach for the butter.

“I know it’s exciting to go someplace new, but I know New York, and I know you, and I don’t think you’ll like it.”

“I need a change,” you tell me.

“I know you do, but why don’t you do a little research, and see where the best place for you might be. I mean, what if you can’t get an apartment or work, and you don’t know anybody. I know you’re looking for something different, but this is a whole lot of different all at once.”

“I’m going,” you say. “I’d like to have your support.”

“You don’t even seem excited about it,” I protest.

“I’m not excited about anything right now. I’ve been gloom and doom for the past five months. I’m going to go because I have to. I am stronger than this.”

I watch you struggle with the lid to the jelly jar. Eventually it pops off. You spread the preserved berries onto your toast. I try to picture everything behind you as a green screen, you staying the same, just getting a new background, maybe even a more flattering one, one that you prefer.

“As soon as you get a place I’m coming to visit though, make sure the Big Apple is treating you well.”

You smile at me, and I can begin to see the sun peaking through the shifting gray clouds.


  1. 'Today, we’re just us: rain clouds and mimosas.'
    I love that line....
    I love the beginning of the story, how it introduces the characters....
    I love how you casually incorporate food....
    I love getting goose bumps when you write how your 'fork and knife make that scraping noise against the plate',
    I love the tension in the story and how it slowly winds down and ends with the sun peaking through the shifting gray clouds...
    I just love this story....

  2. Thanks so much for your comments, M! I really appreciate them, and you!