Poignant Blurs

Creativity Works

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Location: Florida, United States

"Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won. It exists, it is real, it is possible, it is yours." - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Evade

There was no excuses this time. She was tired and out of excuses. It seemed everyone had one, and she didn't have the energy to even attempt it, and so she ended up with the blame.

Meagan had never been very good in these situations. She was a bundle of energy at work and play that was practically unstoppable, but come the finger pointing and the game playing politics of work and friendship, she practically shut down.

She gossipped sure, and was always eager for the latest news, but there was no malice in her for it, and she considered it light hearted fun. She knew of people who's sole purpose was to demoralize and cast blame or doubt on others, but she didn't associate with these people, or at least she tried to avoid them.

The fact of the matter was she couldn't compete with them, couldn't even comprehend it, and so she was more often the victim of their plots than an active participant. She was sometimes naively caught up in something simply because she couldn't understand that there could be any harm in it.

She was starting to learn better.

This case was no different, she had been one minute laughing and chatting while happily buzzing around at work. She wasn't slacking off, she was capable of a million things at once. Now she was fired with no clear understanding. She knew that there was something about the whole situation that she had missed. It was just beyond her fatigue, which hung like a cloud and had decended the moment the unpleasantness had begun.

Meagan just hadn't the heart for unpleasantness.

It was her 21st year, and she was mostly happy, but it was becoming apparent that she was ill prepared for "the real world" as every one in high school had touted the post-high school world. Granted she had been out of high school for 4 years, but this was an unpleasant realization, and she had managed not to believe it thus far.

But this was her third time being fired, and she had failed out of her first year at college.
She was out of excuses.

At home that evening Meagan was morose. The color had washed from her face, leaving her ashen and listless. Her family was understandably concerned. They said nothing though, they knew that Meagan disliked unpleasantness, and would be even less likely to talk about it, than she was to express it, and they had never seen her express it before.

Generally she bounded about the house, talking eagerly to anyone that would listen about anything she could think of. She was resilient, she was bubbly, she was charming. She did not want to grow up. She thought that this is what it would be like, as she walked slumped shouldered through the house, eyes lowered. This is what it was like to be grown up. She went to her bedroom and flopped down on her back, an air of forlorn pride and resignation followed her down.

When she became bored of staring at the ceiling, she leaned up one elbow and eyed herself in the mirror over top of her dresser. She ruthlessly chided herself on the snarled brown hair, sticking up from where she had just flopped on it. She made herself look as miserable as possible, drawing down the lines of her mouth, drooping sloppily in a contorted pose that finally appeared the her as the ridiculous gross exaggeration that it was, and she burst happily into laughter. Relieved, she laid back on the bed clutching a stuffed lion to her chest.

"Maybe not yet", she whispered into the fur mane, pulling herself up on her side to wrap around the toy, and fall peacefully asleep for another night.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Return of Winter

She started out running. It was a good pace, her body felt strong and she purposefully flung her ponytail from side to side with each step, enjoying the feel of bounce. Then the air started to crystalize in her lungs, and she remembered that it was January. She slowed to a light jog, cheeks and nose turning pink with white spots of beginner frost bite. She had gone about a mile, when she had to slow to a walk, chest heaving, and light headed. She bent slightly at the knees, and her eyes darted around the empty streets looking for somewhere to go inside and get a drink of water. She literally felt as if her esophagus had frozen over.
She spotted a diner on the corner, and walked briskly toward it, rubbing her gloved hands together and holding them over her mouth and nose to warm the air that passed between her fingers. The diner was dimly lit, giving it a dingy yellow-brown hue inside. At first she thought it might be closed, but it was the middle of the day, although admittedly one couldn't tell by the dark gray outdoor weather.
Bells on the door jangled as she pulled it open and stepped inside. A squat little woman with a hairnet and apron poked her head out from around a corner to what must be the kitchen, and called "witcha in a minute darlin'" in a sing-songy voice.
Trina sat down at the counter and rubbed her legs, gloves still on. The diner was warm and she felt herself begining to thaw. She used to run everyday, but this had been her first run since coming back up north. She had avoided it for precisely this reason. Her teeth and gums ached from the cold, and a coppery taste was in her mouth.
The squat woman emerged, fresh pot of coffee in hand, "I imagine you'd be liking a cup of this"
"Oh yes!" Trina replied, greatful.
The woman poured a cup and set out creamers and a sugar caddy. Trina pulled her gloves off and reached for the hot cup, eager to wrap her fingers around it. She leaned her face over the cup and inhaled the steam into her chapped nostrils. Immediately her nose began to run.
"That's much better isn't it darlin'" said the waitress, as Trina ducked her head and grabbed a napkin to catch her nose. "Yessum thanks", she mumbled into the napkin.
"You were running then darlin? On a day like this?" queried the waitress, sympathetically. She looked to be in her mid-forties, and her round homely face folded into a look of genuine concern when she spoke.
"Yessum", mumbled Trina "I used to do it back home everyday, I just got to feeling so cramped in that house".
"Mmm, yes, it can get a bit dreary in these parts during January. Where ya here from?"
"Florida"
"Oh my yes, you must miss it there right now musn't ya?"chuckled the waitress.
Trina nodded her head as she leaned into the coffee for a sip. The hot liquid coursed down her parched esophagus, and filled her belly with a distinct and comforting glow. She did not want to talk anymore. The waitress seemed to sense this, for she refilled Trina's cup and with a wink went back to the kitchen.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Starts and Stops

Trina Robertson balanced a ciggarette in one corner of her mouth, squinting her eyes against the smoke. With one hand she was stirring the contents of a small pot on the stove, and with the other she held her glass of red wine, tilted, and she swayed slightly. In the pot was the contents of what frozen vegetarian packages had been left crusting in her freezer for the past month. Nothing else remained in the fridge. There was plenty of wine though. Wine kept her warm and helped her to sleep.

She left the pot to cook and went out to the small den area (it was a studio apartment) to watch television. She flopped on the futon and pulled up an ashtray. She set the wine glass on the table, laid her head back, and promptly went to sleep.

She awoke an hour later, choking on smoke. Her hair and the cushion of the futon were smoldering from the abandoned ciggarette, and thick black smoke wafted from the kitchen.

"Goddammit!" She swore, and ran to the kitchen. She opened the two doors in the small building and dumped the pot in the sink. The pot was practically worthless, this was the fourth time she'd burnt it

She wasn't hungry anymore anymore anyway, but felt a tinge of sadness seeing the last of the food gone to such waste. Then she felt an odd sense of satisfaction, and as the air began to clear, she closed the doors and fell back asleep without difficulty.