Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Story Because I Am Lazy

So, having been absent for approximately 2.5 trillion light years, I have something to share with you.

I am entering a convent.

Next month.

Weird, right?

But it is un-avoidable. God has called me, and I must follow.

Or go to hell.

Because that is how it works.


Just kidding.


In other news, a lot a lot has been happening in my life, but instead of telling you about it, you get to read a story because I happen to be lazy. This story can serve a dual purpose by fulfilling my writing club obligation as well as giving you something to read.

A few weeks ago the lovely Meaghen, the fabulous Maja and I all decided that we needed to form a writers club. We would write two pages once a week, share it, and talk about it.

I put writing my story off until it was almost too late to get it done. Typical.

But now that it IS done, you get to see the product of my brains when I start to type without planning and give myself a deadline of one hour.

Lucky, lucky you.



Warm air pulls her into the store and out of the cold as the sliding glass doors whisper open. Intoxicating smells waft over from the bakery, tempting her with the siren call of fresh, hot carbs.

She slides her coin into the handle of the cart and struggles with the locking mechanism - is it just her, or can no one else get it to work either? - and, after a few tries, yanks the cart free from its brothers. She plops her purse into the space meant for a toddler and rifles through its pockets, trying to find her list. A whispered curse escapes her lips as she digs deeper and deeper into the bowels of her bag, past coins and crumbs and candy wrappers and, amongst all that, still does not find the raggedy bit of paper she needs.

A pause in the frantic search: she stares into space as if trying to backtrack her morning. The list - where has she put it? Methodically she starts unzipping all the pockets of her jacket. Nothing. She digs her hands into the front pockets of her pants. Nadda. And then....a flash of remembrance zipps across her face: she pats her butt and sighs happily. Her slim fingers wriggle themselves inside the back pocket of her jeans and with a squeal of triumph, she reveals her list in all its glory.

She directs the cart towards the back of the store, towards the meat section. Duck. They better have some in. He likes duck. A small moan escapes her at the thought of no duck. Hurriedly she pushes the cart down the long aisle, desperate to discover the trajectory of her evening. It all rests, she feels deep in her soul, on the duck.

At the meat counter she taps the pointed toe of her black boot impatiently. An old lady is talking to the butcher in a wavering high pitched voice about her need for liver. Her doctor, she pipes into the butcher’s face, has told her that she must have liver. The butcher is in no hurry to get rid of her; he nods in sympathetic understanding and chats back to her as he wraps up the quivering red mass for the old woman.

Finally, finally, the old lady meanders off.

She approaches the counter; it feels as if the direction of her future rests on the answer to her question.

“Duck. I need duck for tonight.”

“A whole one? Breasts?”

“Breasts, preferably.”

“No problem. How many?”

“Two, please.”

"Coming right up."

The weight lifts off her shoulders; she stands a little straighter. Her smile goes from merely polite, to fully genuine. They have duck. It is a sign: the evening will be perfect.

With a swirl of brown paper and a length of twine, the butcher hands over her precious package, tells her to have a good day, and turns to his next customer.

The heels of her boots clip clop her to the produce section where she picks over the baby potatoes, trying, it seems, to find some that are all exactly the same size and shape.

That accomplished, she moves over to the assortment of bagged lettuces, examining them as closely as she can without actually tearing the bags open, searching for one with no signs of wilting.

Tomatoes are examined with extra attention spent on the smell, but it is when she gets to the raspberries that things get interesting. Container after container is meticulously examined - each and every one is discarded with a little sniff of disgust. The raspberries must be perfect; most of them are weeping piles of mush.

Looking surreptitiously over her shoulder she starts to shuffle raspberries between containers. The perfect ones go into one container, the ugly ones go into any other of the available containers.

Done with the produce section, she makes her way towards the bakery. Her final stop. If they have some fresh sourdough...MAN...she will have nothing to fear. It’s his favorite bread. Her eyes rest on the round bulbous loaf she is convinced she needs, a happy sigh issues out of her, and with that, all the remaining tension trapped in her body seems to float away.

Lined up at the cash register, she stares smilingly into space as she plans out her afternoon of cooking. Everything will be perfect. This is the start of a new a start. The duck and sourdough serve as confirmation.

I start to scan her items and she cheerily asks how my day is going. Before I can answer, she is distracted by the buzzing of her phone. Her eyes scan the screen of her Blackberry, skipping over the words of the text message.

Her shoulders sag. The ray of light in her face, so vibrantly there a moment ago, scuttles away leaving bleak despair.

“He couldn’t even call.”

“I’m sorry?”

“My husband. I was planning a special dinner. We were going to start over. But he has a meeting. Last minute. You know that means?”

I don’t answer. She isn’t really talking to me anyway.

Her voice drops low as she twists the massive, sparkling diamond on her left hand. “He’s not going to give her up. He’s not.”

She grabs her bag from the place where toddlers sit and walks, as if in a trance, towards the sliding doors of the store.

“Fucking duck.”


  1. I don't know if it was supposed to, but I started giggling at the beginning, starting from the "fresh, hot carbs."

    This was great.

  2. first off, I knew you were lying about the convent, but I still sighed a breath of relief when you said "just kidding"
    secondly, great story - very descriptive. poor carb loving, duck hating woman. :)
    thanks for sharing Mary!