Thursday, 29 September 2016

He will always be my almost.

In one sentence is the spark of a story. Ignite.

Mission: Write a story, a description, a poem, a metaphor, a commentary, or a memory about this sentence. Write something about this sentence.

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“He will always be my almost,” Kathleen said and sighed.
Her friend, Marie, noticed. “Almost is a horrible word.”
“It is neither one thing nor the other. It is nothing.” She busied herself stacking the plates on their cafe table.
“Yes.” Kathleen handed her a side dish they hadn’t used. “That’s the waiter’s job, you know.”
“I know.” Silence for a moment and then Marie added, “If you don’t ask him, you will never know.”
Kathleen frowned. “Ask what?”
“Ask whom.”
“Is that almost’s name?”
“Yes, and no, I won’t ask.”
“Why not?”
“I just told you.”
Marie waved her hand dismissively. “No matter. Call him.”
“I don’t have--”
The look Marie gave her stopped her cold.
“You have his number. You know where he works and you know his name. You follow his career.”
“I--” she stopped at another glare.
“Slay the dragon, or fuck him. I do not care.”
“I think you mixed your metaphors there--”
“But finish it. Either way. Shift it from ‘almost’ to ‘never’ or ‘done that’. Don’t forget to tip well.” She stood, leaned down to kiss Kathleen and strode away.
“She’s right,” Kathleen said to the bill Marie had left her. “I guess I’m paying for the advice. And the tip.”
She laughed and the waiter who was clearing the plates glanced at her.
She did have David’s details. She sent him a message; a chatty, I’m-in-town, we should meet up type of thing. He responded so quickly it made her suspicious.
They agreed to a lunch for the next day. Lunch felt less like a date than a dinner, and if she did it quickly she wouldn’t have time to chicken out or drive herself nuts over what to wear.
Lunch was safe, right?
She suggested the cafe she and Marie had been at; the food was good and it also made it feel more like a safe, social thing.
He was a little bit overweight and his skin looked florid; she suspected he drank too much. When he ordered a bottle of wine she knew it.
She had followed his career, but not his facebook. She wasn’t a stalker.
If she had, she might have learned that he was mid-divorce. He spent the whole lunch bitching about his ex-wife and describing incidents that the ex had complained about. The more he told, the more Kathleen agreed with the ex.
She sat back in her chair, smiled politely, moved food around her plate and wondered how to escape.
As luck would have it, he got a call from his divorce lawyer. “She what?” he screeched before putting the phone against his chest. “I have to go,” he announced, and then left without paying.
She texted Marie. Disastrous
Why? Tell me everything.
He hasn’t changed. He’s still the selfish boy I had a crush on.
Right. Why did I think that attitude was so great?
So, he’s slain?
Hell, yeah.
No more almosts
Marie was right; she felt better. The lunch was delicious once she stopped stressing about how awful David was.
As she exited the cafe someone called out to her. She turned and ran into the waiter. He grabbed her arm as they almost overbalanced.
“Sorry for manhandling you.”
“I would have fallen otherwise.” She looked at him expectantly. It was the same waiter as the day before.
“You forgot your wine.” He held out the bottle with the screw lid replaced.
“Thanks, but I don’t drink alone.”
He grinned at her. “That almost sounds like an invitation.”
Kathleen could hear what Marie would say. “It does, doesn’t it?” She took a deep breath and went all in. “What time does your shift finish?”
“You hold the wine hostage and I’ll be back at five to ransom it. We can drink it together.”
He had the loveliest smile. “Perfect.”
And it was.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Things we didn't know we couldn't do

The first jumper I ever knitted is a brilliant example of me as a person; it’s a full Aryan sweater. A mega complicated cable knit. One that most knitters never even attempt. My first garment.
I had never made a full knitted thing before other than a jumpsuit for my teddy bear, whose name was Stephen. I am well aware of how tragic that is… or was, or whatever.
At any rate, I was sixteen… maybe.
I have tried to take a photo of it. Yes, I still own the jumper in question, and yes, I still wear it.
For the record, I am now fifty two. Jet was clearly a particularly hard wearing wool and it is hanging together better than fine. I do admit to making a mistake in the bottom rib. I only did half the number of rows. When it said repeat row 1 &2 11 times, I did 11 rows, rather than 22.
But the thing about it that amazes me is the seam. I managed to sew a flat seam in the first jumper I have ever made and to this day… I do not know how. People paid me to make them jumpers in the years after that and I did not do the same flat seams; I didn’t know how.
Look at that thing, it’s beautiful. It’s flat. It’s literally seamless.
And I don’t know how I did it.
This has happened elsewhere in my life. I used to share a house with three others when we were all penniless uni students. I didn’t drive a car, so they would sometimes give me lifts and I would repay them by making them clothes and jumpers.
I drove my fashionable flatmate nuts because I would study fashion label items she had purchased, make a pattern from newspaper and then make a copy of it for myself. And honestly, I don’t know how I did it. There were super complicated placket gaps up sleeves that I do not know how I made. I honestly don’t.
Kid three is graduating and the thought crossed my mind that I should just make her a prom dress… and then reason screamed at me, “Oh my God, no! She’d be lucky to have it for her wedding!” I am not good at hitting self-imposed deadlines.
Sometimes not knowing you can’t do something works.
There were too many negatives in that sentence, but you know what I mean.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Goodreads milestone of a sort

Tonight I posted a review and noticed that it was number 1200. It’s not much of a milestone but it seems like a nice round number.
I am utterly certain I have read way more books than that; that’s just the number since I started recording reviews on Goodreads. I am certain I OWN more books than that.
So far this year, I have read 232 books and I am the number 35 top reviewer in Australia. Whoa. Blows on knuckles… way ahead of last year when I read 236 for the entire year. You can see the links on the right hand side of this blog page.
I keep all my GR reviews in one Scrivener file but it is getting ridiculously large and hard to load. Maybe next year I will have to start a new one, or something. It is of huge help when Amazon tells me an author has a new book out and I am familiar with the name but can’t recall if I liked them enough to buy their new book. A quick search… and all is revealed.
Oh… that’s right. I remember this story-
I sort Kindle books into ‘collections’ and I have one for ‘currently reading’. I tried to put things in that category that I think I OUGHT to be reading… and it has failed spectacularly. Dammit brain… so my Kindle thinks I am reading 15 books, my GR account says 9 and there are probably a few more on my bedside table with bookmarks in them, and some others borrowed from a friend that take precedence over my owned editions. I have to give them back one day…

Ah the life of a bookworm.