Exam Room 24

It’s been a while, but I’m still here. For your reading pleasure – my try at flash fiction:

 

Exam Room 24

“I don’t like how men smell. Or really, I don’t how it smells. And how I smell after.”
The nurse looked up from her clipboard, but didn’t say anything. The young woman in the hospital gown continued speaking, either forgetting that she wasn’t alone or not caring.
“They’re always so shocked when I say anything – like they don’t think they smell bad. Like they think it would smell good. And it doesn’t go away quick either. Not even after a shower.”
“What is your name?”
The young woman didn’t make eye contact. “Emily.”
“And your last name?”
“Bronte.”
The nurse sighed quietly. “I’m going to need your real name.”
The young woman frowned. “They said it was okay to use fake names though.”
“That was the counseling hotline. This is different…we’ll need your actual name.”
“Can’t I just be her for a little bit? Just a little?”
The nurse stretched a smile on her face. “Sure, Emily – for a little bit. But eventually….”
“Yeah, I know.”
“Do you want to talk about it?”
“You mean did he force me? Don’t they all in some way though? Force it? The others were nicer about it, made it seem like I wanted to…made it seem like my idea sometimes. And most times, I probably mostly did want to. But it was always their idea before mine. And I always knew that, but I went along anyway. I’d pretend that I was all for it, and they’d pretend to call again.”
“But this time?”
Emily glanced down at her fingers. “I broke a nail, I think. Doesn’t matter, I guess, since the paint’s chipped on all of them.”
“Emily?”
“Yeah, this time he was just more upfront about it. I said no. Or, I think I did. I wanted to. I tried to pull away. He hurt, in general, you know? It was rough and he didn’t care.”
The nurse stopped writing. “I’m sorry, Emily. I’m sorry for him. For all of them, but definitely for him.”
Emily shrugged. “I guess I’ll have to talk about it again, huh?”
“A detective’s waiting to take your statement.”
“About time to stop being Emily.”
The nurse smiled gently. “Maybe after the examination. That okay?”
“Sure. That way someone else is being poked and scraped.”
“I’ll be gentle. Promise. Now, lie back please and we’ll get this done as quickly as possible.”
Emily’s chestnut hair fell over the back of the examination table. “I hate how they smell.”

Mostly a Free Write

Disclaimer: “mostly free write” means that I corrected typing/grammatical/spelling errors

I think things are changing and I’m not quite ready. But who ever is? Who sees change charging down the path like a Clydesdale on steroids and says “hooray – I was hoping this would happen”?

But I also want the change. I used to joke that my Native blood kept me restless – since my people (Pawnee) were nomadic, then it was in my nature to be also. Kind of like my fascination with buffalo. I think they are beautiful and majestic and unique. I can see a picture of painting of a buffalo from across a room and I will make a beeline for it. Maybe I just like bison, but I also like to think it’s something in me…my Native-ness that pulls me to these animals.

So I want the change, but not quickly and all at once and right away. I want a few more days in my comfort zone. I thought I had shaken its bonds loose a week ago, but I can feel myself being drawn back.

My zone has a person. It’s a he. We’re not “together” now. Used to be, and it was wonderful and painful and weird (good way) and stressful. Now we’re just friends, but he calls us peas in a nutshell (since peas share the pod with other peas and we are unique to each other). I want away. I want to stay. (I greatly dislike rhyming). I want to not feel like I am going to miss him when he goes home after a night of chili and Clue.

I think change is coming mostly because I feel the space between us. It’s kind of exciting, but I also cringe to think of being somewhere where he isn’t.

Done for now.

mea culpa

I’ve been terrible with not posting. I miss this space and how I can dump anything here and not be (openly) judged. I appreciate that you are out there and reading my rants and actually liking some of them. Thank you. I’ll be better with this.

Longing

Remember when life was simple

and all we did was enjoy our freedom,

churning our muscles

and begging the wind to give chase.

You were so beautiful in your fury and glory,

matted sweat and thick blood

from centuries of warriors crowding

to give life to your heart.

Too much time away from

dirt and clay beneath your feet

has tamed you.

Forget your civilized self

and let the stars lead you home.

cake wars

Ever have to choose

between two of your favorite desserts?

They’re almost the same thing –

cake pops and store bought birthday cake.

Both make you feel so great

when you have them.

You want both, crave both.

They’re almost the same,

but the cake pops make you bare your soul,

know your heart,

and can sense the slightest change

in your voice.

The other one has potential and is nice.

So nice.

But it doesn’t know your soul

like the cake pops do.

But it also hasn’t broken your heart

and put you through

months of emotional turmoil.

The birthday cake is just really nice,

and really stable.

But it doesn’t sing your tune and know your heart.

But it could, if you gave it a chance.

Everyone likes birthday cake,

especially you.

But you love cake pops.

And you can only have one dessert.

free write rant

Have you ever just wanted to sit down and start typing without really thinking about what would come out and how it would sound? Ever wish you could turn off the part of your brain that wants to censor your words and just lay it out. Bare. Cold. Hard. Just there.

I’m trying to do that now and wow it is not easy. I joke that I have the editor button in my head that is stuck “on” and I don’t know how to turn it off. Sometimes I wish I could read a text or an email from someone without noticing the errors. I think I would like the world a little better if I didn’t pick up on everyone who can’t seem to figure out the your/you’re conundrum.

I am probably one of the few people who likes Grammarly. I turn it into this weird contest of trying to type without seeing that little circle turn red. I hate seeing the red. If I think about it too much, I might realize that it’s part of some sickness or emotional issue where I am trying to be good enough. Good enough for Grammarly. Good enough at writing that I convince myself I am good enough in general. Or maybe I think too much and it’s just a stupid red circle and I need to get out more.

I feel like I am this odd bird who wants company, but also doesn’t want to give up my solace. I don’t want to give up my time and go through the sordid ordeal of opening up just so some other jerk can – I stopped because WordPress probably doesn’t like foul language. Dating sucks. There.

I’m not so resilient anymore. I should probably just give up, but sometimes my phone’s silence is just too annoying.

So yeah, bare. Good times, right?

Making Stubborn Sparks

I’ve been thinking about hope a lot lately – partially because of Christmas and partially because of Star Wars. And also, because of a comment a friend made while we discussed Star Wars (before opening night) – when I asked his feelings in regard to The Last Jedi, his response stuck in my head: “I am doggedly hopeful.”

Doggedly hopeful.

In the week leading up to Star Wars, I heard “hope” discussed by my pastor at church, the radio DJ, and my friend (regarding the movie). And then we saw Star Wars – among the other themes of the movie, one constant undercurrent was dogged hopefulness…the unwillingness of Rey to abandon any of the people who seemed hopeless resounded in me (and my apologies for any spoilers).

As I mentally chewed on the movie (as I often do with movies – the curse/blessing of being a writer), I remembered my friend’s comment. Ever the wordsmith, I turned to my thesaurus to do some study on both “dogged” and “hope.”

Hope (noun): belief, ambition, anticipation, desire, confidence, faith, optimism, promise, reliance
Hope (verb): anticipate, believe, cherish, expect, aspire, await, foresee, pray, rely, trust, hang in, have faith
Dogged (verb): persistent, determined, relentless, resolute, steadfast, stubborn, tenacious, firm, steady, obstinate

When I looked over the words listed in the thesaurus, I only saw “wish” once. But the other words (anticipation, confidence, reliance, belief)seemed to drown out that one. Hope is not about blind wishing – it’s far more powerful than that. Hope is a well of strength.

In one of the last scenes in Star Wars, Cameron Poe galvanizes the diminished band of Resistant fighters to not give up: “we are the spark <of hope> that will light the fire that will burn down the Fire Order.”

At that point, they didn’t need a blazing bonfire…they just needed a spark. They needed to be reminded that they still had strength. They needed the reminder of hope.

Especially during this season of my life, when the things I want to be happening don’t seem to be happening, I have needed to be doggedly hopeful. I have needed to staunchly persist in my belief that God will fulfill His promise. Like the fighters, I have needed to know that the end is not the end.

My advice? The end is not the end. Just think of that kitten on the wire and hang in there.

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