Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Diner

(Dusted off and revised.)

The red and white checkered table cloth was mildly sticky. She hunched over in the sparkly red vinyl booth so as to be closer to the table and to make her quieted voice more audible to him on the other side.

Him.

Him in the red shirt with the black and yellow City Health & Rescue Team logo. The same red shirt she was wearing. They sit in silence for long seconds listening to the noise around them and focus on the pictures of old cars with burnt out LED’s for headlights on the walls.

Focus on the waitress shouting, “Good to see ya, hon! Have a seat right here! Sweet tea for ya?”

Focus on the three year old boy who just fell out of his seat and hit his head on the hard iron table leg and who is now screaming in pain. They focus on anything and anyone else but each other.

Their glances, just for a moment and mostly by accident, meet back across the table. She looks back down at her lap immediately. The big, round, dark skinned waitress bounces over and plops down an order of biscuits and gravy on the table. “Eat up, ya’ll!”

She hears his voice. “I’m sorry this is what I’ve become.” And she looks up. “I hate that it’s come to this, but it has.”

She is visibly younger and quieter than him. Him with the loud voice across the table.

“I have so much hate and jealousy inside me! It takes so much energy to suppress it and keep it under control!”

Why won’t he keep his voice down?

She looks up and angrily whispers through gritted teeth. “You knew the situation when you got into it. You knew this is how it was going to be. What is it exactly you expect me to do?”

“I expect you to-"

“Keep your voice down, please!” she half-hisses across the table.

He lowers his head and his voice, but only slightly and then brings his gaze directly and intently to her face. “I expect you to love me.”

Her expression softens a bit. She looks down at the untouched plate of biscuits. “This has nothing to do with that and you know it.”

And the three year old falls out of his booster seat again. His frustrated mother grabs his arm with one hand and yanks him up while shoveling eggs into her mouth with the other. She looks at him and shouts, “I think you like hurting yourself!”

5 comments:

tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

wow.
may i recommend quitting your day job, making a book out of this quickly and making me happy!
it is after all, all about me. :)
but seriously...wow! please share more when you find the time to write!!!

Ashly said...

Sold! I'll quit my job if you'll provide a salary for me! :) I'll be like your personal writer whipping up stories for you whenever you want. And I need at least $50K a year. And I promise stellar stories. :) HA!!!

I've got a million thoughts spinning around in my head. May try to work on some lil short pieces like this, do some short stories, and try to hash out some of the memoir.

I've never written fiction before and I'm trying to learn. So this is part of practice. Little short literary snippets of life. :)me

Ashly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashly said...

Mary, also, if you like quick little short stories, read this one... I Used to Know This Place

I found it in an online literary journal last night and really liked it. It's sort of the direction my writing is taking at the moment. Dark, as usual, but interesting. :)

tomorrowsmemoriesphotography said...

Just checkin' back... sorry... I forget to click "email follow-ups". LOL!!! Ummm, wish I made that much per year! I think it's so exciting that you're working on the fiction part of your writing.
You're incredible. Seriously!
I WILL check that out...thanks girlie!