This blog is welcome to anyone and everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, or political affiliation. Unless you don't like writing short stories or smelling bear. Or if you voted for the other guy. Also, I don't really like it when you leave up the toilet seat, so could you stop doing that? Muchas, muchas gracias.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today, anyway,

this blog is a forum for me to plonk down some text, I guess, but really, it's just a place for me to say hi to you in the comments section. That's really the best part, anyway. Who cares what's up here, yeah?

I'm trying to do some writing and I found some 37 cent stamps in an old box and they reminded me of something. So here. Don't worry, I'll revise. This is what it is, and it's just a bit of nothing that I guess I'll work on for a bit to find out it it's even a story. For now, it's called


"I want you to tell me what you think about doubts," Donald said.

Donald was my fiancee. He had this watered-down smile smeared across his face, chewing his mouthful of broccoli. His fork dropped to the carpet — his fingertips had gone numb from electrical shocks — and I laughed, meanly, because I hated him just then.

"I think this is the same old conversation, over and over and over again," I told him. "I think it's not only boring, but unoriginal from the start. I think you should make up your own mind, because I'm not going to give you a free pass on this one."

Maybe I should have stuck a lit stick of dynamite up his ass — I'd printed up the wedding invitations, bought these special stamps depicting a white magnolia, really went all out — but in lieu, I left him there with his overcooked ostrich burger and his dirty fork and I shut myself into the back room, the one I hardly used, though it was the only place in our house I could be alone and gather my thoughts and (supposedly) create stuff.

The door didn't lock, so I shoved some heavy shit in front of it, by which I mean two one-gallon buckets of ceramic tile adhesive. We'd been remodeling the bathroom for a couple of years.

We were slow remodelers: Donald, because he's riddled with doubt, and me because I was really fucking caught up in a lot of cooking and cleaning.

I'm a workaholic. I'd spent my entire post-Bachelor's life in meaningful nowhere no-pay jobs. I had carpal tunnel and a touchy lower back BEFORE I went off to graduate school, where I worked doing something that didn't ease those injuries; I still had them when I graduated and returned to the same old job. It's no wonder Donald-the-perpetual-doubter has doubts about me, specifically. And I was too fat, or that's what Donald told me. To which I said I needed some iron in my diet. Hence, the lean ostrich burgers.

Between us, it was all this great big compromise. Only I was beginning to feel like I was doing all the compromising and more, that this was the correct way because I was jobless and therefore contributing nothing. Never mind that I was also planning our lovely wedding at lovely Quail Hollow Ranch State Park, which I managed to book only because I blew the head ranger.

Just kidding--I blew nobody. I was stupidly, stupidly faithful to Donald, who would never have to worry about his weight or his cholesterol or whatever was wrong with him.

At five feet, six inches tall, I weighed 125. Donald was nine inches taller than me, and he consumed fewer calories than I did. We didn't eat out anymore because he thought he'd been poisoned by a chef. And lately, even the food I prepared smelled "funny" to him. His legs looked like knobby sticks.


Blogger ahvarahn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:40 AM

Blogger ahvarahn said...

This is marvelous, and I smiled almost all the way through due to the evenly spread black humour. I love it. Before marriage, I never liked the smell of mimosa or the taste of asparagus; I do now, or at least I am convinced I do. I draw the line at broccoli.

I am delighted you chucked these words at us, or what is it you said, plonked them down? Brilliant.

4:41 AM

Blogger matty said...

Potent stuff --- it made me want to cry.

Isn't it funny how a wounded heart can ache for so long before the anger starts to really bubble up?

Keep plonking the words down. Throw them down. Work and wrestle with them. ...and keep those old stamps as a reminder of how strong you really are.

...and beautiful.

5:40 AM

Blogger PFE Music said...

glimmers of truth, interesting how plonking down words reveal hidden layers... of course it's layers we all carry, a sort of universal experience...

6:07 AM

Blogger sage said...

I love the way the stamps became an intro to the story--those magnolia stamps (were you planning a Gone with the Wind wedding theme?) Thanks for the story.

7:40 PM

Blogger ginab said...

there's something overhanging about "doubts", and although the speaker may seem crass or harsh at times, crude because she's a she and she's open, there's something truly awful about the glimpse of doubt. We read it only once and yet it resonates (and I wondered, listener me) if Donald, the name, contributes linguistically to its power.

12:32 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

Thanks for plonking. This was a very short story and well told, now please stretch this or some other story into a full short story of at least 2,000 words give or take. It is time.You have the talent but for some reason you hold back, you have given yourself to the blog so you really have no real reason to hold back. Write the story, despite yourself it may not even be a short story.

9:25 PM

Blogger ing said...



You don't like broccoli, though? I do. Yum. In fact, I think it's broccoli time right now.


Thanks, Matty, but the last thing I want to do is make you cry, my dear.

I guess I keep the anger part to myself. I don't like being angry when there are so many nice things to dwell on. I'll continue to work on this. It makes me feel good to know that I'm working.

Are you still making collages?



I write to discover those hidden layers. It's a way of explaining things to myself and to understand it all. I sure hope it's universal.



I'm glad you pointed that out. I want to think about sending things in the mail, and distance, and transport, and that kind of thing. Maybe there's an element in that opening image.

Or maybe it's the magnolias. Old-fashioned flowers. Big blossoms. Springtime?



Yes, "doubt" is the biggest word in there, and that word will definitely work itself out. "Donald" is too mean.



Kind words. This isn't a story yet, it's just the start of writing something, I know. I'll give some more to it, just to see. I hope I don't wander off too far from it. So often I end up taking the wrong turn, and I can see lots of signs of that in this piece. Too much explanation, too much rumination. I'm telling myself the story instead of letting the story happen. Still working on it.

5:38 PM

Blogger josh williams said...

What are you doing reading this when you should be working on the story. Get gone with the thing!

5:54 PM

Blogger purplesimon said...

Beautiful and poignant.

I'm [secretly] jealous :)

purplesimon out...

4:21 AM

Anonymous Meredith said...

oh god! So many things... first a pleasure to read... but, more importantly, vaguely familiar in a way I can't explain. Painful but not... somehow. Like seeing the moment just before the blinders came off and reality set in and she (you?) rode off into the sunset, big grin on your face (despite the tears possibly streaming over your cheeks), waving your hat (or veil?). Loved it and yes, by all means drop by! I'll put the kettle on! :)

2:12 PM

Blogger ing said...


Okay! But tonight I have yoga class, so once again, I'm out of time. I will, though, I will work on it. Yep.



What a nice thing to say. But know that I am quite jealous of you. I believe that you're a more disciplined kind of writer than I am. That's really cool.



Yes, the blinders, I know. But something about this piece scares me a little. There's some anger in there that I haven't accessed for a while. And the dynamic here frightens me. I'll click on your thingiebob and see if I can get to you. Wasn't able to find you last time. . .

6:07 PM

Blogger matty said... many collages.

i don't know what will become or what i will do with them. ...but, my therapist wants to see them.

so, i guess i'm draggin' to my next session.

these sessions just kill.

11:10 PM

Blogger ing said...


I'm sorry those sessions suck. I wonder if your therapist wouldn't mind easing up a little, maybe letting you change the subject every so often, taking the roundabout route. Because as you've mentioned, that time is all for you.

But I am not a doctor. I just trust them.

8:24 PM


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