What a productive day thus far… I’ve searched the internet for hours, posted comments to journal after journal and done just about anything else I could to avoid real work. About every hour or so I’ll drop back over and spend about five minutes of moving text around, throwing up a picture or what not before returning back to the distraction on the web.
Maria and Lupe – part 1
Enrique Marta tried to put the bag in the undercarriage of the El Norte bus. Maria said thank you but no thank in fractured english. He let go, nodded and bowed. Lupe danced in small circles while watching the exchange and rolled her eyes after catching him licking his lips as he walked away. Men always did something like that to Maria Garza Soto Cruz. Lupe always saw them.
Lupe handed her own weaved bag to the white haired bus driver and followed her mother onto the brightly striped bus. AS they rode along, Lupe watched her mother’s reflection in the smoked glass window. She watched it lift and drop with each bump from the dirt road. Lupe knew for sure that her mother belonged in the movies. Beautiful and strong. More beautiful than the woman in the picture show they saw once. It was a western on the big screen with horses and deserts like the one they were in now. It was a love story too where the white man loved the mexican girl from the village. Mi amor’. Mi amor’ was all she ever said.
They had been on the road for awhile when Lupe heard the bus driver say something in English. He then repeated in Spanish that they were about to make a stop. He said not to wander to far. They had thirty minutes to rest, stretch their legs. Desperezarse. Lupe looked out the window and wondered where they would wander that they would not see or be seen. A flat desert rolled out in front of them. There was nothing else but a cactus and mountains. They were so far in the distance they looked like ants.
I have often lamented how I have trouble enjoying the short stories I read. I keep trying them though. Before my trip to Montana I picked up a book called Lit Riffs. A great idea…take a favorite song and then write a short story in the way that particular song inspires you. Such a great idea, I am going to borrow it. I like music and it might be a good way for me to try writing short stories. I am going to take the songs from my favorite singer’s new CD and put together a a collection of short stories based on each of the songs. Later, I thought I could take the ones I really like to try and form them into a book or screen play…my own little writing business plan if you will. We’ll see how it turns out. Here’s my first attempt.
And first draft…I beg forgiveness from all you editors and critics.
She though she saw him today…well, it could have just as easily been him sitting in the chair in front of the coffee shop with a cigarette dangling unattended from long fingers. And, a leg casually crossed over where the ankle rested on the opposite knee. It was the green shirt, too loose tan cords and the doc martins scuffed at the toe. She sat inside and watched through the window as she absentmindedly flipped through the spiritual essays of Emerson and drank from her square juice box.
It made her think about the other night when she pressed her fingers in that hollow space below a collar bone and then silently cried when she remembered that it wasn’t the hollow space below his collar bone anymore.
She is occasionally haunted by these sightings like ghosts come to visit.
Just the other day, she came across this great quote that made her think of him and then just a quickly, she lost it when the wind caught hold of the page and blew it into the gutter. But then, she laughed remembering Oscar Wilde who said ‘we’re all in the gutter but some of us are still looking at the stars’. That’s her, looking up at the big old mystery and wondering, ‘what does it all really have to do with me’. Just crazy mixed up memories.
I gotta get out of this place.
in the isolation, the empty hallways, the deserted rooms. the knock that never comes. the door that never opens. the porch light that has burned cold. betrayed by the subtle signs of life. lifeless mattress on the ground. sheets a tangled mess. pillows piled. footprints in the rug. shoe tipped on its side. single dead daisy in a dusty vase. fingerprints on the glass. clothes crumpled in a bunch. there’s music not to far. maybe playing in another room. maybe from the neighbor’s car. there’s a phone pressed against the wood floor. it’s green and it never rings. the whisky bottle’s on its side. a shadowy stain seeping in. wandering without moving an inch.
i wish i could sleep. days on end. i’m going to be back on sunday. i’ll see you then.