Monday, December 28, 2009

Scenarios/experiments in flash fiction.

1. We're on my roof. It's July and we can see kids lighting illegal fireworks in the nearby park. You sneak a taste of my beer and spit it out, blowing your cover. After the spectacle ends, we fall asleep up there to the CCR that my neighbors are playing.

2. We're in Goblin Valley and the sun goes down an hour before we get back to camp, so we sit up all night, watching the shadows dancing on the cliffs, telling each other stories about bad family trips and good drives home.

3. My office has a party at Utah Lake and I beg you to be my plus one so I can win the three-legged race (and the associated $500 bet I was suckered into accepting). We're sabotaged by Scott, who tips our canoe over. It invalidates the terms of the bet, of course, and you kiss me underwater. I get second degree burns on my face from using expired sunscreen. All in all, I chalk it up to a win.

4. We end up going to New York over Labor Day weekend. I finally try my hand at sewing and come up with a deformed American flag, but you wear it with pride. At the Statue of Liberty, a tourist from Iowa named Nancy offers you fifty bucks for it. Recognizing a good deal when you see it, you accept the offer and use the money to take us on a ferry ride over the river. You take pictures of which everyone at home gets insanely jealous. Somehow, the Brooklyn Bridge doesn't seem so impressive anymore.

5. We've whisked away to Baker City, OR for the weekend, but the weather report left out the sheets of rain that are waiting for us there. We get to the hotel and sprint from the car to the lobby. You go check in. The lilies I had hidden in the trunk for your impending Welcome To Baker City arrival gift get crushed by the downpour, so I throw them in the trash can, disappointed in Mother Nature's apparent inconsiderations toward attempted romantic gestures. "What's wrong?" you ask, but I quickly change the subject to the contents of continental breakfasts. After a nice room service dinner, we fall asleep to the rhythm of the rain. You wake up late, it's still raining, and I've left a note and a mint on my pillow for you. "Buying supplies. Something for you right outside the door. -AS" You glide into a hotel-issued bathrobe and open the room's door. You're greeted by fresh, uncrushed liles, protected from nature by a yellow umbrella. You put on a pot of coffee and watch Mad About You reruns until I get back an hour later with cinnamon rolls and lattes. We decide to stay an extra day. And night.

6. One holiday weekend, you come down for homemade pesto over rotini and lemon chicken. You get here with about ten minutes left to go on the chicken's oven time. I'm too happy to see you to not start kissing you, and you push me on kitchen floor--you know, to be close to the action. We're both a little too gifted at such things to be able to stop ourselves after the ten minutes is up. The smoke alarm goes off and our dinner looks like it was found in a coal mine's refuse bin. I don't have ingredients to make anything else, and I'm deeply embarrassed, and you're getting Hunger Grumpy. I throw together a salad to tide you over, but it's not substantial enough to make much of a dent. You even skipped lunch to be extra prepared for this meal, which is now of better use to Santa to give to naughty children, so I try to defrost some chicken, but the microwave isn't doing anything but spinning it in a circle. I give up, order pizza, and curse the domestic gods that kept dismantling my every attempt at your culinary satisfaction. The pizza arrives much more quickly than we expect, and we eat and eat and eat until we have baby-sized tummies. We fall asleep on the kitchen floor for two hours before staggering half-asleep into bed. You're very pleased with my new mattress pad and we both smell like garlic sauce and cinnamon sticks, but we kiss goodnight all the same. Our shared water bottle goes empty within minutes. We're big on hydration, you and me.

7. We find a medium-sized two-bedroom apartment just down the street from campus and snatch it out from the morons that didn't appreciate it. The landlord says that the only way she'll give us the lease is if we take in one of the dogs she's a foster parent for. It's a one-year-old black lab/German shepherd mix named Lancelot. We change his name to Spaceman (you know the pronunciation). But, as many hounds his age do, Spaceman has some problems with bladder control. Neither of us are very good disciplinarians, so Spaceman goes undertrained and overloved.

We're supposed to go to a Purrim dinner (since this is my scenario, I'm making it Jewish-themed). You're on campus all day, so I take the day off of work to do the laundry and iron the shirt you want me to wear. Immediately upon my return from the laundromat, Spaceman decides he wants to play. I throw the shirt onto the couch, and Spaceman, sensing an object of importance, decides to relieve himself upon it. The shirt is stained, and none of the other ones that would be acceptable substitutes are clean. There's not a quarter in the house to be found, so I try washing it in the bathtub, to no avail. That yellow ain't coming out.

You've got the car (we sold one of ours to fund a two-week trip to London), so I sprint the mile and a half to the mall, find the most similar shirt in the entire commercial compound, and sprint back through the front door just as you're putting a 5 PM pot of coffee on. I try to make up a story to cover my tracks and excuse the sweat patches on my back, but I'm not a very good liar and it's obvious that my afternoon was lived out in Marx Brothers Dimension. I take a quick shower--we're already a bit late leaving--and unpack the shirt from its cardboard, shocked at how many little needles a shirt somehow needs to be considered sellable. I'm flustered and stressed, and you're patient about it.

We finally get going--it takes me half an hour to clean up all of Spaceman's territorial marking--and drive the hour drive north to the dinner. Turns out we were off by a day and it's not until tomorrow. I'm feeling incredibly fatigued by the whole thing. We stop to get gas on the way back. You're wearing my jacket--it's cold and you didn't bring your own--and find that the pockets are full of quarters I had forgotten about during my search (I mean, really...who would look in their jacket pocket for change?). You buy us two cups of crappy/awesome/revitalizing gas station coffee (the only kind I actually like), and we decide to stay in a hotel in the city until tomorrow.

Because driving is rarely the best way to spend a night.

2 comments:

Freedom said...

I like all of your hypothetical spontaneously romantic moments! I hope they are not all hypothetical, though. Simple gestures like home cooked meals, lilies, jumping your woman on the kitchen floor, etc...they are all WAY better than jewelry, or any of that other crap.

Keep 'em coming.

emilyf said...

jewelry is crap. so are flowers, actually. I don't feel like feeling happy, but curse you, you made me feel happy. While I was reading anyway, but now I'm done. (don't take offense that your happy writing wasn't a cure-all. It's really good.)