26 January 2012

c'mon sista, you gotta walk that dang walk.

sooo, i been talkin' about this thesis thing a lot lately (proof)... i haven't been super specific really, but i've been talking about it.  and that's all i been doin'.  it's all, i'm super stressed about this, and i finally got an idea to write that, and what the heck was i thinking with this writing business?!?

and thus far, no evidence of actual work has made itself manifest to anyone save for myself and my director and as of last week, my capstone peers (they're only getting a piece here and there though, they aren't heavily involved).  this is mostly because i'm scared that there's this unwritten (or maybe it is written, i really have no idea) rule that i can't release any information concerning my project before it's done.  but i figure i'm not doing any lab research or anything like that, and this is my own "intellectual" property, so i'm gonna do what i want.  (i think i want to do this.)

here's one short piece that will be a part of my project.  i'm not going to say anything about it other than last night it was workshopped in my capstone class, and i haven't edited this draft with the suggestions and feedback i was graciously given.  in other words, it's rough.  sorry.

i present to you a special thursday edition of writer's wednesdays, and proof that i am not scamming you all.

lunch break.

John is sitting in the cafe with his boss and colleagues.  All but John have placed their orders; John and Carly are saving money any way they can.  He waits to open the insulated bag out of politeness; his boss Arthur has been paying very close attention to John in the past few weeks.  John is nervous.
Everyone is looking at his lunch bag.  They all anticipate the bag’s contents more than the taste of the meal they have ordered for themselves.
Martin, on his left, will glance at the red grapes from John’s lunch and think of a summer when his little sister choked on a grape.  After the incident Martin’s father, a farmer, burned all of their grapevines and planted raspberries instead.  In the summers when they reached their peak, it was too hot and humid during the day to pick them, so Martin would spend his nights after dinner hunched over in the raspberries while his back ached.  Their farm produced the best raspberries in the county and their raspberry jam always won first prize at the fair.  It was at the county fair where Martin met his future wife, a rival raspberry jam maker who had no choice but to settle for second prize every year.  John’s grapes will remind Martin of his wife, and he will wish that she hadn’t taken her raspberry jam recipe with her when she left.
Jane, sitting across from John, will see his granola bar and remember how she used to eat homemade granola every day she went to the gym.  It was a recipe given to her by her mother-in-law.  The simple sweetness and the slight nuttiness, and the way the oats sometimes would stick flat to her back molars; Jane loved that taste, and she loved washing it down with water right after mile five.  Then she would leave for the weightlifting room where Todd, a trainer who had designated himself as her spotter, would stroke her toned stomach in between reps.  Jane has since faltered on her gym routine, as she did not renew her membership out of guilt.  She has now lost definition and become soft and doughy.  Jane’s husband loves her soft flesh very much, and Jane loves her husband.
David, the server, will see John’s tortilla chips and think of his grandmother’s homemade tortillas and the enchiladas she made every year for the neighborhood Independence Day Party.  He will think of the July after he came home from war and the pretty girl in the yellow dress who dripped red enchilada sauce into the napkin that lay on her lap.  The red from the sauce reminded David of the most brilliant sunset he had ever seen while away at war.  There had been no casualties that day, no deaths among the locals.  He watched some children play in the desert with a ball while the front of his body was awash in an orange light and heat from the sun.  Every night after that one, David thanked God for that sunset, whose beauty he knew could not be matched in any other country in the world.
Arthur, sitting on John’s right, will see the square tupperware box holding two triangle halves of a ham-and-cheese sandwich.  When John opens the lid Arthur will look at the dimples in the one triangle and think of the fingers that pressed down on the bread while the sandwich was cut in half.  He will think of a woman’s fingers and how they feel against his cheeks, his arms, his chest.  He doesn’t know who the fingers belong to, who the woman is.  They could be his ex-wife’s, they could be his secretary’s, they could belong to the woman who took his lunch order six minutes ago, or they could be Carly’s, John’s wife.  Arthur will then think of Carly.  He does not know her, but he will see that perfect sandwich and realize only the best kind of man - with a wife who loves him more than anything - would have the perfect sandwich to eat for lunch.  It is this realization that will prompt Arthur to give John the promotion he had been thinking about giving recently.
When the lunch plates come out, John undoes the zipper of his lunch bag and takes out the plastic food containers and the granola bar.  He first opens his sandwich, and when he does he traces his fingers over the fingerprints that his wife left for him in the bread.  The indentations are like a secret message from Carly, one that says Don’t worry about what you’re afraid Arthur thinks of you.  I know who you are, and I love you.
John is now thinking of his wife and her fingers.  He is pretending she’s with him at lunch: holding his hand under the table, looking at a sandwich he made for her, thinking his same thoughts.

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