Fly


They said I should enjoy every moment of my marriage; the time will just fly by.

They didn't say I'd be saving my cigarettes, scraping them against the curb whenever I go to town for groceries, carrying them around in a vinyl change purse while I stock up on damaged goods--dented cans of corn and five-day-old bread riding around in a cart with a wonky wheel.

They didn't say my husband would blacken my eyes when the kids bring home C's, necessitating a big floppy hat that fools no one, especially Margie, who sells me pea salad and shimmering squares of gelatin half off, even though it's not sale day yet. She dishes up a styrofoam container of gelatin and offers it with shaky hands and a congealed smile across the sterile counter of the deli and I examine the skin on her arms for the burn marks of which we will not speak.

They didn't say I'd find myself sitting in the swelter of the Bronco, windows down, listening to NPR, eating the gelatin, watching the the colors bleed onto the styrofoam before I can finish it. They didn't say I'd be so hungry, I'd run my finger along the inside of the container, licking it after, knowing all the while that the deep primeval hunger I feel can never be sated artificially.

They didn't tell me, but I know it, of course, that I should hide that empty container, but I also know it isn't worth the energy because Nick will check the groceries against the receipt, unloading each item from the slippery bag, nodding and checking it off the list with a red pen before allowing me to put it on the shelf where it belongs. He is an accountant, he will tell me for the millionth time.

And I know, but won't tell, that I will receive fresh bruises this afternoon, after the groceries are put away.

Maybe Margie will give me the gelatin for free next time.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was fly.




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Writing in the Margins, Bursting at the Seams: Fly

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Fly


They said I should enjoy every moment of my marriage; the time will just fly by.

They didn't say I'd be saving my cigarettes, scraping them against the curb whenever I go to town for groceries, carrying them around in a vinyl change purse while I stock up on damaged goods--dented cans of corn and five-day-old bread riding around in a cart with a wonky wheel.

They didn't say my husband would blacken my eyes when the kids bring home C's, necessitating a big floppy hat that fools no one, especially Margie, who sells me pea salad and shimmering squares of gelatin half off, even though it's not sale day yet. She dishes up a styrofoam container of gelatin and offers it with shaky hands and a congealed smile across the sterile counter of the deli and I examine the skin on her arms for the burn marks of which we will not speak.

They didn't say I'd find myself sitting in the swelter of the Bronco, windows down, listening to NPR, eating the gelatin, watching the the colors bleed onto the styrofoam before I can finish it. They didn't say I'd be so hungry, I'd run my finger along the inside of the container, licking it after, knowing all the while that the deep primeval hunger I feel can never be sated artificially.

They didn't tell me, but I know it, of course, that I should hide that empty container, but I also know it isn't worth the energy because Nick will check the groceries against the receipt, unloading each item from the slippery bag, nodding and checking it off the list with a red pen before allowing me to put it on the shelf where it belongs. He is an accountant, he will tell me for the millionth time.

And I know, but won't tell, that I will receive fresh bruises this afternoon, after the groceries are put away.

Maybe Margie will give me the gelatin for free next time.

This was written for this week's Trifecta Writing Challenge.  The word was fly.




Labels: ,

20 Comments:

At July 11, 2013 at 4:43 AM , Blogger Sandra Tyler said...

Gosh, powerful. And as always, so patiently written. Where do you come up with these vivid scenes? Wonderful.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 5:25 AM , OpenID gabriellaswritingcorner said...

A very well-written and poignant story! The pain is palpable.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 6:21 AM , Blogger Bj√∂rn said...

*shudder* the grime and violence.. a great piece and I love the compassion between the battered women... what happens to humanity?

 
At July 11, 2013 at 6:47 AM , Blogger Suzanne said...

Oh wow, this is so good and so intense. Poor woman.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM , Blogger Tracie Nall said...

This is such a true story for so many women. You took something ugly, and pulled it back to the emotions beautifully.

I hope she is able to fly away.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 7:41 AM , OpenID otherthanlovie said...

ugh this was tough to read. so sad that some people live like this. :(

 
At July 11, 2013 at 8:28 AM , Blogger Tom MacInnes said...

To not be able to even put the groceries away without permission is living under a level of control that few of us can imagine. Gut-wrenching story. Like Joe2's Political Discourse, your story is another sad commentary on our society and the lives of the citizens who live there. Brilliant work, as usual, Kelly! :)

 
At July 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM , Blogger LaTonya Baldwin said...

Well done.I especially liked that it gut tightening without using purely emotion to allow the reader to feel it.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM , OpenID freyathewriter said...

The repetition of 'They didn't say' followed with the narrator's admission that now she knows, is very clever. Her story is tough, the writing is excellent.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 1:52 PM , Blogger Tara R. said...

Your writing never ceases to amaze me.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 2:57 PM , Anonymous steph said...

I agree with Tara.. your writing always amazes. A girlfriend from my yoga class recently told me her husband did exactly this - minus the beatings - it was all verbal abuse - he compared what she bought to receipts. He went through her credit card statements - everything. I was stunned to hear it knowing them both. Fortunately she found the courage to leave, and is now happily on her own.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM , Blogger kymm said...

What a terrible trap to be caught in. You've captured the sense of entrapment and hopelessness so well!
The immediate dump from the first sentence into the second, and the later repetition is brilliant.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 5:40 PM , Blogger Travis Sloat said...

The use of gelatin and "congealed smile" is absolutely freaking brilliant. Wonderfully done.

 
At July 11, 2013 at 7:59 PM , Blogger Kallan Annie said...

Powerful, heartbreaking, and painful to read. If only this were "just fiction"...

 
At July 12, 2013 at 7:25 AM , OpenID whispatory said...

I agree the repetition of 'they didn't say' was incredibly effective and that last line is a killer, especially because it is a secret they both carry.

Wow. As usual fantastic writing.

 
At July 12, 2013 at 10:18 AM , OpenID windandlaughter said...

You shook me. For the time I was reading, I felt that desolation as if it was my own.

 
At July 13, 2013 at 8:58 AM , Anonymous injaynesworld said...

Heartbreaking in its power, yet so eloquent in its language and imagery. An amazing piece of work, Kelly. I hope you submit this elsewhere for publication.

 
At July 13, 2013 at 9:22 AM , Blogger Lucy said...

Oh, this so sad. The pain bleeds off of the page (screen?). Really well written.

 
At July 16, 2013 at 7:37 AM , Anonymous Tui Snider @mentalmosaic said...

I agree with the commenter who remarked that you've made something beautiful out of an ugly scenario.

Makes me want to read more!

~Tui, visiting from the #StoryDam chat blog linky

 
At July 16, 2013 at 8:42 AM , Blogger Linda Rosen said...

Beautiful piece, Kelly. It's heart wrenching and so vivid. Her pain is palpable. So glad I found you on this Facebook site for authors. Good luck.

 

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