Playing with a piece of writing

“Long ago and oh so far away, I fell in love with you before the second show…but you’re not really here, it’s just the radio.” Thank you Karen and Richard Carpenter for these lyrics from your song, “Superstar.” The piece of writing I am going to share has your song playing as my muse.

I have been playing with this piece of writing I did some time ago and it has been tucked away for a good many years waiting for me to revisit. I promised I would start sharing what I know about writing. I have read and studied many that talk about writing and their writing process. After all of this, I am sure writing is not formulaic and it is unique to all of us. Writing for me is serendipitous, I never know what to expect, and that is part of the discovery process. I write to know what I think.

I have always planned to build this short short story into a longer piece of writing. It starts out situational – I guess I have this in common with Stephen King as he talks about all of his writing as building on a situation.

Well, here goes – enjoy.

“Even now, what can I say to you? It all happened so long ago. Yes, I remember it clearly, but they are my memories, and mine to choose to share. I know I’ve never told anyone about this – the less said the better.”

She stopped talking and stared down at her hands. Moments of silence passed which seemed long and strained the quiet.

After a while, she started talking again. “I promised myself never to speak about this to anyone. I hate breaking that promise, even for you, but I supposed now I must.”

We just sat there again without speaking, the silence creeping back into the room and slipping down over the last echoes of sound. I regretted this visit, the question I asked, and my making her feel so painfully uncomfortable. Yet, I knew that from this moment on, we would think of nothing else.

Her cat tip-toed into the room. Cats always seem to be able to find comfort even in the most awkward of times. It licked its paws and curled up on a chair in the corner acting like we were the intruders.

After another eternity, she began again. “You know, he wasn’t really a bad person. We all did love him so.”

“He could make us laugh until our sides ached,” and she seemed to let a smile pass across her face. She tried to look up at me secretly to see if I noticed.

“Mother loved him the way you love your firstborn, and she hated him too. More than once, she damned him to hell.”

I just looked at her and never said another word. This was hers to share if she wanted to. My part in this whole affair was over. I listened now whether I wanted to or not. I started something, and now it had a life of its own.

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