You Didn’t Write That

September 19, 2008

So, I’ve got this pet peeve, right?  Doesn’t matter if I’m at the job or at home.  But since I spend most hours of the day in front of a computer, the likelihood of someone picking this peeve is rather high.  Hear me good…Do not, under any circumstances, stand behind me reading my screen…geesh!

I don’t know if this comes from my days fighting micro-management in corporate America, or from my Mama’s ever-knowing, all-seeing eye (took me years to realize she was watching me sneak goodies from the fridge through the reflection in the breakfront LOL!).  Which brings up another thought, maybe because I’ve lived so cloak & dagger, super secretive, I always think I’m under the microscope.  Hmm.

Anywho, this pet peeve has been the catalyst for some interesting moments, to put it lightly.  I’d lash out, feeling someone’s glare creep up the back of my neck, and promptly ask with as much attitude as I could muster, “May I help you?”

Well, I’ve been trying to take a mini-chill pill on this thing lol, and one day, even though I knew hubby was reading my screen….I just let it happen.  {Feeling my own head} What?  When he was good and done, he says, “Who wrote that?….you didn’t write that!”  Laughing, I replied, “yes I did!”  He walked away with his lips tooted in the air.  That meant two things.  One, “stop telling them tales” LOL!  And two, “who is this woman?…this is not the woman I married”.

If anyone has had a front row seat to my 180, it’s hubby.  When I tell ya I’d never had a desire to write or read, he’s the loudest voice in the amen corner.  And while not all aspects of life change are easy or without challenges, I’m having a ball exploring this new love of writing and reading.

Hey, it was only a rough draft of a few intro paragraphs, my character beginning her search for answers, but…..You wanna read my screen too?

If God made another vegetable rich in iron on the third day, He hid it from my Mama.  All I knew was that this stuff rhymes with feet, and that’s exactly what they tasted like.  Feet.  Feet soaked in vinegar. Wet feet that left big pink footprints on every other food on the plate, if I let the juice run.

Cole knew it was true.  Sitting across from me with his uneven fro and half-formed smile the moment Mama sat his plate down.  He wouldn’t even look at me.  Partly because he knew I had a silly grin on my face, fork-mic in my hand, and I was just dying to make him laugh.  He’d be in big, funny trouble too.  Cole could bust out laughing at any table in the city of Orlando, except the avocado-green formica and chrome dinette located at 2075 Mercy Drive, subsidized Unit #106.  Especially when Mama had just presented a nutritious, gourmet meal, rich in iron, on a food stamps budget.

I could tell he wanted to politely excuse himself from the table, take a trip to the only  bathroom in our apartment, and pull a somersault out the broken window above our toilet.  It occurred to me too, on a separate occasion.

But, like any big brother setting a good example, he graciously said, “Thanks, Ma” before Mama’s fingers even released the plate.  We both better had.  See, it was better for us to offer speedy thanks, than to appreciate Mama off beat to the battle cry of “Whadya say?!”

“You’re welcome”, Mama said without slowing down, or even looking back at Cole.

“Thanks, Mama!” I said, as she zipped around the table with my plate of white rice, one fried chicken leg, a square slice of Jiffy cornbread, and a battalion of beets. Cole slipped me a subtle nod of approval.  Apparently, my verbal appreciation beat Mama’s expectation of an on-time delivery.  Two points for me.  Though, by the looks of my pink rice, Mama had let the juice run.

…continued (c).

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4 Responses to “You Didn’t Write That”

  1. Jennifer Says:

    I love this excerpt — and am looking forward to reading more!


  2. yes i hate the spies. parents still do it when they pass my bedroom door. had a bad date last week. besides her being completely inconsiderate, she watched me while i waited for her to come out the bathroom and then came out and accused me of talking to someone on the phone because i had the bluetooth in my ear and she heard someone talking outside of the bathroom. needless to say i won’t be seeing her again. but it was really her standing there spying on me with that dumb ass smile on her face. i felt the glare burning through upper back. i think folks like us just have that 6th sense. get uncomfortable for no reason and gotta look around.

  3. Jewells Says:

    Beets do smell just like feet. I can’t see what one gets out of eating those. I can taste them by just looking at them.

    I like your writing. Definitely pulls one in. Makes me see why people are always peering over your shoulder. Keep it up and you won’t be able to shoooo people away. =)

  4. ashe.selah Says:

    @Jennifer: Thx Jenn! Means alot coming from you *wink*. Know that you inspire and sharpen me, girl. I’m starting to feel my courage bubbling up…ready to try some public excerpts, welcome (and brace for) constructive criticism *smile*. More to come…

    @Anthony: Funny…that keen 6th sense, huh? Yeah, it’s really real. That was a pretty awkward experience you had. Our senses send us signals…that’s just what they do. Sounds like you got the message loud and clear.

    @Jewells: LOL..okaay! Beets are some kinda awful goodness *smile*.

    I appreciate the cheer, lady…I’m pretty partial to your dialogue writing myself (current challenge)…good stuff :)!


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