One-hundred-and-one blog entries; a quick reminiscence

The rare comments often come on the most unexpected posts.

If I leave writing my entry until the end of the day, the entry is very short.

I get very annoyed if I don’t do an entry, although far less so on the weekend.

If it is cold, the entry will be shorter.

If I am procrastinating some other writing or anything else, the entry becomes longer.

Given half a chance, I would write a full short story each day, but I may no get anything else done.

I prefer to not give my characters names.

I start too many sentences in the same way.

I love writing, and I love looking to see how many people have hit the site.

Not the trip he’d planned

New Orleans was his goal, but after thirty hours in the air and in various airports, he’d picked up several bugs, most notably a flu which left him bed ridden for the whole week. He saw no music, ate no gumbo and returned to Melbourne and his part-time data entry position more miserable than he’d left.

 

Goodbye to the family home

She fastened the knot, hoping that it would hold her boot shut, and took one last look at her family home. Her parents had sold it just before she returned from her working holiday in Canada, but the settlement had allowed her two days to pack up her room. When she’d walked into the house, it had been eerie – everything else had been removed, but her room was exactly as it was when she left. Apart from the mountain of flat cardboard for her to assemble into boxes and pack. It was the perfect jet lag job. She could pack in the middle of the night when she was most awake and not disturb anyone.

She’d worked fast – she had no choice, and four trailer trips had moved her boxes and furniture to the new house. She wasn’t planning to unpack much until she found her own place. After living out of her backpack for the last month as she travelled home through the States, it wouldn’t be hard to live with everything still packed.

Now, the last of her belongings filled the boot and back seat of her mum’s Cortina, she gazed at the house that she’d grown up in, whispered a quiet goodbye, and got into the driver’s seat and left.

Girl once

It looked exactly like her. The red colouring had faded leaving her hair a weak pink. It wasn’t quite long enough to be tied back, but she’d forced it into place. Most of it. A couple of groups of strands fell across her eyes and caused her to blink. Her hands were usually too full to push the hair back over her ear, and she occasionally blew upward to clear her eyes.

Her eyes were just like those of both her daughters. She’d had them young – the first when she was only seventeen – but when I’d known her, she’d never regretted them. The father had married her and both their parents supported them as he finished uni. He became a teacher. They moved into a rental place around the corner from her mum’s and she started a singing group for the kiddies in the local church hall.

But now, I suppose the kids would be in high school. Or upper primary, at the very least. And here she was, now in the inner suburbs. As I pay, I looked closer. She didn’t recognize me. And she was young. Too old to be a daughter, but much too young to be the girl I once knew.

Recluse

The phone rang, but it sounded beautiful, like a magical waterfall. Tammy stared at it. There was a picture on the front with ‘Mum calling’ written there, but there were no buttons, no way to answer. She tried shouting at it.

‘Answer.’

‘Hello?’

‘Mum, can you hear me?’

The photo of her mother remained motionless. Tammy felt uncomfortable. Fifteen years ago, she made a choice to move to a farmhouse in the middle of South Australia and shun contact with the outside world. Her mother had visited five times, each time bringing new and exciting stories of the change in technology. Tammy had allowed herself to completely detach from modern reality. She had a post drop each fortnight and a collection of books from the nineteenth century or earlier.

Everyone thought it was quite an over reaction to the divorce, but with her husband being such a public figure, she just wanted to escape. Her mother had arrived with a truck last week.

‘Your daughter’s had a car accident. She’s in hospital. She’ll be ok, but she is going to need a lot of care. That’s your job. Get in.’

Tammy hadn’t wanted to go care for this daughter. The daughter had chosen the father, not her. The daughter had never been to visit. The daughter had not replied nor returned a single one of the weekly letters that Tammy had sent for fifteen years. But Tammy had never been able to fight her mother. They spent a day and night packing up the truck and then they’d driven for days to get home.

Tammy had been shocked by the changes in society, and none more than these mobile phones. Everyone had them, even children, and everyone used them constantly.

Tammy put the phone back in her jacket pocket. Her mother would be annoyed, but she’d have to show her how to use it yet again.

 

Mills and Boon

Sitting in the third seat back was a good place to be able to read without having to reveal to the world what she was reading, Julie had always found. She had always been embarrassed by her obsession with romance novels, an obsession on which she had spent a portion of her weekly wage since getting her first job at Woolworths when she was sixteen. Her mother had been the same, although she usually made it to the library and marked the novels she’d read with a little heart around the number on page twenty so she could keep track on those which she had read previously.

The heroine had presented the hero with the first look at his new baby in the epilogue and they both knew that their 190-page struggle to overcome obstacles in the pathway to their love was over. Julie sighed and looked out the window to be disappointed with the view of a truck carrying live sheep. She looked around the bus and spotted a familiar looking book being held by a person not lucky enough to get a seat. The red spine with the Mills and Boon logo in the middle, the cover picture of a strong man holding a woman in a passionate embrace. Julie had to see the reader. Who could possibly be strong enough to reveal this passion in public?

The book was held at head height. Julie tried to make some assumptions – the woman was dressed in jeans, Doc Martin boots and a long, brown winter jacket. Her hair was long and worn loose between a mustard beanie. As the bus shuddered and lurched, Julie tried to move in the opposite direction to catch a glimpse of the mystery reader’s face. When the bus eventually reached a stop, people shuffled out and the reader had to lower the book to hold on as he was jostled about. He. A male Mills and Boon reader. Julie’s first thought was that he must be gay. He caught her eye and spotted The CEO’s Indecent Proposal which was lying cover up in her lap. He held up his copy and winked. Julie smiled and lowered her eyes.

A male Mills and Boon reader! Oh, the possibilities!

 

Too tired

Her head sank into the pillow and she drifted to sleep before she fully formed the thought ‘did I re-make the bed?’ When she woke, she realised the answer was no. And she had slept on her slippers. She never figured out why.

Winter’s Morning

The icy-cold wind penetrated all of the layers that she had put on that morning. The underwear, thermals and pajamas that she slept in, as well as her ski pants, three t-shirts, jumper and jacket. And two scarves and a beanie.

She remembered the warmth of home, how every day she wore shorts and singlet-tops, and she felt she could even smell the sun.

She closed her eyes and lifted her face to the sun as she waited for the red man to turn green so she could cross the road. She hoped against hope that, despite its weakness, some tiny bit of warmth might struggle down to her.

Nothing.

Her eyes shot open as she was pushed by the crowd starting to cross the road. She pulled a scarf across her face and walked with them, warmed slightly by the bodies of the crowd.

 

The worst second date ever.

This was the worst second date. She was sure of it. Jill met Trent at a speed-dating event a week ago and they seemed to have enough in common. She was now beginning to wonder if what she’d suspected was a similar sense of humour might actually be a total lack of humour on his part.

Her biggest mistake, she thought as she waded past a clump of weeds, blowing on the call and praying to god that the luminous vest did make her stand out enough, her absolutely biggest mistake was assuming that he actually didn’t go duck shooting. So, when she had sarcastically said that it was her favourite pastime, she had assumed that his laughter was going along with her sarcasm rather than going along with her statement. Jill took a moment to recall the sentence.

‘Oh, yes, I love duck hunting. It’s not at all cruel or horrific.’ Yes, that was definitely sarcasm. She blew the call again. Quacking in a marsh. Worst second date. Ever. 

 

Homecoming

The familiar scent hit her like a bucket of cold water. She felt it across her body and had to  take a step backwards. Tears filled her eyes and her stomach dropped. Caroline had expected coming home easy. She had thought of dinner with her family and drinks down the pub with her friends. At no time during her travels, in her years overseas, had she imagined that the smell of the bay would give her this kind of physical reaction. Her best mate drove along the windy beach road nattering away about the most recent gossip, oblivious to Caroline’s stare at the blue water with far away cargo ships gradually getting closer to the heads. She was home.