Word Prompt: Sweet | Story Prompt: from the book “Adult Onset” by Ann-Marie MacDonald

Write It Out: Instruction Video

” … The cursor blinks.

The sound of splashing brings her to her feet.

“Maggie, no, sweetheart, that’s Daisy’s water.”

She bends and pulls the child gently back from the dog dish.

“No!”

“Are you thirsty?”

“Aisy.”

“Is Daisy thirsty?”

“Me!”

“Are you being Daisy?”

Maggie dives for the dog bowl and gets in a slurp before Mary Rose lifts it to the counter.

“No!” cries the child with a clutch at her mother’s right buttock.

Mary Rose fills a sippy cup with filtered water from the fridge dispenser and hands it to Maggie. The child launches it across the floor. The mother escalates with the offer of jam on a rice cake. The child, after a dangerous pause, accepts. Detente. another placated potentate. The mother returns to her laptop. Ask not for whom the cursor blinks . . . “

***

Laundromat – MEC 2021

I’m feeling comfort here, among the warm din of water being pumped from the washer and the zipper of my cardigan clacking, every so often, against the heavy glass door of the dryer. An irregular beat. A heartbeat. Like the man in bed three today. The beeps of his monitor may have matched the beat my zipper was now making: lub – lubdub – lub – lub – dub – lubdub – dub…

When he died, how noisy it all was at first – he’d had no advanced directives so we had to give him both barrels of heroic measure. Until the doctor finally called time of death and we could switch it all off. His body’s death happened first, then death to all the artificial life forms in the room followed. Then quiet.

I bet he waits, I’m thinking now, I bet the essence of who he is waits for the noise to stop, all the activity, before he says his last goodbye to his still, already cooling body on the bed. In the quiet he can take a long, last look. And remember. Remember the enormity of it all, of the life he’d lived. The joyous laughter of being a child and of how even laughter can make your belly hurt. The wonder and amazement of physical feats performed, like a full day of powder skiing. The quivering, electrical taste of that first kiss when you’ve been anticipating it for so long. The awe and heart stretching love of watching your baby being born to your family, followed by so many sleepless nights of worry, and the dread of feeling you don’t deserve all that happiness, that something has got to give.

I start and my head swivels to the noise as I hear the laundromat door open. I sink low in my chair as if to hide, while my eyes peer up to see who is intruding on my space and time.

***

Freewriting. When you allow yourself to write whatever comes to mind. Is that difficult for you? Or freeing? I admit it took me awhile to really “get it”. To understand that I really could just write whatever I wanted – or more precisely, to write whatever showed up to be written. Sometimes if seems as though there’s someone else guiding my pen, my hand. I’ve heard that called “flow”. It doesn’t always happen – but if I don’t begin to write, then of course it can’t happen. It’s kind of like getting out of your own way. Like when you try too hard and nothing works, but when you relax a little, everything seems to come together somehow. Has that ever happened to you? Share your thoughts below!

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