I was going through old drafts of blog posts this afternoon. I sometimes do this, when I’m aching to get back to writing; I go back and read through what I’ve written in the past, or listen to songs I’ve written. It’s totally narcissistic, really, but sometimes I need to remember that I can and do write, just to punch through that initial intimidation. Since it’s been just over four months since I’ve written anything here, I’ve read through my most recent posts a handful of times trying to prod myself back into it, so today I went through the drafts that have been stored, instead. And I came across a post I started almost four years ago. It contains an introduction, and then just two sentences of a short story I started.
As per my 25 in 25 list, here is my first short story. First draft, unedited. I just needed to get it out. I got the seed of the idea during a conversation while hanging out with a group of friends Thanksgiving evening. That group of friends is amazing…I cannot spend time with them without coming away desiring more creative expression. Everyone needs friends like that.
When Edith Johnson heard the first shotgun blast that afternoon in mid-July, she was startled but not surprised. It had been coming to this for quite some time.
I have no memory of this. I’ve been repeating those sentences to myself for the past quarter hour, and while I’m starting to have the faintest recollection of them, I can’t remember writing them, much less remember the premise of the story.
As I’ve been thinking about the story, wracking my brain trying to remember it, I’ve begun to remember that night with our friends, which I’d also previously forgotten. I can remember the gang circled up in our friends’ living room, warmly lit with candles. I was sitting cross-legged on the loveseat next to Matthew, across the room from our friend John, who crossed his legs old man style when he was contemplative, and hunched over them, chin in hand. There was a lot of laughing, some serious talk too. I think we talked about tattoos, our friend Sara with tiny little outline tattoos on her neck and arm. We probably talked about Moderate Man, our group’s invented comedic super hero. I remember drinking coffee way too late at night, but it smelled too good to refuse. I remember feeling ecstatic to be away from my baby, who was down for the night at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. There’s even just the faintest echo of a memory of what the conversation was that sparked my idea for this short story, but I can’t remember it either.
I was soaking up that night. I was totally present. I loved every minute. And I think I probably thought I’d remember it forever.