Monthly Archives: August 2011

Six Inch Squares

(Excerpt from Coffee Please)

Six inch squares.  She folded the tees into six-inch squares, aligned in a small stack.  “Flush and grounded” was the term the Air Force taught her and she applied the technique this morning.  She scurried to her van, parked in the dim garage with the hatch open in back.  Inside the back of the car sat an open duffel bag that she could easily climb into and disappear.  Already packed was the nebulizer, a machine that blew air through a tube with a small cup of medicine, creating a mist of steroids to inhale.  This kept her youngest son breathing.  Next to the neb was a pacemaker machine, wires with leads to attach to her oldest son’s chest, ensuring his heart held a sturdy beat.

She left the door between the house and the garage open so she could listen for her sleeping children should anyone stir early.  Her glance stayed fixed over her shoulder and without looking at the bag, she placed the clothes within.  She needed only enough for her and her three boys, enough for a week.

She was preparing the exodus, becoming “mission ready.”  Eyes wide and skin drawn taut, she hadn’t slept in weeks.  Her cell phone was stuffed under her left arm inside her bra so her husband wouldn’t take and dismantle it again.  Beneath her right breast, also tucked in her bra, was a small roll of cash.  Crushed in her front pockets of her jeans, which she had been sleeping in for days now, were her car keys, a pocket knife, her driver’s license and a credit card.  Her can of mace was deep in her purse.  At night, she feigned sleep, lying still, trying not to move before it was time.

“Part the sea for me, God,” she had prayed.  She remembered to brush her teeth, but had forgotten to comb her hair.  This was indeed her dark time.




                He opened the blinds.  The light almost hurt, not her eyes, something deeper, beneath her skin.  She never saw the dust.

                Why keep darkness, she wondered, almost aloud.  Maybe it was out loud.  She turned to look over her shoulder as though spoken to.

                She was squinting and the effort sent a dull pain down her neck, though not the normal shockwave that transferred below her right ear and shot to the tips of her fingers.

                “There,” he said and stood a step back from the window.  “Your blinds do work in the up position after all.”

                She smiled, a little.

                “I wonder what it is that I don’t want to see.  What is it that I’m afraid to look at?” she said, wrapping the edge of her tee tightly around her pinky.

                “It might simply be your migraines.  You mentioned that light makes them worse.”

                That could be.  Light made the pain worse for her.  She dusted her jewelry box with the edge of her sleeve, shifting foot to foot.  It was the good box, but held costume jewelry.  Fakes.  Like her, the nice stuff was hidden away.

                Long after he left, her home and her life, she kept the blinds up, even at night.  Sometimes the moonlight felt stronger than the day.

The Journey

Writing is an artistic journey, more for the one writing than for the reader. Writers uncover their sacredness in scratching words to pages and then bravely throwing these ideas to the world, hoping others can connect, heal and expand into the print. Share with me this journey, nonfiction literature, a series of installments on my narrative, my view of this path.

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