First things first. I love it! It flows really well from the little bit I got to read back in November. Really nice of them to let us have a redo this year though if I remember correctly we started the 50,000 words in july a few years back :)
Also it's good to know that the DMV is horrible everywhere and not just in NY. I'm hoping that its not something I have to deal with in Budapest, though I doubt that its called the DMV or that I'll have any reason to go there, but you never know...
Anyway here are the first 1007 words for my reboot of Moral Sense (title change to be determined)! I think I'm done for the night even though it will mean that I'm behind starting on day 1 (only 600 wordsthough :p)...
I wake smothered by an old dream in a new bed.
It’s the same story, same sad fucking story, but a different man to share it with. This one doesn’t bother to wake up at my tossing and turning either, doesn’t hear my screams. He sleeps peacefully in an alcohol cocoon while I’m left to struggle with the start of a hangover and the cold sweat of nightmares.
I slide out of bed, careful despite the deep breaths and low snores of an intense sleep emitting from the man beside me. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you can never be too careful and though this one was better than the last, gentler, I still don’t need a repeat of last night, a round two – alright three – to confuse me into staying ‘just a little while’.
I tiptoe to my jeans and slide them on without attempting to find the threadbare cotton panties I usually ware under them. I slip on a grey, nondescript, sweatshirt and stuff my lacy bra which looks nice on, but actually conceals a torture chamber of poking wires, inside my giant purse. I pick up my sneakers and edge towards the door when I see his pants, ass up, wallet screaming at me to be noticed and before I can think about it I bend down, clear the wallet of its burden and stuff some cash in my pocket.
I open the door and step out of the motel room without looking back.
There’s a difference between the sound of glass breaking and the shattering of crystal.
Glass has one sound, a quick intake of breath, a few blinks, and it’s over. There is no echo, no memory. The lines, straight or crooked, still appear clear, clean. Look into a broken mirror. It’s still you looking back, perhaps you are a little distorted, your face a little off kilter. No big deal, right? You just look like you’re holding a secret, a little mysterious, and for a few minutes you make an impression before fading into the background. Just like the glass.
Don’t believe me? I’ll prove it.
How many glasses have you broken when you were doing dishes, drinking too much, unpacking?
Crystal does not fade into the background, it doesn’t distort – it destroys. Fragments that cannot be repaired, that have lost all connection to one another. Like they were never related, like they never shared the same space, the same purpose. Like everything you knew and everything you believed yourself to be could just splinter into a thousand directions and every once in a while you find a piece, a sliver, and you wonder ‘what part of me was this?’ An ear, a fingernail, a heart?
Anyway, that’s what I was thinking about, the difference between glass and crystal, when my mother’s rare and expensive crystal vase flew past my right ear and disintegrated just out of my line of sight. Kind of like her life. And I wondered, fleetingly, if I could put back together that piece of her.
Upstairs, I try to take deep breaths.
In all actuality I’m gasping for air, which is good because I’m too focused on the whole getting air to my brain thing that I don’t cry.
My father is not an alcoholic, he doesn’t do drugs, doesn’t sleep with prostitutes, doesn’t ever actually hit me. Honestly, he rarely raises his voice. He lives in his sphere and I live in mine and for the most part we get along. Hard to do when you’re a nineteen year old only child living in a single parent home in a town the size of a New York City block.
I know what you’re thinking – shattered crystal vase...
Sometimes. Well sometimes he has rages. I don’t know how else to explain it. One minute he’s fine and the next he’s throwing priceless items ninety miles an hour into a brick wall.
It used to be that he’d tell me that I kept his mind quiet, the anger away, that I was his peaceful Sunday morning. As I get older those moments have become rare, but I hold onto them.
I want him to have peace.
When I’m being kind to the memory of my mother I like to think that she named me to be exactly what he needed. Olivia, of the olive tree. A peace offering. A second chance.
Not that she needed an offering. Legend has it they were the perfect couple.
They look happy enough in the photographs. In fact, their wedding photo still sits on my father’s dresser. The photo is beautiful, but if they weren’t in traditional wedding attire I wouldn’t guess it was taken on the happiest day of their lives.
First off, they’re not smiling. Their gazes are locked in a silent conversation captured for eternity. My father looks pleased, satisfied. My mother has a gleam in her eyes – tears maybe – but her facial expression is unsure, the moment before the deer in the headlights. Daddy says he was telling a joke and it took her a minute, that if the camera had gone off a few seconds in the future she would have been laughing.
But I don’t remember her laugh, let alone the face she made right before words no longer expressed emotion. So I just nod, jealous of his memories.
In moments like these though, when I’m in a locked room and he’s trying to salvage shards of crystal, that I wonder if it wasn’t confusion on her face, but a sudden understanding of the man she married.
In the morning we’ll both pretend like nothing happened. We’ll have toast and coffee. He’ll go to the office and I’ll drive twenty minutes to intro psychology and our lives will resume.
Tonight, I’ll hear him sobbing through the doorway, chanting her name like a mantra, and I’ll know that olive branch or just plain Livy I wasn’t enough to bring him, or her, peace.