I collected more than 1,000 stragglers in March. Straggled thoughts composed of words that I extracted before the post was published. One digit sat on the Ctrl key in tandem with its sibling pressed on the letter x. The fingers danced again moments laters hitting ctrl and the letter v and the words fell into place within the March stragglers draft. At the end of February, Marc from Sorryless and I challenged ourselves to reuse our straggled thoughts and words. He came up with a pretty remarkable three-part story. I wrote one.
Since then, I’ve been dumping the remnants of my March blogs into a long draft. Given that I am so fortunate to be afflicted with the flu in April, I thought my current fever may help me make sense where there is likely none to be found. I didn’t like the phrases, mostly because I recalled their associations, so I chose these words from the more than 1,000 copied and pasted into a draft of nonsense.
- kicking ass
April stragglers bring May stragglers
She awoke with a lump in her throat. It wasn’t the feeling she loved like when she was in sphinx pose; when her head tilted toward her left or right ear and her throat opened, triggering a huge release and an almost erotic feeling. No this was miserable. Her throat was sore, she imagined she spent the night screaming. The thought was physically painful and emotionally unsettling. She felt icky. She abandoned the thought of jumping into her morning routine and paused. Did she have a bad dream, she thought? A dog’s whinny aborted the materialization of an image. She detested mornings that started with self-contempt for her inability to remember. This whole week she awoke disoriented. She skipped brushing her teeth and even waited to pee. She carefully walked down the stairs, she felt unsteady. She threw her jacket over her shoulders, opened the basement door to let the three generations of pups out, and then slowly walked down the driveway and fetched the paper herself. There was snow on the ground, again. When Spring is so near she’s ready to sever the union of winter and snow. These snowflakes are an unwanted preface to Spring. Go away, she thought. Instead of the flutters, the snowflakes ignite in October, her bust now ached at the sight of them. Large and fluffy, clean and white. Ugh. She wanted none of it. The cold did feel good on her face. She was surprised how good it felt. This protracted winter was kicking ass and taking names. She longed for the days when she was the one to whip out the can of whoop ass. Back when she and her fellow waitresses sized up those tiny pricks who were more loathsome than lepers. The smarmy tawdry vile douchebags weaved in and out of the bars on Western Avenue as if making their way through galleries of art. Foolishly they believed their gender alone made them part of an elite aristocracy. She had names for the class that they belonged to, many of which were found under smug in any dimestore thesaurus. She scanned the headlines as she slowly removed the newspaper from the blue plastic sleeve. Friday, April 6, 2018. If she knew what her life would be today, how her career trajectory would play out, would she pick up a number 2 pencil, and flip it over to use its eraser, deleting those knee-jerk reactions, those kicks to countless pricks? Changing the past could improve the future, she thought. Then again, she did know it might also complicate it. What crazy thoughts this morning! She looked up at the grey sky, then down and over to the dogs’ tails that fanned the snowflakes dusting the asphalt below. She smiled. She walked up the driveway, let the dogs inside, filled their bowls with kibble, peed, washed her hands, brushed her teeth, and made the coffee. She was perfectly content or so she thought. She picked up the thermometer. Why was it on the counter? She hit the memory button, it read 102. She forgot she awoke in the middle of the night burning up. She placed it once more under her tongue. Walked over to the coffee pot and turned the orange dial to the left. She filled a glass of water. The thermometer beeped, the screen turned red, the numbers 1-0-3 flashed. She tore open the package of Alka Seltzer cold medicine and plopped the two tabs into the glass. It fizzed. She chugged it and belched, audible evidence she’d ingested the meds. She rinsed and refilled the glass of water. She hauled her sick self upstairs to her bedroom. She laid down on the unmade bed. It was still warm. She fell asleep quickly and soon she dreamed of May flowers.
Note: I also added The Daily Post’s word of the day: Haul. Just because.