Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Introducing Kate Miller / An Announcment

Recently I've been writing some one-page stories as a kind of journal. They are real-life events (sometimes with a few minor adjustments), but I've just written about them as a story, in an attempt to make them more enjoyable to read. So for those of you not perceptive enough to note the similarity between "Kate Miller" and my own name.... go ahead and note it. We're one and the same. I hope you all enjoy it! There will be more to come.

1. A Day in the Life (Dec 16)

Kate Miller tore the plastic wrapper off a new journal and flipped to the first page. She smiled at the beautiful creamy pages with the silver grey lines running across them. She could never get over just how beautiful were plain straight lines on plain white paper. This time, she thought to herself, I’ll be more faithful. These pages deserve that much. Then she smiled ruefully. Resolutions made in the middle of the night are often of the kind that can only be kept in the middle of the night. But then of course, she was up now. Who’s to say she wouldn’t be making a habit of it? More likely than not, she thought, not unpleasantly. She always felt that there was something mysterious about being awake in the middle of the night, like things might be seen that otherwise wouldn’t even be believed in.
            But what to write? She wondered again. This journal was for her, but maybe someday others would read and care about it. Someday, people might want to know my thoughts or hear about my life…no one prestigious, just the people that love me… she thought. Well, then she would give it her best shot!
            Across the top of the beautiful white page, she wrote, “A Day in the Life.” A little trite, but apt. Besides, she got a thrill from the line, so she knew it was right. The thrill wasn’t from the thought itself, but from the thoughts beneath the thought. As soon as she wrote it, she pictured life as a beautiful tree and “a day in the life” as one ripe plum, particularly chosen, to be delighted in and savored and sucked on because no plum like it would ever grow again. And there was certainly plenty to savor! She began writing.
            “Dec. 16: Yesterday I walked to the store to buy a pregnancy test. On the way home, I stopped under the pines to smell the trees, and instead got a large whiff of fresh laundry! I suppose that American suburbia does have some delightful surprises (even if not many.)
            “I took the test when I got home. I wasn’t thinking about the timing. Mister and a friend were in the house, and I didn’t think about what I would say if it was positive because I didn’t expect it. But it was! Ever so faintly. I thought that I ought to cry of happiness, or yell for joy. But I just looked at it and felt… nothing. Nothing but surprise, that is. I suppose I only half believed it.
            “This morning I believe it. (And I’m delighted!) It’s 3 AM and I’m sitting in Uncle and Aunt’s living room next to the Christmas tree, eating a ridiculous amount of pizza. In the last 24 hours, I keep thinking that I don’t feel at all different. (And that I ought to, for some reason.) But the real truth is that I do, just not what I expected. I’m SO hungry, SO OFTEN!”
            Here, Kate underlined the last two words for extra emphasis.
            “We were reading aloud last night, and at 10:30 I had to get up. Then I ate someone’s leftover Chinese. And here I am eating pizza. And when everyone else gets up, I’m bound to be eating again with them! And what’s more, I’ll probably be starving on the bus to New York.”
            Kate and her husband were spending the night with their aunt and uncle because they were leaving on a long Christmas trip, beginning with a luxurious cruise. They would be dropped off at the bus stop to take a bus to New York, where the cruise would depart for the Bahamas, and return on December 23, when they would fly west to be with the Millers for Christmas. Kate took a sip of coffee and kept writing.
            “The last few weeks have been kind of hard. Mister. has been working to the bone finishing papers, rewriting, and getting them turned in early so we can leave. I’m proud of him, he’s been so diligent. But we haven’t had much time together. This trip will be perfect, and it seems we’ll have lots to talk about.” 

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