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Tiaras and Trucks

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Red Writing Hood

So this week's prompt was to aid in memoir writing.  It was interesting and involved food, and I immediately thought of El Charro, my favorite Mexican restaurant.  Yet whenever I sat down to write, nothing came - until I wrote this piece, which isn't really about a meal and definitely isn't going to help in memoir writing (since it's absolutely fiction).  Whoops.

Disappointment

When I think about dinner that night, I remember the waiter’s teeth before anything else. I couldn’t take my eyes off them, even as I heard James’ voice float across the table. Crooked, oversized, and coated with something faintly resembling aged parmesan, they were shockingly out-of-place next to his crisp white collar and polyester snap-on bow tie.


James’ words held the same stark contrast; with a calm, careful smile, he announced: “Mom. Dad. I’m gay.”

Bile rose in my throat as I felt his mother’s warm, chocolaty eyes move convulsively to my hand, searching for an engagement ring, willing herself to believe she had misheard her only son.

On some level, I must’ve known they were expecting an engagement when James begged me to join them for dinner somewhere he couldn’t really afford. After all, I had walked into the warm, candlelit room wearing a perfectly tailored shift dress, hair pulled back with a matching pastel headband; anyone looking at me would have sworn bride, not beard.

I avoided the eyes of everyone at the table.  Instead, I memorized the pattern of condensation trickling down my water glass, spreading darkly across the tablecloth, darkening the color to that of dried blood.  Four champagne flutes sat untouched on the table, and I resisted the urge to quickly gulp the only alcohol on the table.

James oozed false calm, folding and unfolding the heavy maroon napkin next to his plate, now littered with pieces of a sesame breadstick. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see his mother fashioning her glossed lips into a smile that hadn’t yet reached her confused eyes. My never-to-be father-in-law was more obvious; his gaze frantically probed me up and down, again and again, searching for the shortcomings that had driven away his son.


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1 Comments:

  • At October 17, 2010 at 4:34 AM , Anonymous Ash said...

    Wow. Wow. Wow. Pretty please expand this.

    You painted an incredible picture in such a short scene. Excellent.

    "his gaze frantically probed me up and down, again and again, searching for the shortcomings that had driven away his son."

    LOVE that. Speaks volumes. Wow.

     

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