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Tiaras and Trucks

Friday, August 12, 2011

Empty Drawer

the prompt:

Let's get all steamy up in here and write about sex.
But you know us. There's a twist.
You can't write about the act. I don't want to read about any heaving bosoms or girded manhood (please tell me someone else giggled besides me).
This is part of Greta's Story, taking place between "Tears Will Fall" and "The Godmother," but it can stand alone as well.
Her hand hesitated on the brushed chrome.
James had been gone for over a month, and she had wiped his presence away in broad swoops. 
Photographs tugged from frames, haphazardly thrown into the trash or crumpled into boxes pushed to the back of closets.  The rug in their bedroom, the one she could finally admit she hated, rolled up and dragged to the curb to be picked up by a faceless woman with a rusted green van and strong, chapped hands.
This drawer held the last of him, the last, fragile remnants of her marriage.
Abruptly, she pulled it open, scooping the contents into her arms and dumping them onto the still-bare wooden floor next to her bed, wishing she would have remembered to bring a box or bag or garbage can into the room with her.
Silken bits of fabric, each holding a private memory, a glimpse into the life with a man no longer welcome in her heart.
Demure white satin pooled on the floor.  Greta had opened the pristine box holding the nightgown in front of her mother at a small, intimate bridal shower.  But on their wedding night, James’ lips sought hers the moment they fell into their room, trailing along her neck as his fingers urgently pulled at the silk covered buttons, the carefully packed negligee forgotten and unworn next to the bed.
She reached out to pull a crumpled bit of red lace away from her dresser.  Blushingly opened at her bachelorette party after a glass of wine, she hadn’t even been able to think about wearing it until after a cocktail on the beach and two glasses of wine three nights into their honeymoon.  She shouldn’t have worried.  James had more shocked than seduced, allowing his glance to linger on the scant lace bits for only seconds at a time before burying his head in her hair, his hands tracing paths his eyes wouldn’t touch.
Greta’s fingers slid into the pile, gently pulling out one of the few pieces that had been worn more than once or twice.  Light as air, the gossamer nightie was trimmed with lace, a soft, delicate blue, calming and familiar.  Even after the harsh words and heavy silences that announced the end of their marriage more surely than the divorce papers, this piece almost brought a smile to her lips as she remembered the comforting feeling of sinking into their bed, fabric billowing around them with a sigh.
Anger stopped her half-formed smile.
Her jaw clenched as she reached for the last piece of lingerie she had purchased.  Sheer lavender silk and black lace, contrived, designed to seduce.  Expensive and flattering, Greta had purchased it and planned its unveiling, offering herself to her husband when she had nothing left to give.
Cringing at the memory, she heard her sighs of pleasure echoing endlessly between her mind and the empty room. 
The morning after, she had woken slowly, basking in the warmth of sunlight streaming across their tangled sheets, a heartbeat passing before she realized he had already left for work.
The warm sunlight was suddenly a spotlight on her mistake.  Desperate, she had spent hundreds of dollars without blinking, counting on the connection she knew she could coax out of him as their bodies met in spaces their words couldn’t reach.
The fabric in her hands had been her hope for reconciliation but had delivered only lust.
Now, she wiped at her tears, unbidden, unstoppable, taking vicious note of the tracks of mascara dragging across the pastel silk.
It was all garbage now.

Labels: , ,

19 Comments:

  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:43 AM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Oh dear friend- the details here are perfection. I loved the faceless woman and each piece of lingerie so detailed- I could see and feel them.

    And yet, you managed to weave sexy with sadness. Poor Greta, huh?

    Beautifully done- such a strong piece!

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:46 AM , Anonymous Frelle said...

    beautifully done. i loved the memories you included with each piece, and how there ws so much emotion from so many different directions in this piece!

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:48 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    Oh Angela, this was THE BEST THING you've written for Greta, where she wants to seem fragile, she is so strong, so sure of her decision to try and then her realization that it was over. I will read over and over today. WOW, just wow.

    it's Brilliant

    XO

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 9:55 AM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Oh girl- her heartbreak and loneliness came through loud and clear. Beautifully done. 

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 12:25 PM , Anonymous Jennifer said...

    I agree that this was a great piece, especially for Greta's character. I love the how each piece of lingerie brought back moments so distinctive, memories so tactile. I LOVE the last line. And the implied question of the whole story, is it ever worth it, buying lingerie, seducing, searing our memories.

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    Wow!! This was great Angela!! Loved all the details of emotion..."cringing at the memory...tears, unbidden, unstoppable". Great job with the prompt :)

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous Good Day Regular People said...

    What a job.

    I was Greta.

    Killer closing, and drew me in right away.

    Most excellent short read. Thank you

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:28 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks for reading and the compliments!  I'm glad it drew you in.  Sometimes it's harder to start than write the middle/end.

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:29 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Hmm, is lingerie worth buying?  Good question.  I don't think it will save a marriage, but what do I know?

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:30 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Shell!  I think those sorts of things would be the hardest to "purge" after a divorce.  I am super sentimental and have memories attached to so many every day items.

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:31 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks Kir!  I know you would have preferred a little more, ahem, action for her, but she's not ready.  So I had to go to her past experiences, and then I didn't really go for the nitty gritty!  One day...

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:35 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  There's no current sex in her life, so memories are all she has (for now...)

     
  • At August 12, 2011 at 8:37 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!  I wimped out on the prompt a little, but I do feel like it's sensual even if not overtly sexual.  I hope :)

     
  • At August 13, 2011 at 8:13 PM , Anonymous CDG said...

    love this image: with a rusted green van and strong, chapped hands.

    and the progression from demure to saucy to sweet and then finally contrived lingerie is a great metaphor for a troubled married/sexual life.

     
  • At August 13, 2011 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous Brianna said...

    The imagery in this is wonderful. You should try to get it published somewhere.

     
  • At August 14, 2011 at 3:28 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I liked that, too, thank you!  I don't know why I pictured that woman so vividly, since she wasn't really a part of the story, but she popped in my head, and I felt I had to describe her. 

    When the lingerie stops being fun and becomes contrived, that's a problem!

     
  • At August 14, 2011 at 3:29 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'd love that!  I can't decide if it is a possible book or better off as a several short stories, and if I should just find the best part and put it out there like that.  Hmmmm...

     
  • At August 14, 2011 at 9:29 PM , Anonymous Melissa Brodsky said...

    this? fabulous!! 

    -melissa
    http://www.rockanddrool.com

     
  • At August 17, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you!

    And every time I see your blog name? I smile.

     

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