I was sick on the couch yesterday, so I took a few conscious moments and did some revisions to the original rough draft. This took about twenty minutes. I’m still not happy with the flow of the first paragraph, but I like it more than I did. I’m not sure where my main character is headed, but I like her. Now is not the time to over-think things. However, let me know what you think of my changes. They are mainly additions, subtractions, little snips here and there. Also, a few new paragraphs added at the end.
The old truck smelled of wood chips and oil
, and s omething hardened. The door creaked like a woma n howling each time you opened and shut it. The past was yelling at you. Inside, my feet could barely touch the pedals, and I would turn the radio dial, just to hear the click, click, click. No music. The floorboards caked with mud and clay made me search for footprints. I was an archaeologist in that truck. I’d stare at the one seat belt buckle left for fingerprints. It stung my nose with the smell of oil and the hardening of everything inside it.
it sit and die in our side yard for five years. One afternoon, walking home from school, it wasn’t there. A big bald spot staring back at me. I went running down the middle of the gravel road, little rocks jutting against the sole’s of my Keds.
“He come home to get it?” I shouted before the door could even slam behind me.
Mama was in the kitchen, looking out the window at the empty space. “Are you out your mind? I had Paul Paul come pick it up.” She placed a newly dried plate on the counter. “Bout time.”
She didn’t look up, but I seen how hard she swallowed. She missed him, too. Although, it was silly for me to say I missed somebody that I could barely remember, but you can. I’m here to tell you.
I pulled the chair out from the little kitchen table. Mama got
these as a hand-me-down from Aunt Cissy, and I never liked them. They moan each time I sat in them, threatening to fall out from under you.
“How was school?” she asked. I guess we were just going to keep on pretending everything was alright, which was fine. At
this point in my life, I didn’t know there was any other way, so I picked it right back up.
“Boyd Lee got caught flicking boogers on the back of people’s heads. You should have seen Ms. Bowen’s face when she caught him in the act. She sucked her breath in so hard, I thought she might pass out. Know what she made him do as punishment?”
“What?” Mama was interested now. She used to be a school teacher until the children became too much for her to handle.
“She made him go up to all the older boys and girls and tell them what he’s been doing. I thought he would blow up from embarrassment, and all us watching from the windows.”
“That’s horrible,” Mama said, yet her voice didn’t believe her words.
“It’s not so horrible if you’ve been finding boogers in your hair!” I tried to
get outraged. Mama looked up at me in surprise because I never yelled at her, or to her. I pounded my fist on the table in this act. Then, I fell onto the floor in a conniption(not sure of word choice) of giggles. I knew Mama was smiling, too.
“Honey, get up now. You can’t be acting a fool like this around anyone else.” She knew I didn’t.
I liked it under
than table though. I searched for some kind of carving from him, my daddy. Nothing under there though t except some gum I stuck there once and waited to be caught for.
I sat back in that groaning, moaning chair. “I miss the truck.”
“Nothing to miss, Honey. Just a pile of parts. I got money for them parts.” I hadn’t noticed the wad of cash bundled by her left hand. “I thought we’d go into town. Buy you new shoes.”
“Sure.” I tried to sound excited, but I knew why we were buying shoes. It wasn’t just because I needed them. It was because they were the only thing in town that we could buy in my size. Shoes, hats, and jewelry, and Mama said a seven-year-old didn’t need jewelry. So, shoes it was.
Aunt Cissy had the internet at her house in Cedar Park, and she would sit there with me, waiting for certain pictures to pop up and usually order whatever clothes I wanted. Aunt Cissy wore these great cat eye glasses, and she would peer over them to the screen like we were doing the most important detective work.
“Honey, we are going to find you an Easter dress. Don’t you worry.” She would click and click that mouse until she did too.
Of course, I ended up looking like Humpty Dumpty wearing an Easter egg, but I almost felt good.
I felt my best when Mama let me wear my overalls. Overalls, my thick brown hair pulled back, and no shoes squeezing my feet. I’d go like that out into the garden and pull weed after weed. Mama had the green thumb, but I could weed like the dickens. I did a lot of good thinking out there, and I wasn’t aware of my body, just my breathing and the dirt. Dirt is what’s missing for children now days. ADHD and hyperactivity. I say put them out in the dirt for a few hours and see if they don’t come back calmed down.