When I came home from school for lunch my father was wearing a backpack made of stone. I saw it in the way he slouched at the kitchen table, turned so that he wouldn’t have to meet my eyes as I walked in. The smoke of a black clove cigarette rose over his left shoulder; the steam of thick, sugary coffee over his right, tauntingly. The room smelled heavily of both, as it usually did.
It wasn’t the type of stone you’d know how to place, darker than onyx and it had been ripped from a deeper part of the earth than any quarry you might stare into, wondering about the bottom. It was the weight of five marriages, and of debt.
“It was on Lincolnway. The right turn, by the car dealership. I told her those tires…well. She slid right into the oncoming lane,” he said, exhaling a cloud of blue smoke with an almost imperceptible shake of his head.
In my mind I nodded, said something that meant nothing, and in his mind he heard me.
* * *
My first attempt at anything even resembling prose in…well, a very, very long time. Submitted for the informal little contest over at the IUSB Creative Writing Blog (link to your right). I like what Kelcey is doing over there, so go check it out!
See those of you in the Writer’s Group Friday at the Chicory. For those of you not ‘in’ the group, why aren’t you? We have no rules or dues, and we’ll only shred your writing to pieces now and then.
Just kidding. We do in fact have dues. Make checks payable to me. Thanks.