Flash fiction – well a couple of the moments written about in the tale are true but I have created a fictionalised story around them.
Precious & Awkward Moments
Walking up to the store counter I addressed the girl behind the till,
“I’d like a…” The shop assistant interrupted my request and replied,
“One moment please, Madam.” Turning she served some one else.
I’m not keen on being ignored. I certainly do not like being called madam. It makes me feel old.
One moment. What does that even mean? My mind began to spin. The store was warm I was wearing a winter coat and started to feel dizzy as thoughts and memories crashed into my head.
The assistant finished serving and turned to me, “ Now Madam, What was it you wanted?”
Looking thoughtful I responded,
“Well – you offered me a moment. But one is never enough. Don’t you find?” My tongue was sharp, my mind in a whirl, as I continued,
“I’d like all the moments. Even the awkward ones such as when I finally started my period. The second to last girl in the class, and bled through to my gym slip. The whole team noticed. My face was as rouged as the soiled skirt.
The time when I clumsily wanked a first boyfriend off in the park bushes. Shocked at how much jizz he produced.
I’d really like the moment when a soul mate passionately kissed me in the pouring rain. Neither of us concerned about the weather. The sound of the river raging past, drowning out the thudding of my heart beat. Rain drops dripping from my upturned nose.
And how about that memory when I looked into my newborns eyes and realised from that day forward my mind would never belong to just me, again.
Not to leave out the moments which brought sorrow. The final time I saw Mum before she died. Her eyes lucid. Her mind having reached a clarity that sometimes occurs when a person is ready to go. My heart breaking. My heart broke.
I’d pretty much like the moment when I could have walked in here and you would have called me Miss and been envious of my youth. But I suppose that’s one I can’t have at this point in time. But I look forward to the future – moments that will add to the tapestry of my life.”
The shop girl stared at me open mouthed.
The buzzing sound of voices coming from a small crowd who had gathered behind me jolted me back to reality. As I turned they quietened. Looking awkward and uncomfortable.
It was clear in that moment I had made a fool of myself. I guessed it wouldn’t be the last time.
Try as I might I could not remember what it was I had come in to buy. So I left the store empty handed thinking now was my time to wear purple…
When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me. And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter. I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells And run my stick along the public railings And make up for the sobriety of my youth. I shall go out in my slippers in the rain And pick flowers in other people's gardens And learn to spit.
Poem by Jenny Joseph