Thursday, March 24, 2011

Electrical Currents and a Lucky Fifty Words

It was something she needed to say, something she should say, and probably, most importantly, something he needed to hear. She knew this. She knew all of this, and so she sat, impatiently clicking her pen as the thoughts traveled in tiny and incomplete electrical currents, readying themselves for her fingers but not yet making any sense. The pad of her thumb cradled the shape of the end of her pen, and as she saw her body adjust to the lag-time, she worried that the words, if they ever came, would be but crude and rehearsed shells of themselves, stumbling along the pale blue line like a wounded animal. She peered to her left toward a pile of scrapped drafts, the words of which were too clich├ęd and too impersonal, too vague and too elusive, or simply too much, which made them sound insincere even if that was not the case.

She closed her eyes and took a breath and tried to create an image that depicted the emotion, as emotion on its own is not concrete enough to grab hold of a heart and make a difference, but the emotion of present was too overwhelming in its power to force into something so confining as an image. By luck, her mind chose to carry her through her memories, to return her to a place where the words were not so hard to come by, where she feared never gaining in place of fearing loss. It was a much easier place to be because what she feared was what she had, what she knew, and what she wanted is what she had been or at least had hoped to be moving toward. But now she was happy, and what she feared was going back to place she knew to be not as happy. And so the image came.

I picture myself before you as a stool with one leg slightly shorter than the others – a little wobbly, pretty uncomfortable, giving the illusion of balance but never quite achieving it. That means you’re the little wooden wedge that my short leg now rests on. I feel solid with you.

What she said in those words to him meant more than he would know because what she said in an abstract and indirect fifty words could be said more accurately in six: he was a part of her


  1. When I read your stuff, I always feel like every single word is the correct word, and it is in the proper place.

  2. I'm fairly certain that is way too high a compliment, but especially coming from someone whose work I quite admire, I very much appreciate it. Thank you!