End of Chapter One - Chapter Two - The Knowing.

Discussion in 'Writers Forum' started by spicypisces, May 30, 2004.

  1. spicypisces

    spicypisces Member

    Hey, all - here it is, folks. The conclusion of Chapter One & start of chapter two. I am really hoping that I will hear from some of you who have taken your time to read this to comment. Rolling your eyes? Eager for more? Of course, I am always a willing reciprocator. If you have something to swap - I'd be happy to critique.

    End of Chapter One

    It becomes necessary to block such things out in order to function in everyday life. If I woke up every morning with the weight of my life on my shoulders – the debts, the rent, the bills, the housework, my children’s well-being, I would not even get out of bed, let alone be able to go to work.

    I’m not saying I’m incapable of facing my failures. Because I do. I just don’t have the mental fortitude to admit them to me and everyone else everyday. Connecting with the despair within my life everyday is not helpful while I’m trying to earn a living.

    Like, everyone thinks I’m a great Mom. I know differently. What everyone else sees is a struggling single mother who genuinely loves hers kids, who goes to work and tries her best to keep up with the bills. All these things are true, but, there is so much more to it. The nights when exhaustion drives me almost directly to my room, before even making dinner to turn out the lights and yell at the both of them to just LEAVE ME ALONE. The mornings when I sleep in and don’t have time to feed them breakfast. The promises I break. The home that too untidy for them to invite guests to without notice. The times when I lose my temper and yell at them.

    Ironically, I actually am better at being a mom than I am at most other things. My children bring me enough joy to be able to wake up and try every day.

    Funny how children can take a miserable moment and turn it into a memorable one. For Ethan’s eighth birthday, I foolishly committed to allowing him to take a few friends to the movies. The invitations had already gone out to six children by the time I ‘fessed up to myself that I couldn’t afford it. At the brand new movie theatre across town, me, Ethan and Rose stood in line to buy advance tickets. Once at the counter, I slumped within – realizing it was going to set me back way more than I even supposed. “How many tickets would you like?” the fortyish spinster behind the counter looked bored. Strangely out of place in her spanking black suit, with the rest of her being so rumply and wrinkly. I hesitated.

    “Well, there’s you, Ethan, your six friends, me, and Rose. Soooo, I guess that’ll be seven children and one adult – and she’s three so she’s free, right?” I gestured to Rose – who was still to short to see over the counter.
    “Yep. Kids three and under are free.” Confirmed Ma Kettle. I was getting ready to pass over my cash when little-miss-know-it-all piped up next to my knee.

    “NO I’M NOT!!!” Instantly I knew where she was going with this, and I wanted desperately to shut her up quick. “I’M FOUR!!!! I’M NOT A BABY!!” Rose’s face, decidedly babyish as it was, was screwed up into an insulted knot that made it clear she knew exactly what she was being accused of. What a picture we must have made – my wee girl, all thirty pounds of her and looking as innocent as the driven snow with her brown pony tails and butterfly sandals – crossing her arms and giving me a good and proper blasting in front of everyone.

    “Oh, no you’re not honey...” I must not have sounded to sure of myself because Ma Kettle’s eyebrow was raised. “you’re going to be four very soon, but you’re not four yet.” I was quite satisfied this would confuse Rose long enough to get me out discreetly passed the gawking people in the queue behind me. But, as I took the tickets and my change, Rose dug her heels in and prepared to battle with me.

    “Yes I AM four Mommy! Don’t you remember my Barbie birthday, when I had with my Barbie cake? When I was FOUR??” I realized suddenly that along with turning four, she had somehow spontaneously developed this uncommonly sharp sense of logic, and a bloody good memory considering her birthday had happened almost a year ago. I picked her up, aware that everyone around me now knew that I was just a lying cheapskate who didn’t want to buy the kid a ticket...

    Rose was still arguing with me as I buckled her into her carseat – convinced that her mother was an absolute twit who had no idea how old she was. Ethan, who had been quiet and uninterested – suddenly caught on that he could have some fun with this.

    “Oh, but you are three Rose!” Ethan’s face grew smug with as satisfied grin, sure in himself that this line would surely send our little Rose into a tizzy of anger. He was right.

    And it was there, listening to Rose screaming at her big brother in the backseat, Ethan gripped in gales of laughter. I laughed until my sides hurt and probably waiting a little too long before forcing Ethan to admit to Rose that she was indeed four.

    The things that I didn’t do that day even if they do matter, don’t matter. They are already forgotton. It is for the joy that I wait. This joy being the primary motivation for my decision to become a parent in the first place, although I knew Kevin was worth a shit. I knew even then that having a child would be wonderful, and I relished every single moment of both my pregnancies, excited about the wonderful happiness that I knew would come with my baby.

    At the time, I recall my parents and siblings all criticizing me (rightfully so) about my decision to carry and have Kevin’s baby when I accidentally became pregnant shortly after we met. I don’t blame them, or my friends, who all basically shook their heads at me, and asked the same questions. “Why would you have a baby with some guy you barely know, when you don’t even have a good job right now?”

    At the time, when this question was posed to me in my parents kitchen, I spoke answers that I thought were true, but deep down I knew even then they were lies. “Oh, Kevin will be there for me and it will be great. You’ll see Mom & Dad! I’ll get a great job, and we’ll rent a great place and be great parents. Everything’s gonna be great!” that is the standard answer from any teenager who finds herself pregnant, but at the time I was only seventeen, and I thought it was pretty original and convincing.

    My Dad rolled his eyes over his coffee and walked away without saying anything, shaking his head. “You’re making a poor decision, Lorelei.” Said my mother matter of factly. I felt like punching her in the face. I couldn’t understand why at the time, I felt so much anger toward my parents during this point in my life. I also couldn’t articulate why deep down, I felt there were real reasons for me to have the baby, I just couldn’t express them. But, here, now nine-years later, I understand perfectly.

    In a world where I had noone, where nobody loved me, I had the opportunity to make my own love. To actually create my own family, and have someone to care about me, who I could in turn love. Anyone who would say that this is also a poor reason to have a child is an idiot. How can you tell a seventeen year old kid whom noone gives a shit about that having a baby in order to experience love for probably the first and only time in their life is a poor reason? The need for love is the absolute strongest of all needs. The ability to rationalize and control the pursual of those needs, in teenagers especially, is practically absent. Even more so in those who have been starved for love their whole lives. At the age of seventeen, I was so hungry for love, having a baby was probably the only thing that made sense to me. The Knowing was not even there at the time, to make me think twice about it.


    I was the brainy child that never fit in. I read fluently at the age of four, and have memories from when I was two. I remember my mother being submitted to hospitals for what my father called nervous breakdowns...big surprise seeing as how he was pounding the tar out of her at that time. I don't blame him, though. My dad had a very difficult life, growing up in a home where his father was a tyrant - and a monster to his two little sisters....I never thought my life would read to make me appear as trailer trash, but, there it is folks. I was sexually molested when I was seven. I told no one until I was older, because my sister knew about it and would always threaten to tell "my dirty secret" if she didn't get her way.

    My mom was (is) manic-depressive; she's been treated with electro-convulsive therapy with some results, after fifteen years of chaos and slashed wrists. Her grandfather and great-grandfather both met their maker at the end of a rifle, held by their own hands.

    My parents separated when I was twelve, leaving me horribly displaced, and unwanted. I surfed between houses from that time on, depressed, hopeless, and gifted - with no one to care or notice. When at my mother's, I would endure her manic rages night after night, being startled out of bed in the middle of the night by my frantic stepfather, begging me to jimmy open the bathroom door before she cut her wrists. Or, once or twice by the police, coming to take her away (oh my). This was all in a middle class neighborhood. When I'd had enough, I would abandon ship to go to my older sister's home, or "Hitler" as I sometimes called her. I am still waiting for her to realize that she is even crazier than my mother.
  2. veinglory

    veinglory Member

    You write with a clear 'voice' that is quite appealling. I think there may be a little to much thought description and not quite enough actual action described. Other than that I strongly suggest indents of blank lines between paragraphs as I gfound this a bit hard to read and didn't quite make it to the end.
  3. spicypisces

    spicypisces Member

    Thank you, veinglory.

    I agree that the thought description is at this point, a distraction. I am trying to work out parts of what "the story" is and how it will progress...to slip it between "thought" paragraphs afterwards. I have a better sketch right now of the main characters, and am hoping that writing lorelei's thoughts and so forth will produce more action scenes naturally.

    As for those bloody indents...

    I know. But every time I copy and paste my neatly separated section into this message field, all of the paragraph breaks vanish.

    I didn't feel like putting them all back in at the time, but, as you see, I have now done just that.
  4. veinglory

    veinglory Member

    Indents are tricky when cut/pasting. I write with a blank line between paragraphs, and save as .txt to make sure no auto-formatting has snuck in...

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