Here’s what I came up with last night for the writing exercise. Somewhere along the line I started over thinking instead of simply writing. It was the part about the young woman staying with the couple. I felt I needed a reason for her to be there and started thinking about it, then editing. After a few more sentences I lost my inspiration/motivation.
Since the first of October, I’d ask the kid to bring in the bike. Put it away. Treat things with respect. I will Pappa, he’d say to me. As soon as I’m done playing. The excuses piled up.
I drive past the bicycle and pretend not to see it. Louise spent Autumn with us on the farm. A bit of sunshine for my wife and me. I was hip deep into the harvest and Rose, my wife, was managing the small store we ran. Time spent together felt more like clocking in and out with a co-worker, too tired to say much, too tired to go anywhere. Hell, it was at least a forty-five minute drive to get anywhere. So, when Louise showed asking for a place to stay, we thought why not? What’s the worst that could happen? She was a friend of my niece’s and needed a place to stay.
We opened up one of our children’s old rooms. Rose put on fresh sheets and smoothed out a quilt. Her eyes, Rose’s, seemed to brighten and it was like something started to lift between us. I tried to focus on what that thing was, but it seemed too vague, somewhere between a longheld silence and a routine. Either way, I was glad to see it going.