9/13/15 Breeze Part 3

Smoke began to pour from the second building now. Tyler watched it billow up and out and whoever was behind the camera shook. He thought because they were afraid, maybe.

“I need to go to school,” said Tyler.

Brent shook beside him. “There’s no school today,” he said.

“Why?” asked Tyler.

“The city is under attack?”

“Attack?”

“Yeah. Like war.”

“Why is there war?” asked Tyler.

“I don’t know what’s happening,” said Brent. “Come here. Sit down.”

Tyler came and sat next to Brent. Brent wrapped his arms around Tyler in a nice hug. Tyler felt safe there. Planes crashing into buildings and fire eruptions and shattered glass and screaming all seemed a long way away.

“Your mother works in those buildings,” Brent said.

Tyler looked up at Brent’s red eyes, his puffy cheeks. Tyler’s mom worked in the city. In an office building right across the water from where they lived. Those words took time for Tyler to understand. The far-away-ness of the event was suddenly not so far-away. It was suddenly right here, in their home, and not like how it was on the TV. It was like how his mother, Allison, wasn’t home and Brent was crying and if Brent was scared, then that meant things were scary. Tyler followed Brent’s lead and began to cry for moment. Just a moment. The home phone rang. and it was shrill and high as if it was screaming in fear just as the insides of Tyler were screaming because he didn’t know what was going to happen next.

Brent got up from the couch and went and answered the phone.

“Andy,” said Brent. “Yeah, hi. I—”

Tyler watched Brent over the backrest of the couch. He shifted the phone from one shoulder to the other.

“Yep. Yeah. She had work today. . . Nope. No word. . . He’s safe. Just woke up. We’re watching the TV. . . I–I think he’d like that. I think that would be good. Yes. . . Okay. Okay.” He hung up.

“Who was—”

“You’re dad is on the way,” said Brent.

“He’s not at work?”

“No. Nobody has work today, because—”

“Because the airplanes?”

“Yes. Because the airplanes.”

“Dad’s coming here?” asked Tyler.

“Yes.”

Tyler nodded. “Okay,” he said. It made sense.

Brent poured him a bowl of cereal–granola–Alison didn’t believe in sugary breakfast food, except French toast, and that was only on special occasions. Brent brought the bowl to Tyler and held it out. Tyler looked at it. You weren’t allowed to eat on the couch. Only the table. And the TV wasn’t allowed to be on when they ate either.

“We’re not allowed to eat on the couch,” Tyler said.

“Today is okay,” said Brent.

“My mom will be angry,” he said.

“Maybe,” said Brent, as if he didn’t believe Tyler at all. “Everything will be fine.”

“Promise?” asked Tyler.

Brent nodded, still holding out the bowl of cereal.

Tyler took the bowl and cradled it in his hands. he placed it between his crossed legs and then hunched over and while he watched the smoking buildings on the TV, he ate his breakfast.

9/12/15 Breeze (Part 2)

The breeze snuck under the cracked open window. It gave just enough air-flow to the place to keep it from being stuffy in the bedroom. The breeze swept over a landscape of blankets and pillows and some red hair. It brought a springtime scent. It brought a young boy awake. Light shimmered outside his window. Tyler was vaguely aware that he was probably late for school. That didn’t happen often. His mom usually got him up on time–or Brent. Nice Guy Brent. Tyler thought Brent was actually a nice guy. And he liked Tyler’s mom. Loved her by the looks of yesterday. When Tyler had seen those kinds of rings in movies they were always ringed with diamonds, or just one really big one. But the ring Brent had given Mom was just a golden metal band. Nothing flashy or special, besides the fact that it was a ring. Tyler didn’t know any kids who wore rings, so he figured rings were a pretty specialized article of–were they clothing?

A sound came from down the hall. It wasn’t the sound Tyler expected. It wasn’t the sound of frying bacon and eggs. Brent made the best bacon and eggs whenever he stayed over. But this sound was more like a groan. Like the sound your stomach makes when you’ve eaten something that just doesn’t sit quite right.

Tyler looked toward the door where the sound came from. Ghost? Ghosts only came out at night, so probably not. The sound came again. Tyler climbed out of bed and navigated his Star Wars action figures which he’d left strewn about the floor. He opened the door–the house was old so it creaked a bunch, as did the hardwood floor in the hallway. In the kitchen there was nothing cooking. The frying pan was on the island stove top, black and cold and completely unoccupied.

A groan came from the den. There was a shrill sound in Tyler’s ears. One that he regularly got when a TV was on in a room nearby. He went around the kitchen island and pushed open the door to the den. Inside, Brent sat on the couch, his shoulders hunching over the coffee table. The news was on. Red headlines scrolled across the screen. People were talking smoke was billowing from buildings. Brent’s body shook and Tyler became aware that the moaning–how had he heard it through two doors and down the hall?–was Brent crying. But he was a grown-up. Tyler knew grown-ups didn’t cry–except Mom, a couple times, after talking to Dad.

“Are you crying?” asked Tyler.

Brent swiveled and stared. His eyes red. He was. His longish hair was sticking out and his long nose was red underneath. He held a tissue up to his mouth and shook his head in a no, but it was a lie. When he spoke it was quiet and a croak like a frog. It was not anything Tyler had ever heard before.

“Come sit by me,” he said.

Tyler walked around the white couch and the arm chair next to it and sat next to Brent. They watched the TV. Tyler watched and saw–actually saw what had happened. He’d seen those buildings before–that city was his city. The New York Giants were his team and the Mets, dad said, would always be the most underrated team in baseball because the Yankees where such posterboys. The screen switched from the smoking buildings. The same buildings were there, but only one was smoking. Then a plane appeared, it shot across the sky. When it hit the second tower there was an instant, just a fraction of a moment–where nothing happened the plane was gone, the building fine. Whoever had been holding the camera shook the image a little. Tyler felt as though a magic trick had been done. The plane had entered the building and nothing had happened. He waited, watching for it to exit the other side–after all, a magic trick was only good if you made something reappear after it has gone. But the plane didn’t reappear. Fire burst from the other side of the building. It was like a movie. A strange movie, Tyler thought. He’d never heard of it before.

9/10/15 Freewrite again and on Guilty Pleasures

I find myself much more inclined to accomplish a thing if it is on a to-do list. To-do lists are a great source of inspiration for me. I don’t mean a to-do list on my phone, or computer, instead I like a tidily hand written to do list. I like it because it is clean and tangible and ever time I cross a project off it, that tangible thing is still there, but now has been X out. It’s not like a computer which is simply gone, deleted, white space. Instead there is a record of me having done this thing. I need to continue to do this. Or I need to get back to writing my to-do list every morning over coffee.

my to-do list for today looks like this:

9.10.15

Freewrite

Work on thesis

CV Article 1

CV Article 2

Read

Exercise

Research Freewheel Cargo for interview

I don’t number them because I never know what order I enjoy doing things. All that matters is that I get most of them done. Oh, I forgot one. . . That last one is something I shouldn’t forget.

Tomorrow I hope to have a little wee bit oh fiction for you. Just something for fun, which is something I need to bring back to my writing and not be so stressed about. Whatever you do, my dad always says, enjoy doing it. Whether I’m reading, playing video games (which is a guilty pleasure), or writing a new story, I should never feel bad or guilty about doing that thing if that is what you decide on. Guilty pleasures, though I have some, are completely over rated. Here to getting back to a schedule. Here’s to you, dear reader. Lets be productive together.

A.