Find the first prompt here!
Kurt was a huge, comfortable man, whose body dropped fast into any inviting spaces. And I had unfortunately let him in my front door and allowed him to see my comfortable couch. Now he wanted to stay and watch the movie I was about to start, having seen my bowl of popcorn and glass of wine. I didn’t want to be mean and send him packing, but I had really been looking forward to a night in, by myself. My husband was off on a work trip and my teenage kids were at their friends’ houses. I was finally going to watch that movie that was all the rage a couple years ago but that I had missed seeing because life is too busy sometimes. And I wanted to do it by myself.
But Kurt was a volunteer at the library, a nice but kind of dumb guy, and he was looking real comfortable on my couch and I didn’t know how to get him to leave. I offered him the bowl of popcorn and his hand brushed up against mine and he turned to me and said, “Ah, you know, I understand how it is, when sometimes you have a night to yourself that you weren't expecting. You need to spend some time with you. Enjoy the movie, and thanks for the offer to watch it with you.”
I hadn’t actually offered, but whatever. I got up and followed him to the door. “All right, Kurt, well thanks for dropping the flyers off!”
Kurt had made some flyers about the upcoming elections, reminding people to register to vote, and he dropped them off to me because I’m a known vote hound.
“She thought: What a tremendous lot I have failed to think through! Yet I always thought I thought through things so well!”
That was the last line of the movie before I turned it off. What a bore! I didn’t understand why such boring movies always won awards. And with that, I was off to bed. An early night in was a luxury I would give myself. I had a book I was dying to sink my teeth into.
The next day I was off with my dog, walking around the neighborhood, when I swore I saw an ICE van. I wasn’t sure for sure because it was unmarked, but it had the feel of ICE all over it. I didn’t see anyone in it. What was this, a stakeout? Were they planning to raid one of my neighbors? I decided to stake them out. I just kept walking my dog around and around the same block, actually up and down the same street, to see if anyone would come in or out of the van. No one did. I moved on.
And now see, I’ve lost it again. Why am I trying to force this story to go here? Let’s backtrack or something. I I I I I I I I I I I I love my dog. She’s so great. She knows me and how I’m feeling just when I touch her or look at her.
I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I Don’t know what I’m doing and I just can’t see to to get anything done and this is going to be a bitch to clean up.
I I I OK. OK already.
I I I I don’t know.
A whiff of strong-smelling soap caught my interest because I knew it would give me a headache within about two minutes if I didn't identify the source and get away from it quickly. It can be tough to get away from a strong scent on a subway train, but not as tough as a bus. At the very least, I could switch cards at the next station. There it was. A woman. Crying. Oh god. Why had I chosen to identify her? Now that I saw her, and saw she was crying, I wanted to help her, or comfort her, or just be near her or something.
I found myself moving closer to the scent. Assault on my nose and head. Bleh. Closer I moved. There was an open seat next to her. I took it. I reached into my bag and found a tissue and handed it to her.
“Are you all right?” I said, and then felt a dolt. Obviously she wasn’t.
“I mean, I can see your upset. I just wanted to say that I’m sorry and if you want to talk about it with a complete stranger, you’re welcome to.”
She thanked me for the tissue and said no. That was to be expected, I guess. I mean, I wouldn’t want to pour my heart out to a stranger, either. But now I was stuck next to the lady, trying to be a supportive presence! And man was my head starting to hurt. She got off at the next stop. I was getting off there, too. She walked in the direction of the library. I was going there too. Her scent carried at least a block, and I was walking just half a block behind her.