This week’s words for CAKE.shortandsweet’s Wednesday Write-In were:
drawn :: sitting comfortably :: sag :: hiss :: ship-shape
I Am As I Am
I am sitting, comfortably tucked into my favourite chair.
I am watching the world pass, the people outside like clouds on a breezy day.
I am here. i am here i am here i am here
My house is ship-shape; I know where everything is, and nothing takes long to find.
When it comes dark, my curtains will be drawn, and nothing will disturb them until I do.
My bookshelves sag with tomes read and unread, and my walls are clean and bare.
My fire is a bright and jaunty hiss, and I am warm. I have enough.
I am fine, just as I am.
You’re fine, just as you are. Sure, you’ve plenty of nephews and nieces and they’re nearly as good as having your own, aren’t they? And you’ve a gorgeous wee house, you couldn’t keep it like a new pin if you had a clatter of youngsters running about getting their sticky mitts all over everything and knocking things over and widdling on the carpet and throwing up all over the place and coming in from school with a big hug for you and throwing wrapping paper everywhere on Christmas Day and winning prizes and gaining degrees and getting married and going on holidays and writing to you and sending you pictures of their lives and bringing their own children to meet you – ‘here’s Granny!’ – and emptying the fridge, now could you? Wouldn’t you rather have a bit of comfort in your old age and a bit of peace and quiet and as much you-time as you could ask for? I’d kill for a bit of a break from it, all the madness and the rushing and the phone-calls and the dramas and the weddings and the christenings and the birthdays. You don’t know how lucky you are, so you don’t!
lucky lucky lucky am i
And I am fine, just as I am.
I have no other way to be.
Liked the structure. It does the job. The use of italics for the second voice really supports a life frenetically enjoyed. I bet he/she wouldn’t swap for all the world.
Which makes the first voice seem very sad. She is coping, mostly; she has strategies. But she does cry out for more. Poor thing. Not her fault, I assume.
Thanks, Patrick. I’m glad to read your thoughts on the story – looks like it did just what I wanted it to do. 🙂
The first character sounds just fine, until you read the walls are clean and bare – that’s not enough. Poignant.
Hi Elaine – would you mind explaining what you mean by ‘that’s not enough’? I’m just interested to know if I’ve underwritten something or if anything isn’t clear, or if there’s something I could have expressed in a better way. This story was written in a rush – forgive me if you didn’t like it! 🙂
Great stuff. Very effective change in voice: really evokes the denial & the emptiness beneath it. I’m guessing when Elaine said that’s not enough she was referring to the bare walls rather than the writing. I love how you managed to get the narrator to contradict herself in evocation of her world and the repetition is like an empty reassurance because it’s not ok and it’s clear that she has regrets. Well done- more great writing.