"I'm going to speak my mind because I have nothing to lose."--S.I. Hayakawa

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Writing Prompt from Ann Linquist

(Another break from the road trip while I gas up the truck.)

The prompt:

The postcard showed five women in jazzy hats.  The backdrop was a dappled pink.  Not a scene, just something painted in.   June started to throw the postcard away, and then she hesitated.

The response:

Molly held the postcard in her hands and marveled at the background rendered in pink bokeh. She had another postcard like this somewhere in the house, with the background in aqua. She should put this one with it, she decided. Molly liked putting apples with apples and oranges with oranges, or, in this case, postcards with postcards.

Simetimes, though, the effort required to do that was just too much and Molly gave up. Her intentions were good, but with the way things were these days, she simply couldn’t manage.

She looked around the room, wondering where her postcard collection was. “If I were a postcard,” she asked, “Where would I be?” She decided to start her search in the second bedroom, the one she hadn’t been in for years. She vaguely recalled seeing some postcards in there a long time ago.

Molly struggled out of her chair and slowly made her way to the hallway and the second bedroom. She never called it a “guest room” because it had been so many years since she’d had an overnight guest, well… She just couldn’t remember when. That’s how things are these days, she thought.

She stood at the door opening and said “Postcards, postcards, where are you?” A few minutes later, Molly decided she would save the search for another day, and made her way down the hall to the kitchen where she slipped the postcard under the edge of a stack of magazines on the counter—the ones she meant to read some day.

“The keepers” she called them, but it seemed she never had time to get at them. That’s how things are these days, she thought.

Exhausted from her efforts, Molly sat down on the pile of clothing in front of the washer and dryer. I really should get to these clothes, but I just don’t have the energy, she thought. After a while, Molly fell asleep on the pile.

When she awoke, Molly thought she should make an effort at tidying the house because she was expecting guests the next day. It seemed such an overwhelming project that she was exhausted just thinking about it. It was so difficult to move these days, and, well, that’s just how things are now.

Molly realized she was hungry and decided to order pizza. Now she had to find her cordless phone.  She tried to recall when she’d used it last and figured it was the last time she’d ordered takeout.

When was that? Was it last night? This morning? Two days ago? She couldn’t remember. Well, she thought, that’s the norm these days.

She struggled through the few parts of the house that she actually used and finally found her phone in the living room on top of a large package of paper towels she’d left by the front door. At least I could put these paper towels in the pantry, thought Molly, but by the time she’d speed-dialed the pizza parlor, she’d forgotten about the towels and putting them away. Just like always these days.

Molly woke up the next morning and grabbed a slice of left-over pizza for breakfast. Her guests would be here any minute, she realized. Whatever will they think? This is frightening, she thought, and realized she didn’t think she could go through with this. She jumped when she heard the knock at the door.

“Hello, Molly. I’m Dr. Laurel Baines. I’m a licensed psychologist and I specialize in hoarding disorders. I’m here to help you today.”

“Come in,” said Molly, “If you can find room.”

1 comment:

  1. Neat piece.I know a hoarder family,though, and I doubt the psychologist would be allowed in the house. It's a fascinating disorder.