Monday, August 28, 2006

Entry #63

Entry #63
by Lex Ham Rand

Will saw Nicole take the trash out, late, after the kids were in bed. The blue light flickers on the window of the den told him that Jerry was watching the game.

Will turned and looked at his empty kitchen, his empty life. Three months without Karen, since the crunch of gravel and the red tail-lights ended four years of marriage.

Nicole was busy with Jerry and her kids. But Nicole would talk to him. Will grabbed the trash bag and headed out the back door.

“Nice night,” Will said to Nicole.

“Hey, Will,” Nicole answered, letting the lid drop loudly on her big trash barrel. Jerry dropped his shriveled trash bag into his smaller container. Microwave meals and paper towels, mostly.

They both wheeled their trash bins down the driveway, Will in his t-shirt and flip-flops, rolling his smaller container. Nicole in bare feet and a shirt with a v-neck that showed off her tan, her breasts, her toned arms.

When they reached the street, Nicole looked at Will and smiled.

“You doing okay?” she asked. “I worry about you sometimes.” She smiled at Will. Even after all she did for Jerry and the kids she still had enough left over to care a little bit about Will, too.

Will felt a little guilty about lusting after his neighbor’s wife, but Nicole’s sincere interest in his welfare gave Will a tiny thrill, a moment of peace, and enough resolve to walk back up the driveway to his silent house.


Jim said...

People doing whatever they can to make it through. This felt very real.

robert rohloff said...

A well written story. I liked it. Read it twice.

Joni said...

You captured subtleties about grief and moving on so well. Just realizing you're able to feel those feelings again can be very encouraging. Terrific.

anne frasier said...

lex, this was wonderful. so REAL. i loved that it didn't turn into a killer story, but was this slice of a lonely man's suburban life.

great descriptions too.

nicholas abbot said...

It's the different sized trash bags that got to me.


Robert Ball said...

A man's grief well expressed.

Writing Blind said...

Rand, this story is awesome. I knew you were a great writer and now you've proven it. I feel like proud mama over here.

klgilbert said...

Oh, Bravo. What a human story, so very well done. I felt like I was one of the neighbors...there on the sidewalk watching all of this. Well crafted, good technique. Very much appreciated this entry.

Scott said...

I wish I had a neighbor like her to look at. Oh well. Nicely done. There are plenty of suburban wives that I've had unpure thoughts about. I can totally relate.

Tangasaurus Rex said...

I can totally relate to Will... Sometimes just knowing that someone out there cares and worries about you is enough to help you face life head on.

Flood said...

Lex this is terrific. It is true to life, you've captured people well.

Jaye Wells said...

It's a quiet story, yet powerful. Nice job!

linda said...

I'm sorry it must be late but Nicholas's comment about the different size trashbags really threw me for a twirl.
I couldn't stop laughing.
I like this story.
Isn't it just like a man to think his neighbor is lusting after him just because she asked "how you doing?" OK-OK
Good story, Good Writing. Amen.

Bofire said...

My turn.
What IS IT with the different size trash bags AND containers, too.
I like the story and I have to agree with Scott (whoops my wife is reading this).
Good Job. Flows nicely.

Bhaswati said...

I really like the slice of life, matter of fact feel this story conveys. That so many people can relate to it proves you've done a good job. Kudos!

jason evans said...

I like this concept of a brief dialog while taking out the trash. The lift he gets seem very Earthy and real.