Friday, January 05, 2007

Entry #8

It's Not So Bad
by Jaye Wells


The silent grey walls of the factory rose from the streets like tombstones etched with broken dreams. I sat across the street in a coffee shop watching the scene through a rain spattered window.

"Can I warm up your coffee?" asked the waitress. Her nametag identified her as "Gladys," and at last count she was missing two teeth.

"Sure, thanks," I said, pushing the cup toward her.

"Whatcha workin' on?" she asked.

"Supposedly, I'm writing a book," I said, lighting another cigarette. The distraction was welcome.

"Well, don't that beat all?" Gladys said. "I love me some Danielle Steel. Do you write stuff like her?"

"I'm afraid not," I responded.

"That's a shame," she said. "Well, I'm sure what you write is nice, too."

As much as I appreciated Gladys' faith in me, it was undeserved. She moved on, forcing me to face my laptop screen again. After an hour, the open document held only two words: "you" and "suck."

The blinking cursor taunted me. We, the cursor and I, both knew I'd given up. Maybe tomorrow I'd find a real job. The factory might be hiring. Assembling widgets probably paid more than writing. How bad could it be?

Then I looked at Gladys, with her grease-spattered pink uniform and orthopedic shoes. What dreams did she have as a girl? And when had she given up on them, deciding a life of serving up hash and eschewing dental care wasn't so bad?

I stubbed out my cigarette and started typing.

18 comments:

S. W. Vaughn said...

Oh, man, Jaye. This one hit a tender spot. :-) Great job!

Scott said...

I kept waiting for the claws to come out, or fangs, something, anything. Then it turned out to be a sweet. Nicely done.

Jim said...

Nice. We find motivation wherever we can.

Jaye Wells said...

Glad you guys like it. It's a bit of a departure for me, but I enjoyed it.

Michele said...

This was cool.
I like the bit about the "curser and I".
I think all writers have moments just like this.

anne frasier said...

very nice, jaye!!

Joni said...

A neat package. I love this, Jaye. I think you're targeting the right audience here, too. Is this a true story? :)

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks again, everyone. Joni, nope, it's fiction.

Dafath said...

the thing about women in greasy pink named gladys slinging hash
is how well they can cuss
probably she could

Jeff said...

This is very good! Great job!

EA Monroe said...

Great writing, Jaye. I need to print this out and hang it over my computer... as a reminder! Writers write!

Jaye Wells said...

Thanks, Jeff.

EA, what a great compliment. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Well Rowling wrote in a cafe and look where that got her! Nice job.

Anonymous said...

You're trying to appeal to our vanity, you know. Looks like it worked! Nice job.

Anonymous said...

The last word on writing? Writing the write, instead of talking the talk. I liked this a lot.

Jaye Wells said...

Daniel, am I that transparent? ;)

Ooh, Caillech, I like "writing the write."

Anonymous said...

Oh very nice and beautifully written!

jason evans said...

Love the "you...suck" on the computer!! Such a true moment. It was very effective to space two words apart.

Very real feel to the characters. I like the contemplative mood.

High marks for pacing and voice.