Written with my Thursday night group with the prompts: the green ones are strawberries, yearning, simplified, summer, breasts, at my worst, wearing his BAM gear, so luxurious, top ten reasons, shared experiences, two changed their minds, preppers, empty nesters, I asked for a kiss she gave me a___, solar flares
He came to my door with florescent flyers and wordy brochures. “Top Ten Reasons to Enlist,” they said.
He was wearing BAM gear, looking like a superhero knock-off in khaki camo and night vision goggles. He was recruiting preppers to live in a bunker in a gully in the foothills. He claimed he’d had a full contingent, but two young men had changed their minds and went off to Bible College instead. I told him I didn’t care how weird things got with the smoke and the funnel clouds and the Covid variants, I was not going off into the woods with a strange man who did nothing through his pitch but stare at my breasts. He was undaunted. He asked me for a kiss. I cut him a thorny slip from my favorite raspberry vine. “Go home and grow your own,” I told him.
At my worst I will admit to a bitter caustic streak, but it’s disguising a deep loneliness. I’m told it comes sooner or later to all empty nesters. It’s led me to strip down the bungalow, purge closets and files, toss out all the tchotchkes and dust catchers, leaving me with nothing but a simplified yearning for shared experiences, perhaps someone resembling my long-gone beloved, at least someone to reminisce with. But the equinox approaches, and the days are growing longer. I dread the light that seeps into every corner and crevice, leaving my emotions laid bare, exposed. Summer will be here with its solar flares blazing from mountain tree branches to flatland suburban homes.
I have my go-bag ready by the kitchen door. I know I shouldn’t linger, but strawberries are still green, and there is nothing more luxurious than to nap on the beach. Wake me when the fire gets close.
Not yet. Wait a bit.
Photo by Soo Ann Woon on Unsplash