Resisting Every Inch of the Way
Written with my Thursday night group with the prompts: dates with nothing in them, a gun fighter and a bag of gold, resisting every inch of the way, everything will be all right, comfortable being, pipe dream, she wondered about the moment, illegal immigrant, a small squeak, everything is as it should be
Jenna came out of the ophthalmologist’s office wearing those flimsy little make-shift dark glasses they give you at such places, but they weren’t enough. Out there on the bare white concrete, stepping gingerly toward her car, she could feel her throat, her chin, even her ears curling inward to protect her dilated pupils, her eyes blinking and squinting, her lips and cheeks puckering, as if her entire face was crumpling like a balled up Kleenex. Even her shoulders were involuntarily hunching forward. It was fitting really, her eyes forced open. She tumbled into the front seat of her car and thrust her forearm over her eyes, almost panting with frustration.
She didn’t know how, but she’d known, she known he was going to leave. Somehow she’d sensed it. She wondered about that moment: when had he decided? She turned it over and over again in her brain. If she could figure it out, maybe she could find him, maybe she could convince him to come back.
He was an illegal immigrant, a NASA astronaut, the CEO of a Silicone Valley tech firm, a gun slinger with a bag of gold tucked into a trunk in the garage. He rode a Harley, he drove a Prius hybrid, a skateboard, a BART train, an UBER at peak traffic. He wore suspenders over a red flannel shirt, a pin striped suit, he was quiet, he was manic, he was flamboyant, he was discreet. He stood beneath the peach tree and played the flute to wake her at sunrise, he was a fantasy, a hard cold reality, a tiny squeak on a loose floor board in the hallway, he was a ghost, he was a pipe dream.
She slowly dropped her arm from her eyes and hooked another pair of sunglasses on her face. She donned a wide brimmed hat, a scarf, a Covid mask, a rain coat.
When you catch yourself ruminating, her guide told her, ask yourself: what emotion are you avoiding?
She was comfortable being in her protective gear. She would drive home, treat herself to unstuffed dates, sticky and sweet, paired perhaps with salted almonds, and a cup of ginger tea. She was not resisting. Was she? Was she resisting? Her guide told her: the best conductor has no resistance.
She started the car. Everything is as it should be.
Photo by Kiran CK on Unsplash