Waiting – A Triptych

Part 1

The kitchen tap dripped unceasingly and most of the cupboards hung at jaunty angles. Her friends were busy salivating over Jamie Oliver or pursuing the latest project from Better Homes and Garden, but she didn’t see the need in creating a mausoleum of monotony.

For her there was always something else to do, something else that was a priority on a timetable that ran perpendicular to everyone else’s.

She saw no sense in waiting. Waiting was a weakness.

Quickly she rinsed her bowl, spoon and mug before putting them on the dish rack to dry and headed out the door.

Part 2

She picked up the silver-framed photograph of a woman nursing a newborn baby.  In the photo her arms were wrapped like a wall, protective and sheltering. She remembered the woman she was then and the intense possessiveness she had felt. It was a selfishness that drank like the child at her breast; even wanting to withhold the child from its father.

“Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone,” she murmured.

She waited for that sensation again as she packed the photograph into her luggage, waiting for the taxi, hoping the grit would become a pearl.

Part 3

She sat in the car outside the school hall, listening to the ping of the engine cooling while she waited for her daughter to finish dance class.  In her mind she compiled a list of all the things she had to do, all the things that made her wait: collect her son from sport, guess her husband’s return time from work and sorting the three foot high pile of washing. She glanced at her watch, wanting to hurry the time, and then watched the hall doors for a glimpse of pink tulle to come running.

“What are you waiting for, Mummy?” said the little ballerina as she scampered into the car while the engine sat silent.

“I don’t know, darling, I don’t know.”

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21 responses to “Waiting – A Triptych

  1. This was an experimental piece I wrote some time ago and gave it some minor tweaks.

  2. Loved the description of early motherhood – resonates very much with my own experience. Well done!

  3. I am really, really impressed with this. You have got inside a mother’s mind here, and written it out beautifully. Bravo!

  4. I liked her right off because “she didn’t see the need in creating a mausoleum of monotony.” Very nice!

  5. FARfetched said exactly what I was going to say. really.

  6. I thought the three stories worked well together. The common thread running through them worked great.

  7. Deanna Schrayer

    You really have gotten into the mind of a young mother quite well here Adam, eerily well. Great job!

  8. Is this about one person? or multiple. I liked particularly liked 2 and 3-how motherhood influences women and their lives thereafter.

  9. So thought provoking; I really enjoyed it. Amazing versatility, jumping from the ease of adolescence to the depths of motherhood. Nice job.

  10. I agree: the mausoleum of monotony line is really good.
    For me, it doesn’t just refer to the boredom of her daily life, but also to the plain dullness of everyone cooking the same food, decorating the same way etc.
    Fab writing.

  11. As I sit ten feet away from my kitchen where every single appliance is on its last legs, apart from the oven that hasn’t worked in five years, the first one was my favourite!

    I’m not sure I got the second one – is she hoping she’s pregnant again (grit/pearl)? Where is she going?

  12. Well done dividing it up into three little bits like that. Helped it moved quickly and still deliver punch.

  13. Nice job with this…the mausoleum of monotony was my favorite bit, too. Nice slice of life here.

  14. I LOVED your prose in these pieces. Very beautiful. I read it as three separate women, as I couldn’t esily link them together; was it three women or the same woman?

    • It is a loose biographical piece, focused on the experience of one woman, but there is nothing to say that it cannot be the lives of three women.

  15. I agree with the others. This is a very enjoyable read. I like the phrase “hoping the grit would become a pearl.” What a great way to express hope in trying times.

  16. You have such a beautiful quality to your writing Adam. I loved this piece. The second portion held the strongest emotion for me, but this was fantastic.

  17. The last line resonates. As the others who got here first, very well done.

  18. Like FARfetched, I thought the line “she didn’t see the need in creating a mausoleum of monotony” was inspired. I liked the whole, but that line is just terrific. Funny how as life goes on our lives are not really our own, but an accumulation of accommodation of others. But I’d have it no other way.
    ~jon

  19. Interesting how you capture the maiden, mother and crone in this piece. Almost made me think of “waiting for Godot” too.

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