It’s November, that magical time of year when thousands take to the proverbial quill and parchment to craft the next great American novel. But not me, I’m going for the next commercially successful American novel. If you have any interest at all in writing the long form, please give serious consideration to participating in NANOWRIMO. There is something magical about the shared experience and there’s a ton of encouragement floating around. You might not write something great, but you have the best chance ever of finishing and that really does mean something. I’m off to a reasonable start and it’s funny how different year 2 is.
I plan to keep the blog going during the month. I remember last year getting a bit short on time and skipping out on a couple of entries. This year I’m more professional. And I fully expect to get blocked along the way so I’ll have plenty of opportunity to write posts instead of prose.
Anyhoo, on with today’s original fiction inspired by a conversation I had with #4 over the weekend. For background, he and his brother like watching – and mocking – the “survival” shows on Netflix.
by Jon Stark
by Jon Stark
I was waiting for the train, as I often do, and heard a cell phone ringing. I hate that. People should have the decency to mute their phones when sharing public spaces. But we can’t have everything and this wasn’t so bad, it was Frank Sinatra singing, “Same Old Saturday Night.” One of my favorites. In fact, I like it so much that I… oh. Made it my ring tone.
I answered the phone. It was Martin and he had an emergency. It was a typical emergency and involved both being late and a girl. Not what you just thought. He was late for work and had gotten drawn into a long conversation with his favorite barista.
I asked, “Why was she so talkative?”
“Don’t know,” he said, “But from here on out I’m going to get just plain coffee.” We shared a laugh. “Traffic is awful today, I’m never going to make it.”
“Sure you will. You always do.” I wasn’t sure, but it was my line. We had this conversation three days out of five. “And you’ll get the same coffee you always do tomorrow.”
He laughed. “Maybe. “ There was a moment’s silence. I’m never sure if he is changing lanes or thinking of something clever.
“You guys want to come over this weekend?” he asked. (He must have been changing lanes.)
“Probably. I don’t think we’ve got anything going on.” I heard the train whistle. “I gotta run.”
“Sure – whoa, this guy is crazy. What is he –“ There was some sort of noise but I had to jerk the phone away from my ear.
“Marty?” No response. I looked at the phone. Call ended. I tried to get him back. Got voicemail. Odd, I thought, but the train had come and I sit in the quiet car. No calls. But I was curious. What guy? What was he doing? I sent a text.
Martin never answered.