Stuck in the Moment
I am in between projects right now. My latest novel is with Publish Pros and I haven’t yet begun another major venture. Blogging seems to ease my constant urge to write, but I have felt a bit stuck, to tell the truth . . . aw, but such is life.
When I sat down to write a creative piece today, I considered my current creative malaise and began. I made up the name for a character, decided she also would be “stuck”, and began writing. I had no idea what the result would be, but here it is.
Betsy Jean Cobblestone was stuck. It was rare that she be stuck in any sense of the word for as her surname suggested, she had been on a rocky road to somewhere all of her life. Always moving. Most often she managed to move forward, but, on occasion, she had stumbled, fallen, or had been forced to retrace her steps in order to set things straight. That’s how life had been for her – a bumpy road. And though she had contributed to the discomforts and uncertainties of her existence, committing one jarring mistake after another, other folks, to Betsy Jean’s way of thinking, had jerked her around as well. More than a few sordid souls had seen fit to make her suffer. Yet no matter who had delivered a jab to the belly or a kick in the ass, Betsy Jean had dusted off the dirt and forged ahead. That’s how she had arrived at this place – a widow for more than ten years, with an estranged daughter, a prodigal son, and not one friend in the world. She was quite absolutely alone and stuck.
When she was born some seventy-eight years prior she never would have imagined that all of a sudden she would feel trapped, one aching heart caught in a snare of her own making. She had had dreams just as everyone else, she assumed. I’ll be married to the perfect man, have flawless children, and adoring grandchildren. I’ll have a career of my own, stacks of friends, and pet after pet after pet. She had . . . to a point. Jack, her husband had been far from perfect, but she had loved him still despite his shortcomings and idiosyncrasies: an aversion to hard work, an affection for sweet Mary Jane, and flatulence that could take one’s breath away. Her daughter, Kate, had married at seventeen and had moved to Timbuktu, or somewhere as ambiguously distant, in order to churn out some children of her own, Betsy Jean supposed. She heard from Kate once a year - a ridiculous greeting card had arrived on, of all days, Valentine’s Day, every single year . . . even this one. As for Will, her son . . . God only knew where he was. Betsy Jean feared it was a homeless encampment somewhere, but perhaps she was wrong. He’s the CEO of his own startup, of course. She shook her head at her thinking. What a ridiculous thought. She had no blooming idea.
Betsy Jean’s day was half over. She had drunk her coffee, made her bed, showered, pottied, and brushed her teeth. She had twisted her hair into a tight bun at the nape of her neck, pulled on an old sweater over loose slacks and sat, an unopened book in her hand, staring at the television screen, as black as night. The longer she sat, the heavier she felt, unable to lift a finger. Yet she breathed on and as she did, her mind took her to a picture show . . . memory after memory peppering through until the display stopped flat, just like that. She gazed slowly around the room as though expecting someone to look back at her. No one did, of course. Well, what did you expect, Betsy Jean Cobblestone? Here you are, stuck, with one toe touching quicksand. Maybe you got what you asked for, old lady, and, well, perhaps not. But here you are, and if there is to be tomorrow get on up and start moving. Whether anyone gives a hoot simply isn’t the issue. Not a soul in the world is going to do it for you.