First of all, I want to say that this half-story which will follow is not anything I planned. It is part of an "assignment" of sorts. In case you didn't read (or didn't realize cos I was vague) yesterday's blog, I have started some counseling. I'm taking a line from one of the papers I received yesterday from my counselor, but this line sums it up quite nicely--"I now recognize that my way of 'being' is not working for me." When I recognized it, I knew I needed to make some changes. I also knew that I didn't know how or didn't have the strength or didn't....whatever...to do it by myself, so I decided to seek out a counselor.
One of the things we discussed yesterday centered on what I thought were "important things." There are plenty of things, but I'm not going to go into all of them. Suffice it to say that I have 'homework' with this counselor. I actually think that is prolly a great idea cos I need every ounce of help and guidance I need, and, sometimes that help and guidance is going to have to come from inside me.
Anyway, some of the homework is actually DOING--even if only for one minute or two minutes or five minutes a day--those things which I think are important to me. Since I consider myself a writer, I wanted one of those important DO things to be writing. So, one of my daily homework assignments is to write something every day--even if it is only two paragraphs. In fact, on the "I am" list I have now is "I am writing at least two paragraphs every day." I will post each day's work; however, I might post it on my private journal page on another website (No offense, Blogspot. I just haven't figured out how to make one of my blogs private and keep the other ones public, so I just went to another blog 'company.')
Okay, so here we are today--20JUL11--and I am posting my first day's homework assignment. Today it is a piece of fiction. Tomorrow, it may be a poem or non-fiction. I just don't know how this will work out. Today's homework is just a 'stream of consciousness" piece of fiction. It isn't even a finished story. I don't know where the story would go, but if I feel compelled to finish it, I'll link any subsequent parts to this first one. Anyway, I told you all that just so that you know that what you are going to read isn't really anything planned out or scheduled. At this point, I ain't J.K. Rowling (I'm Loralee Ford) Anyway, here goes...
Hunter sighed as he placed his last t-shirt in the suitcase. This packing nonsense was for the birds. He wished he had a servant who could do it for him, like in those old Victorian novels. ‘Course if that wish was granted, he’d also have to put up with garbage like servants bowing and scraping and calling him “Sir” and “My Lord” and he’d have to remember which of his friends preceded him into dinner every night. What a nightmare!
Hunter walked back over to his closet. “Which suit should I take?” he thought. He knew there would be a “Dinner with the Captain” night on the cruise. Those nights usually required people to dress up in their finery. That particular night on a cruise was interesting because you saw people all dolled up ‘to the nines.’ Every other moment of the cruise, they were half-naked in their swimsuits with a towel hanging around their neck or they were dressed in their casual shorts and Hawaiian shirts standing in line waiting to leave the boat for a day’s excursion to whichever warm vacation spot the cruise ship had decided to visit.
He chose his navy blue suit, along with a tangerine dress shirt. He usually looked pretty sharp in it. It’d be fine for the Captain’s dinner. He zipped his suit up in a hanging bag and placed his dress shoes in the suitcase. “Ahhh! This is done.” He said with a sigh of relief. “No more packing.” He walked over to the dresser and opened his carry-on bag. For the third time, he checked in the inside pocket to assure himself that his plane ticket, passport, and cruise tickets were safely there.
“Now…” he said “…the real choice is upon me. Do I try to get two hours sleep? Or do I sit up and catch a few infomercials until my airport shuttle arrives?” He knew that his flight would be four hours long and that there would be plenty of opportunity to sleep on it. But, unless you had a window seat or were traveling with someone you knew—someone who wouldn’t mind you using their shoulder as a head-rest—the combination of sleeping and air travel was no fun. Fortunately, Hunter had assured himself of a window seat when he booked the flight. There would be plenty of opportunity to catch some zzzz’s aboard flight 217 from Austin to LA. His biggest problem would occur if he happened to be assigned a seat next to a “chatty cathy.” Sometimes he enjoyed making friends on airplanes. There were times, though, when he just wanted to stare out the window and watch the passing scenery until he fell asleep.
Even on those occasions when he wasn’t interested in sleep and was hoping to catch up on a book he’d been putting off due to work concerns, those “chatty cathy” types could be problematic. He wanted to turn to them and say “Can’t you see I’m reading, gal? I’m not really interested in the fact that you are going to visit your great-aunt Bessie who had six cats name Abraham, Delacey, Giuseppe, Casey, Thomas, and O’Malley! Let me read my book!” Of course, he never did it. He just wanted to do so—deep down inside. He couldn’t bring himself to be so rude. He knew his Mother would roll over in her grave if he did. He’d caused enough problems for her while she was alive. He didn’t want to continue the tradition now that she was lying quietly in her mahogany casket, buried under a ton of dirt.
He had five hours ‘til his plane was scheduled to leave. He could try to take a nap, but—on days like these—he was always afraid to go to sleep if he didn’t have the time to sleep a whole night before he needed to be up and going. He was always afraid that he wouldn’t awaken on time and he’d miss his flight. He certainly didn’t want to miss this flight. He hadn’t been on a vacation in five years and he had been looking forward to this cruise since his cube-mate, Rachel, had regaled him of tales of her cruise to the Mexican Rivera two years ago. That night on his way home from work, he went through the drive-through at KFC and picked up some dinner. Usually at night, he went home and fixed up a salad and a small meal. But he knew that tonight he wanted to spend every minute on his computer researching. Rachel had planted a seed when she waxed eloquent about all the adventure and fun she’d had exploring Acapulco and cruising around land’s end in Cabo. Hunter decided he wanted an adventure, too. All the way home he thought about where he’d like to go. Somewhere with beaches and warm breezes? Somewhere with cobble stone streets and historic buildings?
He still hadn’t decided when he arrived home and unpacked his $6 chicken meal. He fired up is computer and sat down with a notebook on his left and his meal on the right. The computer—of course—was front and center. It was the most important tool in this scenario. He’d had to research countries, look up flight schedules and rates, and figure out which cruise lines serviced the area he wanted to visit...
...perhaps to be continued?