Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I love writing. 

The act of creating something from nothing, of making up entire people with histories and quirks, of fictionalizing parts of my life and rewriting the endings-- it's powerful.  So from time to time I hope you don't mind if I post some of my work for you. 

Today I'd like to share my version of a Thanksgiving story.  I wrote this in one afternoon in 2006, while sitting out on my deck in Houston.  Like most of my short stories (and rest assured, this one is quite short), it sprang almost fully-formed from my head.  This is both a blessing and a curse because to me, editing is kind of like getting plastic surgery for a newborn baby.  "Yes doctor, she's beautiful-- but I was hoping she'd have more pronounced cheek bones."

So is it perfect?  Nah.  My old writing professors would criticize me for telling you the story versus showing it to you.  I did try to weave a little symbolism into it and some of you will get it.  But perhaps most interesting of all is that when I wrote this particular one, I didn't think it was about me.

That being said, I think you'll recognize the storyteller.

So get comfy...and enjoy "Gypsy."

He had a gypsy soul.

She knew it well before he did… and moved in with him anyway. The knowledge that the day would come when the wanderlust would overcome the regular lust… well, let's just say she wasn't interested in being alone.

And that was always her undoing—she just wasn't much good at keeping her own company. Never had been. Attracting them was never the problem, hell, any fool with a reasonably good rack and a smart mouth can cast a net. Keeping them proved to be a bit more difficult. Time after time.

His brother had a place on the lake that they liked to visit on the weekends, especially in the winter. The starkness of the bare trees scratching the sullen sky… the wistful call of the loons who also wintered there… the homes shuttered for the season… it was perfect for them. Sufficiently broody, if you get my drift. And they always had it to themselves—no summer wave runners, no pervasive smell of roasting burgers and dogs, no happy shouts and laughter. Just them, and the obvious distance growing between them.

He kept asking her what was wrong and she wouldn't tell him. She couldn't explain how she always knew the axe was about to fall, could damn near hear the thing dangling above her head. He would never understand that she mourned the endings before they came so that she could walk away unscathed. So they sat out at night, bundled in store-bought quilts, drinking homemade White Lightning and naming the stars. And when he slept, she cried.

Thanksgiving weekend was the loneliest weekend of all on the lake, so it was no surprise that they both loved to spend it there. They did it up right, baking a turkey and mashing a huge pot of potatoes. They laughed when they sliced into their beautiful golden bird to find it still pink and raw on the inside. Both were content to eat the trimmings instead and then gorge themselves on pumpkin pie. As they pushed back from the table, he dabbed a bit of whipped cream on the end of her nose and said "I love you." She thought of suitcases and boxes, bare walls and empty rooms... but gave him a smile anyway.

On Sunday morning, she awoke to the sound of him playing his sax at the end of the pier. The notes hung in the air like fog, drawing her out of the warm bed they had shared and into the grey light of the morning. She didn't recognize the tune and realized it was something he had been working on, hiding from her, the way he always did with the new ones. He must have heard her bare feet on the deck because he didn't start when she placed her hand on his shoulder. He played on, filling the sky with music and as she walked around him, she wasn't surprised to see his tears.

With the last note hanging in the still morning air, he held her stare and said simply "I'm sorry."

She smiled, swept the hair from his forehead and said "Don't be."


  1. Ohh! I like Andrea storytime, more please!

  2. OMG (oodness) I hate that story....but damn, you nailed it ( real life). I'm going to go put my head in the oven.

    P.S. you are SO on (was gonna say On Pointe but that's too ballerinaesk...... what the hell, this is anon.!!! Really dig you sistah.

  3. Morosely beautiful! Love ‘she mourned the endings before they came.’