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1000 Black Lines

:: digital coffee stains on the paper of the blogosphere ::

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Fiction: From the Novel I'm not Writing

A young woman reaches down and scratches the back of her knee. She then folds her hands back in her lap under a Tea House table.

“What ever else is involved,” says an older woman. “The doula is not the primary caregiver.”

The younger woman is nodding her head politely and trying to ignore someone’s cell phone burping a digital ring tone.

“To me it’s a very beautiful thing--very natural,” the young woman says as two men walk to the front counter and inquire about coffee.

“You can create whatever you want, be a doula or a midwife -- come in as whatever you want,” says the older woman as the younger woman rubs the side of her nose then places her hand on her lap and curls her feet behind the back legs of the chair she sits upon.

The two men inquiring about coffee wear orange sneakers, the kind that says: I’m cool, I listen to alternative music, I shop at Patagonia and Goodwill. But really means: I’m a wannabe hipster. They both order black tea with honey.

“What do you see? Where are you in this scene?” the older woman asks. “Do you have any questions?”

The young woman across the table says, “Monday night I had this dream about an unsealed envelope.” She uses her hands close to her breasts as if she holds the envelope right in front of her --reenacting the dream. “It was unsealed and I wasn’t ready to open it... it was sealed, I tell you, but I wasn’t supposed to open it.”

“To me that means you need to stand your ground, be ready, be powerful in the presence of this dispatch.”

The younger woman folds her hands back in her lap and says, “The clock didn’t work... in the dream... it didn’t work even though there was this sound... a sound that kept changing through me dream, but it wasn’t the clock. The clock was broken. It’s pieces were all over the desk.”

“You’re transforming,” says the woman. “And it feels like for ever.”

“Did I say there was this sound,” says the young woman hooking her feet beneath the front legs of her chair.

“Yes,” says the older woman leaning forward. “How does this dream resonate with you?”

The younger woman slouches and rubs the back of her heal and places her folded hands on the table--wrists at the table’s edge. “How should I know. I’ve no experience in these things.”

“Maybe it’s time you discover what’s in the unsealed envelope,” says the older woman leaning back in her chair. “There’s a vacancy-- a link that needs to be made in order to complete this dream. In your sleep you’re trying to solve a problem you have not realized.”

“But there’s this peace I feel,” says the young woman using her hands close to her breasts and below her chin. “Like the manifestation is complete.”

“Or maybe you’re comfortable in your cocoon.”

The young woman stands, smiles a disappointed smile, hugs the older woman and leaves the tea house.


Here's the bonus feature: This scene actually took place in a Tea House, but I altered the dialogue due to several factors. The overheard dialogue was actually an interview. The interview made me uncomfortable (i.e it was going badly for the young woman). The young woman did discuss a dream she had but I changed those details. It was during writers group and I needed to include certain elements (i.e a strange noise and an unsealed envelope). Do you think you should discuss your dreams in an interview?

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  1. Blogger Diana | 12:15 AM, December 18, 2005 |  

    Dang. You just reminded me of a snippet from a conversation I heard last week and had wanted to jot down but was missing a pen. Now I can only come up with the general subject but not the evocative language that was what captured my attention. Forever lost.

    But no, I wouldn't think one should discuss one's dreams at a job interview. :/

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