Tuesdays

Tuesdays kind of suck. Tuesdays are like that girl you knew in college. Her name was Amber. She had large, robust breasts. The kind you’d catch yourself staring at, wondering why yours weren’t that nice, and also wondering how soft they were. She was always a bit high, but she didn’t work. Her parents paid for her apartment, and she made her weed money by selling plasma on the weekends. Sometimes she’d show up at the same party as you, and she’d saunter over, a little drunk on flavored vodka, a Marlboro Light hanging from her mouth, Ani DiFranco on the CD player, and she’d ask your name, even though you two had known each other since 6th grade. You’d just look down at her vast cleavage, wonder what it felt like inside that space, and say, “You know me, dude.” And she’d be all, “Really?! OMIGOD!”

Tuesdays are annoying. They make me think about all the shit I didn’t get done on Monday, that I was planning on getting done on Sunday, because I knew it actually needed to get done on Saturday, because I thought to get it done on Friday, but who gets shit done on Friday? Amber. She sells plasma on Fridays.

It rains on Tuesdays. Maybe not every Tuesday, but when it’s raining it always feels like a Tuesday.

Tuesdays suck the creativity out of me. They block me from the motivation that it takes to take that first step. Write that first line. Knit that first stitch.

But every so often a Tuesday will surprise me. Yesterday I had a nice, long chat over coffee with a new friend. I thought, “Well Tuesday, what have we done here? This was lovely.” But as I was leaving the coffee shop it started to rain. I was carefully walking back to my car when I suddenly remembered touching Amber’s breasts, in a friend’s apartment, the smell of vanilla vodka on our lips. It wasn’t a Tuesday. Couldn’t have been. Her breasts were soft, her skin warm.

Then I stepped into a puddle.

I see what you did there Tuesday. I won’t fall for it again.

M.

Mawkish

The first time I took a writing class where the professor instructed us to write creative nonfiction, I wrote a story about my sister. About how she would tease her hair, and as a child I would watch her in the mirror. She would tease, tease, tease, then she would ask if I wanted teased. Lots of teasing in the 80s. Lots of teasing with big sisters. I wrote my heart onto the pages for the first time ever. I made connections, pulled loose strings. I fell in love with the genre immediately. It called to me, to the little girl in the mirror, circling the big girl looking back through rose-colored glasses. I felt relieved that this sort of writing existed. I felt comforted.

I turned my essay in. My professor gave me a B. Made sure I knew he was being generous. He said my language was dramatic, yet lacking. He was a Shakespeare scholar. My subject choice, he said, was “saccharine”. Saccharine, I thumbed through my dictionary. Was that relating to sugar? Sweet, sticky? Overly sentimental. Mawkish. Why didn’t the Shakespeare scholar write mawkish on my essay? This was nearly fifteen years ago.

I’m hyperaware now of my own sentimentality.

I’m aware of what is expected, of what is tolerated in the genre.

I’m weary of bearded Shakespeare professors.

Still, I would have preferred mawkish.

M.