Different Life

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I have a routine. Every night I slip outside when the house is quiet and smoke a cigarette. There are seven people in my house. It’s a freaking miracle if no one is awake and the lights are off and everything’s just quiet. There isn’t much quiet here. I step outside and I pace up and down my short little driveway. I live out in the country and when it’s clear out the moon lights up everything around me. My driveway is paved and I just pace up and down it, smoking my cigarette, in the quiet. The moon shines down and tonight, because it snowed earlier, it makes everything glitter. It’s not like the daytime when the sun hits that snow and it’s so goddamn bright you have to wear sunglasses to even see anything and you get mad, because it’s winter and you shouldn’t have to wear sunglasses. I own entirely too many pairs of sunglasses. I rarely wear them. I wear the same pair all the time really. A piece broke on them and I took them to get fixed, but they didn’t have the right size screw and so now they are loose and bug me. I only paid a couple of bucks for them. They’re cheap sunglasses. I probably shouldn’t have gotten them fixed, but I did. The moonlight hits the snow though and I sit there and watch it glitter. My breath is mixing with the smoke from my cigarette and there’s all this gray in front of me and everything is sparkling like my daughter had gone out in her glittery tutu and danced circles in the yard and the glitter had fallen off all over that snow. It’s the only time I even like snow. I hate the goddamn winter. I hate the cold. I like it at night though, when it’s quiet, and it’s just me. I like walking up and down that driveway and smoking my cigarette and writing in my head. That’s what I do. Anybody driving by would think I was crazy, out there talking to myself, but I’m writing in my head and it helps to say the words out loud. No one drives by though. Not this late at night. I can hear the traffic on the highway a few miles away, but I’m on a back country road and no one drives down here this late. I’m surrounded by fields and a bit of woods and the snow is glittering all over the place. Everything’s really flat and you can see the glitter for miles. It looks like a postcard and I remember that I really don’t like it here. I want to go somewhere else. I’ve been here too long. I’ve been here forever. I think I could be one of those people who stayed alone. You know? One of those people who holed themselves up in some cabin away from everyone. I think if I lived a different life, I’d have done that. Nights when I go out there alone and I remember how much I love the quiet, I think that I’d like to be alone. I know if I did do that, if I had a different life, if I’d gone off alone, I’d have died. I like people too much. I get too lonely. I’d have drunk myself into a hole. I’d probably have killed myself and no one would have even known, because I would have shut everyone out to be alone in the quiet. I remember how much I love the sound of people and I think I’d be terrible by myself. In the morning, I’ll do the same thing. Sort of. I’ll go out and smoke a cigarette, except in the morning I go and stand behind the sheds. I stand and stare out into the woods and think about the times I used to go walking out there before I became so allergic to poison ivy that I became scared to even go near them. I miss walking in the woods. They’ve grown over now and I’ll probably wouldn’t even be able to find the goddamn path. I’ll stand out there and get a little funny about all that and I’ll enjoy the quiet and then I come inside. I’ll come inside and make the coffee and go back and look at my kids. It’s a good morning if they are still sleeping and I can sneak in and watch them for a second. My daughter wakes almost the second I open the door and while she crawls out of bed and down the steps, I climb into bed with my son. I curl up next to him and put my nose right in the soft spot at the back of his neck. He still smells like a little kid. I like to crawl into bed with him and pull him into my arms and bury my nose right there at his hairline and say, “Goodmorning.” I like to break the silence like that. I like to watch my daughter rub her eyes and crawl into bed with us. I like to hear her asking for a Poptart. She wakes up ravished, as if she hasn’t eaten in weeks. She wakes up and immediately thinks of food. Then the quiet is gone and the coffee is done and the kids are awake. And the quiet is gone. And I’m glad I didn’t have a different life. I’m glad I’m not alone.

*****

I’ve been reading The Catcher and the Rye for my book club and thought I’d take a stab at attempting to write in the train-of-thought style that makes that book so entertaining. That being said, I really don’t like the book. The writing keeps me going, but I can’t say I’ll pick it up again. I probably won’t. There’s this idea with classics that we’re supposed to like them, and if we don’t, we’re wrong. I don’t buy into that. You like what you like. I don’t like this one. -Shrugs- 

I’m also submitting this for the Daily Post Weekly Challenge. I chose “quiet” as my object. Now, I know we mostly think of “quiet” as an adjective, but it can also be a noun. Really. Look it up. When I think of “quiet”, it is almost always a noun. So go check out the challenge and let us all read about your object.

13 thoughts on “Different Life

  1. Great stream of consciousness. I enjoyed this very much. It is like a present of a large warm, alive, internally-consistent, unique sphere of existence that can be reached into and sampled randomly or ridden one thought to another without effort until it stops briefly at an experience station where I’ve visited myself. To be enjoyed in toto or as a complex of component thoughts. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Oh, thank you! I’m so glad people enjoyed it. I tend to write the way I speak/think anyway, but this was different. This was just letting the words seep out, no filter. I was pretty happy with the outcome.

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  2. Well do not know the book never even thought how it was called when you write like this LOL Learned something new today. Thank you. He he I never know any classics 😀
    Loved you writing Enjoyed the moment you thought of the woods and your last line about happy not being alone.
    And when writing in thought it is i think what i do with Heart Ship. It is about me all memories with a touch of epic.

    Really enjoy your writing. Keep smiling.

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  3. Took a dip in your stream of consciousness (sorry, darling — one of the things you should know about my sense of humour is that the more UNFUNNY a thing is, the more hilarious I find it.).
    Now I really want a cigarette, which is not good. But seriously, you almost had me smoking again.

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      1. Certain songs really make me want a cigarette. Speaking of Ani Difranco — Marrow. “You were smoking me weren’t you, through your yellow fingers. You’d just inhale and exhale without saying a thing…”

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