October 7th, 2015

Random excerpt

I think I wrote this…in the spring, maybe? And then thought I couldn’t use it. Now I realize I maybe could, so I went back to the file and for once in this depressing year, was kind of jazzed by something I’d written. I need to do a lot more with it to suit the context and I think some of my favourite bits of the scene may be lost in the edits, so I thought I’d put it here, just as it is, before I start that process. I don’t think any explanation is required–it’s just a moment. I hope you like it–I do!

***

Kevin was steadfastly staring at the small window perched high in the cinderblock wall, set deep enough you couldn’t really see out, just a small bar of sky. Deirdre was petting Monica’s hair and talking about legato. I went over to Lars at the snack table. He had an entire Nanaimo bar in his mouth, standing motionless in front of the platter holding several dozen more.
“I think that might’ve been too big a bite, buddy,” I told him.
His lips bulged; his eyes were agonized. “Murf,” he said.
“Oh, buddy.” I knelt in front of him. “Can you chew?”
He started to shake his head, then stopped and I saw a ginger motion of the jaw muscle and heard, almost immediately, a weak and high-pitched retching sound.
“Eh, just stop for a sec—um…” I stood up and grabbed his arm, then half-crouched again. I didn’t want to be seen aggressively hauling a groin-high kid across a church basement. We staggered slowly towards the door to the parking lot, his face turning greyish.
Out in the snow without our coats, I felt damp before the cold hit me. I guided him up the wet stone steps to ground level, then over to a snow-covered bush. “Ok, let ‘er rip.”
It was amazingly gross—the yellow cream in the middle had mixed enough with the chocolate enough that most of what fell into the show was a beige-streaked and it had of course semi-disintegrated in the warmth and salvia, even though he hadn’t been able to chew. What a tragedy—Lars loved Nanaimos more than anything, even ants or Pokémon.
He was coughing and spitting a bit, as though he’d actually vomited, so I gave him some back slaps and rubs, just to remind him I was there for him. Then he abruptly plonked down in the snow next to the mess and began to cry.
It was around then that I most felt the wind through my restrained dress shirt and remembered that it was February. Of course, to a good uncle physical discomfort means nothing, so I knelt beside him and pulled his head into my chest, feeling the snow swamp the knees of my good cords.
By the time I got the kid back inside, wet and shivering and with an unfortunate wash of brown down the middle of his shirt, Deirdre and Kevin were standing by the door, making angry hissing whispers at each other. It was one of those moments, and there were getting to be a lot of these, when I glanced at my watch and counted the hours until I could go to work.

4 Responses to “Random excerpt”

  • Mark Sampson says:

    Fantastic! You absolutely HAVE to include this in somewhere.


  • Rebecca says:

    Thanks so much! I fear that this is a darling that will have to be killed, actually, but I hope not!


  • Emily says:

    OMG I love the Nanaimo bar/church combo. Ha! Those two things belong together! Reminds me of so many of the Sundays of my former life. :)


  • Rebecca says:

    Yes, as a Jew growing up in rural Ontario, I neither attended church nor had access to many “typical Canadian” treats, and felt very hard done by. I am writing my way to where I always wanted to be–Nanaimo bar epicentre!


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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