I’ve decided to participate in NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month), since I don’t quite feel up to trying NaNoWriMo this year. I am going to cheat and say that the last post of my Life as a Part-Time Bookseller series can be for November 1, even though I posted it on Halloween… shh. Today I’m sharing a story that I just wrote in my prompt journal. Each day in the journal has a central idea and words to be worked into the story. These were always fun when I did them as a kid. I remember losing myself in these assignments, so I wanted to see if it would be the same as an adult. (It is.) The prompt for today was:
“Remember to always brush your teeth after drinking black coffee or eating beets!” the dentist had told Ray at his appointment.
“But not lattes?” Ray had joked. He hated coffee with too much sugar and milk. His job with the newspaper called for coffee that was as black as it could get.
“They still have the potential to stain, but not as much.” Jokes seemed to always be lost on Dr. Stevens.
Ray stood in front of his bathroom mirror, frowning at his failure of the tissue test (to check his teeth whiteness, or lack thereof). He wondered if it had anything to do with his lack of dates for such a long time. Did people really notice those things? Cutting back on his coffee habit was not an option. He would never survive work. He didn’t see his teeth as failing by a long shot, but he was definitely considering Crest Whitestrips. Ray looked down at the sample toothpaste the dentist had sent home with him. The front of the tube claimed the paste was whitening, and below, in smaller letters, it admitted its inclusion of fluoride. He wondered if Dr. Stevens had tried to reason with many of those people who believed fluoride would calcify their pineal glands. They were pretty staunch in their beliefs; Ray had made the mistake of arguing with one about the dangers of palm oil.
Ray was interrupted by his reverie by an explosion downstairs.
“GO FUCK YOURSELF WITH A CACTUS, YOU RAGING BITCH!” a male voice roared.
Ray looked at his watch. It was only 9 AM on Saturday. The couple downstairs had a tumultuous marriage. He had heard much worse, but this was certainly the funniest line he had heard so far. It was right up there with, “WE WENT ALL THE WAY THERE AND FOR WHAT? A FUCKING HOT DOG?” (That was a few months ago.)
“Oh, I’m a raging bitch? Well, better that than a sparkly rainbow unicorn! I suppose I’m supposed to wear yoga pants now too? I don’t want you going to that gym anymore!” The wife’s voice was softer, but still clearly audible.
Ray abandoned his morning brushing routine for his notebook. These two were certainly expanding his dialogue horizon, and it was too good to pass up.
Fun fact: the hot dog line is based on something I heard in real life. This was uttered by my own neighbor, who has since moved out.
That’s all I’ve got for today. The one page allotted for the story goes fast! This one isn’t the most masterfully woven together, but it is my first attempt. A notebook with all blank lines can be so intimidating, you know. I told myself to stop thinking and just write.
See you tomorrow.