I first heard about NaNoWriMo a good while ago. I paid little attention to it but have been reminded of it every November since then. I thought I might try to participate in some way this year.
Now, to be completely transparent, I’m not good with commitment. I find it burdensome. But, I’ll stick with something I enjoy. The only way for me to find out if I like this whole writing thing is to try it. Maybe, with any luck, I’ll walk away from this with a story to tell.
I don’t have much of a plan. The idea behind NaNoWriMo is to write 50 000 words of a novel in the 30 days of November. Maybe that’s why Wyclef Jean left until then. In any case, I’m hoping to post what I write as I write it. I’m not going to edit the writing beyond what I catch as I’m writing it.
If you’re participating in NaNoWriMo, I’d love to connect with you. Please leave a comment and a link to your work.
The yellow post-it note was stuck to the underside of the wireframe basket at the end of the table holding the maple syrup, sugar, Splenda, jam, marmalade, salt, and pepper. Just the edge was sticking out, easy enough to miss. Someone had left streaks of water when they wiped the table before she sat down.
While waiting for her date, a man she’d met once before, F— pulled the note from off the bottom of the basket. Written on it was: “I want to love you.”
“Who wants to love someone?” F— thought. “You either do or you don’t. I wonder if I’ll ever love M—.”
As she finished her thought, M— arrived and apologised for keeping her waiting. She said it was fine, that she hadn’t been waiting long. As M— was taking off his blazer, F— tucked the note into the pocket of her jeans.
As M— was shimmying into his seat across from F—, the waitress arrived and asked if they’d like coffee. Both said they did. F— took hers with milk and M— took his black. The waitress left a couple of laminated menus.
“How are you?” asked M—.
“Yeah, fine. You?”
“I’m alright. How was the week? Did you get up to anything last night?”
“Work is always busy. I just stayed in last night. You?”
It had been a while since F— had been on a second date. She had married her high school sweetheart while they were in university. It didn’t work out when he left for a European exchange in their fourth year and decided to stay. She turned her focus to her career and let her relationships last not much longer than noon the next day. Now, in her early thirties, F— thought she’d try to find something more meaningful, more long-term. Her parents, brothers, and best friend nudged her along until she finally made up her mind for herself.
After the waitress returned with the coffees, M— replied that he had met up with some friends the night before and that they had eaten at a restaurant that was closing soon.
“Have you two decided on what you’d like to eat?”
“Not yet, can you give us a few more minutes?” M— replied.
F— picked up the menus and handed one to M—. They sat silently for a couple of minutes, looking over the menu.
“What are you thinking you’re going to get?” asked M—.
“The eggs Benedict look good. Hollandaise sauce is a bitch to make. You?”
“I might get a full English. Not a lot of places serve black pudding.”
“That’s the one made with pig’s blood, right?”
“Yeah,” M— laughed as he replied. “Did you know they use dried blood, not, like, real blood to make black pudding? I saw a YouTube video about it. I didn’t realise that they don’t put any meat in it, either. It’s all cereals.”
“Maybe they ran out of milk one morning. Famished, they searched everywhere for a cow but could only find a pig with a paper cut. Well, not a paper cut…could you imagine a pig filing? They have hooves! I file about as well as a pig could.”
“Are you not that organised?”
“At work I am, but not so much at home. You?”
“I like to put things away right away. I’m a bit of a minimalist. I can’t handle having things out.”
“Oh. Are you one of those people with zero unread emails in their inbox?”
“I am. How can people have….”
“I have about a thousand unread emails. I’m never going to get to them. About once a year, I select all of them, mark them as read, and the cycle starts again. Why do people send so many emails? Can’t they just get up, walk over, and talk to me?”
“How do you not just deal with them as they come in? You can delete the ones you don’t need as soon as you see them.”
“Yeah, but it feels easier to just leave them there.”
The waitress returned and asked if F— and M— had decided.
“Sorry, can you give us a few more minutes?” replied F—.
“Take your time. I’ll come back and check on you. Do you want some more coffee?”
“Please,” said M—.
When the waitress returned to refill the coffees, F— and M— ordered their meals. F— ordered the eggs Benedict and M— asked for the full English. As they ate, F— looked at M— who was talking while looking down at his plate as he was cutting a piece off of his blood pudding. He had the knife in his right hand and grasped the fork like a knife stabbed into his meal with his left. She thought about the note she slipped into her pocket when he arrived. When he put the knife down to pick up the fork, she knew that she didn’t want to love him.