Tuesday, March 22, 2011


NOTE:This week's prompt is about forgiveness. Forgiving others, forgiving yourself. Write about a time of forgiveness.

It was a summer made for flings, fluffy moments of cheerful passion that fade along with your tan. I sat at the bar at the end of August 1986, waiting for your bartending shift to end, nursing a Colorado Bulldog. Our eyes meet in the mirror behind the bar, you smile and wink at me, and I decided yet again that you were the most beautiful man I had ever seen up close. Dark mahogany hair, intense blue eyes, a rightously square jaw, brilliant white teeth--you are the total face package, indeed, that no woman can resist.

And I certainly did not resist when you asked if I wanted to dance, or when you asked if I would take you home with me. That was at the beginning of the summer, and it had seemed natural. Easy to go with the flow of the river, especially since I didn't really have anything better to do when I wasn't studying. I had more laughter, more daring and more fun that summer and I can honestly say that it was because of you. I didn't love you, and you didn't love me. Uncomplicated.

"Who keeps on trusting you, when you've been cheating, spending your nights on the town?"

Lyle Lovett sang to me from the juke box, and I listened to what he had to say about cheating. While I listened, I turned my back to the bar and gazed out at the room full of patrons. I could still see you, quite clearly, in my peripheral vision, but you would not have noticed from your vantage point.

I observed you as you chatted with the petite blonde waitress while you were filling her drink order. I watched you put your hand on her arm and pull her in for a quick kiss, then glance my way to see if I was watching. Emboldened by my apparent inattentiveness, you slipped her a note along with the last beer that you placed on her tray. I am sure that the note contained your cell phone number. I turn your way and catch you in a flirtatious posture, smile bright on your face, all for that little waitress in front of your bar. This was certainly a dealbreaker for any relationship, but I just could not summon any anger toward you. Instead, I laughed aloud. You heard me laugh, and threw me a wave. Lyle Lovett concluded his song, and I made up my mind.

"God does, but I don't, God will, but I won't, and that's the difference between God and me."

It was time for me to forgive myself for my summer indiscretions, clean myself up, and get back to finishing my degree. Time to move on, away from this bar stool. I toss back the last of my drink, and get up and gather my things. This, finally, gets your attention away from the blonde waitress.

"Where are you going, pretty lady?" I hear you calling me. I turn, smile, wave. "I'll see you at your place later?" you ask. I take one last look at that beautiful face, and smile.

"No, sweetie, you really won't." I turn. I exit the bar and head into the evening light, to see what autumn brings.


  1. Phew! I'm so glad that you walked out! I wasn't smart at that age, made many dumb mistakes- so i cheered you on as you pulled up and out.

    I loved the song lyrics woven through this.

    I really loved this part: "it had seemed natural. Easy to go with the flow of the river" as it was so poetic!

  2. Thanks! I struggled with this prompt for some reason, and I wasn't sure it was very coherent as a result.

  3. The truth, the hard factual truth about forgiveness, was apparent to me in your line..." God does and I won't.."

  4. UGG! I just wrote a HUGE comment and blogger ATE it! BOO!

    I basically said I loved this piece the way you are talking TO the boy and I love the ending where your change in attitude toward him is marked by the season changing.

    I also thought the tense switching was confusing. Since this is memoir, it should all stay in the past tense. The present-tense sentences are awkward to read. They mess up the flow a bit...which is so lovely with the slow, smoothness of it all.

  5. Ack! I KNEW there was something with the tenses! I was too tired!

  6. i love that moment of realization of worth and better things. well done!


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