This is in response to a short story written by Eric Allen Bell called "Change." It is with his permission that I inhabit Shannon...the woman I might have been. You can read his story at http://www.facebook.com/EricAllenBell?sk=notes&s=10#!/note.php?note_id=236397695674.
I kept fingering the cut-out ad in my pocket
it had been protected from the rain, so it was still soft and crisp
The waitress brought my coffee and I just kept my gaze steady on the cup
no need to stare at the door and increase my desperation.
I answered a personal ad. Nobody does that--do they?
Today is the day we meet and I cannot get that song out of my head--"From A Distance"
God. Even my internal song selection is lame.
I told no one.
It said, "Broke writer. Smoker. Unemployed, 24 year old male, seeks attractive or unattractive female with a car, a computer (preferably Macintosh), a job or a trust fund and no roommates. I have nothing to offer. Please call." *
The day I called, the attorney's I work for had been
what they are--bossy, sneaky & mean.
The meanest was the one who I recently "dated"
although I don't think it qualifies, since he acted as if he barely knew me after one date.
You have to understand...
I'd had it with the liars, the cheats, the frauds, the pretenders.
I wanted something real.
I had something real to give.
I left him a message letting him know (in honor of his own honesty) that I was a bit chubby, owned a condo & had a good job.
I even offered to take up smoking--just to have something in common.
I waited for for an hour and drank two cups of coffee and ate one piece of lemon pie.
Did he see me and think I was too fat?
Did he think to himself...what kind of loser answers an ad like that?
Does he just prefer blondes?
I don't know...all I know is that I ate my pie with a dirty fork
because I just couldn't bare to bring anymore attention to myself.
He wasn't coming and although I was sure it had something to do with how pitiful I was,
I was also kind of relieved.
No harm, no foul.
Just a secret reach across
a longing made across the wire
Something in me that was willing to take whatever I could get
someone willing to be used
I left the waitress a big tip and left as if in a huff.
My shoes took me to the corner market.
I bought a pack of Marlboro Red's and a fifty cent lighter.
I told myself that I'd take myself to the movies--I'd heard that "Thelma & Louise" was pretty good.
I'll sit in the back and wipe my greasy popcorn fingers on that ad.
It will serve some purpose.