I posted this story nearly a year ago. Today I found it, edited it a little and wanted to share it with some of my newer blog-followers. I'm still not entirely happy with it, but I dig it nonetheless. I have no idea what happened to the spacing when I moved it over here. Oh well, I hope it doesn't irk you as much as it irks me!
~a rather short story by lulu carpenter ortolano
She sat in a truck bouncing along down a dirt road that was flooded in places. The cab was filled with laughter and music and books sliding off of the dashboard as they rambled on, drinking out of cans.
The four o'clock sun pushed through the gaps in the trees. It touched the spread fingertips of the saw palmettos that seemed to be elbowing their way up out of chaotic brush and ceasing defiantly at the knees of the pines.
The dappled light, quick-moving clouds, the pines and the palms rushed past the window of the truck and she knew a very lovely, very bittersweet memory was being formed inside of her.
There have been other dirt roads. There have been barefoot walks with a lover in the summer. Barefoot walks with pockets full of small, rough-edged stones as a child. There have been frost-bitten treks down clay and sand backs roads that lead to marshes with large grey cranes huddled under each others' wings.
This time there was a tail-gate and dangling feet. This was swaying to meloancholy songs and an arm around her shoulders. This was realizing how long it had truly been since she had laughed with her head thrown back.
Later that evening she sat at her table, drinking cheap wine and looking around the house. This house would be empty soon. Pieces of her world would be empty soon as well. Great big pieces. For someone so seemingly full of life, sadness always seemed able to creep in and sit down with her; a drinking buddy of sorts.
The tantalizing simplicity of the day on the dirt road left her wanting. It had her longing to be able to shut down her mind for a minute and just shut up in general. It made her want to smile wide and laugh as a truck cut through water and fanned mud above the windows, jostling her closer to...something.
Perhaps toward a simple and pleasant peace that she could keep with her all the time.