I just thought of something. I’m going to try a routine. I know, it’s terribly out of character and I usually don’t stick to them, but I’m going to try just the same. I’ll call it “Throw me Thursday” and what’s going to happen is this: somebody who is paying attention will throw me a prompt via Twitter. It doesn’t matter what the prompt is, a word, thought, video from YouTube, a song, a poem, whatever, but it has to come from somewhere. Then I’ll write about it.
So I tried it today just out of nowhere because I’m already getting tired of coming up with everything all on my own everyday. I was surprised I didn’t get more answers like, “Tuna fish” or “smelt” or “Jabberwocky”, but I didn’t.
I did get an excellent link from @valerievaldes chock full of writing prompts. Since I wanted to take the first suggestion I got, I’m going to start with the first prompt on the list: Write a story that takes place entirely in a moving vehicle.
My best friend’s dad was a greaser. He still wore a pompadour, still listened to classic rock, and still wore his prejudice on his sleeve. Her mom was more realistic, slight and smoked menthol cigarettes in the car with the window cracked. Nan was an artist.
In 1990, 3 years post Dirty Dancing, I sat in the back seat of the family Pontiac debating the necessity for a woman to shave not only her legs, but the fine hairs sprouting on the tops of her toes. My stance was pro.
We were driving home from Myrtle Beach, land of sailors and beach volley ball, surf shops and boys. Before we embarked I knew next to nothing about the place other than Nan had done a report on it for a social studies paper that was apparently compelling enough to propel a family vacation. I was a tag along.
On the trip out we talked guys, as per usual, and discussed Pauly Shore at length. We sang Helter Skelter by U2. “What do you mean The Beatles wrote that?”
A majority of our time was spent looking out the back window of the car waving to semi drivers. We were young. There was a lot of honking.
This trip back to Wisconsin was hedging on maudlin. We’d both met guys, which is to say, we hung around a couple guys respectively for a few hours at night off on our own. Nan’s dad would have had us walk home had he known they were African American. He’d have threatened a locked tower and chastity belt had he heard about the kiss.
We were drear and forlorn, perhaps because we were so young driving back into our ordinary lives, perhaps because nothing extraordinary happened, perhaps because over the course of that week a fiction was starting to weave into a delicate tapestry fine enough to color our next several years.