A series of drafts


Draft Six:

Ethel was missing teeth. They weren’t any of the ones that mattered, though. So she bared them in each photograph she posed for in the mirror. Clicking them together and sucking through them with each aborted laugh that tried to leak through her lips because the time wasn’t right but her disposition leaned towards humor.

Draft Five:

She couldn’t believe that she said that. The rest of the night was all well and good. Except for the part where she fell asleep but who’s really judging that anyway? Not her. It was endearing to fall asleep when someone was trying to show you things that mattered to them. The rest of it was a lovely little bubble in an upstairs hallway with the sound of dozens of people singing in harmony. It could have been a protest for how much the people seemed to believe and feel the music. Perhaps that was what it was. It was actually a march, against violence, for unions, against police brutality, for reparations, and against, and for, and against, and for, and against. It wasn’t a march but that was the last time she’d cried in recent memory. And she had cried that night as well. They were linked.

Draft Four:

Russ was the manager but because of no fault of his own there are more variables that could be accounted for within the context of the project. Mostly that’s because he was too busy wishing that he had a large bow clipped to his hair and that it was long enough for the bow(?) stick so that he didn’t have to clip it to the front of his shirt again between the slots where buttons would slide, button holes. Though that wasn’t a very attractive name and far too much like the uncomfortable blending of belly button and butthole. Neither of which Russ really enjoyed considering. He had such a habit of–while his mind wandered away from the project– of finding himself mentally tracking his friends social media usage to see if they hated him yet. They still didn’t, but some day they might wake up and suddenly come to the conclusion that he was a waste of a contact. But he guessed that was better than knowing that they were just humoring him all along.

The office building had offices. Not that that would be surprising but perhaps when you also add in that there were no cubicles, instead only closed wooden doors down long vacant hallways, it would seem more peculiar. The doors are also worth mentioning because they were solid sealed golden wood of some unspecified tree. Maybe pine? And they looked exactly like the doors in an old school, but the ones that only held janitorial supplies. The walls were thick enough that you could easily have an affair. The last time Russ had had an affair it had worked out very well. At least, until it didn’t. But that was the beauty of the empty halls. They would never run into each other again unless in the cafeteria. But he never went there anyway. He would rather wander the campus and consider himself a byronic here and picture himself in a sweeping cape and a tall white color mussed by the wind.

Draft Three:

My end of the phone: “Were you ever ahead.”

The other end of the phone: “No I think I actually just put myself behind.”

Draft Two:

The tiny dragons ripped across the grassy field. It had only one hill because that was all that I had time to build so far. Perhaps there will be mountains in the future. Do you know how much time it takes to build a flower?

Draft One:

I found this old letter that I had received in high school. Or maybe early college. Or that sweet spot right between the two. What cruelty words have in their praise. I’m telling you.