Friday, August 19, 2011

SALVATION BOX

Hello again. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions... I'm in the fast lane. Missed last week, but here I am today with a #fridayflash. Thanks for reading. Tell a friend if you like the words.

SALVATION BOX

Carmen pulled the box out from under the bed. ADIDAS. In junior high, that meant All Day I Dream About Sex. Seventh grade. Bangs and octagon-framed glasses, acne and a training bra. Did she think about sex? After Mr. Gauvin spent four months on human reproduction, she tried her best to forget about sex. Learning the difference between clitoris and vulva from a two-chinned biology teacher with Rorschach stains on his tie somehow dampened the ardor. She remembered the boys disgusted expressions every time a girl crossed or uncrossed her legs. Maybe that was the school board's intention—birth control by revulsion.

She never owned a pair of Adidas.

For that matter, neither had Jeremy, as far as she knew. Jeremy was a Nike man. Except for the occasional Chuck Taylors. At least, people referred to the Chuck T's as sneakers. Running shoes, cross-trainers, board shoes, basketball shoes—what was so politically incorrect about the word sneaker? Maybe the "sneak" part. But that was the point of rubber soles, wasn't it? Rubber soles...rubber souls...rubbers...Jeremy always used Fantasy brand....

Adidas. Women's Running adiSTAR Salvation 3 shoes. Size 5½. Medium width. Carmen opened the box. White shoe—no, white sneaker, pink and black treads. Cool design, if one were to run in the mud, or snow, or on thick-piled carpeting. Also inside the box, she found a pair of ankle socks, stretched flat on cardboard inside the cellophane. Fuzzy white socks with pink edging and fuzzier pink pom poms.

Carmen tucked a few stray hairs back under the bandana covering her head. She stared at the dust motes floating lazily on the late afternoon sunbeams. Still needed to vacuum and dust, but organizing the clutter came first. She left the sneaker box on the bed, and slid open Jeremy's side of the closet. She sniffed a suit, relishing his lingering cologne. She missed him so much when he left town for the weekend. But, business was business, and her business this weekend was to tackle the fall cleaning.

Carmen grabbed a garbage bag as she remembered Jeremy's erotic dream, one he'd shared with her shortly after they'd met. Something involving pom pom socks and sneakers. She was supposed to wear that and nothing else. In his dream, she'd, well, she'd done things that even Mr. Gauvin may not have disclosed to a class of pre-teens while stroking the labia majora and labia minora on that female anatomy poster. She laughed out loud, surprising herself at the sharp sound. Labia Majora, that should be the name for an all girl rock band. Imagine what the drummer did with her sticks....

Carmen had always intended to do it, really, she wanted to please Jeremy, but somehow she'd never quite gotten around to shopping for the socks. Had Jeremy intended to surprise her? Bought the dream sneakers, found the dream pom poms, then got shy and shoved the box under the bed? Sure, he was waiting for the right time to pull it all out and ask her to fulfill the fantasy. But before that happened, he stored his suitcase under the bed. The box got shoved deeper, almost forgotten. Sure, that was it. Then he took a trip and Carmen decided to do the fall cleaning and looked under the bed when the vacuum whined on the dust bunnies and she found the box. Maybe, maybe, maybe....

Carmen yanked his clothes off the hangers and stuffed them in the garbage bags. She found Salvation. That was Salvation 3 running shoes. Those sneakers were not her size.

21 comments:

Eric J. Krause said...

Uh-oh! Someone is in big trouble. Good story!

Tony Noland said...

Oh, man. I love the detailed nature of the memories, and how they interweave with the present. Poor guy, he's never going to know what hit him.

Tim VanSant Writes said...

Nice mix of the juvenile ideas about sex and the adult realities. And an ending I didn't see coming.

Sonia Lal said...

I liked this piece and I really, really dd not see that end coming.

Adam B said...

The mingling of adolescent and adult fantasies and memories is fantastic. In the mundane nature of shoes comes a striking imagery.
Adam B @revhappiness

Chuck Allen said...

Uh oh. I didn't see that twist coming. Great job!

antisocialbutterflie said...

I was waiting for a twist but ended up getting caught up in the stream of consciousness. Very fluid. Great job.

Helen said...

I laughed at the school anatomy lessons! I never saw the twist either, they story flowed so well that you took us every step of the way easily and then surprised us!

Icy Sedgwick said...

I loved this piece, such excellent descriptions (particularly the Rorschach stains). Part of me hopes Jeremy was just a typical guy and bought the wrong sneakers, not knowing what size she is (I've only had one boyfriend who knew what size shoe I took and that's because it was the same as him), and at least the fact the socks are in cellophane proves they've not been worn yet...am I being too hopeful?

Bukowski's Basement said...

I agree with everyone here, Peg ... I loved your descriptions and the great retro feel.

li said...

It takes talent to start with a mundane object - sneakers - and weave an intimate and detailed story around them. I just wish you hadn't reminded me of my sex-ed class in 7th grade. It was just short of horrifying and scarred me for life (well, at least 6 months or so).

li said...

And I like you so much I've somehow managed to follow you twice. So, don't be surprised if I disappear, i'll be back.

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

I really loved this Peggy. Simple yet complicated. Adult yet childish. I knew something was up with the pink pom-poms but the ending was still a hearty slap in the face. Very fine writing.

ganymeder said...

I loved the prose throughout this, the way her mind kept making sneakers "dirty" sexually, etc.
I suspected the shoes weren't for her, but I was delighted with the way it ended. Next thing she needs to throw away is him. Good for her. :)

Michael Solender said...

this is so evocative and real in the remembrance of teen angst - deftly told peggy

Timothy P. Remp said...

That was great! Loved the ending. I was with her through the whole piece.

-Tim

ps. the word verification for me was : bedsin

:p

Jay R. Thurston said...

Hmm.

Maybe they're his? After all he does have a woman's footwear fetish. I don't know if this outcome is necessarily more hopeful, but at least he's still loyal this way. Size 3 is hella small for a guy though. Just saying.

Why all the sudden attention to my feet?

You juggle the inner thought process and dabbling of memories with great prowess. Another entertaining tale Peggy, way to go!

laradunning said...

I remember those days when the sneakers you had were a big deal at school. Nice use of reflection and memory.

estrella05azul said...

Funny how many of us wrote about memories in some form this weekend.
I really liked the description of this fall cleaning and the way you captured how we start rationalizing when dealing with a tough situation.

John Wiswell said...

All day I dream about sex back then, right? Yeah, trouble is coming.

Mike Robertson said...

Way late as usual. Peggy, I never see ya coming! No pun intended.