“You can clutch the past so tightly to your chest that it leaves your arms too full to embrace the present.” – Jan Glidewell
“Second Guessing” is a short story about a young woman wrestling with her past and a relationship that never was.
I wanted to explore the way that memory is anything but solid. Its meaning can change if you try to look at it from another perspective and knowing what comes after that moment can also change the way it looks. Emotions like desire and fear can also affect what we see when we look back. Are we remembering things as they really were, or as we want them to have been?
Excerpt from “Second Guessing”:
A puddle has formed on the floor at my feet as I’ve stood here, holding open my closet door, mentally trying on each dress and throwing them onto the floor in disgust. Maybe the towel is wrapped around my head too tightly. It doesn’t matter what I end up wearing tonight; it won’t accomplish what I want to, need to tonight. Only I can do that.
Still, looking my best won’t hurt, or make my job harder. I grab a few dresses on hangers. Whoops, not going to wear that one. I put the red spaghetti strap dress back in the closet. I refuse to wear the dress I wore to my senior banquet again for my ten-year reunion (even though it fits better now than it did then; probably because my boobs finally grew in and I don’t have to pad to keep the neckline symmetrical and in the right place). I don’t want to be one of them, those tacky probably-ex-cheerleaders who have had a few kids but think they have the same figure they had before they popped them out.
I think I’ll go with one of the blue ones. They go best with my skin tone since it’s too cold out for the sun to be allowed an opportunity for changing that. The halter dress is a little uncomfortable and frankly, makes me look like I should be standing at a street corner in the red light district, even before I apply makeup.