Friday, February 4, 2011

Laugh and Cry ...

What am I doing here? Why does she keep looking at me that way? Do I have something on my face? Egg? Literally? I have to get up there soon. I really hope there's nothing in my teeth."Janie?"


"You're up in five."

"OK, thanks." I pull out the pocket mirror from my bag. Nope, nothing on my face and my teeth are clear. Whew. That's a relief. She's still looking at me. Damn. What is wrong with her, anyway? I should say something. I should ask her. What the hell is your problem? What's up with you, anyway? Why do you keep looking at me that way? But I'm not brave enough. I'm too nervous about what I'm about to do.

I swear I see her move. Did she just move? I'm not really sure. Who is she, anyway? What's she doing back here? Is she trying to freak me out? Bah, whatever. I'll be fine, right?

I hear my mother's voice. You're amazing, she whispered. You're incredible, powerful and strong. You can do anything you set out to do. I love you.

I wipe the tears from my eyes before they pool onto my shirt.

Great. My nose is running now. I'm always blotchy after I cry. I'm sure there's no hiding this. Fan-friggin-tastic. I use my inner sleeve to clear the snot away. I'm such a mom.

I'm a mom. Yes. That's right. Me. A mom. That's who I am. So what do I think I'm doing here, anyway? I'm just a mom, right? Branching out like this, it's ridiculous. I must be losing my mind.
Motherhood. Important. The essence of who I am. Who I have become. But nothing else? Impossible.

I imagine what my children would think, seeing me up there. I need to be like my daughter. Afraid of nothing. She's not even four, but thinks the world is her stage. It should be, right? It IS her stage. And this is mine.

The last thing she said to me this morning, before I left the house. "Mommy?"


"Why did the chicken cross the road?"

A smile. A laugh. A great pause. "Why?" I ask.

"To get to the other side!"

"Oh!!!" I shout. Hilarious. Adorable. This is the tenth time I've heard this joke since yesterday. Ten? Eleven? Twelve? I've lost count. She loves it. It's her favorite. Brave. Fearless. Afraid of nothing. Not rejection. Not reaction. Nothing. This is how I must be moving forward.

I start off with my right foot. Walking towards the stage. Someone told me once that would be lucky. Always step with your right foot first? Or was it the left? Aw, shit. Who knows? I'm walking now, either way.

I step foot onto the stage. Wow. It's crazy packed out there. Really packed. What the hell was I thinking? Thinking I could do this? Seriously? I have to be kidding myself. I wonder if anyone can get me a glass of wine? Maybe I'll ask. Maybe I'll ask the entire crowd. Yeah, an ice breaker. That could work, right?

Mom, I whisper softly, Mom, I know you're out there. Please pray for me.

I hear my name. Softly. My mother's voice. I turn around, but she's gone.

This post is a fictional story that has been written in conjunction with this week's writing prompt over at The Red Dress Club. Critiques are welcome.


  1. You girls are killing me... i read another one of these last night... y'all are giving me chills!

  2. You do such a great job of showing her insecurities with the internal dialogue. Awesome!

  3. Very, very good! I love your internal dialogue, full of doubt and fear. Felt that way a zillion times, myself!

    Trish in AZ

  4. I love internal dialogue! wonderfully written! sometimes I think it's the best way to really portray how the main character is feeling.

    My favorite part was the right foot / left foot part. I've also heard that starting with the right foot is good luck :-)

  5. Nicely written, and something a bit different than I've read this week, so far. I agree with the others on the internal dialogue. You nailed it. Your struggle seemed so real. Enjoyed this story!

  6. Love the ending. It's perfect. I think we all have that little voice, don't we?

  7. When she heard her mom's voice encouraging her, it lifted my heart! I love the connection between that and her own daughter. Great job with the prompt!

  8. What a great stream of consciousness piece! I loved that she was drawing from both her mother and her daughter for extra strength.

  9. ACK! you left me hanging! what is she doing on stage! who is the woman staring at her!!

    Very good! I forgot about the prompt and just wanted to know what would happen next!

  10. I love how you wove in the inter-generational thing, from daughter to mother to her own daughter. Really well done.

  11. Is she auditioning for American Idol? America's Got Talent? I need to know!

    This was fantastic. I loved the inner dialogue and how she drew her courage from her daughter and her mother.

    I can't wait to read more!

  12. Really fantastic. I really enjoyed reading this.

  13. Is she doing a stand-up comedy routine?

    You did a great job with the prompt. I'm always filled with self doubts so I really related to her inner dialogue.

  14. Oh I need to know more! This was great! And my daughter? Is exactly the same way she describes hers. :)

  15. A budding comedienne? An auditioning actress? Open mic night?


    Must know!

  16. I was about to say I don't remember this one, but look, I commented! You are good Girlie! Very VEry good!


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