A Glittering Nothing

screenshot-2016-12-27-at-8-42-00-pmWe were just fine living our lives the way we wanted to, thank you very much. We woke up in the pm and went to bed in the am, gathered our socks and shoes around us in bed so we’d always be ready to run away, even in our skivvies. We were about something, although we knew not what that something was. We were channeling Sid and Nancy, just standing there, trying to look cool with our foot and back against the wall, a cigarette trailing our fingers like a conductor’s baton at rest.

We made love in the soft moments of the night, when the cicadas were still at it, their cries the only indicator that there was a world outside our own. We had glorious times filching unlocked bikes from the park and riding them down a hill usually used for sledding, handlebars jolting and jostling, us holding on tight. We had taking bricks from the failed construction across the street and seeing if we could roof them without breaking any windows.

We had a tendency to fight when the leaves were on the ground so that someone could stomp out and crunch them underfoot, wanting desperately for things to be like how they were in the easy days, if there were any.

We had to go get real jobs and settle into a nice neighborhood and have some docile children and live out the rest of our lives in a real swell place. We went out in the rain instead, let it plaster our clothes to our bodies like so much papier-mâché, and our feet were underwater attractions in the aquarium of our shoes. We filed for divorce though we had never married and tore up the documents when they were served, sprinkled them over the server’s head and snapped a shot for his confetti wedding.

We had a creamy nougat center and we knew how many licks it took to get to the center of us. When we wanted something, we simply took it and walked away. We had a tendency to narrate all aspects of our lives, and would stop when you or I had to leave. The narration was for both of us or none of us. We had days where it would all stop like a glittering nothing as if we were on a train car lurching before a big halt, screeching, blaring on the horn though there’s no reason for it. Yes, that’s what it was like.

We gave it all up, then started using again, then stopped kind of. It was complicated. We had a way of preparing it that differed from normal usage. We had the gleaming in our eyes when it hit and we were fire in our selves and everything went slowslowslow till it came and went, and we’d be done with it this time for real. We’d for real be done and through and so Past It.

We were not Past It. We wanted to be just in a couch, not out there getting It, using It, and the way we worked was to capitalize our hurts. How many times did we flush It and trash It only to be knocking on that milky door again.

We gave up for real and let our lives come back. The way it was at first was that everything had the color drained from it. The color seeped back in slow, the way the taste of apples changes when you purge yourself of junk food.

We tested what it was like to be normal humans again. We debated over what our story should be, whether it should be about our shenanigans or our using; the silly or the serious. But maybe we could make it about both. Maybe we could make a flash fiction story called, “A Glittering Nothing” and make this our story in condensed form.

We wrote the flash fiction story called, “A Glittering Nothing.” It was not this flash fiction story, you can be assured. This is just named after that one, in reference to it. That one was far better than this one could ever be. That one had real grit and heart, and it made you laugh in the appropriate places and cry in the appropriate places too.

We had to make sure not to fuck it up. When you’re writing a story, you can only carry on the ruse for so long. You have to keep your audience in mind. Kill your darlings. And all that. So with that in mind, we really trimmed it down. We tried to make it entertaining. We checked our word count and tried to keep it short, but not too short.

We let the reader really peek behind the curtain. We let them in on the writing process, had a Q & A. It was really something, you can be assured. Sorry we couldn’t do that for this one, but it’s a different situation. So for instance, the original “A Glittering Nothing” went silly, then serious, then metafictional. This one doesn’t do that. This part might seem metafictional, but in reality it’s just a polite explanation. We didn’t have to do this, but we thought it would be best. We didn’t want anyone getting confused.

We couldn’t decide just where it would end, but we considered doing that thing where a story bookends itself, giving the reader that precious a-ha moment where everything literally comes full circle. Well, we’re at 911 words right now, so we’d better stop soon. If we go past 1,000 it’ll no longer be a flash fiction story about a flash fiction story but a short story about a flash fiction story. But anyway, we’re not going to listen to your limits. We’ve got no time for that. After all, we were just fine living our lives the way we wanted to, thank you very much.



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