pandemo (pandemo) wrote,

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Sunday's Critique Group/Writer's Meeting (WC: 779)

Uplifting, as always, but in a special way, this time.

As I entered, the usual, "Hi, how are you's" brought a negative response.  I'd gotten the little white car stuck pointing down a steep hill on ice, and tried to extricate it, with the result that I was 1/16" from the bumper of the car in front of me...


Keith and Kevin, better known as Where’s Me Kilt?, to the rescue!  The intrepid duo couldn't believe someone actually wanted THEM to solve some manly type problem.  K the younger (Kilty, for short) still has the scraped up and bruised forehead he earned totaling his car coming home from the Ames write-in two weeks ago, so it was not just false astonishment...

Out-walking me, they headed for white car after white car, ever further away.

"Where'd you park, Blondbomb?" K the younger asked, heading into the mud of the nearest overflow lot, K the elder a step and a half behind due to his shorter legs.

They head, teasing me relentlessly, down the muck of the alley to the street beyond.  K the younger, pointing to an empty space behind a building, asks plaintively, "Why didn't you take that spot?"

"It was full when I came.  This was the closest place."  We'd reached the car at last, on cement, not that infernal mud.

Examining the situation, they take in the icy area three of the four tires inhabit.  They couldn't believe I didn't hit the guy in front of me.

K the older did a double take.  "You want ME to drive?"  K the younger looks relieved.  Obviously, once the brake is let off, the collision will happen...

"Well, yes."  Since we'll be pushing the car UP HILL, the two BIGGEST/heaviest people should be OUTSIDE, and the smallest/lightest should logically be INSIDE.  (I am socially astute enough not to voice that sentiment aloud... barely.)  K the younger, wrongly reported to be 19, actually only 18, is of a true beanpole construction.  Turn him sideways in a hurricane, and he'd blow away.  Heck, SNEEZE heartily, and he'd bounce off the wall behind him.

But it was mainly his effort and K the elder's driving that unstuck the car...  Although I pushed hard enough to aggravate the sites already sore from my slip up the porch stairs on ice last week, had I been the sole help, we'd be there sill, I'm sure.  K the elder did a snazzy parallel parking job as he snagged a posh place in a slightly uphill location right in front of Smoky Row.  Problem solved.  K the younger commented on his smooth performance with envy.

Inside, people who had hibernated basically all winter long returned to the fold.  A good time was had by all.  We took or passed on our obligatory writer's challenge material, and, for the first time, I actually got it done at the meeting.  Once I reach home, my time is spent editing/reading/commenting, so I never get to it.

I was at the end of a table of critiquers, my black book carrying case beside me on the floor when a "visitor" arrived.  (Children are free to come to the meetings, and do so frequently.)  This little girl was beautiful, and crawled over unsupervised.  She sat up, staring at me.

I have a very, very poor track record with babies.  They see me, study me a bit, then BURST INTO TEARS, especially if I hold them.

Soon, she'd stood, balancing herself by holding tightly to the seam of my jeans where it protruded at my bent knee.  She was still staring, dry eyed.

I told my "baby poops/vomits/screams/cries -- opens every sphincter they have in my presence" stories...  This little girl is cool.  Changed Earth, down on all fours, crawling, comes over, following her around the room.  He gently takes hold of the seam of my jeans a bit higher, but I only know he is doing it by eyeball -- I can feel no touch.

He's talking, too.  The same "language" she's talking.  Early gibberish.  They seem perfectly in sync.

Finally, I say something and reach over, flipping his pony tail.

I flash to a time past, now lost: Abby, a friend's granddaughter, and Blondbomb one Thanksgiving.  Nan, the happy grandmother, well aware of my unfortunate affect on children, says, "Look, she's not crying!"  And, right at that instant, she WAS NOT -- a first for me with someone's kid in my arms.  Maybe I’m turning over a new leaf.  Life with babies now okay.  Does that mean I’ll get stuck babysitting again?  I hope not.

Last updated 11/22/15 Expanded the identification of some of the characters.  Tied it into Things I've Lost; 2/28/2010.

Word Count: 779
Tags: crying, feeling manly, writer's group

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