They’d known each other for years in that casual way of two moms in a small town. Running into each other at their kids’ dance class, the grocery store, the library, local festivals. They knew who each other was, would definitely look out for each others kids, but sometimes couldn’t remember the others name and only knew their husbands by face. They couldn’t have told you what the other ones favorite color was, or whether or not the other was gluten free, but they did know they had kids, husbands, and full enough lives that getting to know one another hadn’t really entered into the equation.
And then one day, a mutual friend, gluten free status also unknown, found them together at the park and took the brief smile they’d given each other as their kids set about playing and turned it into something more. “Did you know, Jennifer, that Sheila here also bottles kombucha?”
That was all it took. Jennifer and Sheila got the solid intro they needed during a time when they had literally nothing else to do but let their kids play together, and for some reason having a topic they could both relate to was all the starter their fire needed. They began by discussing secondary ferments and ended by setting a play date at Jennifer’s, “call me Jen, please,” house later in the week.
The kids, of course, were thrilled as kids are to go to a “new friend’s” house and encounter new toys, new pets, new rules. Especially when their mothers were so busy getting to know each other that neither notices or bothered to stop them when the kids opened paints and set to work at the easel in the other room. But this would all be discovered later, and neither mother would be angry, relieved and grateful for the intrusion, the children surprised and appreciative of the repreive.
It started with an innocent comment, something about “liking this song,” the small bluetooth speaker on the counter playing something nostalgic like Carly Simon. That was all it took, the women were now discussing favorite bands then and now, favorite songs even when the bands were no longer relevant, Dave Matthews was brought up and they both moved on. This led to conversations about politics, about musicians as activists, and entire hour devoted to their love of Joni Mitchell, Loretta Lynn, Joan Baez, and of course Dolly Parton. They somehow segued into Taylor Swift and Pink, no, neither mom knew what that tiff was about, and then into Lizzo, “LOVE her!” they agreed. All the while the little bluetooth speaker on the counter shuffled through songs, occasionally provoking another squeal, but usually nothing more than the perfect background to a fantastic discussion.
And then it happened. Jen could never quiet determine when Sheila heard the song playing, or when she pieced together that she knew what it was, who it was by. There was that moment when Jen realized she could have casually gotten up and changed the song, but the moment had been early on had come and gone too quickly, would have required her to be focusing more on the speaker each time it faded out and back in with each change of song, and she was too engrossed in the talk of gluten free baking without sugar to focus on anything else. Plus she’d been sure, quite sure, that she’d set the bluetooth to shuffle through one of her “old lady” playlists as her children called it. She was sure there was nothing in this playlist to offend or annoy or draw attention.
She was wrong.
That moment when Sheila realized just exactly what was playing would flitter through Jen’s mind for years afterwards. Not constantly, necessarily, not even daily, but for years. She’d be driving down Main Street on an errand and remember how Sheila’s head tilted just a bit to the left, how her eyebrows came down together, her chin coming up, her eyes looking up a bit and squinting a little, her mouth opening a bit allowing her to hear better. That look that said “I know this, why do I know this, is this what I think it is,” followed very closely by the head straightening, the back too, the eyes widening, the mouth closing tightly, lips pursed. There was a flash of embarrassment across her face leaving it pink, but nothing like what Jen experienced.
Jen was convinced she would catch fire at any moment. The flush across her chest rivaled any she’d felt with pre-menopause. Flashes of their hour-long friendship whipped through mind, this treasure gained and now lost in an instant. The excuses and apologies came to her lips and stuck there, fighting to be the first said, and so nothing was said, all were trapped in her mouth, impossible with it hanging open as it was, but there you have it.
9 Replies to “Embarrassing CD”
this story is a mystery. The people not knowing each other at first but some other person, “She also bottles kombucha.” is interesting. Why the name?
Thank you! Glad you liked it. Which name? The title name or the character name or?
The title name. I Meant about that this is kind of like Flash fiction and brevity. Able to stick to the moment about a single topic. especially about the facial expressions. really detailed. Must have been an embarrassing CD hahahhah
It is flash fiction I guess. These are warm ups where I use a writing prompt and write for thirty minutes. They’re very loosely taken from the Writers Digest A Year of Writing Prompts. Give it another couple of years and no one will even know what a CD is!
hahahaha probably CD’s are old I remember my first CD player. listening to Metallica when I was a kid. What do you do with your non warmups?
Haven’t written many non-warmups yet, but the idea is to polish and publish either through literary mags and/or as a collection into a book. That’s a ways off though.
There are a bunch of places just to get the renown. I found this great website. https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/blog/best-money-making-apps/
All of them are magazines and places where you could write for money if they’re publishing currently.
He’s interesting. I get lots of info on publishers from https://authorspublish.com/ Just not ready to go that yet 🙂
That makes sense. I subscribed so that I might publish. It would be awesome to! Writing is amazing and really helps me focus. When I get distracted I write 🙂