Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Creative Writing Homework 03.02.10

Incorporate the words below in a story which takes place in the waiting room of a doctor's office:

I must’ve been about 6 or 7 when I figured out my family is crazy. Not your typical, run-of-the-mill, “Oh, they leave their Christmas lights up all year long” kind of crazy. But, the bona fide, certified, nuthouse kind of crazy.

It was a typical Saturday night – Dada sittin’ in his easy chair, smoking Middleton’s Cherry tobacco in his favorite pipe, Pastor, my brother, in the corner reading his Bible with a Webster’s Dictionary, Mama in her purple get-up with the pretty peacock plumage and me, sittin’ by the radio. Mama loved to prance around the living room, trying to get Dada or Pastor to dance with her. They hardly ever did. Dada would groan; Pastor would wrestle away from her. So, Mama danced and pranced by herself. Mama didn’t dance as much as she jiggled or shimmied. The feathers bobbing made her look like a chicken, its neck moving back and forth. A funny sight to see indeed.

“Turn that up, Lulu. Turn that radio right up!” I obliged. “Oh, I love this song!” she squealed. “Your daddy and I used to dance and dance to this song. Remember, Daddy? Remember?”

Dada looked at Mama with sparkle in his eyes. “Yes, I remember. We cut quite a figure on that dance floor, Ma.” He put down his pipe, stood up and took Mama’s hand. They jumped and hopped, twirled and swirled across the floor. It gave me a tingling in my belly to watch them ~ Dada smiling and whistling; Mama humming and giggling. She looked like bird with all those feathers ~ a crazy happy bird dancing in our front room. Dada twirled Mama a bit too fast causing her to stumble and fall. Pastor and I scrambled into the car as Dada carried Mama who was bawling “Oh, Christmas my back is hurtin’ me so! Oh, Henry! Henry! Oh, Christmas my back is hurtin’ me so!”

I opened the waiting room door for Dada, who had Mama leaning on his back, her arms wrapped around his waist, feathers bobbing; and Pastor holding his Bible on Mama’s back, praying. Once Mama saw the people inside waiting, she wailed in pain, making sure someone was watching her. If no one was looking, she would bellow “Oh, Christmas my back is hurtin’ me so!” loud enough to shake the patient check-in window. “Oh, Christmas…ohhh, Christmas!” Oh, geez. I made myself as small as I could in a chair across the room.

I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you that Pastor isn’t my brother’s real name. It’s Jesse. And I guess this is as good a time as any to tell you my brother thinks he’s the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

Pastor stood in the middle of the waiting room, introducing himself. “Hello. I am the Reverie Jesse Jackson. The Lord says do not despair. Galvanize around now. All of you, galvanize ‘round me – let me lay my healing hands upon you.” I looked at him through spread fingers covering my face.

Of course, no one gathered ‘round.

“Let me lay my hands on you” he pleaded. “Let me heal you. Let the reverberation of my hands shake your ills away.” He shook his Bible in the air.

Four of the five people in the waiting room looked at the floor. It was look at Mama, look at Pastor or look at the floor.

One lady smiled at him. And all it took was one. Pastor was next to her in a flash.

“Oh, Sister – tell the Reverie what ails you.” I shook my head slowly, wishing she would not answer; willing her to turn away. She didn’t. I did.

“I have a torn meniscus” she said softly, looking at him like he was a lost boy. Pastor took her hand in his, laid it on the Bible.

“A torn mechanical? A torn mechanical! Lord, this sister has mechanical troubles!” He looked up at the ceiling, Bible and this lady’s hand clutched to his chest. “My small anatomical mind cannot compress why her car is torn, Lord. But, we come before you, Lord…we pray you fix her car so she is free to spread your word, Lord. Amen.”

“No…my car is…”

“No need to thank me, Sister.” Pastor turned and walked back to sit next to Mama.

She continued her “Oh, Christmas…” wailing until Dr. Willis came for her. Dada stood up, Mama was behind him arms around his waist, feathers bobbing; Pastor held his Bible to her back, praying…the 3 of them waddled through the exam room door and disappeared, looking like a duck leading ducklings.

I just sat there, waiting for my crazy family to return.

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