30 days, 30 pages with writing on them. That's the deal.


Short Stories (cont'd).

e) Once he stopped wearing hats and began wearing his thoughts instead, things became at once both simpler and more complex. For one thing, he had to begin paying attention to whether or not the words coming out of his mouth bore any relation to the ones currently being displayed. It required actually thinking while he was speaking, something to which he was completely unaccustomed. He noticed it also became more difficult to tell believable lies. On the other hand, wearing his thoughts eliminated the need to speak at all much of the time, which simplified communication. For instance, he could tell someone how much he disliked their cooking merely by looking at them across the table, and there was a certain amount of relief to never having to articulate an answer to the question, "does this make me look fat." So far, the biggest challenge seemed to be finding the correct thoughts to complement the pink and purple flowered tie his wife had given him most recently. Almost any words he tried on with it seemed to complicate not only the outfit, but the circumstances of his home life in general.

f) By keeping the chicken in her purse, she completely eliminated the problem of the eggs breaking and making a mess all over the papers in her briefcase. She didn't know why she hadn't thought of it sooner. The first time she'd tried to cover up the mess by pretending she intended to prepare an omelet in the board meeting, it had been awkward because she had to at the same time feign embarrassment for having forgotten to bring a hot plate. She dealt with that problem by bringing a hotplate with her to all subsequent meetings, so as not to be caught off guard again, but it was difficult enough to get everyone at the table to agree on whatever business matter they were discussing, let alone what kind of cheese they'd like or whether they wanted tomatoes or peppers. It made it hard to present her ideas effectively, which she felt put her at a distinct disadvantage compared to the men in the room who weren't trying to simultaneously cook. Even while she resented it, she couldn't help but wonder if she was bringing some of it on herself. When she finally found a purse that was big enough to provide something approximating a cage-free experience, she snatched it up immediately. And from the very first day, she could tell she might really be on to something that could have a significant impact on her upward mobility at the company.

g) The moment the mother opened her suitcase, she could tell something was wrong. Her daughter was a mess, having somehow gotten into the lipstick and nail polish and decorated not only her own cheeks but also her brother's forehead and elbow. He had obviously retaliated by snatching her goldfish crackers, flinging them around on top of everyone's clothes and stomping them into fine orange crumbs, which he proceeded to water in with his sippy cup, leaving everything sopping with milk. That had started the crying of course, because as soon as he poured out the milk he became thirsty (he always seemed to be extra thirsty when traveling; she was going to have to make a note of packing extra drinks in the future) and it appeared the hitting and hair-pulling had probably started before his tears were even dried. All that rough-housing had left her husband's golf shirt in a wadded up mess, and she knew he wasn't going to be happy. He was particular about his golf shirt. She half wanted to just zip the kids back up and put the whole mess in the closet. But now it was time to get everyone ready to go to dinner, and she could see there wasn't a single thing left in the entire suitcase that wasn't going to need washing and probably ironing too. She had no interest at all in doing either of those things while the family was on vacation. Plus they both needed baths. It wasn't fair. Of course the airlines never seemed to lose luggage when it might have come in handy for teaching children a lesson.

h) Of course, he was going to have to think up an explanation for the hole. He knew they would notice; it would be hard not to see it no matter which angle they were viewing the painting from. Anyway, as soon as the hole had appeared, all the red had fallen in and completely vanished, and just that fact had compromised the design quite substantially. Without red, it was hard to even tell for sure what it was a painting of. The blue was beginning to look unstable, like it might go at any moment too, or maybe he was just losing his confidence. It was hard to tell. Anyway, the whole thing was becoming a tremendous bother. It was a terrible shame to have such a thing happen on a commission, and for picky clients too. Perhaps his father was right; perhaps it was time to give up trying to make it as an artist and just get a real job.