This week, I am sharing on of my favorite chapters from my work in progress, the novelization of my second film, “The Hepburn Girls.” This is still very much rough draft form, but I’d love to hear your feedback, and if it is something you would enjoy reading once the novel is complete.
For a synopsis of the film, please visit my tab labeled “The Hepburn Girls.”
Two Blueberry Muffins
Lunchtime finally rolls around and I tuck myself away in my favorite reading area. I never eat in the break room. It smells like burned popcorn tinged with the lingering aroma of stinky burritos. Instead, I like to eat the same way I work, surrounded by intelligent words. I am nose deep in a novel when I hear some rustling and the chair scrape beside me. I look up into the face of pure joy in human form.
Larry Louis is my classmate from high school. We used to ride the bus together before Alfred started driving. With Will Smith’s movie star good looks and a personality to match, Larry grew up to become our town’s mailman and favorite citizen.
A long time ago, I teased him about becoming mayor of the city since he seemed to already know everything about everyone anyway. He just smiled and shook his head. I knew him well enough to read between the lines. While the suit of politics would fit him perfectly, his shoes of service were workman’s boots. To stuff him away in an office would kill his joy; he preferred to serve man and commune with God in nature.
I never brought it up again.
Today, he looks at me the same way he looks at me every day; I am the only person in the universe that matters to him in this moment. I know that he looks at everyone this way, but when Larry does it, it doesn’t matter. You feel like he truly is a portal for God’s love, and God’s love for everyone is unconditional and universal.
Today, compassion fills his dark eyes, and concern knits itself across his brow. He pulls a purple tupperware container out of his mailman’s bag. “Mom made these for you.”
I know what’s inside. I open it slowly and look down at two blueberry muffins.
“I know Mom told me to celebrate, but….it just never gets any easier, just a little more bearable, you know?”
Larry smiles in that understanding way. “I know it.”
I pull out one muffin and hand it to him. I pick up the other one and raise it in the air. Larry raises his, “Here’s to your Mom, and three years with Jesus.” We clink the muffins together in a ‘toast’ like we’ve done for two years now, like we used to do when we were fifteen and my Mom would make us blueberry muffins on Saturday nights. We’d all say something we were grateful for and then ‘toast.’ Like she made us promise to do every year on the anniversary of her death.
I think of the warmth and the smell of our kitchen, the happiness that permeated my childhood, and the fact that I tried to make the muffins like she used to and couldn’t. On the first anniversary, I called Larry crying because I couldn’t make them taste right. And it didn’t feel warm or comforting, or even smell the same. He came over to find me sobbing in a mass of flour and smeared blueberries, cleaned up the mess and the next day brought me muffins from his mother. We never talked about it again.
I don’t say any of this. Instead I say, “Three years.” It’s all I need to say. We finish our muffins in the kind of comfortable silence that only happens with the closest of friends.