I’m in a writers’ group that meets through the auspices of one of the homeless services organizations in the area, and this week, one of the writing prompts was this, from Marjorie Agosin:
All exiles are like deep breaths, imperceptible in uninhabited landscapes.
This is what came from that prompt:
I bought it new off the lot.
It had maybe 17 miles on the odometer from someone else’s test drive(s). Bright and silver-shiny, it was a “special edition” version of its kind, and I bought it for several reasons, one of which was its anti-lock brake system, a hot new thing 21 years ago. I had toyed with buying the other color combo — metallic blue-green with ivory leather interior — but I realized that in the long run, and even in the short run, ivory leather was way outside the borders of practical upkeep, so silver with black leather for me!
I even tried to name it, but nothing ever stuck. Generally, I wound up calling it my Beast.
My new blog’s first spam attempt — I’m so proud! Although I didn’t notice the date, just that I had spam in the bucket, I’m pretty sure it showed up on Day 1, and normally I’d delete it without a second look. But when I read it, I just had to share.
In this prime example of spamaliciousness, the point was the link in the commenter’s name (of which I have deprived you without a moment of remorse), not the 97 words that make up the content of the post — wait, 96, because there’s an extra space in there dividing up a word. This truth will become glaringly obvious.
Have fun. 🙂
The blanket is like a cross between badly felted wool and the stuff they use to make carpet padding, brown-gray or gray-brown with lumps of other colors, white and pink and darker brown and pale blue. When you hold it up to the light–like, say, when you try to cover yourself–there are thin places you can pretty much see through. It isn’t quite twin size; folded in half lengthwise, it just fits the canvas of the cot.
It itches. I wake up every morning for a week surprised my arms aren’t welted up with a rash. If I pull it up to my chin, I think I’m about to sprout the world’s worst case of acne.
Of course, if I do pull it up to my chin, my feet hang out.
Also, it sheds. If I forget to bring in my sweatpants-cum-jammies to change into after dinner, I spend what feels like hours pulling fuzz and hairlike threads off my thrift-store jeans and Land’s End t-shirt.
So yeah, it itches, and it sheds, and it’s just not-big-enough to lull me into a false sense of security every night: maybe tonight I can stay covered! But it’s warm enough, for me, anyway, and in the church gym’s chill basement in the middle of the night, surrounded by 15 or so snoring, coughing strangers, warm is more than enough.
That’s the blanket I was issued on my first night in the homeless shelter where I spent the last week of February.