Saturday, December 08, 2007
First Meeting 9
I’d just pulled open the door when a voice behind me said, “Natalie?”
I froze. When I turned, my stomach felt like it had been compressed to the size of a gumball. [Usually when you meet an old flame you feel really fat, so maybe this is a good thing.] “Seth,” I said slowly.
I’d dated Seth for four years in high school and then slept with him, sporadically, in college. He looked exactly the same as the last time I’d seen him, senior year. Where most men my age had started to go soft around the chin, under the eyes and at the belly, Seth looked like he’d been frozen at eighteen; neatly clipped brown hair, striped rugby shirt and all; and just now thawed. [I'd go with dashes rather than semicolons there.] [Actually, I might drop the hair and rugby shirt entirely. The point is that he hasn't gone soft around the eyes, chin and belly. Neat hair and striped shirt are poor evidence. Six-pack abs and chiseled jaw are better specifics, though frozen at 18 may be enough to make the point.]
“I didn’t realize you still lived here,” I said. Which was a lie. Dad had told me bits and snatches of things about him over the years, his real estate job, his marriage, his McMansion on the fringes of town [, how utterly perfect his life had been since he dumped me]. And Seth had sent me an announcement of his wedding–an announcement, not an invitation–which I’d assumed was an attempt to prove to me that he’d moved on. [Or to get you to quit hanging around outside his McMansion.] I’d sent him a desk lamp I’d bought on sale at Wal[-]Mart for twenty bucks.
“It’s great to see you! Wow, what’s it been? Ten years?”
“More than that.”
["Listen, I keep meaning to send you a thank-you note for the desk lamp. One of these days."]
I looked down the street, and wondered how rude it would be of me to say I had to run, when I’d so obviously been about to enter an ice cream shop.
So how’s Stacey?” I said, then inwardly winced. How are you? What’ve you been up to? were what a normal person would’ve said. [Should that be "what a person normally would've said"?]
--Elizabeth Joy Arnold
Is it the size of her stomach she feels, or the pressure? If the latter it should be: I felt like my stomach was in a corset that could be tightened infinitely. Remind me to use that in the next bad analogy exercise. "Was being" compressed is better than "had been" if you want to show pressure.
Posted by Evil Editor at 6:25 PM