A Day In Inertia, Suburbia

A young mother wakes to the nagging sound of her alarm. For privacy sake, we’ll call her Margret. The cat is asleep on her face. After a small battle with the semi-feral feline, she gets out of bed.

Coffee. Book. Then tiptoes to the sofa in hopes of some quiet before the chaos of a weekday morning unleashes itself on the untidy household. Something chunky and wet soaks her sock. The dog ate legos again.

***

Margret is standing in her kitchen wearing superhero pajamas. She makes lunch and breakfast while her children get dressed for the day.

Her seven-year-old son comes into the kitchen wearing six shirts and three pairs of pants.

Margret: Why are you wearing all your clean clothes?

Son: You told me to dress warm.

Margret: I meant no shorts or t-shirts.

Son: How was I suppose to know that?

***

The kids walk to their classrooms. Margret puts on her blinker in an attempt to escape the chaotic drop-off line while blasting Veruca Salt. A woman with shiny hair in a German luxury SUV, who is responsible for one the meaner kids in Margret’s child’s class, holds down on her horn and flips Margret off. She wonders if the angry mother spent less time perfecting her makeup if her child would be nicer.

***

Inside an overpriced grocery store for the over-privileged, the barely thirty-year-old Margret walks to the counter. Her hat is half on her head. She’s forgotten to wear socks.

Margret smiles at the checker, a woman nearing middle-age who we’ll call Abby.

Margret: Hey, how’s it going?

Abby: Oh you know. Life.

Marget nods: Yep. Can I trouble you for a pack of Marb lights?

Abby: Just one pack today?

Margret: Yep. Cutting down. Not quitting.

Abby: That’s something.

Margret: I think so. Monkeys on the back and all.

***

Home again. The house is a droning quiet with the kids at school. She remedies that by cranking her newest playlist. Then sits at her desk in the draftiest part of the house, her office. There is nothing now but the words she needs to write and her own insecurities.

Five hours pass. The same nagging alarm tells her it’s time to pick up the kids. Unsure of how she feels about any of the words she’s written, Margret closes the laptop and slips on her worn Chucks.

***

You see a school with a water view and false ivy-covered walls. Margret gets out of her insincere mini-van and makes her way to the classroom door and waits. She checks her social media notifications hoping to gain some validation for her work she hasn’t yet learned to give herself. A middle-aged man in a golf hat, by the name of Todd, approaches Margret.

Todd: I hear my kid got moved from your kid’s table.

Margret: Yep

She smiles.

Todd: I hear they didn’t see eye to eye.

Margret: By that do you mean anytime my kid asks yours to be quiet so she can focus, he pushes her and calls her names?

Todd: Yeah, man. It’s tough. He’s so strong willed. Can’t tell him nothing. He beats to his own drum.

Margret: It’s called parenting, son. It’s necessary.

Todd: Did you just call me son?

***

The day turns to night. Homework is done, dinner eaten. Margret feels satisfied with the day. She opens her third beer in an attempt to relax and get ready for the same thing tomorrow.

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