Archive for May 19th, 2011

19th May
written by amber

Jessie on His Mind

The wall does not get any easier.  Concentration is essential but I just can’t stop thinking about Jessie. It’s been three weeks since I met her, three weeks since I last saw her. If I do stop thinking about her for maybe half a day, one of my buddies is sure to say something like, “Hey, Jonah, she’s pretty sexy, that Jessie, isn’t she?” or “Guy, if you want to be in her league, you’ve got to  join the wheelchair basketball team, get yourself fit again.”

Real sensitive types, my friends.  But they’ve gone through all the stages of knowing someone who’s become disabled – shock and horror, guilt, avoidance.  Now they’re at the ‘jollying’ stage.

The mainstay of jollying consists of repeatedly dragging me back to the bar where I met Jessie, making me play darts and shoot pool, praising my throws and shots even if they suck.  I worry that the next stage will be tough love, critiquing me ‘for my own good.’

I worry that Jessie will come back to the bar and serve me up a repeat of the night we met, when she walked out the door the minute she caught a glimpse of my wheels, but she never does. I worry that she might show up here at Bad Altitudes.  It’s much more her type of place than the bar.  In maybe two or three months, I would welcome that encounter, but for now, I’m so pathetic I haven’t told a soul what I’m up to.

Up to maybe six feet, if you’re wondering.

This is good for me, but I’m not doing it just for me.  I’m doing it for Jessie. Something clicked in me when we met, even if it didn’t click for her.  It was as if we’d known each other in a past life.  Hell, I felt as if I’d been married to her or something.

Her rejection of me was brutal but I’m not giving up.  I’m just not ready yet to face her again.  After my arms are strong enough to climb the 25 foot wall, they should be strong enough to propel an off-road wheelchair.  The insurance will cover that.  Then I can invite her on a hike.

Right now I have to concentrate on the next hold.  Not how far I’d fall if I slipped and my spotter wasn’t paying attention, not on the ridiculously tentative hold after this one.  Just what’s right in front of me now.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

The Jonah and Jessie stories are a series – you can find the first two at Story 5 and Story 12.  I write them weekly in a local coffeeshop, the Old Grind.  If you live in the Hinton area, please join me any Thursday at 4 p.m.