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To Dare a Peach (standard:other, 861 words)
Author: Finn McKoolAdded: Apr 30 2003Views/Reads: 1601/1010Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A piece of flash fiction I threw out. It flows from my fingertips to you fine people out there. Enjoy.
 



"So tell me what you want?" she asked. 

What a loaded question. There are so many answers. I was glad she was on
a cell phone in Cleveland, and I was on my porch down in Tex-Arkana. It 
was spring. Downtown the dogwood's bloomed. My porch afforded me no 
such scenery. It was hot, humid, and the bugs were about. All I had was 
the smell of the new crab grass, and the red mud that was the avatar of 
my region. 

The distance afforded me stalling time, and my plain face, which wore my
mind and my heart often enough, could not betray me. My face was never 
meant for poker. She didn't see the struggle as I tried to pick which 
answer to give. 

Do I tell her about wantin' to up and move to Georgia? How my uncle runs
a bar in Savannah, and how I wanna leave this mud town and join'im? Do 
I tell her I want her? And the big question, do I dare to tell her I 
want her to join me in Savannah? That my fondest wish, though we've 
been apart for three years, was for her to leave that job up in 
Cleveland, pack it all up and start a life with a bartender in 
Savannah? 

I may sound funny, a mudland cracker like me quotin' poetry, but I
remember a line of a poem I read in highschool. "Do I dare to eat a 
peach?" That always struck me as an odd question. What kind of fool 
would have to be dared to eat a peach. Then the teacher explained how 
it was all about age and love. Then it made sense. Eatin' a peach is 
hard if you ain't got teeth. 

So do I dare to eat a peach? How do you tell a woman ten states away
that you want nothing more than for her leave her life for you? 

I met'er in highschool. She went to college here for a spell. Same
junior college I went to. But I didn't move on to the university. Mom 
needed me here on the farm. There were fields to plow. Mud to move. So 
I do that. And I fix cars. But I been takin' bartender classes at 
night. 

She, on the other hand, got a scholarship to Cleveland. She, on the
other hand, is a history major. She's almost got her degree. She wants 
her masters, and she wants to work for a historical preservation 
society somewhere. Savannah's got history, don't it? They got shit to 
preserve there don't they? 

But how do you tell her that? Without sounding like a love sick school
boy who don't know how the big bad world works? I know how it works. 
How dreams get shot down and dressed like the rabbits I shoot out in 
the fields. Except the dreams get left lyin' there to rot. So you smell 
them the rest of your life, remembering how fine, and soft it's fur 
was. I know these things. But it don't stop the dreams from comin'. 

We never really dated. We always came close, but there was always
somethin' in the way. In highschool it was her BMOC big dick boyfriend. 
His daddy ran the local car dealership, which made him more than fairly 
rich, and more than fairly crooked. My daddy got a beat up chevy pick 
up off'im only to find sand in the oil pan to stop a leak. I wondered 
why daddy never said nothin'. Now I know. That's just the way it is in 
this here town. That's just the way it is for us out here on the 
mudflats. 

Then, in college, I thought I had a chance. But school kept us busy.
Sometimes though, we'd be studying together in the library, and our 
hands would touch, and we'd look up, and we both had that look that 
said "I wanna kiss you right now." But the words never made it out. Our 
lips never met. She'd blink, and shy off and smile. And I cursed myself 
for two kinds of fool. One for thinkin' she wanted me to kiss her, 
another for not kissin' her when I had the chance. 

And then, Cleveland for her, broken radiators, and mud plowing for me.
And front porch phone calls. This fuckin' crappy, cracklin' cordless 
phone is the only new or nice thing I've ever bought for myself. And I 
bought it for her. So I could sit on this front porch, without mom 
hearin' and talk to her in the muddy, muggy stillness. 

"Hey. You there?" she asked. 


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