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Carla's World (standard:drama, 2944 words)
Author: LaineAdded: Mar 08 2001Views/Reads: 2397/1526Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Carla's world is lonely and unobserved. Can glimpses into her empty life make you care about the end of it?

Carla stares at the man across the counter and thinks, "I don't want
your predisposed wit." She looks at the woman behind him and thinks, "I 
don't want to stare at the cracks in your lipstick or the crease in 
your eye shadow, I wish you would get in someone else's line." And then 
she wonders about her own makeup and ponders the meaning of 


On the bus ride home no one sits in the seat next to Carla, even when it
is the last one available. She presses her forehead to the glass on her 
right and looks at her eyelashes, magnified in the reflection. The bus 
halts and slushy mud splashes onto her reflected face. Loud voices 
suddenly echo through the bus and the man in front of her groans. 

"I don't want to take it off!" 

"You will get too hot if you leave your hat on!" 

"No I won't! I'm cold!" 

And then a fat boy drops into the seat beside her, his thigh pressing
against hers, his breath sweaty on her neck. She shifts as the bus 
pulls away and he adjusts in his seat noisily. 

"Daniel, take off your hat." 


"Right now!" 

Carla looks up at the woman speaking; she is tiny with frayed black
hair. Her eyes bore into Daniel's as he looks around petulantly and 
they both see Carla staring. She looks at Daniel and raises her 
eyebrows. The woman plucks the hat from his head and he cries out in 
Carla's face. 


She flinches as a drop of his saliva lands on her own lip. Wincing, she
turns back to the glass and slowly raises her arm, watching Daniel's 
reflection fight to get the hat back from the woman in the aisle. She 
wipes furiously at her lip for a moment, and then realizes that now she 
has removed all the lip gloss and she cannot lick them to wet them 
because fat Daniel's spit was just there. 


Carla gets off the bus in front of her apartment and trudges through the
slush and the snow. Rivulets of water follow the creases of the 
sidewalk and trickle down into the gutters. Water sloshes from 
somewhere beneath the pavement and she furrows her brow and listens, 
thinking of alligators in New York City and wondering if that is a 


Inside her apartment Carla hangs her wool coat up in the empty closet
and lines her boots up by the door. She sits at the kitchen table with 
the flier she had gotten in the mail that day and reads through it 
carefully. She pauses to go to the fridge and empty frozen french fries 
onto a tray and shove them in the oven before getting a pair of 
scissors. She clips coupons from the flier and puts them in a neat pile 
for her collection. 


When she watches television that night, Carla waits intently for
inspiration. Finally something hits her and Carla picks up her sketch 
book from under the newspaper stand and digs a pen from under the 
cushion. Quickly she sketches a pearly white dress and writes the date 
at the top. She flips back through the pages and pages of sketches of 
dresses and thinks that one day she will sew one and wear it to work. 
For now, though, she should write a haiku. 

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