Welcome friend to Create Art Podcast where we create more than we consume. I am Timothy Kimo Brien your thankful head instigator with over 20 years in arts and education helping you tame your inner critic and provide you with commentary, interviews, discussions, and projects that will inspire you to create art. This month I will be podcasting daily and writing a novel in 30 days. I am participating in NaPodPoMo and NaNoWriMo. You will be able to listen to what I wrote for the day and read it at the same time. I like to practice what I preach when it comes to art so I am challenging myself to write and having you come along for the ride. I hope this inspires you to accomplish your goals with your art and if you would like to share what you are doing email me at email@example.com
The Story So Far
11 Nov 2020 1439 daily count 19336 cumulative
Carl went back to his book and coffee. Looking at his watch it was getting close to nine, he would need to leave no later than nine thirty to make it to work. Looking over at Cheryl, he saw she had a mini rush going on and the drink orders had lined up. The pattern had been thirty to forty minutes in the bathroom for the father so if the pattern held, he would be late for work at best by ten or fifteen minutes. Not the worst news in the world, but he hated being late. The twin responsibilities pulling on him were minor, he was not in danger of losing his job if he were to be late, and if he had to bolt on out of the shop early Cheryl would totally understand. He could feel his anxiety begin to creep up a few notches. The patrons at the counter were giving Cheryl a hard time with their drinks and she was visibly frustrated. Carl could not make out the commotion due to the music and din of conversations in the shop, but he could tell she was feeling the pressure of the upcoming confrontation.
It had been ten minutes and Cheryl had finally finished with the group that was giving her a hard time. She came to Carl’s table and slumped down in the open chair.
“I think I know how to make drinks, I mean I did win the barista of the year in this town for three years running right, and I know my way around an espresso machine, god I hate customers some days,” she said to Carl. “How are you doing over there young lady,” she asked the quiet girl.
“I’m doing fine, just waiting for my dad,” said the girl timidly raising her head out of her book just for a few moments to answer the question and then back to her book.
“What are you reading,” Cheryl asked.
“Just a book my dad gave me, m not really supposed to talk to anyone. Can you leave me alone please,” said the girl still quiet and trying to look like she was engrossed in her book?
Cheryl looked back over to Carl and said in a low voice, “it’s been fifteen minutes.”
“And I am giving it another fifteen minutes and then I will head into the bathroom. Can you look after her while I do that,” Carl matched Cheryl’s volume?
“Yeah, the lunch crowd does not start for a few hours and I am already caught up on my daily checklist. How are you holding up, how was yesterday,” she asked?
“Had a great day, after I left here I went back to the park and ate the food and read another fifty or so pages and went home turned on a movie and fell asleep. Had a stuff neck this morning but it was good to take the day off and just sit in the park,” Carl replied.
Cheryl was focused on the girl while Carl talked. She was trying to get a clue as to what was going on, looking at every movement the girl made, seeing how much of the cookie she ate or milk she drank. Girl was as unaware of the examination as was Carl and he was just a table widths away.
“Do you need a refill on your milk or another cookie, its on the house,” Cheryl asked the girl.
“No I am find thank you,” she replied.
“I’ve got a really good chocolate chip muffin in the display counter and it’s got your name on it if you want it, plus I can get you a juice if you prefer,” asked Cheryl.
“Uhm, I think my dad will be back anytime now, he doesn’t want me to drink sugary drinks like juice. I usually just drink milk or water,” replied the girl.
“Well you are just about out of milk, do you want a chocolate milk, we won’t tell your dad,” asked Cheryl.
“Really, uhm yes please,” said the girl even mor meekly. She peer from behind her book and looked toward the mens bathroom. “What if my dad comes back, he would be mad.”
“Not a problem, I’ll take the chocolate milk off your table and put it on mine and we will make sure you have a full glass of regular milk on your table,” said Carl conspiring with Cheryl.
“Tell ya what, Carl is going to head to the bathroom and I’ll grab that chocolate milk for you okay, drink it down fast,” said Cheryl.
“Okay,” whispered the girl. A smile started to form on her face and her eyes sparkled for the first time in the four days that Cheryl had seen her.
Carl took the cue and got up. His heart was pumping to be part of this conspiracy. Slowly he walked toward the bathroom thinking how he could broach a conversation with this man, he had done nothing wrong. To say Car felt awkward was an understatement, the girl was naturally shy as most nine year old’s would be at that age. He didn’t know why he thought she was nine, but she looked like it or maybe he was succumbing to his exercise that he taught Cheryl the other day. He didn’t have any kids but yet he never felt awkward around other peoples kids. He wasn’t a pro like Nate was, he just went with what he thought kids liked and usually kids warmed up to him and liked him.
When he reached the bathroom he took a deep breath and entered. It was go time for him, he would end this issue, if it was even an issue, and get to work and back to his life. There was no one at the urinals, so he thought the man was in a stall. A gentle breeze hit his face that seemed to cool him down. He looked at the sink and someone had left a book with some papers on it. The window had been opened and the day was looking a little cloudy like it may storm in a few hours. Carl cleared his throat.
“Hey bud, I don’t mean to intrude here but I need to head off to work,” said Carl. He looked at the stall door and tried to listen for any sound. “Excuse me, this is Carl, the guy watching your daughter our there. I need to head off to work and I needed to talk to you a minute,” Carl said to the stall. He still didn’t hear anything. Then it hit him, he didn’t hear anything. There was no piss, no straining, no breathing, no wrestling of toilet paper. There was no sound except the breeze coming through the open window. He didn’t ant to look in the stall as it reminded him of a stall he had been in a few years ago when he first received his diagnosis. He didn’t want to see the dead man he had tried to become when he attempted to end his life through swallowing all of the pills in his medicine cabinet and his ex-wife sound him on the floor of their bathroom. His heart slowed down to a crawl and he began sweating. He stuck his head out the window to see if the man had fled through that opening. He didn’t see anyone running or hear any car pulling out. How would he explain this to Cheryl and the kid, what would happen to her. He pulled his head back in and began repeating no, no no, no dammit no. Tears started pouring out of his eyes and he began sobbing and saying no no no no, don’t you dare do this to her. Thing welled up in his chest as he sat on the floor still whimpering and crying. When he reached the floor his head laid there for a moment. He was the toilet base and the urinal, but no shoes, no hands, no fingers slouched over. He got up quickly and threw open the stall door to reveal nothing. The man must have left through the window. Relief flooded back into Carl. He stuck his head back out the window and still there was no one there. Looking back at the bathroom he saw the book and the papers on top of the book. He top paper had his name on it. A note, Carl thought, for me. He picked up the paper and the book and sat back down on the floor and began to read the words through his tears.
To reach out to me, email firstname.lastname@example.org I would love to hear about your journey and what you are working on. If you would like to be on the show or have me discuss a topic that is giving you trouble write in and lets start that conversation.