Tale Tues: Nonsense

A little offbeat from my usual Tues Tales as I’m treading deep A-Z waters. Today is letter N.


Seriously Mom, you shouldn’t be driving long distances anymore.”

This was before Marge lost her license driving into the wall of the carpet store.

“I didn’t. I drove a ten minute drive, to get my haircut.”

“And you rear-ended someone.”

“No one was hurt. The cars were fine. He was very nice about it.”

“Very nice?”

Marge for the life of her, couldn’t figure out why she’d told her daughter about the incident in the first place. Just as she wouldn’t always tell her about her falls when she’d forget to use her cane.

Jenna sat down on the old couch, its arms shredded by Fat Cat. “What exactly happened?”

“We were stopped at a light, that’s all. And I must have looked in the rearview mirror to check my makeup.”

Jenna just looked at her. Fat Cat slept behind her on the couch.

“I don’t know, things happen. My foot must have slipped off the brake for a second.”

“For a second?

Marge got up to go into the kitchen. That’s where they usually sat anyway. Across from each other at the table. Especially during such interrogations that seemed to have become more and more frequent.

She didn’t know why she was in the kitchen. She didn’t eat much these days. She grabbed a bottle of Ensure.

“Is that all you’re eating these days?”

She turned to her daughter after taking a swig and said, “Oh, shut the hell up.”

Jenna’s mouth fell open into a small but perfectly round O.

Marge hadn’t expected to feel sorry. As suddenly and deeply sorry as once when she’d slapped Jenna, age eleven, across the face because Jenna had told her to shut up.

It wasn’t the telling her to shut up that made Marge feel sorry. Her daughter did need to shut the hell up.

It was the hurt look. The one that reminded her that her daughter, despite her interrogating, irritating ways, still looked to her.  For mothering. As when she dropped by just last week in tears because her own daughter, at age nine, had threatened to run away.

“What am I doing wrong?”  Jenna had sobbed.

They’d sat on Marge’s bed and Marge put her arm around her daughter, reminding her that she too at that age had threatened to run away.

Jenna didn’t remember.

Marge told her she’d offered to call her a cab but Jenna had said she’d go on foot, once she’d packed up her stuffed animals. She’d made it as far as the end of the driveway where she’d sulked until she was hungry for an Oreo cookie snack.

They’d laughed then, and Marge’s daughter had gone home feeling better. Comforted by her own mother.

Not this time. Jenna grabbed her car keys – that ring crowded with Stop&Shop, Target, Rite Aide, CVS, award cards  that during their kitchen table interrogations she would restlessly flip and spin – and left in a huff. Tears in the corners of her eyes. As if she were running away again.


About Sandra

Author;editor of The Woven Tale Press at thewoventalepress.net; mother; weaver
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12 Responses to Tale Tues: Nonsense

  1. I could never run away. I wouldn’t have any jello.

  2. leigh says:

    GREAT job! Thanks…my Dad drove into a pharmacy..he lives in Florida, since no one was hurt, he got to keep his license….scary!

  3. steph says:

    Sweet tale about mother-daughter complications. Nice ending tying it together, and nice writing. I have a cat that I call Fat Cat, though his name is Max. Heading on to previous entries.

  4. Jagoda says:

    Oh, this hits so close to home. We’ve been talking to my father-in-law about how to help him live independently yet remain safe. Driving is one of the things it would be best he no longer do. It hurts my heart when I watch him slowly–item by item–have to give up bits of his independence. He fights too, just like Marge. So well written, so true to life.

  5. Shawn Yankey says:

    Great dialogue, interesting stuff!
    Shawn at Reading Practice

  6. You are a true story spinner… enjoyed reading a few of your posts. Happy to connect. Do visit http://www.disha-doshi.blogspot.com I am following you via #AtoZChallenge

  7. Cynthia says:

    So true to life just love it, I’m following.

    Cynthia (The Sock Zone)
    a to z challenge

  8. Mary Rack says:

    Good story – but too close to home for me. At 77 I’m still going strong, but how would I know if I weren’t? My son promises to tell me if he sees “signs”. But will he? Aging can be a scary business! Mary at Mary A to Z

  9. Jaimie says:

    So sad. We were NEVER allowed to say “shut up” when I was little, and my mom would only use the phrase if we were in big, BIG trouble. I was always a rather soft-hearted child, but it would always make me cry when Mom told me to shut up.

    What a well-written short story… I’ll have to come back to see what happens next!

    Jaimie at Living in the Light
    A to Z Ambassador

  10. Anonymous says:

    Count me as another one who thinks this is hitting close to home. Father in law. Bless his heart.

    You did a wonderful job of articulating the complex feelings. 🙂

    Good “N” post. 🙂

  11. Count me as another one who thinks this is hitting close to home. Father in law. Bless his heart.

    You did a wonderful job of articulating the complex feelings. 🙂

    Good “N” post. 🙂

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