The RemembeRed memoir assignment this week, from Write on Edge, asked us to write a memoir post that focused on pivotal conversations. The goal was to focus on body language, word choices, and the pauses between the words to create meaningful, powerful dialogue.Word limit is 300.
I tucked weathered candy wrappers back into a gap between the car window and the door. They had been flapping loudly while we drove down the highway. The rubber seal on the window was missing and the night air’s squeal escaping into the car competed with the radio and our conversations. I couldn’t take it anymore, so I stuffed candy wrappers into the emptiness.
“Have you figured out what you want?” he asked, pulling into McDonald’s. The sky was streaked grey and black, stars hid in the distance.
“You need to decide what you want to eat,” he continued, “There aren’t many cars.”
My stomach was unsettled. I had ridden in this car so many times with no real destination. It smelled stale.
“I don’t even know if I want anything,” I said looking out the window. The tail-lights of the car in front of us flashed red.
He turned off the radio, pumped a squeaky handle and rolled down the window.
“Well, I’m ordering a burger and fries,” he sighed, fumbling through receipts in his wallet, “and maybe a vanilla shake.”
The car felt small and crowded. It was hard to breathe. I just couldn’t make a decision.
“ !@#$%^&*, I’m out of cash and I really can’t put anything else on my credit card.”
I continued to look out the window, wondering what my family was doing that evening.
“Did you hear me?” he asked, “Didn’t you just get paid this week?”
“Yes,” I sighed reaching for my purse.
“This would be so much easier if we were married and co-mingled our money. Wouldn’t it?”
“Sure. Easier for you,” I mumbled, handing him a $20.
CAN I TAKE YOUR ORDER PLEASE?
“Seriously, what do you want?” he hissed snatching the money.
“Nothing,” I whispered, “Nothing at all.”