Can I Take Your Order, Please?

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.”

11 thoughts on “Can I Take Your Order, Please?

  1. Very nice! You managaed to capture feeling wihtout drawing an arrow staright to it. I like that.

    And hey; I’ve had some serious epiphanies at the McD’s drive thru, myself.

    Must be something to do with the preservatives.

  2. Oh my, girl you captured so very much of your chart and mind and that relationship in this one convo!

    In other words- great job!

    I love the way that you opened with the candy wrappers and the emptiness- that was perfection!

  3. The mood here is perfect. So claustrophobic, dank, wilted.

    I love the double meaning between the partnership and the order.

    The dialogue flowed well, didn’t feel forced at all.

    1. Ha! Thanks – darn that spell check. I should be more careful…I wish I could say that I had followed my own advice though that night. I stuck it out for several years before I finally got my head together.

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