The Adventures of Mabel*
*Tentative title for a little writing experiment of mine. It’s a very rough first drafting of the foibles and fables of Mabel. She is the newly 30 year old leading character I search for in other books. A Woman. W-O-M-A-NNNN. And also a girl. Age 10 and just before the world and all its opinions and standards chimed in.
Sure, she’s based a bit on me. She is putting into words my thoughts and connundrums. Helping me re-write and understand certain events in my life.
But she is not me. That’s why I’m looking forward to seeing how she tells her story.
Thank you for reading!
Mabel Attends a Backyard Barbecue
My name is Mabel and I’m sitting in a camper chair. Trying not to scrutinize my thighs. All thighs flesh out in a chair. Even Beyonce’s.
I’m a new thirty-something. Long-time fan of corn on the cob and a zero-time fan of small-talk.
So imagine my chagrin when I read the energy of this backyard barbecue and clock a ‘everyone’s holding in a fart’ vibe.
I don’t identify as an alcoholic; however, our relationship is complicated. Our friendship the most fickle at some social gathering. Like a backyard barbecue where everyone is a friend of a friend. Small-talk running rampant.
“If small-talk were an animal it would be a teenage flamingo (also referred to as Juveniles, how silly). Both good-natured and sometimes a bit patchy. Small-Talk persists like the brave flamingo-teen who tries to appear effortless while teetering on one leg,”
I excuse myself for the bathroom. My third trip this hour. I don’t have a UTI or IBS. My therapist calls it ’empathy-overload’. My ex called it ‘social anxiety’.
Viscerally speaking, the experience is not unlike a raging moshpit in the space between my heart and throat.
Described more abstractly, it feels like a ripping. A tear and pull between a high level of self-awareness and an irrational wildness. I usually innocently walk into a patio full of people and suddenly believe I’m responsible for everyone’s feelings. I roll my eyes because I know that’s downright silly. But I’m itchy and my heart gets going on its temper tantrum and my beautiful brain tries to keep up.
Bathroom trip #4 comes up fast. I breathe deeply and wash my hands. They use Ms. Meyers – Lavendar. I’m into it.
-epiphany strikes. What if I’m not actually unlovable and doomed? What if I’m an introvert who struggles to turn down the fuzzy volume of a crowd. What if I find conversations without follow up questions boring? What if I’m a bit too much for a Backyard Barbecue. In my denim shorts, walking to avoid a bit of chub rub. I don’t mean to shut down small talk. But why are we talking about the weather? I want to talk about how it kind of sucks that our parents are getting older. Too deep? Maybe for a backyard barbecue.
I return to the patio and snag a piece of corn.