An errand -- Week 6 assignment

It was from Imogen that he learned
Jeannie Hammond
would need his help that afternoon. The tone within the texts although far from scathing couldn't be considered warm. The neutral, room-temperature tone made him expect the worst. What had Jeannie done this time?

After the ritual of scrolling up and down the list of his most recent conversations Ivan finally escaped the bed. One glance outside convinced him that it was chilly. So he put on a sweatshirt.

Along the way Mr. Moonlight was tending his immaculate garden. The bent over, bare, sweaty back, was rotund and tan: a sight that made sweat beads form on Ivan’s palms. He began taking his sweatshirt off, and while still enveloped within the humid cocoon of his yellow sweatshirt a jolly voice rang a bit too nearby.

“Why hello there, Mr. Babikov!”

After exiting the cocoon and emerging into summer afternoon, he immediately tucked down the T-Shirt, that had rose past the bellybutton to see that Mr. Moonlight had gone from being crouched over in his garden to crossing the street over to Ivan's side at unbelievable speed. Especially given his age.

“Looks like you’re figuring out the right idea," the shirtless Mr. Moonlight said. He beat his chest like a happy gorilla child. “It’s a beautiful day isn’t it, Mr. Babikov?”

Following a few exchanges of friendly remarks, mostly Ivan asking about the garden, Mr Moonlight offered some lemonade that he had freshly squeezed.

“I would like that, but I’m actually in the middle of an errand right now. A friend thing.”

“Oh." The remark was drawn out in the way older people do to signal commending support for something virtuous. “Well godspeed. On your way! And best wishes to your friend.”

At the cafe was a flurry of faces. Some discontentedly staring at laptops, one tunnel visioned into a paperback novel, others in fixed smiles and perpetual head nods. None of them Jeannie though. Ivan put on the sweatshirt again, glad that it wasn't moist from sweat.

"Hi, Ivan."

Her voice was neither warm or cold. Just like her text messages. However the sound of it in real life didn't cause him the same worry as did words through a screen. "I was just about to text you. She's gone."

Ivan looked around by instinct. Because of course he didn't doubt that Imogen was telling the truth. But he still felt like there was a chance that he might spot her if he took a look himself. Similar to when his roommate Georgie always swore that a certain item was missing from a cabinet only to be found when Ivan went over and looked.

"That's okay. I could use a drink anyway."

"The usual?"

"No. Give me something cool. It's hot out today."

Inside the car, against blowing AC, Ivan wished that he had gotten his regular House Roast black coffee after all. He had expected to be taking a long walk over to where Jeannie had most likely gone, but Imogen offered a ride instead.

Imogen asked how Ivan's script was going. A question she asked anytime the two found themselves within a timespan demanding more than just hellos and how are you's. Before he even thought of the actual answer to the question his words had already uttered, alright.

"That's good to hear."

"Yeah. I don't know. Actually I feel kind of stuck. But I do a little bit everyday anyways."

"That's the key isn't it? To work a little everyday no matter how you feel?"

Ivan nodded and didn't add anything knowing Imogen wouldn't pry. He instead told her that the
beet carrot smoothie
was delicious. He was glad to be able to tell the truth on some things.

"I'm surprised but delighted. I didn't take you for somebody who would like beets."

"I actually don't like them. In a smoothie though I guess I do."

When they arrived at the parking lot of
Kransz Mart
, Ivan suddenly felt like things were happening too quick.

"Well good luck."

"Thanks." Ivan lifted his smoothie to her and gave a smile with his crimson teeth.

"You can text me about it later you know. And I'll stay in the parking lot a while. You know just in case she's not here."

Ivan told her that he would text her once he found out whether Jeannie was in the grocery store or not. And also that he would text her about what happened next. He finished the rest of his smoothie just as he approached the automatic frontdoor. He threw away the plastic cup and took a deep breath before being enveloped by hit music from a decade earlier.

Imogen ==
Imogen Howe

Ivan ==
Ivan Babikov
Georgie == 
Georgie Wilcox
Rereading for the 3rd time and finding the gems I like:

neutral, room-temperature tone
enveloped within the humid cocoon 
beat his chest like a happy gorilla child
being enveloped by hit music from a decade earlier

I don't know if you changed anything besides the full names but this read much easier for me. I followed everything and understood the subtle things as well. Like I said in the class, you have gotten much better at descriptions and details. 

2021-06-07 15:18:00
You have read three times the same text. Nothing has changed. i think reading on your own time vs reading while the writer is waiting on you makes a difference. I always find I can read something more easily and less anxiously if I don't have to worry about the writer perceiving me reading their work.

This is one thing that I think would be better about such writing clubs: to have the deadline a day or two before and then have people read before showing up.


I appreciate your observations though. You listing lines you ilke show me that you really got and understood what I was going for. There's a synergy between alll of those concepts and they weren't lost on you.

Reading your comment made me remember the feeling of having you read my fiction on
. It really felt like i had a 'fan'. Hard to describe :) 
2021-06-08 13:58:20
I have to agree with you. I like to read things at my own pace and the class felt a bit rushed. Having the deadline a day sooner with our partners assigned would be ideal... maybe have 2 people assigned per write up in case of an absence. Or have the course creator be one of the readers so there is at least one person giving feedback. 

And you are most welcome. You are good at both fiction and non-fiction writing I noticed. Even with short posts, you are able to get your readers invested in what is happening.  
I am a fan!

2021-06-08 16:01:07
Ha well with nonfiction I got a lot of practice because of
. Without it I don't think I would've ever even gotten into it at all.

I also like your idea of having two people assigned as readers. Not only because it would provide insurance in case of absenteeism but also to get more perspective.
2021-06-09 01:50:51
If you decide to teach a course like Maggie - consider me signed up.
2021-06-09 02:35:26

Echo and Narcissus Writing Club