I’ve spent many nights sitting in the stare. I wonder how I got here sitting in an antiseptic, concrete room not much bigger than the place some people take a shit in their house. I’ve blamed them all. The moronic public defender, the misogynist judge with a heart of ice and eyes to match, a dead-beat dad. Everyone but me. I suppose I’m not much different than the gals in the rooms next to me. The anger tells a sort of tableau of hate in the lines etched in their faces. Stories of innocence in a stare of lies.
Twenty-one years staring at four walls. Twenty-one years… I just celebrated moving to four syllables. Four loud syllables that anyone on the outside might hear with the clink of a beer glass; unable to grasp the hollowness of the mystery of time as it strolls past in the blink of an eye. For me, twenty-one years echoes like the heavy steel doors slamming shut each day, and time is the only true trick in the world.
I’ve had plenty of time. Time for anger, self-loathing, and practice. I’ve told you about the angry tableau we have masquerading in the joint. It belongs to the cons, the ones that secretly wish that their parents hadn’t carried them to term. The cons that just won’t let go. I came to realize that the con was what we did to ourselves, and only time could sort it out if you let its magic work. Like I said, I’ve had time for practice, and I think I have the words almost right.
There was a time I fought to stay alive just to be able to kick that judge in the balls and give my dead-beat dad a verbal lashing. Now, I realize that I killed an innocent man who did me no wrong, and I can’t wait to die so I can find him and say the words I’ve practiced.

Trifecta Writing Challenge: Grasp, 3rd definition (to lay hold of with the mind)
Studio 30+ Writing Challenge: Lies
Word count: 332


15 thoughts on “Practice

  1. Very well constructed piece of writing. I liked how you revealed the details of her incarceration, bit by bit, and how you never actually said the words she had been practising. All in all, well done.

  2. I just think this was brilliant. Assembled so perfectly, building to the discovery. Blaming everybody else but the truly responsible one – the self. Loved it!

    • Thank you. I wondered if I had committed a crime like that how long it would take me to accept responsibility. In our “entitled” generation where blame is cast anywhere but where it belongs, I figured it would have taken me just as long as it did for her.

    • Thank you. I was struggling with this part. I wasn’t sure if I should actually have her say the words or not. Then I thought about all the students I have had “hard” conversations with, times I wish I’d said something different to my wife and son, and realized that no matter how much practice, the words just won’t be perfect.

  3. I can’t even wrap my mind around that loss of freedom, though I am fascinated by the thought of it. Well-constructed and thoughtful. Thank you for linking up. Don’t forget to come back and vote at the end.

    • Though the thought of incarceration is a dismal one, there have been a few fleeting thoughts that I might actually get more writing done locked away in a cell than I do in my own home….

  4. Wow, this was a great story and you conveyed her array of emotions well. I love the ending. It seems she’s moved past regret to something deeper, though we are left to imagine the exact practiced words.

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