The national novel writing month approaches. During this month, the challenge is to complete a 50,000 word novel starting on November 1, 2009 through November 30, 2009. The general daily goal is 1667 words a day. Although I am not suppose to start writing, I have submitted an excerpt for my NaNoWriMo home page which I am submitting here. I chose as the title, abandonner which is the French verb, to abandon. Chick Lit is my genre for NaNoWriMo. It is a topic of interest for me. The inner workings of the woman’s mind and her behavior in a natural setting is an avocation for me. I was the first grandson in a household full of women who pampered and spoiled me back in Korea. This was my Eden. Immigrating to America tore me away from this idyllic state, and the tables are now turned.
This coming month’s effort is dedicated to my deceased grandmother who, it is said, would terrorize the household, sending maids and daughter-in-laws out to the market in search of whatever rare, out of season, imported, or altogether-difficult-to-find fruit, viand, cake, dumpling or morsel that I demanded. I was that important at one time. So here you go, a rare and hopefully tasty tidbit of what is to come draining out of my head:
Parma, Ohio 1975
When I was six, a little Serbian girl fell in love with me. She had alabaster skin with black hair in pixie bangs, and I remember her green eyes staring at me. She always wore a brown knit sweater, a cardigan, that I later found out was made by her grandmother in Serbia. Sometimes she wore a black beret. I was doodling at my desk when she grabbed my hand and dragged me over to her desk. It was late fall and we were all working on Halloween drawings. She handed me a Valentine and kissed me on the cheek and ran away.
We became inseparable that year, the first grade couple of note. We were going to get married. We held hands and ate lunch together and played house with poignant accuracy. Hers was a Serbian household constructed of small wooden furniture and plastic. I mostly did what she told me to do. That Easter, she shared with me a rough bread with a kind of butter she called kajmak. The only time we fought was when I wanted to play ball with the other boys during recess. She would fume and watch with singleminded determination.
Summer came and we promised to see each other in the fall. I lied. She looked sad as we walked down to the school entrance and went opposite ways. She thought it was going to be a summer of separation as our parents did not socialize only to be reunited in the fall. I knew it would be goodbye forever as we were going to move away, but I was rendered mute. When I got home, I was whisked away to a family friend’s to stay the night as our furniture was packed. We left the next morning.
It would be nice to say that I think about her frequently, but that is not true. I hardly think about her at all. If I do, its mostly to wonder if she remembered me and thought about me, and how remarkably sad she must have been that following fall. I decided, in my first grade mind, to not dwell on such sad matters and move forward. If this sadness made me heavy with regret, it would be a rejection of it to let me be light again. But I do think about her, and it was thirty five years later that I met her again…