Good Narrative Principles

Mistakes Big and Small


IMG_5864The first mistake Christopher made was using his worst pick up line on Ruby, a woman who was clearly out of his league. He spotted Ruby’s tattoo drawn on her carpal bone, an area he was intimately familiar with as it pained him on a daily basis. It was a tattoo of a watch face frozen at 3:20. He should have simply asked her the significance of that time, but he didn’t get around to it until they were sharing oatmeal the next morning.

The second mistake was not politely declining to eat the oatmeal she had slow cooked just for the two of them. How could he? In the early morning sun, Christopher noticed that Ruby’s hair was a hypnotic blend of orange red, chestnut brown with flecks of gray. Was every woman’s hair a complex symphony of color or was it just hers? He could have easily buried his face in her gentle curls and never left. Instead, wearing yesterday’s underwear and socks, Christopher headed to court and felt naughty, nasty, a bit ripe but ready to rumble. Now, in front of the judge and jury, Christopher registered the full weight of his mistake. The oatmeal had worked its magic and was boring through his lower GI track with the insistence of a surging wave. Christopher was sweating bullets. He held on tight for ten minutes…twenty minutes. Fighting back tears, he approached the bench and begged the judge for a short recess. He spotted Ruby tracking him, but was in too much distress to even wave as he bolted towards the door. If she wasn’t there when he came back, so be it. We’re all machines he thought afterwards and washed his hands.

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