One thing you can say about Mini Sledgehammer: it’s never boring! Kristin arrived after taking two buses to find the venue double booked (with a pleasant group talking about dying over a microphone).
She spotted three of our regulars in the corner. They chatted; they decided the night wasn’t right for a Mini. Two of the three left; Kristin waited for the third as she used the restroom. While Kristin did so, a familiar face appeared: two of our main Sledgehammer participants had been sitting across the room!
So then there were three, and they had prompts, and Kristin had wine, and they wrote. No one cared about the prizes–they just wanted to write. But there was a winner! Congratulations, Kevin!
Character: A patient participant
Action: Double booking
Setting: A sunnier place
Prop: A mandarin collar
by Kevin Nusser
Usually I am patient, good at standing still and thinking. In middle school, I would lie on the couch bored to death. My Mom would go down a litany of things to do. I would tell her I was beyond boredom, too bored to do anything more than stare up at the ceiling. Usually I am patient.
On the weekends, I stand outside the goodwill outlet store for an hour in the cold, just for the chance to bring the first at the old books. In that line of thirty people I am patient.
But this line is not about patience. It is about desperation. We have all been told the chances of getting on this flight to a sunnier place. We all can feel that warmth. But this flight has been double booked. And this line suggests bookings of infinitely more.
I stand behind a little girl dressed in a fine kimono with a mandarin collar. She is not a patient participant, exhausting her mother and already tired of the few magic tricks that I know.
We slowly shuffle forward, inching towards that place in sunnier weather. I do not know whether I am waiting to get on the plane or waiting for the signal that my life is doomed.
A block from the terminal the doors are shut by national guardsman. I think of wasted minutes as the Mom hugs the kimonoed girl.
And yet, we stay in line. Usually I am patient, even to death.
(c) Kevin Nusser 2012