So, this month I’m doing a challenge to write a micro a day, for Just-Jot-It-January. Thanks to Linda G. Hill, bloggers in the “Play Group” have proposed a one-word prompt for each day. We share our responses back to Linda’s page, and are able to read what others come up with. I’ll post my responses every few days in bundles, to respect your in-boxes. But if a prompt tickles your imagination, please click its connecting link to read more!
January 18: Cycle
You’re huddling in a downtown vestibule, at the bitter edge of the neo-trendy Warehouse district, waiting for entry to an open-space office building for tech/engineering nerds. Like me. Like so many. Before quarantine and COVID and vaccination status became the second question in every off-the-record casual conversation. You’re hoping for a change in the weather, for a job, even a temporary job, to come around.
It’s bitter cold, and you stare out the entry window, around the snow piled up in its corners from last night’s snowstorm. Around the ice that filigrees its inner edges from the cycle of cold, warm, snowy, frigid, indeterminate, snowy, that has repeated itself for seemingly six months. And you’re dreaming of Spring, even if the first two months will only add a muddy period into the cycle.
You press the entry buzzer once again. It’s past the hour of 9 a.m. and past the interview’s assigned time. Surely there’s someone up there, ready to let you inside, into the inner hallways, if they have any in this mostly-rehabbed space. You imagine the echoes you cannot hear, as no one answers your call.
The plows have been through, twice in its cycle, and a few brave drivers slide along the street, powering through intersections like a motor boat cutting engines to roll through heavy waves. They have jobs to get to, and working from home is still mostly frowned upon during these times. That is, unless you have the independence and chops to work as a consultant, or own your own tech-based business.
And then you see it: A person bundled up in snow pants and parka, mittens like bear’s claws, a black leather face mask and trailing scarf, Sorrel boots steadily churning through the intersection and in between cars, and turning into a side street without losing balance on the unicycle he (or she) is riding. You watch in amused amazement and admiration as the cyclist pedals out of sight through the blowing snow.
The intercom crackles to life and a person says your name. You turn, press the speaker button, and answer. As the door buzzes, granting access, you consider the unicyclist and decide: I’ve got this.
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)
To see others’ Jan 18 responses click the following:
January 17: Joy
Prelude to Joy
Snap into skis, poles astride
Snow sparks herald winter’s first smooth glide
Evokes a sense of rhythm
Muscle memory slow to start
Twelve months’ time has drained the heart
Stiff trip rather than glide
Jog across the unsheltered plain
Dodge sharp wind, tree line to gain
Wheezing engine gets you there
Preset tracks double and divide
Thin layer of ice defines your guide
Excited crackle lengthens the stride
Heat, cold work as one
Pole tips tap, you are the sun
Full joy, snow’s best run
© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2022)
To see others’ Jan 17 responses click the following: