Waffles & Honey
by J. Bradley
I walk in the bicycle lane with your voice. Traffic in my left ear chops and screws part of your sentences. I don’t care if I can’t understand part of what you say; you are a taut ribbon.
I’m working for the day I lumber through the door and you are sitting on the couch, eraser in your mouth, and you cock your head toward me and ask how my day was, where I don’t have to walk with traffic just to have an excuse to hear you.
Note: “Waffles & Honey” originally in Stripped: A Collection of Anonymous Flash on October 28, 2011.
What surprising, fascinating stuff can you tell us about the origin, drafting, and/or final version of “Waffles & Honey” that might interest readers, writers, students, and/or publishers of flash fiction?
Part of my commute to my office previously involved walking against traffic in bicycle lanes to get to my bus stop, as Orlando is not known for being pedestrian friendly. I was talking to a friend while on my way home one day and I had a hard time understanding everything said because of all the traffic around me. When I finally got home that day, I had the image of walking against traffic, the challenging in hearing all of a conversation and I used that core idea to create this story.
The greatest thing you can do for yourself is to never seek out ideas for stories or poems. If you try to seek them out, you won’t find what you want. By maintaining an open mind, by not expecting yourself to come to the story or poem, the ideas will come. What you do with them once they come is up to you.
J. Bradley’s is a Best of the Net and Pushcart Prize nominated writer whose work has appeared in numerous literary journals including decomP, Hobart, and Prairie Schooner. He was the Interviews Editor of PANK, the Flash Fiction Editor of NAP, and the Web Editor of Monkeybicycle. He is the author of the poetry collection Dodging Traffic (Ampersand Books, 2009), the novella Bodies Made of Smoke (HOUSEFIRE, 2012), the graphic poetry collection The Bones of Us (YesYes Books, 2014), illustrated by Adam Scott Mazer, and the prose poem chapbook It Is A Wild Swing Of A Knife (Choose the Sword, 2015). He is the curator of the Central Florida reading series There Will Be Words and lives at iheartfailure.net.
FF.Net Editor Commentary (Randall Brown)
Sounds, sounds! The near rhyme of mouth and couch The –s of chops & screws & sentences. The beat of “sitting on the couch/eraser in your mouth.” That –u of excuse & you. The you sits in the middle of excuse. The piece itself is about asking, understanding, hearing. In your own very short fiction, Dear Reader, think of sounds as a major force in the meaning making mechanism.