5.11.2006

It hasn't been long but... THEY'RE BACK!!! in a full length episode!

So I was talking to Kimmi Stewart (aka Bottom Level) today and she evidently hasn’t been reading the blog lately or SOMETHING, but she said she caught up on some of The Williams’ and said something to the effect that she was getting hooked, although it wasn’t that intense a thought I’m sure. In light of it, however, I decided to air another episode of the family. I must also say to Horse’n’Buggy that I haven’t read this lately (and don’t have the time to currently) but have dropped names and places of a certain familiar city, but don’t criticize the flippant use of their names, because I know they probably don’t make sense. I had to have something to work from, and in all honesty, see this family more in Virginia Beach or the California coast rather than where they are now… I needed a prop…

Mr. Williams was very successful, but took more pride in being humble than he did in being ostentatious. He was secure in that he knew he did not have to buy anything fancy to feel fancy, and that if he didn’t want something expensive, he could buy something cheap and not feel weakened by it. He knew that anyone who knew good Chianti or leather when they saw it would notice that the Williams’ enjoyed some nice things, but that they did not feel a need to show others. By being humble and modest, he felt that they could live well within their means as well as afford some exceptional items when they felt they were needed, such as Sarah’s private instructor, whose hourly rates were exorbitant. The family mentality was that things that were too expensive would make them nervous, and too much would make them cramped; it was just easier.

Nevertheless, he did earn a living, and he needed to get to work. That was not an issue; he enjoyed work. He walked down the hall back into his office; he put away yesterday’s things while he looked at what was in order for today. He made a list, and from that list made a list of calls he had to make. Running down this list, he left a few voicemails, and was able to scratch off the first few people. The next call was a live one, and he talked to his representative in Tallahassee for over an hour about what to do with things that were not being sold: Goodwill was not taking appliances, and in some cases, the cost of repairs was extremely high. They decided the tax write-offs were good enough.

The call had ended in time for a much-needed bathroom break. His phone rang again just as he left the room, but he cared not. He finished up, washed his hands, dried them on his robe, and walked back to his desk to see what he had missed while away. His wife had called, and left a message. She was ready to meet for lunch. She wanted to go to “the bar,” which was really not a bar at all; it was more of a sandwich shop with spirits. It was called “The Storehouse,” and it rather was. It had a little bit of everything, from breads and pastries to great cuts of meat to fine wines and liquors, all displayed on naked shelves around the restaurant, giving it a homey, general-store feel, but classy. It was near River Street, downtown.

Diane Williams was fighting traffic from the mall, where she treated herself to a new pair of jeans and sunglasses. Friday was her day. There was nothing good on the radio; she scanned through the stations, and finally defaulted to news radio. She put her sunglasses on.

“This is Susan Sanders for Talk Radio WZAP, YOUR source for the news, weather, traffic, and trifles. Republican Presidential candidate Mason Shaw is in town today, signing copies of his book, ‘It’s Not Over Yet,’ on Tybee Island, on Tenth Street, holding traffic up all the way up to the river, with an unplanned parade and visits to local eating establishments down the strip. His acceptance speech is soon to come, and will be given at the Republican National Convention held this year in Atlanta. Shaw says he’s ‘more than ready to change the face…’” Diane clicked the radio off as she passed a billboard ad for John Keys, Democratic Presidential candidate, who had already give his speech and chosen his running partner, a senator out of North Carolina. She became irritated with the banter of politics and sighed. Continuing to fight lunch traffic towards home, she made her way to The Storehouse. She could smell the lotions and oils her masseuse had used and they were relaxing.

Diane was a busy woman, although it didn’t seem like it on paper. It was life, nothing out of the ordinary. She truly enjoyed seeing her children come into their own as growing women, and, like her husband, had a large hand in their lives with regard to being in tune with her children. With Sarah in high school, and Melinda coming out and going to college, she was seeing the fruitage of their efforts. Diane had always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. She had been raised Catholic, and went to twelve years of Catholic school, but later confidently relinquished her parents’ faith (to their dismay), but they were on good terms and came to respect her independence for doing what she wanted to do. Diane Wozniak, as she was known before she married, wanted to try something different, mostly to cleanse herself and have a fresh outlook on life outside the rose-colored glasses of Catholic school. She didn’t realize it, but her desire to have a family was not spawned from her Catholic upbringing, and it stayed with her through college. She majored in English with a minor in business, but never did feel content with the professional world. She held a job with a few local newspapers as assistant editor or part-time writer, and she served well, but her real desire was to raise a family. She and Chuck met in a library while she was still in college. Chuck had dropped out of college once sure of his business success and was in the university library looking at a manual on rotary engines, while Diane was researching for a paper on the literary successes and developments made by Virginia Woolf. Because of her years spent in the professional world, she somewhat regretted not having a family earlier and therefore appreciated them more. She was protective, loving, and made sure to keep things as balanced as possible, trying never to lose sight of what was her dream for so long.

Lunch was nothing special: he had a mushroom-Swiss burger, cooked medium-well, and a root beer made at a local beverage shop; she had a Cuban sandwich with a coke. It would have been enjoyable for anyone to sit in on lunch, as they were really concerned about their children and talked about them as they would close friends. They discussed Sarah’s strengths and weaknesses on her technical and lyrical pieces she was to perform later that day and the Calculus test Mel was taking and what she still had problems with while studying the night before. They had a care and concern for their children that was all too rare in today’s society. It was with that in mind that they departed, as they went back home to drop off one of the cars to go shopping for something to have for each of their children for making it through the day. The coming weekend was a long one, with Monday off.

Chuck escorted his wife out of the restaurant and to her car, where she had parallel parked a few cars down from him. He kissed her and told her he would see her in a moment.

That night at dinner, the whole family gathered around, they discussed the day.

“Holy crap. You wouldn’t believe the Calculus test I took.”

“Before you pulled out your notes, it had been years since I’d done any Calculus,” Chuck said, sitting at the end of the almost square table, just rectangular enough to have two distinct ends. “All that studying we did was probably just as good for me as it was for you. I probably learned more. And Mom’s afraid of the stuff; she took it in Business, but neither of us ever used it.” He glanced at her with a smile, knowing that she was better at science and math  than he ever was.

“I’m just glad it’s over. I was glad we started studying and reviewing a few days in advance because it takes the pressure off learning it all over again. You know you can take your time with it if you don’t get it on Wednesday night, because you have Thursday, too.” She got up to get a glass of water, set it down on the table, stood behind her dad and leaned over him, giving him a kiss on the cheek that said “thank you.” She sat back down and smiled at her sister, who was in a great mood, and took the opportunity to listen patiently before she opened fire on her family, her excitement not letting her be brief about the audition. She was waiting for her sister to ask, and as soon as Mel gave her the smile, she took it as her cue. Mel confirmed and said “but let’s hear about the big auditions!”

“It was amazing, you guys. Remember Dr. Adams, the conductor from Stetson University? He came when we had our annual competition. He was the one that got me going with the lessons from Jen. Anyway, he was there! He had come up to listen to the auditions, but he wasn’t a judge; he was even better. He’s been chosen to commission a piece for the new season and wanted to get a beat on the strengths and weaknesses of the new group. He told me he had a few things in mind, but he didn’t know where he’d go with it. Anyway, there were thirty-four people that were trying out, and seven of them were from school, so that made me more comfortable; I know all them. The Cameron twins were there and one of them had prepared the same lyrical piece as me. I heard him through the wall while I was talking with Dr. Adams, and he messed up on the triplet parts…”

“So all in all,” Mom said, getting up, “you feel pretty confident of your performance?” Sarah didn’t like to seem overconfident or too sure.

“No, not necessarily. Dr. Stratton was a judge and we have never gotten along. He’s also the assistant director and will be conducting some of the weekend rehearsals. He might be organizing a few master classes, too.”

“It always amazes me how politically swayed that whole world is. You have to know the right people, be liked by them at that, and really play goody-goody with your top dogs.” Chuck wasn’t used to that; in his self-employed environment, accompanied by his business savvy, he never had to deal with having connections, or getting in with certain people, because he ran the whole show. He was always fascinated with the goings on and how his little girl dealt with it all so well. She always amazed him, and at times, he even wished he had gotten involved in some of the things she loved so much. He recognized her joy and passion.

“The results come back next Friday, and after we find out, we have our first audition, but it’s really more of an orientation. They’re getting us ready from the get-go, trying to figure out strengths and weaknesses and how we all mesh together. I can’t wait. A few weeks after that, we go back for chair auditions to see who gets what parts for what pieces.”

Dinner carried on in the usual way, with Dad migrating to the couch to watch the news. It was usually the girls’ responsibility to clean the kitchen since Mom makes dinner, but she decided that they had the night off. They were both tired, but decided to go upstairs in the bonus room and watch a movie while they played Scrabble. They popped some popcorn, and brought a few drinks with them. They grabbed “Pillow Talk,” and walked upstairs.

 

4 comments:

The Polyglot said...

Just to let you know, you now have over half the Williams' story as they currently exist. That's sad because it seemed like it took me so long to write, but not very long to publish it all and be completely finished with what i have.

Horse N. Buggy said...

I haven't read it yet. But what you mentioned about location represents a large stumbling block for me. I don't really pay attention to details about streets or room descriptions when I read. I don't need to visualize, I need to understand the dialogue and what is about to happen.

So when I have considered writing, I have been stopped by my inability to supply those little details. Sure, I could describe Wilmington Island in glorious detail. But how many stories can realistically be set there? I want to write about LA or London or Vienna. But I can't because I don't have the first clue how those cities operate.

I know that the first rule of writing is "write what you know." I'm afraid that trying to write would reveal that I don't know much.

Horse N. Buggy said...

Well, I could write some kind of technical manual. I would be very good at procedural stuff.

The Polyglot said...

I've seriously been considering using google earth, and then just making up the rest as i go along. Or being nondescript enough about where you are that no one can contest your details: "a town in arizona" "a small city on the california coast," or something like that, and then you can create your own town, or put the one you live in (or the one you know the best) on the coast, or in the mountains, or whatever.