I am not complaining. There is a roof over my head. I have clothes to wear, such as they are. I have food to eat, if there are scraps left over. And I have work to keep me busy. I am always busy.
Today, after breakfast, word came down from on high that the dresses should be mauve. Never mind that the sage dresses are almost done. They slouch from the shoulders of my dress forms as though they sense being abandoned.
My shears cut peaks and valleys along dusty rose cotton, sending up pink dust to mingle in the motes that dance in the morning sunlight. The shears make a heavy, lazy sound, chomping through the double thickness of fabric. My wrists ache, and the handles leave the flesh around my thumb indented and red.
I don’t know what inspires the urge. I have not been wrong, I am treated almost fairly, after all. If they’d taken the green dress, we could have avoided this. But I thread my needle with stiff filament and stitch the waist stay into place along the lining, with loops that will chafe and itch at the pale tender flesh of the dress’s new owner.
I am not complaining. Not so that they can hear me.
Author’s Note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I make minor grammar and spelling corrections, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.