Frequency: Or (wan)

OR (wan)

or you could turn a page

Wan with jet lag, Dave pleaded with Jenny to forgive him for whatever slight had been at the root of the breakup this time around. He presented her with gifts from Asia: one of those scroll paintings of mountains and flowers, one of those silk robes geisha wear, one of those fancy fans.

or it could come in a new form

Though she was looking wan and feeling a little sick, the twins’ birthday party was the highlight of her week. As the boys opened their gifts from her, Maggie’s sister gave her a soulful look. The gifts were more extravagant this year than usual, but she knew they wanted a Wii and the robot dinosaurs were a tremendous hit. She wondered if setting up a small trust fund in her will for future birthday presents would be welcomed or just morbid.

or you could come with me

If a few things had turned out differently, Charlie might very well have ended up married to Helen. When he had had to move to Philadelphia, she greeted the news with a wan expression. She was happy where she was, in her little Greenwich Village apartment with everything right there, and things wouldn’t need to change. They could keep things light the way they always had. She wasn’t ready just yet to settle down, certainly not in Philly. Then he met Anna, and like that she was pregnant, and then the baby. Things got complex.

or it could have been before our time

At lunch with the state party chairman, Dave nursed his second martini, while the wan-faced old man sucked down his third, telling stories of the old days, when things were done with a handshake, when you could still trust people, when you could go with the guy you liked rather than the person who matched the demographics of the district according to some pollster’s computer. Dave called for the check before the lizard ordered another. They weren’t going to back his candidate, that much was clear.

or we could work with them

Kent partnered up with a wan little accountant named Pete who liked to bowl. He needed the extra capital. Pete liked to have meetings at the bowling alley. Said it was the only way he could fit it into his schedule, and good to mix business and pleasure. Trouble was Kent had never developed much of a bowling game, and it distracted him, watching this number-cruncher rack up strike after strike, while Kent was lucky if he bagged the occasional spare.

or we could set out for a new land

While he was on the road, unless he was in the kind of place that justified a major outlay (Vegas, New York, Atlantic City), Johnnie tried to live on the cheap. The inheritance wouldn’t last forever. He spent a lot of in time in the kind of roadside motels that hadn’t seen their best days since the development of the interstate system, the type of establishment where wan chain-smoking zombie clerks ask if you’ll be renting by the night or by the hour before handing you clean sheets and towels with your keys.

or you could look around

Maggie decided to take a road trip to Nebraska, where she had been born and gone to the university. Everybody thought she was nuts, but she felt like she need to reconnect with her roots. It was January and there’s not much to see in that part of the world even in summer. She got caught in a bad storm near Kearney, pulled the car off onto the shoulder, got out of the car and wandered out into the fields, snow stinging her face, the world shrouded in wan light.

or you could be my first

Johnnie was on a coke binge in Reno when he met a wan-faced dancer with skin like a bowl of milk who promised him something special if he’d come to her place the next afternoon. She was pretty as a white-chocolate-covered-chocolate so he showed up at the appointed time. She asked him to put on a furry animal costume. It was fun for a while, he playing the lion, she playing the lamb, but something about it seemed strangely asexual and he couldn’t get it up when the time came to close the deal.

or you could ask why

In the wan light of the setting sun, Helen wondered if she would ever feel settled in one place, much less at one with the universe. She wasn’t sure if her trouble was just poor choices in men, or if it came from a place deeper inside of her.

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