Civics Lesson

by Quin

She spoke through the cigarette smoke, letting it filter her words, her memories. "It was horrible after the fall, when the Government vanished overnight," she said, giving the word a capital letter, making it a person, not a thing. "We stood in line for everything: food, clothing, ration coupons, coupons to get coupons. My parents stood in line for two weeks to get furniture, taking turns in that line just to get furniture for us to live on, and it was bad, ugly furniture that was like our lives, flimsy and handed down, but, it was ours. When we could afford good furniture, my mother made my father keep one piece, so we could remember, as if I would forget going to school in boys underwear." Her words fell to the floor when she stopped talking, reminding me she was only 23, and all of this had happened in a time when I was worried if shoulder pads would stay in fashion another season, and I wept.


Quin, author of Words, is the nom de plume of a woman born and raised in New Orleans, who spent time in Colorado and later in Utah (where theater was discovered and taken to heart). Her children are loved forever, a terrier sleeps at her feet, and words ache to escape onto paper. Her version of life in New York is here.


golfwidow said...


Deborah said...

Tell more. You point out our rampant "gotta have it" crisis more clearly.

writerwoman said...

It gives a new perspective to recent history and reminds me to keep a global view on things. That is quite a lot to accomplish with six sentences.

Quin said...

to all who've read this, thank you. to those who commented, your words were read, and thought about, and they added depth to what i wrote about. thank you for that gift.

mgirl said...

Wow! All I can do is read it over and over. This is a great six.