created, maintained, and curated by womyn, for all.
April's theme is
MOTHERS & SISTERS.
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RAINCOAT is a community of musicians, writers, visual artists, filmmakers, and more. We champion the work of womyn and the nurturing of safe, dynamic spaces that encourage its creation and distribution.
Greg tore his eyes from the window, glancing from his fork to his lap to the cloth flower on his table before resting on the TV playing Jeopardy! directly across from him. She was late. Maybe she wouldn’t be coming. He watched Jeremy, an earnest-looking Asian contestant wearing a UC Irvine sweatshirt wildly gesticulate before focusing on the delayed closed captioning lining the bottom of the screen that detailed his “fun” obsession with crossword puzzles and his devoted involvement in his college’s glee club before looking back to the window. The petite waitress came back, filling his glass with water, spilling some on the table. A drop or two fell onto his pants. Greg looked up at her as kindly as he could, making an empathetic horizontal waving motion with his hand to signify that it was “okay.” She scurried off behind the counter and he took out his phone from his pocket—7:51 PM. It had been an hour since he arrived. He felt weird about it. He decided to stay until 8:00 PM.
Greg had been living in Los Angeles for the past four years. After graduating, he drove cross-country with his best friend Courtney, only stopping for donuts or to turn in for the night. Even during the trip, he knew that it would be the best experience he would ever have in his lifetime, which bothered him. Courtney moved back to New Hampshire when his mom got sick, and from the moment he left, Greg had been feeling veritably alone. Greg made “friends” at the studio where he worked in Burbank when he first arrived, but ended up dating both of them and thereby isolating himself from both of their social circles at the studio once things turned sour. His days were mostly filled with reading mediocre scripts written by Diablo Cody-wannabes and overblown military thrillers about neo-Nazism, and then telling everyone around him how terrible they were and then having everyone around him say that they did “really sound terrible.” They would all laugh about it, saying “terrible, just terrible” before picking up their next terrible thing and getting back to work.
After work, Greg would either go to the Thai place or the Indian place five blocks down and read Nabokov or some Elizabeth Bishop to remind himself that the English language was “worth it.” This was either his favorite or least favorite part of his day. Greg had always despised and feared eating alone, and sometimes thought to himself that that was the only reason he dated both/either of those girls from his office in the first place. Joni (the first) was pretty and smart but frustratingly inarticulate. After breaking things off with her when she described, in the span of one week, not just a short story he sent her, but also an album he gave her and a movie they saw as “fucking insane,” Greg began to pursue their friend Bryn. Bryn proved to be much lesser company than Joni, but Greg stayed in it for three months because he liked her eyes and because his apartment didn’t have heating. That was two years ago.
Greg picked up his fork and tried to scoop up the remaining peanut bits at the bottom of his bowl, suddenly craving donuts and inundated with this nagging feeling that he should call his dad either later that night or early the next morning. He put down his fork and slid his phone out of his pocket, writing “Call Dad” in a note that consisted of a small list of things he needed to get from Target and three lines that said
So many sleeves
Harnessing the moon: the moon diet!
He put his phone on the table, wondering what the “441735” could possibly be and if it was important that he remembered. He looked back at the TV to see that one of the categories was titled “Food Glorious Food,” and grabbed his phone to try to get a picture of it but by the time his camera app opened, it switched from Jeopardy! to some commercial featuring various bright-eyed women smiling in hammocks. He watched the commercial play out on the screen of his phone.
“Are you filming this yogurt commercial?”
It took Greg a moment to realize that
the question was directed at him
that what he was watching was indeed a commercial for yogurt
that it looked like he was filming this yogurt commercial on his phone
He turned to respond to the woman who asked while muttering a drawn-out “yes” under his breath. He looked up. It was her. He turned his head back to the TV, staring at nothing.
Greg looked back at her, confused. He felt his tongue lingering on the roof of his mouth and guessed from its placement that he previously said “yes” to her question, instead of the truth which was “no” he had not been filming that yogurt commercial. She was wearing the same black, high-waisted slacks that she wore the first time that he saw her come into the Thai place. Not exceedingly pretty, Greg took note of her because she came in alone, tan jacket hanging from the crook of her arm, clutching a small paperback in her hand that was frustratingly unidentifiable from where Greg was sitting that day.