However, this past August, I saw a callout for submissions for an anthology based on the 2020 pandemic. Obviously, at the time the editor posted that, he figured, as did most of us, that soon we were going to look back on the Covid 19 pandemic as a past experience. Consequently, he chose the title, "Hindsight."
I learned earlier this week that the editor has accepted my piece, with kind words indeed: "It is my pleasure to inform you that your story has been accepted for publication in Hindsight's print anthology. 'Taco Tuesdays 2020' is a moving story of friendship and resilience during an extremely challenging year."
This one small success hasn't yet inspired me to spend more time at my keyboard, crafting more stories about my life. Some days I think I've written every story I want to write. I do, however, encourage others who haven't yet written about their lives.
When I asked if this print anthology would be published by early summer, in time for my 85th birthday, I found that it wouldn't come out until September. I plan to hold on that long to see this story in print.
Here's how I introduced my piece:
I ignited New Year’s Day in 2020 by dropping a match while lighting a pine-scented candle on the bookcase next to my old glider rocker. I scooped up the match and blew out the flicker. But when my ceiling alarm shrieked I noticed that a spark had landed on my chair’s foam cushion. I quickly dragged the smoldering seat onto my balcony and smothered the flames eating the fabric.
I hoped it wasn’t an omen. I’d looked forward to a shiny new year.
An hour later, my new friend, Rob, phoned. I’d met him a few months earlier when we each were fresh from breakups of similarly toxic three-year relationships. Saying goodbye to romantic attachments is not an easy transition for two people in their early eighties.
Rob and I shared a mutual love of theater, jazz concerts, museums, art galleries and movies, so at the onset of our friendship, we’d visited these and began to commemorate Taco Tuesdays.
“Are you up to Happy Hour next Taco Tuesday?” he asked me now on New Year’s Day. “It’s my turn to treat.”
Stay tuned until September to see how the story plays out. A hint: I no longer celebrate those Taco Tuesdays with that friend.Last week, on the evening of New Year's Day, 2022, I didn't bother to light a candle. But I did finish reading a harrowing book about another pandemic, "Seven Days of Us," by Franesca Horniak. I recommend it!