Five Words

Five words. They stayed with me all day.

I bought the inaugural issue of Memoir (and) magazine one year ago, but I haven’t had a chance to look at it until this morning.

I opened to the middle, page 93, an essay by Karen Weil titled “The Year Bess Truman Died.” Good honest memoir writing. But I stopped on a paragraph on page 98, just to savor it for a while.

“I have fallen…someplace soft. Snoopy sheets, army blankets…I don’t know how it happened, but it did: We are at Abby and Annie’s, our old friends’ house, all of us together in blankets and sleeping bags on the great room floor. The feel of fleece on my fingertips tells me this is no dream.  This sleepover almost didn’t happen. ‘Karen’s outgrown her Mickey Mouse sleeping bag,’ Mother said as soon as Mrs. Weissenborn proposed the idea. ‘We have plenty of blankets,’ Mrs. Weissenborn had said. Sure enough, she did. I am under three layers of them right now, and I am as warm as winter oatmeal.”

...as warm as winter oatmeal.

Nice.

Not warm like oatmeal or as warm as oatmeal, but as warm as WINTER oatmeal, because winter oatmeal is different from summer oatmeal. Think about it. I can see it, feel it, taste it, experience it. Winter oatmeal. Steamy, warm all the way down.

I like it.

I wonder if I can get away with using those five words in my memoir. Surely there was a time when I was as warm as winter oatmeal.

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One Comment on “Five Words”

  1. Motto of the communications business: there’s no such thing as an original idea! And you can snatch five words in journalism without attribution.


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