Making Lemonade In Greece

This piece of writing done by yours truly came from one of the weekly writing prompts I send out to my subscribers (click here to sign up if you haven't yet!); I tried the exercise myself first and was kind of surprised at how well it worked to help me write about a memory I had previously been unsure how to approach. I decided to post it, even though it's definitely just a rough copy with very little editing done (that's my nervous disclaimer), just to give an example of what I hope these prompts do for you: open up memories and stories that are already inside of you and give you a way into writing them. This piece isn't perfect and isn't even necessarily a fully formed idea yet, but the goal of these exercises (both the writing prompts in the course and in the weekly email) is to help fight past all the excuses in our brains telling us we aren't ready to write, or don't know how, or don't have an ending, or know where to start, or have enough time, yada yada, and just WRITE already. If you're wondering what the exercise was, sign up to receive weekly writing prompts and you'll receive a little email from me every Saturday morning!


When you held them in your hand- so bright, unnatural as space- little yellow bellies like small creatures, pursed lips on either end- skin bright as acid or something that burns going down.
We were so tanned and so giddy- having just fled the street bombs in Athens to an absurdly obscure island off the coast of Greece where my college crush was rumoured to be. We were unbombed and unleashed. He wasn't there yet, at least I hadn't seen him, and while I kept one eye on the shoreline for his boat I kept the other on you both- I was self-conscious then, you two so thin and brown and your hair so long. I made up for it with acid pink lipstick and a loud mouth.

He was the tiniest old wrinkled man living in that dark house at the bottom of the hill- he let us use his salt and pepper those first days and after that all the lemons we wanted from the lemon trees. We literally made lemonade- the tiny iron porch- hair swathed- blue sundresses- do you remember what it tasted like? I do not- only the puckering bitterness of the flesh before it was sugared, only the waxy pith on my tongue. Did we even fill a pitcher? We must have. Where we got the sugar I don't know. Perhaps down by the docks with the old men playing cards and drinking the soot black espresso. It was there I first saw him finally arrived- he walked by on the stone shore and didn't recognize me at first- why would he? Halfway across the world I'd come to see him, dark and strong. The lemons were a distraction- a way to pass the time until he showed up with his motor bike and- what else?- a girlfriend he'd found on the boat- hair bright as sun.

The lemonade- I remember here- squinted our faces up before we added the sugar- we had no idea how much sugar it actually took to really cut the bite of their flesh- cups and cups of it- so much strength in those small globes- you could hold them bright in your hand and not know the power inside- how they could make a grown man cry, how innocent they looked before resting on a tongue. 

As Frankenstein's ill-fated lover, Elizabeth, would say:
"Adieu! Take care of yourself; and, I entreat! write!"