THE CRITIQUE GROUP
We talk about giving birth and menopause, about celebrities we would jump in bed with if we had the opportunity, about being married forever from one of us, and not having a date in eighteen months, shit, maybe more— and about your grandmother: How is she? Her home in Chevy Chase is being sold. Ninety years old, and my parents have decided that she can not live alone anymore— the unreliable furnace and those long flights of stairs leading to all those unopened rooms. We gather closer to her, the youngest among us, and urge her to write more, about her grandmother, about what matters and what terrifies. What we think to ourselves: How did we find one another? How lucky we are— four women poised between twenty-nine and fifty. What we say aloud: We should meet more often. We drink more wine, weep, scream, howl, beat our fists against one another, laugh gulping for air, a certain power in us to write about anything. And he always arrives late, slick with sweat, riding his bicycle on even the coldest of nights, changing the pheromones in the wide-open room. When he says: Did I miss anything? We say: We haven’t even started.
The Critique Group was included in the new anthology, ABUNDANT GRACE published by Richard Peabody and Paycock Press in December, 2016, and featuring women writers in the Washington DC area. My fiction selection is one of the shortest in this amazing collection. Praise be to Richard Peabody for including it. Copies of the anthology can be purchased at http://www.gargoylemagazine.com/paycock.