Flash in the Pan

A Quarterly Posting at Tiny Lights

First Cut

by Kathleen Beard

"The first cut is the deepest

baby, I know the first cut is the deepest."

Cat Stevens

When my sister was 17, I remember her coming home from a dance late winter's night. I can see her throwing the coveted maxi coat on the floor and running up to her room. Only after trying the coat on, did I make my way up the staircase to sit silently outside her bedroom door. Inside, I could hear the muffled sounds and breaths of the pain of first cut. I was not sure of what I should feel worse about-- not being able to understand and make her feel better, or my selfish thoughts of just wanting that coat. I sat in the hall with the coat wrapped around me and listened to her tears.

30 years have passed.

I found myself amidst the holiday revelry, shopping for toys for my youngest. I am alone.

I watch the husbands and wives, girlfriends and boyfriends, lovers and lookers on my mission. I walk among them detached, so sad. Earlier that morning, I had been cut.

I do manage to enjoy a grande peppermint mint hot chocolate, so I know deep down I am not in line for Forest Lawn. Only my heart is. I think of constructing one of those giant mausoleum buildings, and placing portraits of my lost loves in there. One of those drawers certainly will not do, I could fill a granite building at this stage of my life. Filled with those red candles the dead read by.

I sip on my chocolate, and continue on. As I make my way to the toy store, I pass briefly through the women's department at Macy's. I spot it. Black. Mid-length. Small coat buttons from an Austin novel. I slip it on, and make my way to the register.

"Please charge it, and could I borrow your scissors? If it is ok I would like to wear it now."

Kathleen Beard

Farmington , Maine


Third Flash

Subterranean Howl by Carol Howard
Western Spirits by Lynn Edge
Memory Slip by Elizabeth Kern
When I Call by Arlene Mandell
Striking Out by Glenn Mccrea
I Was Just One Of The Whites by Anne E. Silber
Mountain Summer by Sindee Ernst
Life After Seinfeld by Robin Leslie Jacobson
Tonight by Susan Bono

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