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The Unfinished Journal

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The Unfinished Journal

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This creative writing journal was prompted by an assignment in Dr. Hannigan’s English 9 class where students read the short story “Popular Mechanics,” by Raymond Carver.   

This journal is written from the point of view of the Woman.

December 13,1983

Dear Journal,

I feel so much pain.  I wish I knew what type of man he was before anything else. I’ll explain what happened earlier today.  It seemed as if the weather knew that something bad would happen, and it did.

The weather? It was just melting water turning into dirty water.  I walked into the bedroom and saw him pushing his clothes into his suitcase.  I stood at the door and without thinking twice I said, “I’m glad your leaving.  Do you hear?”

I felt horrible, and he just stood there continuing to push his clothes into his suitcase.  This time I did think, and I realized that I’ve had enough! He is just standing there quiet. Acting as if he was a victim?  Or was I the victim? Would I be the worst mother if I tried to take my baby from this horrible man?

So many questions, yet I chose not to know any of those answers.

I DON’T REGRET A THING!! It’s upsetting to know that I trusted this man. He looked at the baby’s photo, picked it up and walked away. I told him to bring it back. I told him just to get out; he had no right to take the photo of my baby.

He didn’t respond. He looked around the bedroom before he left. I stood in the doorway and held my baby. He wanted my baby!  Okay, I understand that it’s our baby, but he was the one who made the mistake.

It’s as if the baby knew what I was talking about and began to cry. He moved towards me saying he’ll get someone to pick up the baby’s things. He took a step forward and I took a step backward.

He said again, “I want the baby.” I was petrified, but I had to snap right out of it. Although I put my hand around the baby, he came up behind me reaching his hands out to grab the baby from me. I told him to let go, but he wouldn’t.

“Get away” I cried. I don’t know if I was seeing things, but the baby was screaming and his face was red. While trying to get away with my baby, we knocked down a flowerpot–the one that hung behind the stone.  I quickly rushed and tried getting away, but then he crowded me into a wall trying to break my grip.

I was certain he was going to get the baby. So many thoughts rushed through my head, and I was terrified. He held onto the baby and pushed with all his weight. He demanded that I let go of the baby. I demanded that he let go of the baby.  

Little did he realize that he was hurting the baby. The kitchen window gave no light.  It was nearly dusk, but he kept trying to get me to let go. I grabbed the baby’s arm and pulled back. So did he and I could tell that he was scared that he was losing this baby.

I’ll return to this story in a couple of minutes, I have to be excused…

Like Raymond Carver’s story, which has no ending, this journal has no ending.

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