First Sentence by Désirée Matlock

For Carol Worthey

Make your OWN first sentence!!!!!!!!!

She stood in the doorway of his dorm room, yelling top of her lungs, right in front of all the other freshmen. His mother truly could not be more embarrassing.

“Why are you asking me to write it for you? Are you or are you not the son of the great Leonard Adelmann? You got the bug from him, and you don’t need my help. Well, not in writing!” She licked her thumb and reached toward his face. He backed up. Her arm came down.

He sat on the windowsill, and she walked farther into the room.

“Ma. Please.” He pushed up his glasses and rubbed his nose where they pinched, sighing. “Ma, calm down. I’m just dealing with writer’s block, and I can’t leave with you or anyone until I get this article written for Professor Wundt. I’m supposed to do 500 words ab-”

“You leave us waiting in the car for this? Your tanta and I have been waiting for you for a half hour already. What do you mean you haven’t even written the first sentence yet? Your cousin Bernie would already be done.”

He stood and pointed “Ma, first off, you’re not stuck in the car. You could walk down to one of the restaurants or -”

“I’m not going into one of those places. Someone could reefie me.”

“It’s roofie, ma.”

“Whatever. You want your mother raped by some crazy drugged out college frat boy? These things happen.” She looked behind her down the hall like her worst nightmare was about to attack her. She didn’t see anyone, so she shrugged.

“Ma, that’s not going to happen. Besides, I’m one of those frat boys and you like me fine. You should just find a good restaurant, and get something to eat while I finish this. It’s not really a big deal.” He held up a hand when she started to speak.

“Second off, you’re four hours early. I’m not ready. I was going to be ready at one when you were supposed to arrive, but I’m not. And you didn’t call.”

“We wanted an early start. Agnes was sure that traffic would be horrible by rush hour.” She might have been right, but tracking back this meant that they left the house at three or four am.

“Well, wander around the city some, Ma; it won’t hurt you. I need to finish this report on world war two for Professor Wundt and I’m not leaving until-”

“Wundt? With that name he already knows all about the war, dear, from the other side. And why would you want to write this for him? Write this for your own people.” She wagged a finger at him.

“I think Professor Wundt is Asian, Ma. You’re safe from the Nazis here.”

Her face screwed up in confusion at the idea of an Asian with a German last name living in America.  Or maybe at the idea of a female professor. He didn’t care. He needed to stop it with the writer’s block, and she needed to understand that four hours early was not possible.

“Oy vey, Ma, I am not leaving until this is done. You want I should anger my new professors? You want I should risk my future because you’re bored and you got here four hours early? I’ll be down soon enough. There is a really good classic movie theatre just down the road. Why don’t you and Agnes watch a movie while you wait?” He dug in his pocket and pulled out a fifty.


“I don’t need your money. Fine. Don’t worry about me, Mr. Big Stuff; if I die, I’ll still be fine. I’ll be back with my Lenny!!!” She yelled as she walked off. Probably storming off to grab Agnes and head off to the movies. Good. She’d be fine, no reefies or crazy frat boys were likely to be a problem for a few more hours.

Somehow, arguing with his mother had loosened up his writer’s block enough that it only took him about an hour and twenty minutes to pound out the assignment, and email it off through the university’s servers.

Done and done. Ten minutes later, he was packing his duffel for the trip up to the Catskills with his mother and aunt, and about to go track them down at the theatre, when Tripp barreled through the door.

“Hey Abe! You wanna go check out the new porno place tonight?” Eyebrows raised luridly.

“What, is there a new video store or something?”

“No, some old theatre got converted, they’re apparently showing some real doozies. Old black and white skin flicks. It’s fucking ART, man! They can’t shut it down if it’s ART.” Tripp giggled, and sounded high.

“Are you kidding me? I’m not watching that stuff in public? Even if it is art. Besides, I’ve got a family thing-” he froze. “Where is this place?”

“Just up the road. Why?” Tripp looked bored, head leaning out into the hall again.
“Up the road which way?”

“Uphill.” The theatre Abe had sent his mother to was the other way.

“Oh no.” He realized he’d never specifically told his mother which way to go. Hopefully, they’d wandered downhill. Or worse, what if he’d sent her there not knowing it had changed? He’d never hear the end of it. “Oh no oh no oh no oh no.” His hand clamped over his mouth, then the other one over top of that.

Tripp wandered off to go find some other person interested in a pornographic outing.

“Oh well,” he shrugged his duffel off one shoulder, “I hope she liked her movie, either way,” he addressed to no one in particular. It wouldn’t change how his weekend went. He was in for misery either way. He walked out, resigned to his fate of a family reunion in the Catskills all weekend.


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One response to “First Sentence by Désirée Matlock

  1. Pingback: First Sentence | Desiree Matlock | Author

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