This Week’s To Do List by Michelle Elvy

(or: Twelve things I’m gonna do before I’m thirty, not necessarily in this order, but probably all in one week, since I turn thirty next Thursday)

1. Go to Stef’s Subshop and order a foot-long kielbasa with kraut and mustard and extra peperoncinis.

2. Buy a decent amp and a guitar — preferably a Stratocaster like I used to have, but let’s face it, any ol’ guitar will do.

3. Swim far out into the Atlantic, then float there til dark – like we did when we were kids.

4. Start new job.

5. Dig my LP’s out of Cyril’s basement; dust off Hank Williams and Dave Alvin, Tom Waits and Lou Reed.

6. Rent all of The Godfather movies and watch them in one go.

7. Get a library card.

8. Visit my mother.

9. Kick my kid brother Frank’s ass.

10. Get out of jail.

11. Send this postcard to Penny that says: Meet me at Harris Point for my birthday.

12. Drive to Harris Point and wait.


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Filed under Michelle Elvy

15 responses to “This Week’s To Do List by Michelle Elvy

  1. guy

    What’s really interesting about this is the library card.

    Is he going to check out season 2 of the Sopranos? Pass the GED? The road to serfdom? the DaVinci code? Hassle Penny at the reference desk? Or just use the computer?

  2. I’m assuming I’m supposed to think the ‘Get out of Jail’ is the saddest entry, but it’s not. The fact that she doesn’t have a library card breaks my heart.

  3. You guys crack me up. I think you’re thinking about his list more than he is. And I don’t think ‘get out of jail’ is the saddest — that must be one of the best things this week. He probably had a library card in jail, but that won’t be much good now… I’d say he’s looking forward to a pretty good week. And Guy, I think he must be a nerdy criminal type who landed in jail because of some terrible misunderstanding. But who knows — he never told me his whole story.

  4. Walter

    I thought he meant get out of jail because he will be kicking Frank’s ass to wind up there, not that he is in jail now. Its always good to book your jailtime in advance.

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Love the range of things he misses, from kielbasa to Tom Waits, and the ending.

  6. I had a list similar to this for when I got out of the Navy, no little brother though. Thank you for the gift of prose, and several chuckles.

  7. Oh I do love how the details shape this character so well that we believe we may know him, and empathize. I love the “swim out to sea” that brought in a whole ton of images. Nicely done, Michelle!

  8. Martin Brick

    Good balance of escape/wish fulfillment and appreciation of the little things in life. Kielbasa and Tom Waits – I can relate. Drive hard to Harris Point – I can relate, as well.

  9. OK a question: what exactly does the American expression “Kick ……’s ass” actually mean? It has always puzzled me, hence this eventual question. Get a library card – yes, I could relate to that, and found that the most amusing.

  10. guy

    To kick someone’s ass is to beat someone, either physically or metaphorically.

    B kicked A’s ass. A needed 26 stitches and a nose job after that ass-kicking.

    A kicked B’s ass in the scrabble match.

  11. I love list stories, especially when the items are odd and seemingly random. Then, here, ‘get out of jail’ really tells the story.

    Frank’s getting an ass-kicking because frank put him there.

  12. Pingback: Week #28 – the postcard | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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