you are waiting for your big break [fiction]

*your comments and suggestions definitely act as motivation to keep me going*

You are waiting for your big break [fiction]

The bookcase isn’t your first messy, unfortunate event. Of course it isn’t. It’s not even the beginning of your story. But the narrator knows that a dramatic opening is required to hook people in. Readers like to start on page one and skim a few lines, then think: “well at least I never tipped a bookcase over.”

As if that matters.

– –

You sort through dirty clothes on the floor, pick up a shirt and smell it. Something grey on the front, some kind of stain, but it could be food. You work in a kitchen, so that might pass as food, right? Maybe today will be a busy day, lots of tables, hefty tips. Someone will notice how smart you are, invite you to come work for their Silicon Valley start-up. You are waiting for your big break. It’s coming. You can feel it. You will totally drink less (or none) once you’re discovered.

On your way to work, you drop off a bag of laundry at the corner place that does those things. That woman at the laundry, she’s a bright light. She knows that people live in small apartments without washing machines, that they’re tired, that they’re running behind – I mean, you’re giving her your dirty underwear after all, she knows you don’t have the brain space to do your own laundry – and because of this, she has breakfast sandwiches pre-made, in the fridge, you can help yourself, she adds them to your bill.

For this, you are grateful.

You take an egg muffin thing from the fridge. She pours you a large coffee in a biodegradable paper cup with a panda printed on the side. She hands you the receipt for your laundry. But really, she knows your name, you don’t need a receipt. Your name is something gender-neutral like Beet or Rain or Mackenzie, so that the reader cannot determine gender, and can therefore more easily think that this story is about them, if not in specifics, then in themes.

Homemade Egg Muffin Breakfast
as told to the narrator by the smart entrepreneurial Laundry store owner

toasted English muffin (homemade if you can get it)

salted butter (you don’t have to be fancy, margarine works)

chipotle mayonnaise (mix some diet Hellmans with the light blue lid with some ground chipotle spice, and add a bit of lime juice – you want the recipe for this mayo concoction too or can you just wing it?)

an oven baked egg, with Greek spices and a bit of cream (you want instructions on how to bake an egg?)

smoked cheddar – Applewood imported from England, or Cows imported from Nova Scotia (don’t let the fancy fool you, cheap Kraft singles work just fine)


 How do you vote? more food in this story? less? recipes or not?


I want to put this online, to hold myself accountable. I want to document the noise in my head. I'm tired of thinking about drinking. date of last drink: june 30, 2012

  • I love this! One of the gifts of sobriety for me is practicing self care and that means eating breakfast like an adult… not just downing a ton of coffee and some Ibuprofen to alleviate my hangover. I keep ripe avocados in the fridge these days and have it together enough to make myself avocado toast in the morning. I pair this with a small dish of fruit- usually pineapple, my favorite; I purchase them whole and cut them up in the evenings, because I now have it together enough to actually purchase food and eat it. Before it would often sit on the counter and spoil because of my wine habit.

  • I will open every email Belle! Loving your book and the extra tools coming up through the summer will be so helpful. On day 61! Coming up to a summer off employment (high school teacher!) and it is not a reason (piss off wolfie) to drink to relax on vacation! Thanks Belle!

  • I enjoy all that you do…I enjoy everything more now that I’m free of the guilt if npdrinking too much ?

  • I think it’s the right amount of food talk. Enough info for a motivated cook but not so much as to drown the story. Curious to see what happens next!

    (Apologies if this is the second post saying the same thing; first was from a parked car and I’m pretty sure it didn’t go through.)

  • Thanks Belle!
    I enjoy your stories…They are just a wee bit off!
    Like me.79 days today! Further and further away from day 1! YAY!

  • Just loving these little stories Belle
    And yes to breakfast sandwiches
    They’re not just for hangovers anymore lol

  • Oh I remember how grateful I would be for the sandwich and coffee because my head would be pounding so hard.
    Great reminders — flashbacks of where I do not want to be again — Love your writing —- Keep it coming!!!
    Debbi~ 🙂

  • Waiting for my big break, waiting for someone to notice me and just hand over a big opportunity, waiting for fortune to fall from the sky. That does sound horribly familiar… This story is doing a great job of motivating me to stay sober, things really are better now. Not perfect, but definitely better. Can’t wait to read the next snippet!

  • Waiting for my big break after someone notices how awesome I am… that sounds familiar! For me, sobriety has been about letting go of outside validation. I’m discovering that learning to believe in myself exactly as I am and just doing the next right thing is enough. Keep going with this, Belle!