Steven Bryan Bieler
What I Write
First they came for Betty, and with no more Betty there were no more turkey sandwiches. Betty was old enough to be my mom, except my mom when she was alive would never have cornered me in the bathroom with fashion suggestions for my hair, my face, and my clothes. One time she said, “Roberta, we have to have a girl talk about your dandruff.” I was having a flaky day and I wasn’t in the mood to make up a story like I usually do, so I told her the truth, it was psoriasis. I figured that would stop her, she’d think I was a leper.
But no, the next day she brought me a thick turkey sandwich cut in a diagonal and wrapped in plastic in an insulated paper bag and promised me if I ate turkey every day, just slices of turkey on Wonder Bread, nothing else, especially no tomatoes, my psoriasis would go away.
This was like the lady at the supermarket who took one look at me when I was 13 and trying to steal stuff with my friends and she told me to wait and we waited because we thought she was a cop, which was stupid, we should’ve run, but we were 13. She wasn’t a cop, she was one of those people who knows what’s best for everyone else. She came back with a box of instant oatmeal and told me if I cooked the oatmeal and rubbed it into my scalp I would have perfect skin. If that had happened today I would’ve thrown the oatmeal at her head. I never saw Oatmeal Maid again, but Betty’s turkey sandwiches kept on coming. My psoriasis kept on coming, but free sandwiches, so hey.
|What I Write||
Fiction. After years of having to work (writing is not work) and wishing I had more time to write, I’m about to retire. And now that I’m about to retire, I am writing about…work.
My Write-a-thon Goals
I thought I would dive into this next phase of my life. But thanks to the pandemic shutting down almost everything I planned to do, I feel that I’m not diving, I’m rolling off a table. Well, life goes on and so must I. I’ll spend the Write-a-thon developing my daily writing muscles (freed at last from the distractions of racing from crisis to crisis) and revealing all on my blog. Keep the faith, fellow pandemicians. We can change the world one word at a time. Support black-owned bookstores!