Keep the Peace

by Ann Bogle

I could write this as a microfiction, but why call it fiction if it happened? As Mary Karr said in her The Paris Review interview—controversy, that there is controversy, regarding whether a story is fiction or nonfiction is bullshit. If it happened, it's nonfiction; if you made it up, it's fiction.

Holly C. (if she Googles herself, she'll find herself here) arrived at a sober party (was it the party where she wore the fur on New Year's Eve then went off to meet her real friends before the midnight hour?) (No, Sandra C. hosted the New Year's Eve party each year, and this party was at Nancy E.'s house) (so not wearing a mink that night) alone. She was dating an ex-NFL football player then living in Ohio, she in Minnesota, her children Amerasian, her husband an anesthesiologist from China, her green eyes from Iowa. Whatever! I said, “Holly, your face is so serene.” She might have thought that I was being sarcastic about Bill Wilson group, but I was not being sarcastic. To me, serene was an adjective not coined by Bill Wilson, and it was the right one for the occasion. Holly said, “It'll happen to you, too, one day, you know.” I thought, what are we talking about? Botox? I was 36 or so. Holly must have been 42. It stayed with me that she had said that, “It'll happen to you, too, one day, you know.” Later I thought of writing someone like her into my novel about Texas, moved to Minnesota by then. I planned to call her Pumper the Realtor who sold houses in the boom caused by divorce in A.A. I planned to write about Pumper, “Her face was trapped in peace.”