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Musings

7/27/2007-2010 White Picket Fences as a Short Story anthology about life

People see an old lady of 52 but inside I am still 17 and trying to find my way. I got lost, off track.

Women
The older I get, the more important my women friends become. They are my strength and support, my shoulder to cry on, my mirror, my sounding board. They never let me down, nor do they complain when I talk over them, cancel a date, show up unannounced, or call in the middle of the night. They understand, because the wisdom of generations of women, though rarely written down, passes down through our genes.

You are beautiful with your cockeyed dreds and glasses, your size triple Z boobs that embarrass you. How I love to tease you that you are bragging again to us colorless, flat-chested white chicks. Isn’t white a color? Besides, I’m olive skinned like my Roman ancestors, conquerors, explorers, Virgil’s heroes; or do I spill from the groins of their stay-at-home wives?

Children
Daughter: The first time you perched on my hip koala style, you wound your little fist into my hair and held on like it was an “oh, shit!” strap on the New York subway. With Milk Dud eyes and rosebud mouth, you gazed at me like I was the only person in the world who mattered. When did I stop being your hero and become your enemy? You were born 40 and with a boyfriend at twenty-two, you no longer needed a mother, but can’t we be friends? You are now my hero, with your ready smile, your beauty, your independence and determination. Don’t I get credit for any of it?

Son: Long ago, I stopped taking pictures of you in every new outfit. I no longer record the cute things you say. Why then, do I remember like it was yesterday? The cute things you’d say, they way you’d look at something new, the way you’d light up a room when you giggled.

Men
“Trust me,” you tell my cell phone. You ask me to trust you now that you’ve destroyed our home, our marriage, our children’s lives, and “us.” Why couldn’t you trust me when I was begging you to hear me? Listening and hearing are two different verbs. Letting someone talk while the remote remains glued to your hands and your eyes are targeted on the zombie box is not considered by women to be communication. You tell me that I am the controlling, manipulative one, so I think I must be mad, doesn’t anyone see the truth, doesn’t anyone get it? Your mind plots an endgame. I remember that our son once told me not to trust you or to listen to you. “Whenever dad is nice to you, he has an ulterior motive. Be careful.”

Life
Why is it that I can see my grandmother in my daughter, though I never knew Grandma at 9 or 17 or 22? Why can I picture her long skinny legs as she ran with the boys in Naples? In reality, it is my daughter, but in my mind’s eye it is grandma who has shown me that our body’s age but our minds choose an age where we were happiest and we stay there, refusing to grow old because it’s the thing to do.

Abuse
Skinned puppies hanging outside your double wide, the bitch with its neck slit lying across your front door. Flies buzz, cicadas hum. The air hangs heavily with the darkening threat of July thunder. Life is harsh in the desert, made even more so by man. You sleep with a knife beneath your pillow and a shotgun by your door, just in case. But he can get you even when you aren’t home. The high-pitched keening sound comes from you, keening, kneeling in blood caked sand. “Good dog,” you whisper, but she no longer wags her tail or cocks her head at the sound of your voice.

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