Sunday, July 29, 2012

Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 3 (Final)

Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 1
Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 2


Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 3

For three weeks, after breakfast, we'd saunter off to the back garden and check its progress. She was impressed. She thought I should bring the doctor to show him. I don't want to. He could come here anytime he wants. Anyways, I don't trust he'll appreciate this. It will only look therapeutic to him. Clinical.
She hasn't been here for three days. I'm having a hard time focusing. I can't get into the garden. The door is locked. I've looked through the windows and it beckons. But I can't open the damn door. I've told the doctor, but he seems to have no idea what I'm talking about. I'm losing my reasons for being awake.
I’m back in my garden, but this time there are no husbands, just green all around me. The sun shines in that happy color-crayon kind of way. The warmth of it makes my insides tingle. I feel young. I'm planting basil. I pinch off a leaf and press it to my nose. I think of fresh pesto over sun-dried tomatoes and pasta. A bird comes to perch on my shoulder. I tell it how I've missed being in this garden. He leans in, “We've missed you too.” How strange. I look all about me and see that decay has crept in. There are weeds to be pulled, tree branches to be hauled away, the bird feeder is out of seeds. I sigh, he's right. I should have taken care of this. “I'm sorry”. The words are barely audible. He just smiles. I think he forgives me.
I wake up. No restraints. Yesterday was OK. Today feels the same. She hasn't been back and I'm beginning to believe she was either a figment of my imagination, or the doctor sent her away. I'm not sure which is worse: delusions or paranoia. I turn to swing my legs down and put my slippers on. I've taken to refusing to dress. What's the point? No one sees me. I am one speck in a pool of little specks, all moaning in their own personal agonies. Why should I dress for the doctor? Screw him. Screw the clothes. Screw this blandness. I turn back into the bed and fall asleep. What more is there for me now?
Nurse Sour is here. I'm feeling a little confused.
What happened to Nurse Monroe?”
Nurse who?” She smiles like she's enjoying this. “Having lovely dreams are we?”
What? I don't, uh,” I grab my head, there is a sudden sharp pain searing through my right temple. I slump back onto the bed. The room swirls then goes blank.
When I woke, I knew what I had to do. I would get up and go to that door and see my plants growing. I'd know I wasn't crazy. I dressed today. It took some time. I skipped breakfast. Who cares about that? When I reached the door, I tried it just in case. No use. I press my nose to the glass and cup my hands over my brow. I see decrepit pansies and daisies. Even the plants are depressed here. I can see where I planted the basil and oregano, the dirt has been stirred, I'm sure of it. But there are no plants here that were mine. There are wet spots forming at the bottom of my eyes. I can't stop them. Weakness makes me sick. I wipe the offenders away, stiffen my back and march back to my room. Sleep. I have a garden. It can't be ruined by anyone. I need to dream.
My mind is toying with me again. Deceiving me into thinking sleep is a relief. The fire is there again. It is so hot my skin begins to blister. I think I can hear him screaming from inside the house. I try to run in, but they hold me back. I'm fighting them, pushing pushing. I cannot get to my screaming husband. I run away in repulsion. There is a tree down the block, I stop there. I can't go any further, I vomit.
My room stinks. I think I was sick. They should clean it better. I can't recall yesterday. My wrists hurt. It reminds me of my second husband.
I think I'm done. I dig into the fern's soil. Pull out as many of those pills I can find. I think of a song I once knew, about wanting to be sedated. The pills are covered in soil. They taste like home.


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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 2

To read the first part, go to Where the Flowers Are Few - Part 1


I slowly breathe in. “Do you have apples? Fresh fruit?”
She smiles at me. I am astonished. I think I like this new nurse.
I'll go look. I'll be back as soon as I can.”
I nod and wait. I'm glancing around the room at the other poor souls here, gulping down this crap. Ten minutes pass. I am starting to feel tense. Maybe she forgot about me. Maybe it was a trick. Maybe I should just wander back to my room. Then I see her. She's wearing a huge smile on her face and holding a peach in her hand. My mouth waters.
This is from my lunch,” she whispers, “I picked it this morning.”
I think I must have found the little heaven in this place. She is the first refreshing thing that's happened to me in years. I thank her at least three times to be sure she knows how grateful I feel. She thanks me for eating. How odd.
Something pulls me from my slumber. I have no restraints. I smell the farmer's market, full of naturally sweet and earthy scents. I open my eyes to find that I am not at the farmer's market, I am in the very room I fell asleep in. This constant ache of a chamber. But I can still smell fruits. I turn over to the bedside table. A glorious basket of fresh fruit with a card sits there. I open the card.
'Just between us, I don't like the food either. ~AM'
Who the heck is that? Then I remember the nurse. I close my eyes and remember every detail of yesterday. The peach, her smile, her name tag. Nurse Monroe. I'm feeling hopeful that I will stay out of the dreams now that I have things to look forward to. Fresh fruit, and oh look at this, a wheel of cheese tucked down in there.
My eyes are bright. I can feel it. When the doctor comes in he mentions it. I tell him I like that new nurse I met. She was nice to me. He nods. I think he feels hopeful too.
No restraints again today. I have a little skip in my steps ambling toward the dining hall. She's been joining me at my table every day now for a week. We eat a little and talk a lot.
The doctor told me we could do something special for you. It was my idea. After breakfast I'll show you.”
You're not going to make me to knit potholders are you? Or do those stupid paint by number things?”
Don't roll your eyes. Of course not. Trust me, you'll like this.”
There's nothing to like here,” my sourness blunders out. Her face betrays my callousness. I feel dark and empty inside.
I'm sorry, I didn't mean that.”
I understand. Don't worry about it.”
As we drop our garbage, she seems giddy. I'm wondering if this is something she will like more than me. That's my selfish side coming out again. Trusting is not in my nature anymore. I have made up my mind to like whatever it is at least for her sake. I can't lose the one friend I've made in decades over selfish pride. I smile and follow after her at my usual seventy-year-old pace.
We pass Nurse Sour. Her name tag reads Nurse Sorenson. I think she must have been born with a screwed up face. She once forced me to take some meds. I ended up in restraints the next day, but the shiner I gave her made me smile. I'm glad I can remember this. Now, I have a deal with the fern in my room. He saves me from her stupefying meds and I sneak him sugar packets.
Nurse Monroe opens the door to the back garden. It's pathetic really, a few white daisies, some annual pansies, but nothing of effort has been done here. I sigh. She turns and laughs.
I thought you'd feel that way. It's not much huh?”
That's an understatement honey.”
Come,” she's coaxing me now. I follow her and she shows me a cart full of tools, gloves, and seeds. Packets and packets of wonderful seeds.
I think you could make something better of this area, couldn't you?”
You better believe it.”
Now, if you need any heavy work done, let me know. I've got a good strong guy in maintenance who agreed to help out.”
You thought of everything.”
Have fun.” With that, she left, promising to check back in an hour. I could have spent the entire day there. She came to take me back after the hour. She said I had an appointment with the doctor. I forgot, of course. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Short Story

Here's another short story I wrote a while back.  It's rather long for a blog post so I will break this into three segments but I promise to post up the other two segments next week.  It's called:

Where the Flowers Are Few

I'm running. My eyes sting. Cackling, malicious flames devour. I search the spectators for my husband, I never find him. I'm always searching for him, even though I know he won't be there.
The only thing left of that life stood green and defiant despite the charred edges. I walk into my garden, feel the coolness of the soil and wonder if it has the right to be so, if my feet should guiltlessly enjoy the soothing chill.
They never said what started it. He was declared dead, but they couldn’t confirm it. Shrouded in my grief, I stayed. The house was rebuilt. My life never found that satisfaction.
No restraints this morning. My wrists are bruised. It reminds me of my second husband. I sit and turn to the barred window, stare into vicious sunlight. Nothing wants me anymore. The garden is gone. The house is not mine. All the realizations of morning assault me once again. The doctor won't like me sitting here like this. He won't be happy with the dream either. He believes I need to let go. It's been forty years to the day since he died. It's been two years to the day I moved in here and started dying. I think the doctor has no right to decide what I do with my memories. He talks about choices. He's never had to choose between love and pain, self and happiness, violence and grief. He cannot understand these are not obvious choices, and I cannot explain it to him.
Days have no distinctness here. The sky may be blue, but life is a constant hue, dull and menacing. There are no people left to visit me. Perhaps not having children was the wrong choice in light of my situation, but then, I wasn't thinking about old age when I decided that. I've survived this far, I remind myself.
It doesn't work.
It used to. I once could rouse my spirits to boldness and charge into dark places, but now I have no motivation to. I wonder how I can have such lucid days and forget so many others. Maybe they're right, maybe I want to be lost.
I woke up today with the restraints on again. I don't remember yesterday. I'm tired. I want to walk. Inertia pushes me back into my dreams. I find the garden by the rebuilt house. I like this dream. I am digging in the soil with bare hands. The invisible wall around the garden fends off intruders. They are both stranded there. My first husband feverishly pounding against the wall. My second husband stands there with clenched fists. Neither of them can reach me with their pain. I am glad of it and ignore them. I talk to my seedlings and bees and birds. Making things grow is the only thing that makes sense. I've always wanted to nurture things into life.
They both wanted kids. I did with my first husband. We produced none because we decided to wait. Things interfered too quickly. One year we were making ends meet, and the next we started trying. In the end, that last year he was gone. Without a child already seeded in me, there would be none for us.
As for the second, he cajoled, begged, demanded, even tried to force the issue. What he failed to realize was that no matter what he could do to me, he could not make it happen without my permission. In the end though, I won out. I was more resourceful than he expected. So there never was to be a seed within me. I stuck to the seeds I planted myself.

I'm sitting at a table with a plate of repulsive food before me. How can they serve this slop? I push it away. I'm not hungry. The nurse approaches.
You need to eat. You're losing too much weight.”
I know she means well and she's right, but this stuff won't do any good.
I can't eat this.”
Why? There must be something you like. Did you look at everything?”
Yes I did. Of course I did. I've told you people time and again that this isn't food. It's some kind of metamorphosed chemical compound made to look like food that came out of a box. It's not food, I want food.”
This is all we have. You need to eat something.”
I know where this will go. I can feel the agitation starting in me. That little pit stirring, waiting to expand into stubborn fury. She backs off a little. I relax my shoulders. I don't want to end up in restraints, or worse, forgetting today. I hate forgetting. It hurts. That's the intrinsic problem with life. It hurts to remember and it hurts to forget. Purgatory.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pins and Pearls Week of July 9, 2012

For this week's Pins and Pearls I've got a regular smorgasbord.  In Pins this week you'll find Fall fashions for this year, Ame-Comi comic figurines, a quilt inspiration, Christmas decor inspirations, giant googly eyes, some organization tips and a Poppet.  See what I mean?

As for my Pearls, let's start with a video by Pixar:

Then we have a camping recipe for Potato Boat Dinners found at Echoes of Laughter:

A mexican metal tooling art project to make with kids by Restoration Place:

And now we need a word for this Friday's Poetry Friday posts.  Hmmm.  Given that we've been suffering a heat wave of monumental proportions - at least it feels that way when you have no air-conditioner - let's use the word HEAT.  Now to hope for inspiration to hit this week, I hate it when I go blank.  Happy Pinning and Pearling!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Poetry Friday - Neat

Photo found here: 

I'll be perfectly honest.  I'm completely stumped.  I mean nothing, nada, nill, nunca, rien.  I could possibly, maybe post a poem at a later date if something pops in my head to at least start one, but for now, nothing.  This is I believe the first time I've been this blocked, and I chose the word! (Shaking head).

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chaos is Creeping Up Behind Me

photo found at

Coming back from vacation often throws me into disarray.  If I'm being honest however, I would say I've been in disarray for a little over a year now, coinciding with a traumatic experience we had.  I've got piles of things that need to be sorted and donated, I've got boxes set aside I have no idea what's in them.  My normal mode tends on the desire to be highly organized resulting in semi-organized to well-organized.  Right now, I'd say I'm bordering on chaos.  I need to reign it in but it feels overwhelming just to look at it.  I know I should ask for help but I don't really know who to ask.  Then again, I could do this myself, I'm sure of it.  I just need to get started.  Doing the bare minimum is no longer acceptable to me, it never was but I was dealing with things enough at the time.  I can forgive myself for getting this far, I think, but can I whip this into order again?  I truly hope so.

I'm a list maker, planner.  Well more like simulator as my husband points out.  I picture my goal in every detail and then try to head that way.  Usually I dive in without making a plan, just the picture simulation I've made and a list or two.  This time I'd like to marry the two and add proper planning in.  I think I will do this:

Start in the worst room, the scariest one.  Clean it one section at a time until finished - whether that takes one hour, one day or I have to do it in stints over the course of a few days.  Just do it till it's finished.  Then, I will move to the next scariest room and so on.  Alleviating the worst of it first so that each subsequent room will feel less and less difficult.  I will keep up with the everyday cleaning to my best for now, not worrying about deep cleaning until the rooms are organized and neat.  Then I will shine this place up and step back and admire.  After that, it's time to keep up with it.  This time around I will enlist my children to do their part more actively.  I know you're probably not that interested in this little (actually kind of big) problem of mine, but putting it here commits me more to the plan.

So, I raise my glass of fresh juice and say, "Here's to getting started!"

P.S. Poetry Friday this week, we'll use the word:  NEAT.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Pins and Pearls Week of July 3, 2012

Well I'm back from vacation and ready to dive back into this writing thing.  In case you were wondering, we went to Prince Edward Island for a week and had a lovely time.  We stayed in cabins at  Crescent Isle Cottages.  If you are ever interested in seeing Prince Edward Island, this is a lovely spot and the hosts are wonderful, kind people.  Very near Charlottetown (the one city in PEI) and also the National Park where the Anne of Green Gables house is.  PEI is also home of Cows Creamery - awesome ice cream and the best t-shirts ever.

As for this week's pins and pearls, I went on another geek bent in Pins, I guess I just can't help myself.  Check out all the geeky wonder and a few other finds too, like a lovely piece of art, a craft and a Halloween costume idea.

In Pearls this week I went a little nuts and found all kinds of gift ideas that you can make yourself.

I love these Pies in a jar from Our Best Bites:

Or if you've got naughty people on your list, I found these lump of coal gift boxes at Tatertots & jello:

And at A Field Journal I came across these candy cane marshmallows for hot chocolate, mmmm: