Mad Monday (Buzz, Bugs & Marigolds)

A world inside a world inside a world…

Creation is mind boggling. Just when you think you have it all figured out you realize you don’t know jack-squat.

This fact just re-occurred to me.

I take pictures to clear my mind and maybe I was pouting a little because an author friend told me I missed a great opportunity to create a buzz with the books released this summer. Yeah. The 2017 Summer Release.

It was an accurate observation but as I said before, “The only buzz I am motivated to create comes in the aftermath of consuming liquor.”

I was just being silly, the truth is I don’t drink much but maybe I should – I would be much more obnoxious  outgoing.

Tick-tock, tick-tock… Tsk, tsk, tsk. 

There I was, hanging my head, dragging my camera along like a blanket as I clomped outside and boom!

“My goodness, look at the Marigolds!”

I forgot about creating anything and became enchanted by the creation around me.

Just FYI: lying on the ground with a camera can be very relaxing and entertaining and educational and thought provoking… and itchy.

These photographs are just a few of the larger insects. I tell you it is like another world inside that flowerbed! I plan to go back out there and lay down again… as soon as these ant bites clear up.

Oh yeah, and here is “the buzz”: Cloud Wrangler, The Sharecropper’s Son and Greed are available at your favorite e-book store.

In honor of those suffering from and those caring for…

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month & National Caregiver Month

BlueThey Always Come on Sunday is part of the ‘horror’ anthology Short Stories & Such. I think most people dealing with this disease would agree it is a real nightmare.

They Always Come on Sunday

There are seven days in a week, four weeks in a month and fifty two weeks in a year. Seven times fifty two equals three hundred sixty four. That doesn’t add up and there are five Mondays… and Tuesdays… and an extra Wednesday? I don’t understand –those are the most boring days available. Nonetheless I will scribble something; things have gotten so hectic I have taken to writing everything down.

I personally prefer Sundays. Fridays were never that exciting and Saturdays are just too busy. With the shopping and laundry and the endless play dates all I have to look forward to are Sundays. Some believe it is the last day of the week but according to my ledger it is the first. I suppose I have always looked forward to Sundays, especially Sunday dinner.

My grandmother was an excellent cook and she would rise early to prepare a lavish banquet fit for a wedding. As I recall it was after a delicious meal of chicken casserole, fresh cut green beans and scalloped potatoes that Edward Fry asked me to marry him. Edward’s father owned half of Cherokee county along with the mill and the lumberyard. Grandmother was thrilled by the proposal and credited her Italian Cream cake as the irresistible bait. My memory fails me as to why we argued later and she refused to give me the recipe. Whatever it was it didn’t hamper my love of Sundays.

Friends and family would always stop by after church or after fishing. People honor the Sabbath in different ways; I reckon one is as restful as the other. They knew me and I knew everyone in the community.  That is not the case now. People visit but it’s not the same.

Alone in the Wildreness

I hardly know these visitors. I have seen a few of them before but I haven’t a clue to what their names are and I am a bit suspicious of their intentions. They are just faces, acquaintances, people I presumably know though I do not recall precisely how we met.

A few of the faces gathering are not familiar at all. They smile and let on like they know me personally; like we’ve shared more than a cordial conversation or a hot cup of coffee. I find their behavior to be crass and much too assuming. They try too hard; with all of their grinning and nodding and batting their bloodshot eyes at me. It’s a ploy to seem sincere. They impose and pester me with niceties and the constant can I get you something as if this was the wake of a dead man and I was the widow.

Darrell (that’s what he calls himself) sits down beside me and pats me on the leg. When he’s not touching me he’s cooing and awing like I’m a goddamn baby. I try not to speak to him because it only encourages his vulgar behavior. He must be a hundred years old. The flesh beneath his eyes hangs in folds of blue and purple. One would think the puffiness would plump up those dark circles but it doesn’t.

I stare at his hand when he lets it rest on my thigh. It looks like a gardening fork draped with crepe paper and it’s cold. He makes me nervous. I move my leg away from him but he insists on petting me. He reaches toward my face, not in a hurried way which is good. I am faster than him and watch his eyes tear up when I land the second slap against his loose jaw. I say “You nasty son of a-” but before I can hit him again one of the faces catches my wrist and yells “Mother!” Darrell assures her it’s okay but the woman holding my hand argues and tells him “No, it is NOT okay.” I can tell she is upset as she firmly nestles my hands into my lap. I don’t know her very well but when I look into her eyes I feel it’s safe to trust her. Eyes are the mirror to the soul, I heard that somewhere once.

The sun is shining, casting a light midway across the quilted tulip bedspread. That is a sure indicator that it is past 10 AM. Usually when the rays peek over the headboard I am sitting upright with a cup of coffee half consumed and watching… what is the name of that morning show? Oh well, It doesn’t matter.

“Would you like your egg scrambled or poached?” he asks. I cannot see his face but I know the voice and my heart smiles.
“Scrambled please.” I purr, in my best seductive voice. I love Saturdays. Darrell lets me sleep in and serves me breakfast in bed. I know after the last bite of toast he will kiss the crumbs from my lips and we will make love. I unbutton my gown in anticipation.
“The kids will be coming for dinner.” he says, his voice coming closer. I sit up, smooth my hair and lick my lips. “Charlotte is home for Winter break, she will be coming too.”
“Who is Charlotte?”
“David’s daughter.” he replies. I cannot see his face yet but I sense the change in his tone, cracking slightly over the tinkling of cup against saucer.
“And who is David? Do I know him?”
“He’s your son Beth. Our son.” He says it softly and sets the tray across my lap. How is it he has aged so bitterly?
“We have a son named David?… David? Oh yes I remember sweet little Davy. He made me a jewelry box last Christmas… a cigar box covered in dry pasta and painted gold. What did I do with that box? Davy is my baby.”
“He is not a baby anymore Beth.”
“I know that silly!” I tell him as I pick at the ugly lumps of yellow lying before me. “Liz, Liz is the baby now.” Liz, the woman with the eyes I can trust.
“Eat up. Liz and Ron are bringing your favorite dessert and you know you can’t have sweets on an empty stomach.”
“Liz is my daughter; she makes the best Italian Cream cake.” I’m not sure why I said that but it makes him happy.
“Yes sweetie, yes, yes, yes.” He pecks out kisses on my forehead like a starving rooster; he hoovers over the bed smiling. Amidst the rays of sunshine, he looks like an angel, a weary angel. His once beautiful face lined with worry and too many sleepless nights.
“They always come on Sunday.” More words from my mouth, their origin a mystery.
“Yes, yes they do.”

Some days the birds are the only things I understand. The context of their chirps doesn’t change much. Words, warping and twisting themselves into a rope, strangle me. English is a foreign language, a dialect that seems barely recognizable, one I must strain at to recall. Each sentence is a puzzle and I search to find the words that fit… their place, their meaning. Signs and gestures, imported expressions and faces that that fade with the sun – I suppose they are more amicable than the demons at sundown.

Lonley

I know that one day I will awake and find me gone, forever lost in that void of timeless confusion surrounded by strangers I once loved. Each day is like the next, a never-ending procession of things I cannot explain in a world I do not understand. With one transitory exception, they always come on Sunday.

 

There Is No Place Like Home

Can’t you just see Dorothy clicking her heels? There is no place like home. There is no place like home…

I’m sorry, that’s as funny as this post is going to get.

There is no place like home. Most people would agree with that. Some would even tell you there are places far worse than home. Those are the places we avoid, the places we fear. The places we sometimes absolutely refuse to abide… But sometimes we’re forced into such places.

As most know I recently returned from holiday and as everyone knows (or anyone that’s ever left home for more than 12 hours) things stack up.

I was sorting through an endless list of digital solicitations when I came across an article. This article was not a solicitation; it’s a magazine I actually subscribe to. The article was written back in November and titled Patients Have the Right to Choose Death From Bedsores by Art Caplan from the division of medical ethics at the NYU Langone Medical Center in New York.

(If you don’t subscribe to Medscape you can see most of it here or here)

I won’t bore you with the legalities or the medical jargon but the point made was this: a person’s right to die has far-reaching effects. That in itself is not anything new but the method in which the man chose to die was essentially unheard of.  The article did not delve into the gory details of dying by decubitus but more of how one person’s decision might affect those around them. Their right to die and how that right might disrupt the well-being of people indirectly related to them.

To die from bedsores – to choose to die from bedsores strikes me as a horrendous way of exiting this life yet I must respect that person’s right as much as I would anyone’s refusal of life-prolonging measures.

Much controversy and upheaval came about due to this man’s decision. He simply refused to be turned. The poor gentleman was cautioned regarding the onset and side effects of decubitus ulcers – essentially that pressure sores would develop, his flesh would rot, infection would set in and death would be slow, malodorous and uncomfortable to say the least. Being of sound mind he declared this his fate. You see the gentleman could no longer live in his own home after suffering a series of debilitating strokes and thus decided not to live at all.

The sad thing about his choice was not only how it affected him but everyone else in the hospital. For five weeks (that’s how long it took) it is said that the odor grew stronger as he grew weaker. The room in which he stayed was treated as isolation not due to contagions but to contain the stench as much as possible.

He had one daughter.

It is not my intention to judge or point fingers, this man was of sound mind, an opinion substantiated by professional reports. I don’t intend to weigh in on the family dynamics other than to express my sympathies. I’m not up for debating Kevorkian issues, to each his own and let your conscience be your guide. So what is this post about? I’m not really sure except to possibly bring light to the reality that our decisions reach far beyond the tips of our fingers and our own demise… and the fact that there is no place like home.