People lie like rugs. That’s why when they are telling the truth, it is hard to believe them. I am speaking of men at the moment. I know i am generalizing, stereotyping, profiling etc. all those politically incorrect things we all do under the radar and a facade of propriety and open-mindedness.
I just lived through the strangest experience of my life. Here’s the story, and I’m sticking to it. A man I had been dating for over 3 years, a physician, suddenly contracted a life-threatening illness that he claimed was terminal, so he ended our relationship abruptly to spare me the gory details of his impending demise. For months i heard nothing from him while people incessantly asked me with brows knit in sympathy, “How’s ________”. I got sick of saying, “I don’t know” and then trying to answer the question, why, so it occurred to me that if i said, “He’s dead!” they’d stop asking and it worked… not entirely a lie because i thought he was after 4 months of silence and, after all, he was dead to me. Then, you guessed it, he reappeared… on my doorstep, miraculously recovered. The theories are swirling around him and me now. Just a couple: a) he had another girlfriend and got sick of her or dumped. b) his kids got to him when he was ill, afraid that i represented a threat to “their inheritance” etc. etc. I never was given an address or phone number of the alleged hospice that housed him after the sale of his house, only an old email address that was ignored but magically popped up in my inbox after his resurrection. So, is he now just looking for a place to rest his weary bones, mine being comfortable and familiar? Or, was his love for me sustained as he suffered in silence at a distance. Hmmm. I know. You are gasping, “How could she be so naive?” “Don’t take that con artist back!” But, but…. what if it is all true? Truth is, afterall, stranger than fiction!
ps. Now what do i tell everyone who thinks he’s dead?
A black blob dashed along the baseboard as i came down the stairs. Eeek! Was it a giant spider? As i shuddered I realized, no, it was a mouse. Good grief. Now what will i do? I can’t kill a fly but i can’t leave it to make a nest in my family room sofa.
“What’s the matter, Nana?”
“I just saw a mouse.”
“Ewww. I’m afraid of mice too!”
Oh no, have i created a phobia in my granddaughter with my overreaction?
“It just started me, sweetie. There is no danger. But i have to catch it so it doesn’t make a mess or chew up my sofa.”
“I know. Let’s go get Marley (her cat). He knows how to catch mice.”
“But do you know what he will do with it?”
“yes, kill it.”
“I don’t want that.”
Gingerly I crept down the stairs. There it was first frozen in fear in the middle of the room, then a scattered response, dashing around searching for cover.
“Ahhh,” I said as i leapt into the air and ran as erratically as the mouse.
Safely on the landing, the mouse hidden, I wondered. Why are we afraid of such tiny creatures. An instinctive, primordial response?
Then I was overwhelmed with pity for the poor little thing. Desperate phone calls to friends and relatives looking for a live trap were met with laughter and the same suggestion. Get a cat. Useless.
There it was again, scrambling up the stairs, dangling by its toes on the carpet and then hoisting itself with tiny hands to the next level, the little acrobat. I stood stalk still to inspect it from behind the safety of a glass door.
“Look how cute it is. Isn’t it sweet. It is so tiny.”
“Oh yes, It is a mini mouse.”
She had a name. Minny Mouse.
Try as we might, two giant humans could not outwit that little rodent. She zig-zagged away evading the bowls and boxes we tossed trying to trap her.
Just before bed, i put out a couple of kernels of dry dog food and a bowl of water.
First thing next morning, I looked through the door. No mouse. I crept down the stairs. There she was burrowed into the corner of a carpeted step, her little face hidden in the corner, not moving a muscle, hoping not to be seen.
“Awww.” She looked exhausted and so forlorn.
Anthropomorphosizing? I think not. Fear is fear, hopelessness is pitiable in any species.
“Okay mousie,” I whispered. I’m going to help you.
I got a large plastic jar. I edged towards her. She still had her face hidden. I gently pushed it up to her and nudged her over the edge. She went without hesitation. She was exhausted, hopeless, had succumbed to her fate.
I lifted the jar and she dropped to the bottom, blinking and panting.
I snapped on the lid and carried her to the back of my yard and dropped her over the fence into the neighbours yard. Stunned she sat on a leaf gazing around and then hope returned. She dashed through the foliage…. safe, free at last.
“I got her. I caught her in a jar and set her free! She scampered away happily.”
“Good for you, Nana. I’m proud of you!”
I am such a chicken when it comes to the dentist. I am most afraid of the needle although i must admit that it really doesn’t hurt much. However, i always expect that it will if i let down my armour of fear which holds me rigid in the chair feeling like a fool. That is the worst part, i think, feeling like a fool. I imagine that everyone else is brave or blaze about it. I remember the dentist asking my son how old he was when he appeared frightened and was only 10 years old. If looks could kill that dentist would have died on the spot with drill poised over my poor child’s quivering mouth. I think the next generation of dentists took mandatory psychology courses to learn about the damage done to the psyches of patients at their mercy, especially juveniles because my young dentist is very kind and patient. The best feeling is the elation when it is over. I usually treat myself to a coffee and muffin at Tims forgetting that it will trickle out of the side of my mouth and i will bite my frozen cheek and draw blood, I certainly hope i develop some guts before i face the really challenging times ahead. I am told that getting old is not for sissies and i definitely am one.
I just attended a big, traditional, Catholic funeral. It was heart-wrenching. The sobs of my daughter-in-law who has lost her mother brought tears to every eye.
My eyes are red and puffy from 3 protracted days attending the visitation and funeral. I have said that i don’t want to put my own children through the same type of ordeal. I want them to have me instantly cremated, not embalmed and sent to the cemetery where they can have a short memorial service, with a lovely youthful portrait of me smiling on, if any one is left to attend besides my immediate family. I want them to go on a cruise with the money saved and i will watch happily from above or wherever i am in spirit. But……….. am I right? Are the 3 days hovering around the lifeless form in the coffin necessary to ease the separation. I admit, I found it all cathartic. I want to do what is best for the younger generation left behind… so, you tell me……… You won’t like to consider this subject, but it will blind-side you one day, so you may as well start preparing psychologically. We all die, hopefully in the right order, except perhaps for my granddaughter who says that she won’t because she is not old, she’s “new”. I hope she won’t have nightmares after having peered into the deep dank hole that her dear La-La was lowered into before her wondering eyes. sigh.
Women have the reputation of being the talkers, but they also know how to listen. Watch two women in a tete-a-tete. One is talking and one is nodding with an intent expression, whether the conversation is about politics or diaper rash . Men, on the other hand, always have to prove they know everything before they are told, so after asking a question of a woman (a rare thing in itself), they then go on to list all possible answers without listening to the woman’s response. Or, they repeat loudly throughout her answer, “Um-hum, um-hum, um-hum,”drowning out the woman’s words and implying that they already knew all of it and are magnanimously bestowing their approval.
I know, I know, the above rant is a gross generalization and does not apply to all men. Over the last 50 years, I have known one or two who knew how to listen and learn from a female speaker.( I don’t think men react the same way to other men though.) What is the corresponding term for mysogenist? Malsogenist? I think i just invented a great new term… for women like me who rant about the shortcomings of men. Don’t accuse me of hating them though. I have been on a quest since i was 15 for my soulmate, the one withwhom I could live happily ever after. I am still looking and don’t intend to give up. There is hope. Eventually we all end up the same sex. Men get boobs, women get hairy chins and chest. The sexes merge or meld into old human beings who start listening to each other and empathizing (or appear to). Gee, I can hardly wait.
So, I’ll try again.
As I said, I love writing but this forum is a bit intimidating. I’m used to a pen and paper but have got on to emailing. I am a bit stuck for something brilliant to say. Hmmm. I actually love writing and talking, too much according to my father and my teachers but what did they know and they’re all dead now anyway. So…
I have just finished my second YA novel, Kristina with a K. They say that writing is a lonely profession, but it is lonelier when it is finished. I miss my characters talking to me. Independent publishing (self-publishing sounds so vain) is hard work. I couldn’t begin to count the number of revisions and hours of tweaking. The file is now at the printers. I have skimmed 3 proofs and now will have to pay more if I make changes and want another chance to make it perfect … whatever …. at this point who is counting. I changed the margins and the font 3 times. This is not a money-making venture. They are waiting for the go ahead before printing only 100 copies. That way I can go into a second printing with any luck which sounds good. Kristina is now waiting at the entrance to the birth canal, soon to come into the light and meet the world. I feel like i have gone through a 2 year pregnancy and a long and painful delivery. I hope that people love her. I couldn’t bear my girl being rejected or worse, ignored. I, on the other hand, cannot look at the book once it is delivered. If I do, I ‘m sure to spot an error almost immediately, and then I will flog myself bloody for not catching it. Or I’ll want to re-phrase something but can’t because it’s now carved in stone. So, don’t tell me if you see something wrong. On the other hand, if you love the book, couldn’t put it down etc. (as I was told about my first child, Ravi’s Revenge) then do let me know.
Sorry, I know the rambling of a writer gets boring real quick ( I know that’s ungrammatical…it’s for effect). I promise to be more interesting tomorrow. Please make a comment and give me a spring board. Thanks.