Just shooting the poop with Lori
He travels the world on the backs of others|
Insignificant in his stature and size
His journey carries no mission
Randomly roaming at the will of his host
Sated enough to never question his trek
Life is an open adventure without worry
If the excitement of his dusty trail dulls
Another bus awaits to grant passage
With a furry friend to carry him home
Ah the wonderful life of a flea
|Just a weird short story to kill a bit of time and energy
A Prince of a Man
His name was Harry, not the prince of recent headlines and media grumblings. My Harry was a garbage collector working our neighborhood. We had our passing waves as I pulled out of the driveway on Tuesday mornings. There were tossed thank you's when he up-righted our can or brought it in from the curb on snowy days. That was the extent of our acquaintance until Harry made a bold move to save me.
It was a typical workday morning of getting the kids ready for daycare and making sure my husband had everything he needed for his workday. I had prepared eggs and sausage for myself and the man, and cereal and sausage bites for the kids. His briefcase, car keys, and coat were lined up on the counter. But as sometimes happens with kids, the shiny car keys became an object of play making their way to some unknown destination.
The morning seemed to go calmly, which wasn't always the case. I could feel the air escape from my lips and my shoulders release the familiar tension. He prepared to leave, but as he started to grab for the nonexistent keys, his face glowed an unsavory color of red. The calm disappeared, and his usual rage reappeared.
He screamed, while turning to me, "Where are my keys?"
I remember stumbling on my words, "I don't know ....let me find them. They were there...must have fallen...Must have..."
Before I could finish my fear-induced rumblings, he grabbed me by the hair and threw me to the ground. He, somehow managed to land a punch before I hit the floor. I could feel the blood ooze down my lip, and sadly, it wasn't the first time. I remember each episode of this man's anger and violence toward me, and here I was still hurting, still crying. The strange part of it all, I was always surprised and confused about the reason. I could never wrap my head around what would set off his fuse.
The next sound in the room came from my 3-year-old. "Daddy, keys?" His blond ringlets shook lightly on his head, as he trembled while reaching out to hand his father the lost item. He was already learning to be afraid of his daddy.
I glanced over to gauge my husband's response. His right hand formed to make a fist and moved its way toward my baby's curly little head. In that moment, I finally understood all my husband's rage. That rage filled every fiber of my being. I lunged at my child, carrying him safely out of range from the punch.
I turned towards my husband, bellowing incoherent words, as I released the anger inside of me. The knife that I had used to cut the sausages into bite sized morsels for my children, just one hour earlier, somehow made its way back into my hand. I plunged it hard and deep into the man's abdomen, turning it repeatedly. I liked the way the handle felt, as it spiraled in my hand. It was satisfying to see the unsavory red color on his face drain pale. And it was gratifying to see him slump to the floor.
I was roused from my momentary trance by the jingling of keys by my little boy, playing happily in the corner. My daughter busied herself picking at the cheerios on the tray of her highchair. In their few short years on this earth, I realized that the chaos surrounding us, was normal life for them. I wanted to cry again, not because of what I had done, but because these innocents hadn't been allowed to know better.
Suddenly, the back door opened, and Harry burst in the room. He took the scene in and managed to know exactly what happened without my uttering a word. It was his control that calmed me.
"I need you to take the kids upstairs and play with them for a bit, okay? Josie, I will take care of this."
"I saw, and I heard. There wasn't anything else you could do. I was on my way into help you, but I couldn't make it in time. I will fix it now."
"Here, put it in this bag and bring it back. Got it?"
I grabbed the kids in one scoop, as I had many times before, and headed up the stairs, as I had been told to do. I carefully disrobed and plunged the dress into the Walmart sack I had been given. My kids sat on the playroom floor enthralled by the baby shark movie playing, when I stepped in the shower to wash the gore from my body. None of it seemed real, but all of it seemed unquestionable. It wasn't a movie playing out in somebody else's life, this was my life.
I dressed quickly and waited for Harry to call for me. I didn't know what the plan was, but I assumed I would be greeted by the police at some point. I didn't care. At least my kids would know a different and better life. They were so little, fear shouldn't be allowed to reside in their hearts.
What seemed like an eternity, was only forty-five minutes before Harry called to me. I gated in the kids to keep them safely away from the stairs and made my way back to the kitchen. My eyes couldn't believe what I saw. Everything was as it should be. There was no blood and no sign of the earlier violence. For a second, I thought I had just dreamed it all, because my husband was no longer slumped on the floor. There was no body to scream of the reality of it all.
I could feel my eyes form a question mark even before I turned to Harry and asked for the pertinent information. "Where is he? What happened?"
"Josie, listen to me. I am a garbage collector. I clean up all sorts of messes. This has needed cleaning for a long time. I wish I had helped sooner."
"But, how, I mean people will know. I can't get you in trouble!"
"You won't. Right now, you are going to call the police to report him missing. He never came home from the bar last night. Remember? First, call his office to see if he showed up there. You will have to play the worried and dutiful wife. Make it sound real. Got it?"
"Trust me, it will be alright. You need to think about the kids now."
"Oh, my babies. What did I do?"
"No time for that, now. Call the office. Then the police. I am going back to work."
He left the same way he had come into the house, only quieter and with less fury. I reached for the phone and did just as I was told. His boss reported that he had not shown up for work and the police would send a car to take the report.
I dressed the kids and packed us all bags, just in case we all had to go somewhere else. A blue uniformed Sergeant showed up at my door just as I finished. There was no time to think of other things I might have forgotten. I led him into the living room, and as we walked, I gave him my husband's name. As we sat down, I started to cry from the stress of the whole situation.
He gave me an odd wink as he started to talk, "Yes, Mrs. Kramer, we know all about it. I am sorry to tell you that we found your husband dead this morning. He apparently had too much to drink and smashed his car into a tree. He died instantly."
I couldn't keep my eyes from darting to the window and toward the driveway in search of my husband's car. It was nowhere in sight.
The kind sergeant smiled slightly, "Harry took care of it all. No need to worry. That is what he does. I'm just here to let you know that he cleaned it up all nice and neat. Now, I can fill out my report."
"There will be no further investigation. Just plan a funeral, get the death certificate, and file for death benefits. Raise those babies up the right way now!"
"He's a good guy. Can't stand to see women and children in danger. He's a garbage collector, making the rounds. Have a good life, Mrs. Kramer."
He rose to leave, giving the odd wink once more. As he walked out the door, I couldn't help but think that maybe, Harry was a prince. He managed to take out my trash without any trouble.
Word Count 1451
|Happiest of New Year's to you all. I hope the future is looking bright and merry for each of you, or at least some plan for goodness is heading your way. The weather around here is kind of blah because of all the rain and cloudy stuff, but they are talking like some sunshine is headed our way. Just like the normal chaos of life, you have to look between the clouds to find the beauty. Make sure you have fun while looking for the rainbows.
I am finding it quite fun to write again. I call it my "me" time. My family is grown up enough to know not to bother me when I am tat-a-tatting at the keyboard. Makes me wonder how I ever did it when they were little, but I somehow managed to squeeze writing into my life. It goes to show how the artistic part of our lives has a need to be released. There are times when I feel all bottled up, and the need to write, draw, or create is overwhelming. While my computer was down, I had to improvise. I used cooking, crafts, and Christmas shopping as my outlet. It was quite the fattening, mind bending, and expensive exploration of personal tranquility. HAHA...writing is much more fulfilling.
|The computer is the cause, I swear it to be true. It died an untimely death, and I waited patiently for my husband to piece together a new version of the transistors and microchipped googlydaddys, so that I could blog once more. It was hell, but I actually did very well by not whining too often. It is good to be back, and I missed camaraderie of WDC. I will be dipping my toes in every so often just to catch up. Looking forward to great fellowship.
|I guess today I will talk about the things that you don't hear in the media about healthcare workers. We have all been told we are heroes, but this does nothing for our mental health. Our numbers are dropping faster than the stock market crash of 1929.Some of this is due to burn out, others are just wanting a change, others are looking for more money, and some are choosing to retire early. We have seen a decline in healthcare in theses past 2 years that is heart breaking. It brings to mind the fisherman in his boat continually plugging holes in his boat in an effort to keep it afloat. WE are struggling and we are tired. I got an email today that I again had close exposure to COVID. They want me to work as long as I have no symptoms and there will be no testing of the exposed workers unless they become symptomatic. I am supposed to monitor myself closely and limit my outside (of work) activities. Well I am here to tell you that, I have been doing this for 2 years. I am at a loss for what my options are... do I continue to live my life in a bubble? Spending time with my family is the only joy allotted these days. Do I knowingly go to the store possibly exposing the community? I am vaxxed and masked but still I worry about passing this onto others. A dear friend that I had not seen in a bit ran up to me in the store yesterday and hugged me. For such a simple gesture of love, do I now inform her that she may have been exposed. Yesterday, I didn't know that I had been. In the past 2 years I have had at least 25 close exposures. I have not had COVID that I know of or flu or cold or any symptoms. I guess my point in all of this, is that sometimes knowing that you have been exposed is just as damaging to our mental health, as caring for the patients. What shall I do with this newest round of information?
|A New Year always brings about hope, even in the dark recesses of our hearts and minds. Within us all lives the child of old, giddy with the newness of possibilities granted by a new start. We don't have to change our inner being to take a step forward. Let the child in you taste the winds of change. Go boldly, into the New Year eager to experience life. Enjoy the joy in the world, for it is out there waiting. Reach out to the people around you offering kindness. Forget about shedding pounds! Instead shed the isolation and hatred garnered from the past 2 years. Remember, one person can make a difference in the lives of 1000's. Make it your New Year's resolution to make your little corner of the world a prettier place to live and grow. Do it through writing, painting, building, or growing. Do it through involving yourself,listening to one another, hugging your loved ones, or being willing to walk in someone else's shoes for a day. Sing a song of faith or unity, being unafraid to hit the high notes. It is called life, and we must reclaim it. An image that lives in my head gives me comfort.It is a vision, where as I clasp my hands together and place my forefingers to form a steeple, the child in me is reminded. And as I turn my hands upward and wiggle my fingers, repeating "Here's all the people" For me it is an image of faith, but it can mean so much more in this New Year. It signifies the unity of people coming together. Embrace the people in your circle, for at the end of the day it is the people that will mean the most to us.
As we start another year of COVID, it is easy to be bogged down in depression. Push it aside, opening your child-like heart to the possibility of newness.The New Year represents a blank canvas for every inspired artist hoping to paint a new self portrait..
|Two days til Christmas and all I want for Christmas is peace. It is the peace seen in maskless faces, unneeded isolation gowns stuffed in stock rooms for random use,enough staff members able to enjoy being able to care for their patients, and invisible and unneeded testing sites.I want no more COVID for Christmas.Call me selfish, but it has been a very long 2 years.
|Have had some fun this season writing Christmas songs.I don't read music, but if I like the song it pretty much plays in my head. I have done this many times in my life, starting with lullaby's I wrote for each of my kids when they were born. Memories of singing their special song, while i rocked them are priceless. Part of the fun of writing the song is taping the outcome and letting other's hear it. Doesn't matter if you are a world class singer on not. It is all in the spirit of the song and making it your own. Check out my Christmas song in the last blog. I think it is what finally put some Christmas spirit in my soul this year. Wish I knew how to let people on writing.com hear my mp3, but you will just have to sing it in your head.
A Baby Born
Baby born, A baby born (Refrain)
In a field, so long ago
Born in a manger made,
Of twigs and hay
With light to shine
And peace to share
His lasting love
And timeless grace
Sweet infant’s ageless gift
A present heaven sent
Just for me
and just for you
Baby born, A baby Born
Upon the night, a star so bright
Messenger and guiding light
One beacon of endless hope
For all the world, to finally see
The beauty that can truly be
With unbridled joy, and open hearts
Each year renewed, our faith reviewed
The truest meaning,
Of the new born season
Just for me
And just for you
Baby Born, A baby Born
A savior, unto the world,
Goodness Pure, in swaddling cloth
Jubilation, for all mankind
Sweet Serenity, born among us
With Radiant blessing of promise
With light to shine, within us all
The joyous bell, to that calls us all
Peace delivered, the first Christmas season
Awakened each year in the hearts of man
Just for me
And just for you
|Been a bit since I've been here, but I have been dealing with some life stressing items that I will not go into here. I want to concentrate on the good that I see around me. It is Turkey month and all the Thanksgiving that goes along with that holiday. I am thankful for the people that have an indomitable spirit that carries them through life. They are inspiring and I treasure the energy that they exude. I am thankful of the people that I see giving to others each and every day.It is just a part of their nature and they don't see themselves as anything special, but believe me they make a difference in the world. Even if giving is part of your profession,there are some that have the ability to do it with more of an open heart than others. I am thankful a family that I not only love, but actually like most of the time. I enjoy spending time with them, which will serve me well this holiday season. Thankful reflection is always good for the soul.