Tuesday, March 29, 2005

She Waits




There are so many things I want to write about, but I haven’t the energy to do it, the patience. I’m forcing the bits of language out but know that the words are thin and breathless.

A woman stands in the driveway of her house all day, every day. She’s eighty years old at least and she dresses in fine slacks and silky-looking blouses. Her white hair is combed into a delicate pile of curls, held in place, probably, by bobby pins. Her feet are hidden by the fleece of her pink slippers. She walks back and forth, her arms folded sometimes, sometimes not. I pass her because her house is on the way out of my neighborhood. I see her in the morning, in the afternoon, in the early evening. I wonder what she’s waiting for, who is supposed to be walking towards her, to her.

I shopped today for clothes – pink capris, boot-cut denim, tan-colored pants. Ice cream has found me and has loved me just enough to make a difference, just enough to make me want something that fits better, that doesn’t remind me of my new-found love for comfort food, a fling I reach for when I’m tired, sad, or empty. I never did that before. Perhaps I didn’t need it before.

My son, A, has been tough to manage these past few days. I believe his depression has worsened thanks to his scrape with the flu. Today, yesterday, nothing makes him happy for much longer than fifteen minutes or for as long as his chosen activity lasts. Homework is agony and his irritability is at an all-time high. He cries in a flash, crying in aggravation, and he can’t tell me why. I’m worried about him. I’m doing everything I can for him. Yet I fear the worst. I’m burying my face in my hands, trying to block out dark images of what happens to people who succumb to depression.

I’m really tired.

We went to the park this afternoon and played in the sand and on the swings and monkey bars. I lifted A to the rings and he hung there with his lips pursed before he dropped hard to the ground and laughed a little. M, A and I, all three of us together, slid down the slide and crashed at the bottom, becoming a pile of jeans, shoes, bodies, giggles, and hair. We trudged our way back to the car, walking under the trees, our shoes dipping into muddy grass, and drove to the lake a quarter of a mile away to feed the ducks bread. The kids tolerated me and my camera. The air chilled me beyond my jacket, my shirt and jeans, my skin. It chilled me right through, deep into the marrow of my bones. I stood at the edge of the lake, shivering and feeling naked, watching the sunset, and feeding the kids cucumber and strawberries.

I didn't eat.

3 comments:

narrator said...

I sense how hard much of this was to write, but through that struggle the reader gets transported to where you are... isn't that the ultimate goal of any author?

Adriana Bliss said...

Thanks for that - yes, I had these ideas, these concepts, especially about the woman in the driveway. Instead of just going to sleep or vegging in front of the tube, I chose to carry all of you along on my journey. LOL

As always, I really appreciate your coming in here. Blogger's comment system is just terrible, btw.

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