25 April 2009

sunday scribblings --- # 160 - follow

a slice of life

katie welcomed the peace and quiet of darkness lit only by the candles glowing randomly around the room – her thoughts were equally random, waxing and waning just as the candle flames, teasing her like the worst of all flirts --- she was trying to make sense of this whole bizarre situation and as it all came back to her, it was the stuff of which tears are made --- and hers flowed freely leaving the trail of their tracks down her face and dripping off her chin – plop-plop-plop! --- so much emotion to purge in order to make room for more ---

when 9/11 had come and gone it had left her uncle mike with an irreparable hole in his heart – sorrowfully, he had watched every second of the coverage on cnn, and he wept when he learned of the death of one of the first responders in new york – a fellow who was in the service with him and who had become a fire fighter after his army days --- he went on mourning his country, unable to heal that heart wound – it was irrevocable and permanent, a pain that could not be put in words --- and it was believed by the family to be the cause of his sudden heart death just a few months later --- only three days before christmas ---

katie remembered her shock when bits and pieces of her computer arrived over three days beginning on the second of january – she learned that it was one of the last bits of business – having it custom built for her - that mike had tended to before his untimely death --- they had shared a love for words since she had been a precocious two year old, and gave back as good as she got when he was teasing with her – she fervently wished there were a way to go back and see those little verbal sparring matches in real time ---

the computer had been mike’s legacy to her – but, even if it had been just a gum wrapper it would have meant just as much, just knowing she had been his focus so shortly before he died --- and because of that very strong bond they had, she was where she was at this very moment – adrift in a real, real bad situation in san francisco --- like, REAL BAD!!!

she had learned just a month previously of the desperate state of affairs in which her cousin, dodie, was living – living? – HAH! – existing was more to the point, and barely even doing that most days --- seems dodie had been self-medicating ever since mike’s death five years past, and was currently nourishing herself with nothing but an average of ten vicodin a day and forty ounces of vodka with just enough ginger ale to lend a minimal bubble --- she was in end stage addiction and without an advocate to intervene her days were surely coming down to not so many ---

katie had learned of this terrifying state of affairs quite by accident, which was really a side issue --- and it left her thunderstruck that no one was stepping up to help dodie --- katie had spoken with her aunt emm, dodie’s mom, and had been frustrated to learn that dodie’s mom and her siblings were absolutely worn down by dodie’s high maintenance behavior – they were just plain tired of her bullshit, so no one was prepared to do boo – peep – or squat now ---

feeling so keenly her bond with her uncle, katie felt a sureness settle into her core – an absolute certainty that were he alive, HE would! be stepping up for his daughter – and it left her feeling unequivocally that she should step up in his place --- a way to pay it back and pay it forward at the same time – so having ironed out the logistics with aunt emm, here she was right smack dab in the middle ---

she had been in san fran five days now and she was spent – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically fried --- her days were consumed with unending phone calls to rehab centres, pleas to doctors, her aunt, social services and call backs from people who proved to be of no help whatsoever --- nights were a madcap and chaotic schedule of events that made a horror flick of the mad hatter’s tea party --- dodie was hallucinating, alternately screaming at phantoms and weeping hysterically in fear of them, and falling all over herself as she insisted on refilling her own glass at regular intervals ---

in addition to being up all night with dodie - who clearly had at least one foot into withdrawal (holy shit, very scary!) - today there had been extra icing on the cake for katie --- she had been forced to maneuver the huge chevy she’d rented around all the one-ways, and up and down the hills of this unfamiliar city to get to the haight-ashbury district - home of jerry garcia and the grateful dead, and still looking like hippie-heaven!!! --- the high point of her trip to the haight was doing a pre-arranged drug deal to score some vicodin and whatever else she could get to keep dodie up and going and she felt like it was all an out of body experience --- like WHAT THE HELL!!???! was she doing buying street drugs??? --- she had a very provincial way of life in a small city of a hundred thousand that was north of sixty, and she simply couldn’t reconcile that with her current activity --- WHAT WAS SHE THINKING???!!!!!!??? --- in fact she wasn’t thinking at all, but running like sixty through all the prayers she knew in her mind that she wouldn’t get arrested on top of everything else --- “dirty deeds done dirt cheap!” --- get me back to powell near the embarcadero ASAP, pulleeeze!!!

she had known she was into another of what would be many “iffy” situations before she actually delivered dodie to a rehab in the napa valley - she finally spotted her guy, and approached her business with marty robbins crooning in her head about a white sport coat and a pink carnation --- he was a beautiful man, a pure purple-black and he looked altogether prosperous if one were to go by the weight of gold around his neck and in his teeth --- he acknowledged her almost imperceptibly and she realized business would be done “over coffee” – so very civilized! – and trance like she followed him into a café and waited for the caffeine and its brother chemicals to come her way – in a matter of minutes she was bent to the task of secreting the holy stash safely in her purse - when she raised her head once more he was long since gone ---

she was repeating her heavenly pleas like an impassioned mantra and walking in time to that rhythm in her head – it kept some anxiety at bay --- and her faith in the purity of her motives
was standing her strong
she was following her heart!!!


Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

Loved the way you write :D . .nice piece . . .

anthonynorth said...

That's a powerful post. The things we do - never ceases to amaze me.

Dee Martin said...

Our lives can become something completely foreign to us so quickly - little increments and then all of a sudden we are left wondering how we ended up on our present path, especially when we act out of love. I agree with Anthony - very powerful.

Tumblewords: said...

Indeed, a powerful piece.

Devil Mood said...

Hmm it sounds to me like those invisible threads I talked about in my post. She's following something that isn't even that conscious nor objective, her heart.
Very nice!

ThomG said...

A very powerful, very good read.

SweetTalkingGuy said...

Yeah, you've got to follow your heart, but like in your story it can take a chain of events to make you realise.

Nicely written!

alister said...

danni, this is genius, the way of the writing, the way you rode it out. And I was rolling with it, like Kerouac on the road until I got lost at the second to last paragraph. And normally, I’m like a guy when it comes to asking directions, but I figure it’s just you here at the gas station by now and you’ll let me in on your secret or tell my why I’m stupid, ‘cause I’ve always wanted to know ; )
Miss A

Susan Helene Gottfried said...

Interesting, Danni. Hard to read at times; the pain just oozes through.

paisley said...

wow!! that was wonderful.. your writing style says you have what it takes to write long pieces that is a gift