something I'm working on

  • Ironing

    She was a mad woman in every sense of the word.  She felt that her ideas somehow sprang into action but always at the behest of others, others who profited handsomely from them.

    “Why can’t they build factories in third world countries and let those people build up their country and the American people could buy things cheaper and afford to work jobs that pay less.  Everyone would benefit.”  She said this often and to anyone who would listen because she worked in a factory herself and was tired of having sore feet and hands.  The winter was cold and so was her work environment so the only time she felt warm was when she woke up in bed in the mornings.

    The right people must have been listening because NAFTA was born.  She began to wonder if she had some superpower to read the minds of people smarter than her or if they were reading her mind.  If they were she wasn’t being compensated, that was for sure.  She did dream of the perfect house and one day that did materialize.  It needed shingles and new water lines but it was the perfect house for her.

    As soon as it was paid for, her husband decided it was the perfect house for him and he’d began testing the boundaries, something he’d never done before.  “I don’t know why God wanted me to be married to you, I don’t know what he’s trying to teach me but he is my God and I was obedient to him when I said ‘I do’.  I will continue to be obedient to him, but I don’t know what it is he’s trying to teach me!”

    “How would you do things if you were under constant surveillance?” she wondered.  One low light, one high light, one device from the feds and one from the underground syndicate, depending on who you belonged to, that could get interesting.  This was not going to be an easy chore but it would be fun, especially if she could do it in such a way that only she knew what she was doing, she would prove it could be done.

    “I would install someone in security at a particular store, someone who watches the cameras and knew who I was.  Depending upon what is bought and even how it’s arranged on the counter at checkout time, it could say so much.”  She’d begun with asparagus when she was pregnant, the emphasis being on “spare.”  Rose knew that was a good choice no matter who was watching the surveillance cameras, but she also knew who had been listening to her the last time she had any ideas and how that had reflected in the news later.  She had less attention then than she’d had before but sometimes, depending on who your enemies were, less was more.

    Rose would talk about it but she didn’t know who to talk about it to.  Besides, she’d also had the idea that if you had a recording of someone’s voice, maybe you could scan an entire area to find them and listen to what they said with a satellite.  The things she was paranoid about had a tendency to manifest themselves later when cell phones and Onstar had been born.  Rose wasn’t sure of anything except that others had the answers and they weren’t taking any questions.

    Rose listened to the radio station out of Utah quite a bit because it had been that very station she’d been listening to when she went mad in the first place.  She felt that sometimes they knew stuff about her private life and alluded to it in such a way that only she would understand and if she was to say anything about it she would have sounded crazy so she said nothing.  It wasn’t really that far-fetched seeing as how her husband at the time had access to someone that frequented the station.  She’d felt her husband was in on the circumstances that contributed to her introduction to madness, still she said nothing.  One would think that madness was something she welcomed as she slipped in and out of it like a lounge robe.  The truth was, mental illness had always fascinated her anyway.

    She recalled losing her virginity one summer night just twenty five days shy of her seventeenth birthday.  She had let him do all the work and just gone with the flow to try to absorb the experience and see what she thought about it.  She said nothing.  Somehow going mad had been like that.  “You did want to know what madness was like,” said the accuser in her mind.  It wasn’t a voice, it was a thought process and had been with her most of her life.  Some people call it internal dialogue and hers wasn’t very fond of her.  She could tell by experience that not everyone carried that curse and she wondered if self-validation could be considered its own curse, it most certainly seemed like it was to someone on the outside looking in.

    The store was crisp and clean and welcoming.  She knew the powers that be who had organized the genesis of her madness were currently working the chain to try to find the weak link.  That’s what they did so they could eventually have controlling interest in business everywhere; they already had the monopoly in medicine.  She could tell just by noting the differences in how specific people got treated, or not.  She didn’t know how to fight them on that level, it was like the time her mom told her to get the Comet and she just couldn’t reach it because she wasn’t that tall, they had made certain she would never be that tall, figuratively speaking, “can they trust me,” she wondered, and decided they couldn’t.  Madness is accepted only in certain circles, and board rooms were not in those circles.  “No one would believe me anyway,” she thought.

    She’d brought her buggy in from outside, counting on the UV sunlight to have killed all the germs.  She stood inside the doorway and took out her list and a pen, it was early on a weekday so there wouldn’t be many people shopping.  Every meal was numbered; it was seldom that Rose could afford to go shopping without a list.  She remembered one tax season when she’d gone into the store with Roger and the children without a list and if they asked for something, it went into the buggy.  She was gratified to know that some people could do that as often as they wanted; it felt good to do that herself for once.  Rose called tax season “Redneck Christmas.”