book stuff 2

  • “What would you do if you could get by with anything?”  An old family friend had playfully asked her. 

    “I’ve already done it,” She thought.  “I’ve partied for nine years of my life and had loads of people who knew me and seemed to like me, some who didn’t but I didn’t care, I was high most of the time. 

    I’ve lived a cosmopolitan type of lifestyle, going dancing and decorating my apartment exactly how I wanted so that others thought we had money. 

    I’ve had jobs that were important and I could use my mind as well as my hands…………I’ve had my children and hopefully raised them to be good people, letting myself form that opinion from others as well as myself. 

    I’ve manipulated my finances well enough to pay off a house so none of us would ever be homeless.  I’ve been coast to coast enough to get the gist of the lay of the land and the differences in people.  Have I come to a place in my life where I feel as though I’ve reached a dead end?” 

    Rose didn’t want to know the answer to that question.  She remembered the last time she’d had that impression about life.  It had been during her first marriage.

    She’d had a bottle of wine then too, a bottle of wine and the right kind of pills.  They were on the table in front of her.  She’d been drinking alone for a while and her first husband was asleep in the bed.  She was in the living area but she could see him sleeping.  The man who forced her to abort her first baby and thought nothing of it, children were parasites because they live off of you until they were eighteen he’d said.   She’d sworn never to have kids with this man who abused her in ways no one thought was abuse. 

    He’d harm an animal to show his lack of compassion, he’d talk about how he would do this or that to someone if they wronged him; he was repulsed by people as much as she was fascinated with them.  He considered her badge of honor was being the one person who knew the real him. 

    She didn’t see the point to the life she was living and she didn’t believe it would ever change.

    Then the opponent to the beast stepped into her thinking.  What if one day things are supposed to change but if you do this, you will never know. 

    What if you are supposed to help someone and you did this and wasn’t there to fulfill destiny?  Would you change your mind if you knew that simply by being there you would make a difference in someone’s life?  “I suppose so, it might be worth it.” 

    What if you were to make a difference but you never saw the outcome, would it still be worth it?  “Yes, it would.” 

    What if you are supposed to be there to help a stranger and you weren’t there and no one else could do it, would it be worth it to put up with your life for that one person?  Rose started crying and put up the pills and finished the bottle of wine.

    She decided then that it was up to the Lord how long she was supposed to live and she’d never consider what she was thinking about doing ever again.  It was a matter of faith.  Now here she was with three awesome children and a lot of experiences she never thought she’d have already in the past for her mind to revisit.  The good ones made her smile. 

    She remembered her second husband bringing her a large Christmas tree because her first husband wouldn’t allow one unless they were living with his parents. 

    The bad memories fascinated her and even those weren’t regrettable because all of it together was the seasoning of her life.  It made her who she was, and she didn’t object to that person.  But Roger did.

    Rose thought about how nice it was outside this evening, nice enough to take a walk.  She put her glass, still half full of wine, in the fridge and slipped on her shoes.  She retrieved her cigarettes and tear gas, just in case she met a biter.  Most of the dogs in the neighborhood wouldn’t hurt anyone, but you never knew.  She didn’t really expect any other kind of problem, but once again, you never knew.  Roger nodded at her as she was leaving.

    It was late spring and the season had established itself, she could detect honey suckle on the wind but she didn’t know where it lived, the hedge bushes scented the air as well.  She headed down the street careless about which side she walked on, they didn’t get much traffic.  She was trying to decide whether to go to the pavilion or the bridge.  She decided on the bridge, she was supposed to meet Debbie there.  It didn’t take long to get there and she could see a fire going from a distance.  “I should have brought some marshmallows,” she thought.

    “Feel like company?” She asked Debbie.

    “Have a seat,” She replied.

    “What was for supper tonight?”  Rose asked.

    “Vienna sausages and Club crackers, tomato juice, what did you have?”

    “I’m ashamed to tell you,” Rose said.

    “No worries, Rose, its just food.”

    “Nice weather this evening.”

    Debbie handed her the pipe she’d had concealed until then.

    Rose said, “My senior year of high school I would get out of school at noon because I had a job.  I had some time before work and sometimes it was my day off.  I’d roll me a joint and walk down to the creek and sit there and smoke it and think.  This place reminds of that place.”

    Debbie said, “My senior year I was learning how to do makeup and hair for the second year in a row.  The school took us to state to take our tests, I did alright but not perfect.  Still I passed.”

    “Why don’t you do that now?” Asked Rose.

    “My hands couldn’t take holding scissors all day,” she held up her right hand and exposed a scar; Rose guessed it was carpal tunnel.  “That pretty much rules out factory work too.”

    “I don’t know how you live like this,” Rose said.

    “It’s easy, I don’t have any responsibility, I don’t have any monthly bills, don’t have anyone to answer to.  All I have to worry about is a post office box so I can receive my check.  I sleep in a tent, depending on the weather and eat light.  I have friends, we all get by.”  Debbie said.  “I don’t know how you live like you do, like a hamster in a cage.”

    “Touché,” Rose said.

    “Have you seen any spirits lately?”  Debbie asked.

    “Only the lady with the short, messy hair, she always looks surprised.”  Rose said.

    “Do you think they are real?”  Debbie asked.

    “I think the Lord lets me see them sometimes, I think they all belong to him, in one way or another.  Bible says every vessel is made for its particular use.  I suppose it’s that way with the angels too, fallen or otherwise.”  Rose said.

    “What do you think they want?”  Debbie asked.

    “I think it depends on the angel and whose side they are on, I think they can put a thought into your mind, but I don’t think they can read your mind.  I know because sometimes I have thoughts I don’t agree with.”  Rose replied.  “Sometimes those thoughts apply to the situation but they are far removed from my way of thinking.”

    Debbie added a stick of wood to the fire, “I don’t set much store in the houses of worship, they want you to pay to warm a pew, but I believe there is a god.”  This was her way of dismissing the subject.

    “I had this guy I used to get weed from and he was dying.  He got out of the hospital from being in a coma and I went to see him with my Bible in hand.” Rose hesitated then went on, “I asked him if he believed in the Lord.  He told me that he and the Lord had an understanding.  I left it at that, sometimes you don’t meet God in a church but you always meet God on HIS terms, not yours.”

    “I scored today, you still looking?” Debbie changed the subject.

    “I think I’ll keep walking on down to the pavilion in town, I’ll collect it on the way back.” Rose said as she stood to leave.

    “Thanks for stopping by,” Debbie said, “I’ll see you later.”

    Rose left the fire and the creek behind and slipped off into the night.