Sunday, December 14, 2008

Winter Storm

Life is 'thick' sometimes, suffocating even. Deep breaths, and shudders are often and temporary in relief. I am inspired and provoked and moved by so much and each revelation requires the process of adjusting. It seems this time of year brings adjustments in to sharp focus. Perhaps a better word is decisions. Yes, decisions. But enough about me, I have a story to tell.

She sat on her front porch sipping hot coffee, smoking a Newport and staring off to the snow covered mountains and valleys before her. Her mind wandered no place in particular. It was cold and her bulky sweatshirt, jeans and work boots offered little warmth. She didn't care. Her long blond wavy hair blew softly around her face and shoulders and back as the now snow filled wind surrounded her. She felt oddly protected by the flurry of snow, wind and cold. She was almost invisible. Her mind settled, once again, on him. He wasn't an educated man. He knew everything about nature and farming and animals. She had spent many hours learning from him about such things and she loved him, and he loved her.

She closed her eyes. The floor of the basement was tiled in large white and black squares. He had a work shop off to one side, separated by old style wooden saloon doors. She often spent time in that workshop while he puttered and showed her how to make bird houses and fix whatever needed fixing. She loved her special time with him. She didn't understand why he was holding her so close and for so long. Even at 8 years old she knew the hug had been over for a while. He told her he loved her as he slid his hand in to her jeans and underpants. She pulled back some and he encouraged her to relax, and she did. He put her hand on him, on his manliness and helped her to move it just right. She was scared and confused. He calmed her with words of love and of this being their special time and their secret'. She surrendered. For years.

The snow filled wind continued to swirl her hair and toss her thoughts into the glory of Winter. Her cold hands gripped her coffee mug tightly, only letting go to light up another Newport. She inhaled deeply, letting the cool sensations inside her lungs and the cold forces that surrounded her continued to protect her from herself, her thoughts and memories. He faded in a swirl of snow and tossed hair and once again the view of the mountains and valleys emerged for her to see. She placed him deep in the woods, at the base of a mountain, covered him with branches and rocks in the hopes that she would never see him again. At least until the next cup of coffee, out on her deck, while smoking a Newport in a storm.



To Ms. Gail

In the end of the novel 'Disgrace', the protagonist goes to the victimized student's home and seeks forgiveness from her and her parents. I think that was one of the best parts of the narrative from J. M. Coetzee.

Naval Langa

Gail said...

Hi Naval-
Yes, is bittersweet in such matters. The student is scarred for life, forgiveness or not. I do appreciate the importance of it though and it is freeing. Free being a subjective term.


Utah Savage said...

Well this is certainly something I connect with in a very personal way. I didn't notice when (what day) you posted this. Are we synchronizing our psychic clocks? Is it just winter that brings on the need to make this story known? I think this is your best writing yet. Though I have to admit that I am not as faithful a reader as you, so I would have to backtrack to know.

Now as I begin the descent into depression I find I have fences to mend and often this is due to the moments of manic energy that makes me say smart assed snarky shit to perfectly lovely people for no good reason. I think I'm a wit only to find that I'm merely an asshole.

I will probably have less and less to say and so will fill the empty space with poems written long ago or short stories too difficult for the usual visitor to my site.

You are probably the only reader who will have the courage and patience for this kind of writing.

Gail said...

Hi Utah-

Thanks SO much for your honest words. And yes, Winter is the catalyst as it is true of Winter - the scene of which I wrote.

I will be here as you reflect in whatever way is good for you. I understand your cycling through the impact of mania and the sorrow of depression.

I will stand in the middle.......and follow you back and forth as is allowed.

Through it all, what shines through to me is your beautiful heart.

Love, Gail

P.S. If you have a moment and want to know more of me, the posts 'James-Daniel-Jill', and 'The Kid In Me' are quite informative. And I was told by other readers that the post "Monster" was my best.

PENolan said...

I liked the Monster, but the atmosphere in this one seems much more contemporary and real.

Gail said...

Hi Trish-
You are SO right. "Monster" is a metaphor and this one is a real situation.

Comrade Kevin said...

Some day I will add my own chapter to this story but I'm not quite comfortable yet.

Gail said...

Whenever you are ready I would be honored.