Bad Man Comes (Part 3)

Bad Man Comes (Part 1)

Bad Man Comes (Part 2)

The early morning was gray, dreary. Daylight was just beginning to throw shadows over Wooster. The heat and mugginess oozed onto the new day like thick syrup on a stack of pancakes. The motel door stood open. A black sports bag sat unzipped at the foot of the double bed. A black t-shirt and dark navy jeans, folded to perfection, lay on the bedspread next to the bag. Black socks were positioned atop, followed by a pair of brightly striped, boxer briefs.

red victory judge motorcycleA brief case rested open on top of the dresser, showing a laptop, a stack of photos, and a couple of power cords. Tucked in the pocket was an unopened packet of Wrigley’s spearmint gum, two pens, and an inexpensive journal. An iphone rested in darkness along side the case. A worn, brown, leather wallet had been tossed onto one of the pillows. It was stuffed so full that dollar bills had pushed their edges and corners out. On the small table next to the window, a box with two almond granola bars, and two bottles, one orange juice and one water, lay in wait. On the chair was a red helmet to match the red Victory Judge parked outside.

He rode into Wooster one week ago so that he would have a chance to look around, prepare himself for today. This was going to be a special day, one he’s waited years for. The excitement was almost too much, sleep was not an option last night. Turning that thought in his mind, he felt his muscles tense. No matter, it had to be done today.

Grunting, he moved to close the door, as there was no relief from the stagnancy. Taking a deep, cleansing breath, his thoughts turned to Silvia. “Dear, sweet, vile, bitch,” he said. Humming a verse from the song, ‘The Last Carnival’, he turned the shower on cold and began to undress, folding each item before placing it neatly on the counter. A quick intake of air, goose flesh instantly visible; he embraces the cold shower.

*******

Sitting on my bed, unable to sleep, I pick up the envelope from my nightstand. I haven’t opened it yet, but I’m sure I know what’s inside. He’s sent these before, pictures of me at grocery stores, at my job, and once coming out of my house. I wonder why he watches me instead of approaching me. It’s like a game of cat and mouse. As soon as I see the photos, I pack up and leave. He taunts me, allows me to get away, just so he can chase me again. “Sick bastard,” I said, shaking my head and wondering what I ever saw in him in the first place.

I use the very sharp letter opener, that I keep in the nightstand drawer, to slice open the envelope. A picture of me walking to work, and a picture of Bruce and I sitting together at the front desk of the warehouse. I sensed his arrival, my refined intuition has been working overtime. I don’t know why I wait for confirmation. In the beginning, nearly twenty years ago, the moment I had any inkling he was near me, I would take off. Maybe I’ve grown accustomed to his ways. Maybe I’ve become too comfortable, playing his game. I’m not sure how ready I am if he decided to full on attack me. I’m tired, completely worn out from all the running, the looking over my shoulder.

I turn my alarm to off before it has the chance to ring. This is the first time that I haven’t known what to do, or instinctively done it. My brain is foggy, yet I am aware of impending doom. It feels like the end. I head to the bathroom. It looks like the top of my head is sliding off to the right, some kind of monster staring back at me.

Today is my day off. I put on my one and only summer dress, an attempt to feel a little girly and of course to assist in alleviating the heat. My hair is still damp from the shower, and I decide to wear it loose today.

On my way out the front door, the cab pulls up to the sidewalk. Once inside, I direct the driver to take me downtown. Carefree and happy, I’m not, yet the temptation to go to the mall and do some shopping has taken over. This is unlike me, but I go with it anyways. Ten minutes in and the traffic is slowing, finally coming to a halt. I’m grateful for the air conditioned vehicle. We inch forward little by little. There are flashing lights up ahead crossing to the other side of the highway. An ambulance and a couple patrol cars block oncoming traffic. I peer out the window as we gradually come up to the scene.

“Oh my god,” I whispered at the horror of it. A red motorbike and a truck pulling a trailer looked to be the vehicles involved. The paramedics were expanding an occupied stretcher in order to roll it to the ambulance. Like in a lagging video, I craned my neck to glimpse the face of the victim. Breathless moments passed, my mouth drooped, my eyes unblinking. The thunderous sound, I discovered once passed the accident, was the rapid beating of my heart. The back of the cab, once cool and welcoming, was now a barren and icy, cramped space. I was puffing out short little breaths, and I caught the cabby’s eyes in the rear view mirror. “Are you alright, miss?” he asked with a furrowed brow and a gentle tone.

“Yes,” I said. Not willing to spurt out anything incoherent, I kept silent. I let him drive me to the mall, where I unloaded myself, heavy and slow, to the sidewalk. A half turn faced me in the direction from which we came. “It couldn’t be him,” I said, suddenly aware that I needed to sit down. I was so hot, perspiring enough for it to drip from my face. One good reason for keeping kleenex in my purse; without too much thought I dab at my forehead, cheeks, and neck. “Oh god, I need a drink.” Slightly more composed with the passing of a few minutes, I retrieve a water bottle from a vending machine just inside the doors. It’s almost gone with the first guzzle. Returning to the same bench, I sat upright and stiff. Thoughts careening one another in my mind. I couldn’t seem to keep anything straight or think a complete sentence. According to my phone, I’d been sitting there for one and a half hours. Not in the mood for shopping anymore, I called another cab, and went home.

With no television, I use my laptop for updating myself on current events. It was in the local paper later that day, a description of the accident and the one dead victim. They showed his picture, his name below it. Joshua Galli; he had joked about only having two names. Catatonic would be the descriptive word used by doctors, if they were to fetch me in that three hour period. Then the floodgates opened letting loose a storm of tears, drool and snot mixing in rivers down my face, interrupted by gasps and grunts in an attempt to breath. Exhaustion finally overtook me.

Waking with a pounding headache and a bloated face is not my idea of a good time, but this was different, leaving me lighter, loosening the ring that gripped my insides for years. I am free. My family is free. Anyone I had come into contact with was free. In such a weird and wonderful twist of fate, I was free.

The End

Hope you enjoyed this! Comments are always welcomed. Let me know what you think!

 

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Lost and Found

lost and found tagAs a child, I don’t recall much loss, and the same throughout my teenage years. There must have been some, and at the time, I assume I responded accordingly. My life was filled with so much happiness and love, that I suppose I was able to just get on with it, or I blocked it out. As a young adult, I remember the loss of family, hitting me hard, but not lasting any great length of time. I can look back now and see the stages of grief I went through, depending on the relation, and how close I was to them in life. My focus seemed to lie with how my parents felt about the loss, not so much me. I can remember thinking about how much they were hurting, and that is what made me sad.

When I married, and had kids of my own, the idea of loss was much greater. I had so much more to lose, much more that was precious to me. I also had a clearer sense of how I responded to loss; part of my journey on getting to know myself better. (…and I just noticed that I put my comfy shorts on inside-out; I wondered why they seemed darker…brb)

There are many different types of loss: death, ability, material things, relationships, plus. At one time in my life, the loss of material things was much greater. Now, yes I will be upset at it, but I will also recover very quickly from it. Even my photo albums, with all the wonderful expressions, and celebrations, and thoughts on the pages, don’t have a hold on me anymore. Again, I would be ticked, but what I have in this world with me now, is of much greater importance.

The loss of my marriage, of the white picket fence, the fairy tale, hit me the hardest, and I also learned the most about myself. My worry for my kids was front and center, and yet I knew there could be no other way. It was the best thing for everyone, and everyone will, in their own time, see that. I came out of that with a wealth of self knowledge and wisdom, that I can draw from.

With aging parents comes my experience with the loss of ability. It is like beginning the grieving process, and putting a hold on it, until the next noticeable change in behaviour, mentally or physically. For me, it feels a little less traumatic, spreading out the anguish into little parts, instead of one giant cry-fest. Learning to adjust to the changes in smaller increments, less pressure, less stress, a transitioning. As I go through it, I can discover my patterns, and adjust my behaviour, my reactions, with a sense of knowing, and an understanding.

As my kids grow into young adults, I experience second-hand loss. I watch their challenges, wins and losses, and grieve on their behalf, for I only want everything in the world for them. I’m not sure how much they actually process, when I share my life experiences with them, in hopes of alleviating some of their hardships. Even though I’m well aware that we have our own journeys and life lessons, I am full of great advice.

With the years beginning to add up on me, I’ve accumulated some losses, and looking back, the best conclusion I can see is; the less we have in material things, the greater the space in our minds, the less traumatic a loss will be. If you have the space to feel and to process and to love; less trauma, more peace. A knowing that the connection you’ve created from clearing the clutter (say that fast five times), will give you strength and the endurance that is needed to continue on. In loss, you find life.

Feel free to add your comments, they are always welcomed!

Writing 101

Bad Man Comes

Day’s end, and I watch through my bedroom window, the darkness swallow the last bit of light. No moon tonight. Too many clouds. I imagine the stars, trying with all their might, to push through the gray. They are unsuccessful. It’s too quiet; no birds, no frogs, nothing. Then the first drops of rain tap at my window, pushed sideways from an unexpected blast of wind. The storm begins.

stormy weather dark cloudsI lay in my bed, warm and comfortable, in between all the feathers. Normally, I would be watching, but I’m unable to stop myself drifting in and out, before I drift for the last time tonight. I’m exhausted, from a row of sleepless nights. My brain working overtime, checking the door and window locks, the alarm, not giving in to sleep. The length of time between nightmares is lessening, as it always does.

I miss having someone sharing my bed, sharing my sleepless nights, sharing my nightmares, my premonitions. I never know when it will start. I’ve had to move three times in seven years, and I can assume, I will be on the move again soon. That is why I’m alone. My mom and I don’t speak. I have a half brother, who travels constantly, so I never know where he is. I had, a fiancee. My life is a horror show, and who wants to share in that. The police are no help, they can’t find him, catch him, kill him. So it’s up to me.

The wind has picked up, alternately singing and hollering. Rain pummels the window with every squall. The curtains gently swing away from the wall and back again, as the air forces its way through any crack. Menacing clouds sway back and forth in time with the wind. The sky lights up, as the lightening sets about her dance.

I am unaware of the show, as my consciousness has finally let go, drifting deeper and deeper.

Bad man comes,

So feet must move,

And move and move,

So not to lose,

This life that breathes,

Inside my veins,

Ebbing, flowing,

As the rains,

That block my view,

Of future light,

Pinpoint, nearly out of sight.

© Gerri Leathley 2014

 

Writing 101: Day Four         Part One. Would love to know what you think. Please leave a comment, good or bad, or whatever you heart desires. I can take it!

My First Dependent

lynx point siamese tabby pet cat

I adopted a beautiful kitten, whom I named Quaker, after searching in encyclopaedias, (yes, it was that long ago), for a cool, and unusual name. Accomplished! My first pet, as a independent, working, woman. She grew up in my apartment, and therefore, was an inside kitty. Unfortunately, for all of my family, she became a cranky kitty, with an attitude. I never had a problem with her. She didn’t scare me.

In the corner of my living room, I had a ginormous dieffenbachia, (no joke), in a ginormous pot. A lipstick plant used to live at the bottom of the dieffenbachia, but, eventually died, leaving visible dirt. It did not matter what I used to deter the cat, she would stir up that dirt, making a mess on my carpet. Of course, this was done while I was at work. After several store-bought, trial runs with disincentives, and failing, I had one left to test. Some sort of twist-tie with a deterrent attached, was tied to the bottom stalk of the plant. When I came home from work, I found it chewed up, by the front door. Years later, someone told me I should have put large rocks at the base of the plant. Shoulda, woulda, coulda!

My friend would cat-sit for me, when I went away. Quaker would race around on her quilt, and put little picks in it. Needless to say, she was not very happy about that. I thank you, friend, from the bottom of my heart, for looking after my kitty.

lynx point siamese tabby cat pet

When we moved to North Vancouver, she went out in the backyard. She didn’t venture very far, as she was getting older, and was a bit sickly. Her weight increased, and she had bad arthritis. She was still cranky though, but, not to me, nor to repair men. A weird attraction to repair men, she had. Quaker was diagnosed with diabetes, so she went on a diabetic diet, and I had to test her blood, and give her insulin. Oh, joy. Her health was not improving, and one lady vet, suggested to the girl at the desk, that owners should not be overfeeding their pets. I should have, in no uncertain terms, given her my thoughts on that. However, at the time, I was completely taken aback, and had no response.

The next vet I took her to, was a naturopathic vet. She decided that Quaker was allergic to the diabetic diet. (Huge, sigh). I put her on the ‘raw food diet’, and within a week or two, she was off the insulin, and losing weight. Her arthritis improved quite a bit, but, her kidneys were getting the best of her. There was always a wet mess around the cat box.

lynx point siamese tabby cat pet with beagle coonhound dog

Quaker had new life in her, and she got another three years of a somewhat healthier life. She was happier, she lost all her extra weight, was more content, could fold her paws under, and didn’t sleep on her back anymore. Happier that is, until we adopted McKay. Notice how they are keeping a close eye on one another. They eventually got used to each other, but, were never good friends. McKay knew her place, Quaker was Queen.

Then comes my first experience, of taking a pet to be put down. She was hurting, and I could see that. Her litter box couldn’t keep up with her, as her kidneys were worsening; from the diabetes and such. I drove her to the naturopath, to have this done. She gave her an exam, and then told me that she would not do it. Quaker could take some pills and have a dramatic recovery. Honestly, I could have screamed, had I not been so emotional, and teary. I marched her off to the other vet; to my relief, they agreed with me, and they put her to sleep.

A gut-wrenching experience, that I know I will have to repeat at some point. In the end, Quaker looked so very peaceful, no more pain, and that made me happy. I know she keeps an eye on me, my beautiful girl.

Just a head’s up, for anyone wishing to get on my nerves: with years of experience under my belt, I will, in a calm, assertive manner, give you my thoughts.

As always, comments are welcomed, and encouraged.