“Absorb the gloom/to the core of your despair/let your anguish stumble in that room/Until it makes the stair.” – J. Calder Joseph, “A Path Alone”
Vivian kept me guessing from the start. There were those long Sunday afternoons in bed, the leisurely way she read the paper at the breakfast table, the lovely walks along the river. She surely must be in love with me, I thought.
But then, there were the several days between returned phone calls. The underthings belonging to someone else lying in the bathroom hamper. The grocery list on the fridge for filet mignon and champagne, and I was never here for those meals.
She must have been in love with someone else. Eventually I broke it off, drifted for a while, and finally found someone who was much better for me, someone who shopped with me for groceries, returned my phone calls promptly, and never had unfamiliar underthings in her clothes hamper.
Years later I ran into a mutual friend at a party, someone who had known Vivan and myself at the same time. He told me Vivian did not have the ability to love. He said she had “the soul of a Satan.” And at first I believed him. It wasn’t until later that night, after the party, lying in bed with my own partner and remembering how it was to lie in bed with her those many many years ago, that I realized he was probably leading me on about her. He must have wanted Vivian for himself.
Update – It’s cold outside!
It’s unusually cold here in Seattle tonight (37 degrees F), and they say it might snow overnight. Of course, we don’t get much “snow” here in our marine climate compared with the Midwest or the East Coast, but we think it’s cold when it’s in the 30s, and my daughter knitted me this cowl for Christmas, to help me stay warm.
My flash fiction piece “She Kept Me Guessing” (above) was inspired by my thinking about a difficult situation I’ve been going through with a family member this year, someone who is in a painful place and has made things painful fo. In the long run, I believe that the situation will be resolved, and in the meantime, I try to find inspiration in expressing myself in my own writing, and also in the writing of others around me.
I am delighted to be connecting with so many bloggers recently whose work is so creative and varied. I would like to thank the many kind writers who have recently added me to their “Follow” list. Having an audience is an immense comfort for a writer, and I am grateful that you have given me the gift of your time and attention. Thank you!
I have found that blog writers are people who are keenly dedicated, passionate and compassionate, and insightful observers. Please take care, and to everyone: I wish you the very best for the New Year!