Tuesday, October 30, 1984

A Laughing Child Is Never Alone

Aimlessly running amok.

Light in her eyes is
An inspiration to onlookers.
Under a siege of energy and gaiety.
Hopeful, invigorating,
Never giving in.

Charming and happy isn’t always innate.
Laughter is not always part of demeanor.

Insolent, silent.

Never to be a burden.
Endlessly struggling,
Vowing to remain ever in repose.

Always wanting someone to love me.
Only to further my sense of being a nuisance.
Existing was not meant for me.

Monday, October 15, 1984

Just Another Autumn Day -- A Short Story

It was a blustery golden autumn day. Julia had decided to brave the gusts if only to escape the shrieking in her house. As she walked, kicking the shriveled auburn leaves along her path, the wind began to sting her tear-streaked eyes and cheeks with its briskness. She had barely managed to flee with her jacket, which had been beside the door. But she hadn’t been able to slip her shoes on or snatch them from the closet. Julia’s feet began to ache and then numb as the dampness of the rocks and mulch sank through her thin and worn socks. Numbness was exactly what she wanted. She took a long, deep swig of the bottle of peppermint schnapps she had stuffed in her coat pocket to numb her insides.

At home, Julia’s mother had always been the center of some crisis. Julia was only noticed when some inconsequential words or action triggered off the crisis. Then she would become helplessly entangled in a struggle to ease her mother’s pain and retreat to nurse her own resulting wounds. The battle had been over a long time before. Julia knew that was the only acceptable choice to make.

There were others who always tried to intervene and ease tensions. Somehow Julia got lost in the confusion. They all made it seem as though things might be difficult but manageable if only Julia weren’t there to complicate things. Just her presence seemed too much of a burden and so she was often sent to stay with friends until mom was better. Julia had never meant to be a problem but she just couldn’t seem to stay out of the way or help out enough.

It had and always would be the way things were. Nothing she could ever say or do could ever be good enough. She never did anything her mother could be proud of, only things that embarrassed or ashamed her to be claimant of such a child.

They never could be friends. Oh yes, they needed each other desperately. But they were never friends. For so many years Julia had seen the compassion, support, and comfort her mother had gotten from people. She wanted some of that for herself, but she was always either forgotten or undeserving of it. She was never a priority.

Julia finally sat on a rock, her bottle emptied during the hike. Her feet were numb, but she could still sense the soreness from climbing the rocks. Autumn always made things more serene to Julia. The lake she now looked upon was the most peaceful and accepting thing she had ever seen. It was quite a distance down to its surface, but she could see shimmering light reflecting off of it. This was her favorite spot. She came here often to escape, make decisions, and think. She had made so many decisions here.

Julia stood slowly, stretching her legs and arms. She gazed around her at the splendor of gold and red leaves, the mountains and cliffs, and the tranquil lake. It was breathtaking and yet it was always followed by the frozen death of winter. She could enjoy it while it lasted because she knew it would soon end.