Indelible – #JusJoJan 2018

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She was awakened this morning by one of her recurring nightmares. He was trying to steal her dogs again. She sat up quickly on the side of the bed. So many things that had happened in her first divorce from him had made an indelible mark on her psyche. Harper, her small dog, who was lying on top of her bed had been nudging her. Maybe that had triggered the dream from events that took place 25 years ago.

That divorce and the involvement of the dogs she had at that time hit her like a battering ram. He had tried to use anything she loved, or anything or anyone that loved her, against her. To hurt her. To ruin her reputation. She knew that, this time, this ending of the second marriage, he would do it again. The thought made her lose her breath and feel nauseous.

She let Harper outside and her mind drifted back to the custody fight he had started over her three dogs all those years ago. He had warned her that he was going to take them from her. He didn’t succeed, but he cost her a lot of money and worry in order to keep them. During their first divorce hearing, the judge ruled that she would have custody of the dogs, her precious corgis, even though they were legally considered property. But, he gave him visitation rights. Since he had two pit bull mixes at his house, she let him come to her house to see them. It was a nightmare and everyone knew he was there to see her. She was disgusted.

Over a year passed. She finally received a letter from his attorney. Extortion, she called it. He wanted money in exchange for the cessation of visitation rights. One of the dogs was her mother’s dog. Her mother was terminally ill and lived with her. The middle dog was crippled from birth and a rescue from a breeder. Then there was her precious Kelly. Her dog. There was no choice but to pay the ransom. $25,000. She paid it and kept her dogs. As she watched Harper in the backyard, running and playing, she felt, deep in her gut, that it was about to happen again.

She would not let it. She would take matters into her own hands.

 

This post is part of Linda G. Hill’s JusJoJan 2018 Challenge.

#SoCS – 12/30/2017 – Resolution

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When Linda asked us to respond to the prompt “resolution” for this weekend’s #StreamofConsciousness challenge, it was easy for me to instantly know what I would write about and I decided to let my consciousness just go ahead and stream.

For the first time in over nine years, I will spend 2018 living alone, except for my little dog, Hanna. This coming year, in fact, will be only the second time in my life I’ve ever lived alone, the other time being from 2000-2007. It’s been a long time and, in the month I’ve lived alone so far, it’s been a big adjustment. Just finding out I would be alone was the result of a shocking turn of events in my life. I doubt that I’m over that shock yet. I don’t think we know when shock goes away, do we? I think it ebbs away from our subconscious minds, and perhaps our conscious minds as well, very gradually.

Since I lived alone for a few years in the past, I do know a bit of what to expect. From a practical point of view, I have to get back to taking care of my home on my own again which is no small feat. I’m used to sharing chores and now all the chores are mine, both indoor and outdoor. The first week was hard. Then, I remembered how I’d done everything in the past and, since then, it has become easier by the day. I still have a lot to remember. Things that just haven’t come up yet.

I have business I’ve had to take care of and, of course, I want to continue writing. Blogging, magazine articles, website articles and copy, and finishing up some long form writing projects I have going. A novella. Two actually. Maybe another novel. I want to also work on a serial. I may go back to online teaching in a semester or two.

Besides the practical side of life, there is the emotional aspects of living alone. I don’t really get lonely, so that’s not much of a problem for me. As an only child, I learned to entertain myself and those skills carried over to adulthood. I work from home a lot. It takes time to take care of my home, both inside and out. The business aspect of life takes time. I also have excellent friends. Then there is Hanna, my dog, who definitely takes time. I’m training her to be a good companion dog. By the time I accomplish all this in a day, the day is done.

I do still have to deal with the shock and emotional trauma that precipitated my change in living circumstances. That’s not going to be accomplished overnight. In fact, it will take a long time, if I ever feel free of the events of the past two months.

So, my resolution for 2018? Quite simply, survival. I don’t think it’s a resolution that will be forgotten the first couple of weeks of the year.

The Sounds of the Gulf of Mexico

 

IMG_1407I stand on the pier listening to the sounds of the Gulf of Mexico. It’s always overwhelmed me just to see the Gulf or any part of the ocean. When I get accustomed to seeing it, then I begin to listen to its sounds. There are far more sounds than sights.

The Gulf is generally a calm body of water. If you just listen to the sound of the water, you will hear it gently lapping at the beach or whatever lies at its edge. Other places, such as the island where I live part-time, it laps at the mangroves trees along its banks. Mangrove forests surround parts of my island. They serve as fish hatcheries, protection from hurricanes for the island, and many other purposes in tropical areas. If the tide is coming in and you are at an area where there are rocky beaches, the water sounds like it is slapping the rocks with that sound of slapping turning into almost a cracking sound as the tide comes in faster and faster.

If you are facing the Gulf and not a bay off the Gulf, the sound differs. If the tide is coming in and hitting rocks or a sea wall, you hear a percussive sound, almost a booming. If the Gulf is stirred up due to a storm, the sound becomes almost thunderous and to some, very exciting.

The sound of the Gulf or any part of the ocean appeals to something primitive, perhaps embryonic or even evolutionary, in most of us. It soothes my moods and evens out my temperament. It makes me feel at home.

The Past

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It was fall. The leaves were just starting to turn and it was still warm. Not hot, but warm. The nights were crisp. They were on vacation in a beautiful place. There was a crescent moon and they went for a walk to get a better look. It had been years since they had even taken a walk together. There was no romance between them.

The landscape was flat, but there was a small hill in front of them. They climbed the hill to get a better look at the moon. In front of them was the ocean. He took her hand to help her up. He held on. Her instinct was to let go, but she made herself let him hold her hand. It had been years since they had even held hands. His hand felt foreign to her.

The moon over the ocean was beautiful, casting another moon into the ocean. He had always enjoyed the moon shadow but had never seen it very often over water. Usually just on land. She was a child of the sun. Over the years, she had become afraid of the dark. She didn’t know why. She found herself taking deep breaths, hoping to avoid a panic attack because of being in the dark. He gripped her hand tighter. He knew.

They stood there for a long time. Talking. Reminiscing about all the past years. He wanted to talk about the good times. She could hardly bear to remember the good times, but she tried. Good times with him seemed so very long ago. When he mentioned them, she tried to remember and laughed with him even when she had forgotten something he remembered completely. She had blocked out so much.

He told her he’d like to spend the night there on the beach. That he had sleeping bags in the car. It was his birthday. She hated to disappoint him. She felt like she had spent years disappointing him so she agreed. He found a good place and put the sleeping bags and a cooler with her water and some snacks down. They got in their sleeping bags. If he had done this years ago, she would have been pleased.

They laid there and talked for a while. Not about anything significant. Just about the beautiful place they had found here ten years ago. He reached for her hand. He fell asleep while they were holding hands. She laid there awake for a long time, thinking of how they had been only roommates for so long. How she didn’t know how to be anything else with him now. His hand was warm and made her feel safe. It made her remember the night they met. How he’d made her feel safe that night too. So long ago. She listened to the ocean all night.

She thought of what his mother had said all those years ago.

”It doesn’t matter if you love each other. You come from two different worlds. It will never work out in the long run.”

How right she had been. But, for some reason, they had always hung on to each other even though they would have been so much happier with other people.

She watched the sunrise, her hand still in his. What he didn’t know is that, now, she was sick.

 

Song Lyric Sunday – 10/29/17 – Celebrate!

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When Helen mentioned celebrations and the theme this week of parties, I thought of one of our old party songs, which I still love, Celebrate, by Kool and the Gang, written in 1980. It’s still played at parties, weddings, anywhere there is a celebration.

Celebration”

by Kool and the Gang

Yahoo!
Celebration
Yahoo!
This is your celebration

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)

There’s a party goin’ on right here
A celebration to last throughout the years
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate your party with you

Come on now, celebration
Let’s all celebrate and have a good time
Celebration
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It’s time to come together
It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?
Everyone around the world come on!

Yahoo!
It’s a celebration
Yahoo!

Celebrate good times, come on!
(It’s a celebration)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)

There’s a party goin’ on right here
A dedication to last throughout the years
So bring your good times and your laughter too
We gonna celebrate and party with you

Come on now, celebration
Let’s all celebrate and have a good time, yeah yeah
Celebration
We gonna celebrate and have a good time

It’s time to come together
It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?
Everyone around the world come on!

Yahoo!
It’s a celebration
Yahoo!
It’s a celebration

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate come on now)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)

We’re gonna have a good time tonight
Let’s celebrate, it’s all right
We’re gonna have a good time tonight
Let’s celebrate, it’s all right, baby

We’re gonna have a good time tonight
(Celebration)
Let’s celebrate, it’s all right
We’re gonna have a good time tonight
(Celebration)
Let’s celebrate, it’s all right

Yahoo!
Yahoo!

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(It’s a celebration)

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)
(Come on and celebrate tonight)
Celebrate good times, come on!
(‘Cause everything’s gonna be alright, let’s celebrate)

Celebrate good times, come on!
(Let’s celebrate)
Celebrate good times, come on!

SongLyricSunday

 

#Song Lyric Sunday – 10/21/17 – Imagine

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The theme for Helen’s Song Lyric Sunday this week is “peace.” The only song that I thought of was the classic “Imagine” by John Lennon, written in 1971.

”Imagine”

by John Lennon

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today… Aha-ah…

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world… You…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

 

 

NaNoWriMo Begins November 1

It’s that time of year! National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)  begins November 1, 2017. I’m participating this year for the first time. Anyone else?

I have a really busy month, but I’m giving it a try. If anyone needs a buddy, let me know in the comments!

Obsession

WARNING: ADULT CONTENT. MATURE AUDIENCE ONLY

Sighing, Rebecca finished her Coke, paid her tab, and started back up to her room in Atlanta. Patrick had asked that she meet him there. Even though they had been lovers for the most of 35 years, it had been a long time since she had seen him. Rebecca had just escaped to the hotel bar. She hadn’t known Patrick had once again remarried when she agreed to meet him. He had just told her, along with telling her that his wife was a vindictive woman with the capability of harming both of them. Rebecca was quite upset.

She went upstairs and let herself into the room. Patrick was watching television. He didn’t speak as she came in. She put down her purse and sat down in the chair by the window.

“Patrick, can we talk some more?”

“When you left, Becca, I didn’t know if you were coming back. How could you make me feel like that?”

“Patrick, don’t be ridiculous. My luggage and all my stuff is here. Of course you knew I’d be back. I just had to think. You told me some really shocking stuff.”

“So what do you want to know?”

“I want to know more about Wendy, Patrick, since you say she could actually hurt me.”

“I didn’t mean physically hurt you.”

“Why don’t you explain exactly what you do mean, Patrick. You said she went to your ex-wife and told her about the two of you. That is pretty shocking to me since you had three underage children.”

Patrick got out of bed and put on his robe. Rebecca noticed he had obviously been to his room as he had brought some of his stuff over to her room. He sat down in the other chair at the table by the window.

“Becca, she would be likely to do to you just what she did to Elizabeth. She tried to ruin her life. I told you that she is a computer hacker, right?”

“Yes, Patrick, but that is against the law.”

“Becca, hackers are seldom caught.”

“So what would she do, Patrick? Spill it.”

“She might try to hack into your bank accounts and credit cards, Becca. She could clean out your bank accounts and run up your credit cards.”

“There is fraud protection on all of that, Patrick.”

“Yes, but it would be a giant pain for you to take care of it all before real damage was done to your credit. She could also steal your identity through your tax returns or credit records, Becca, and that is much more serious for you.”

“It would also be much more serious for her when I lead the feds right to her.”

“Becca, you wouldn’t do that to me, would you? I’d already be in enough trouble with her if she found out about us.”

Rebecca just sat there and stared at Patrick. Who was this sitting before her?  What had Wendy done to him? Was he really married to such a woman? He said he loved Wendy. How could he love someone like that?

“Becca, are you going to walk out on me?”

Rebecca sighed and looked at Patrick. “No, I’ll stay, but Patrick, you really should have told me about Wendy so I could make an informed decision.”

“I knew you wouldn’t come,” Patrick said.

“No, Patrick, you didn’t know that.”

Rebecca got tears in her eyes and her voice sounded choked up as she spoke, “I’ve loved you for so many years. Even these past twelve years, I’ve never stopped loving you. I had to come. I had to see you, to see how you are, to be with you. You knew this. You took advantage of it. You should have thought enough of me to at least tell me that you’re married to a crazy person.”

“She’s not really crazy, Becca. Just insecure,” Patrick said softly.

“OK,” Rebecca said. “Whatever you say. I’m going to bed. If she comes here, don’t let her chop me up in my sleep.”

Rebecca undressed and got into bed. Patrick followed her, turning out lights as he went.

In the dark, he said, “Becca?”

“What?”

“Do you still love me?”

“I’ve always loved you, Patrick, and probably always will.”

“Do you regret meeting me?”

“Patrick,” Rebecca said, “Don’t you think it’s about 35 years too late to worry about that? To answer your question, no.”

“How could you possibly not regret meeting me? I’ve ruined your life.”

“Patrick, we’ve had this conversation before. You haven’t ruined my life. In many ways, you’ve made my life.”

“Could you tell me what you mean? I know you’ve told me before but I need to hear it again.”

“I can’t ever remember a time when you weren’t good to me, Patrick. We’ve had our fights, but you did your best to be kind under the circumstances. I can’t imagine that any two people could have loved each other more intensely than we’ve loved. You’ve shown me the world, from Europe to the Caribbean to South America to North Africa. I would have never gotten to see any of that without you and you made it as romantic as you could possibly make it. I still think of the nights we spent in those castles in Portugal. You’ve made me laugh more than any other person ever could and love harder than I thought possible. How could I possibly regret knowing you?”

As she talked, Patrick listened. Not the Patrick who had the plan, but the Patrick she met all those years ago. He was the Patrick who had finally been diagnosed with bi-polar syndrome when he was in his 20s. It had plagued him all his life. Rebecca was the only woman who had ever accepted him as he was. They shared some common characteristics. Not his bi-polar tendencies, but they both liked to have fun, take a little risk, and they just seemed to fit. He often wondered why he’d never asked her to marry him.

“I still love you, Becca,” Patrick said. “I always have.”

On the other side of the bed, silent tears slid down Rebecca’s face. She knew that on some level, Patrick meant what he said. She knew he couldn’t sustain any relationship. He’d also loved Elizabeth. In some way, he probably loved Wendy. Not only was his bi-polar condition uncontrolled, but he was a highly intelligent, very complex man with many facets to his personality. The bi-polar syndrome made him very insecure.

“Patrick,” Rebecca said, sobbing, “Surely you know that I would get down on my knees. I would do anything for you.”

Patrick took her in his arms and they began to make their kind of love.

Copyright @2017 Rosemary Carlson

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