Felix Silla, lived in room #106. He was short, hairy, bald, with light brown hair on the sides of his head, and on the back of his head too. His right leg wouldn’t bend when he walked, and his left leg dragged. He would always wear shorts that grazed his knees and a tee-shirt that hugged his firm body. The tee-shirts he wore never came down past his waist line. He would smile every-time you say something to him, even the simplest hello. When someone would make a joke or say something funny, he would put his right hand over his open mouth, the palm of his hand facing out and throw his head back.
It’s been a long time, Felix. I still feel joy, when you come to my mind.
On Saturday mornings, I used to put out mail. In the residents mail boxes. Once it was passed out. I made an announcement over the intercom. Felix was always the first one down and others soon followed. He would grab his talking-books he ordered or if he had an envelope he would shuffle to the desk where I sat, and ask me who it was from. And then quietly go back to his room. I don’t know why Felix stood out to me at mail time. It might have been the way he struggled a bit to get down to the mail box so fast to see if there was something waiting for him.
When we went to supper all the residents and him would joke around. They would call him Alpo: One time, he went shopping, and grabbed a can on accident.(This happens a lot because my residents are blind.) There was no shame in Felix game he announced it to everyone one night during supper, and that was always the going joke.
When he would come to the medicine desk at eight-o-clock. He would carry a red, white, and black transistor-radio. He would sit it up on my counter, turn it down, and say”You getting tired yet Shelley” I would tell him. Yes I was, until you showed up! he would turn red, put the back of his hand over his open mouth and throw his head back laughing. He took his medicine and headed straight back to his room.
When I noticed Felix being a bit more quiet and not AS prompt. I would make a pit stop by his room, after all my meds were passed. He would be laying there toward the wall, curled up, with that red, white, and black transistor-radio, tucked inside the circle of his arm listening to music. I’d ask him if he was okay or if there was anything I could do? He’d tell me his neck hurt. I asked him if I could rub it for him. And he said “yes Shelley”
I feel pensive whenever Felix comes to my mind. He comes often. He was one of the first resident who showed me the meaning of humble, not the definition. The way he lived his life. Simple, sweet, funny, and quiet.
The night he passed he was holding on to that red, white, and black transistor-radio
Decisions, decisions How are you more likely to make an important decision-by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?
If you would have asked me this question about four months back, I would have told you that I contemplated on all my decision. I would call my three life lines and run things by them asking what they thought? After having confirmation from them, I would still teeter and stagnate. Sometime its easier to play it safe, Don’t you think? One of my procrastinations was moving, yes moving out of the Tin Can. It had nothing to do with the fact that it was a trailer. We had not been good at keeping the trailer up. The home needed some repairs. There were some dents in the floor, the carpet had been there since I moved in eight years ago, windows were cracking and leaking, the place just needed to be refurbished. If I knew then what I know now I would have made the changes it needed before moving in. If you want me to be real though. My finances at the time would not allow me to do the repairs, it needed then. It was perfect for me than because it was just myself and my foster baby. He was getting ready to leave and go live with his grandma. This was not a choice of mine. We prayed and prayed. The day they tested his D.n.a, because an older lady thought he’d belonged to her son. If that was the case she wanted to step up. My family and I fought hard for the little, dark, chunk of burning love but we lost… He brought us seven months of joy and the decision was out of my hands.
We had to make a decision about the trailer. To put money the money we had into it or find something else. We wracked our brains and eyes, always driving around looking but nothing more than looking. I was getting board and confused about what my husband wanted to do. He wasn’t saying much. I was overwhelmed with all the things we accumulated and needed to get rid of because they were collecting dust. I made a phone call one day to my dad and told him basically what I wrote to all of you. He informed me that I was holding myself back and gave me clarity.
Dad: Shelley, Sometimes you have to hold your nose and jump in. I would be still living in the trailer you grew up in, if I hadn’t jumped. You make your decision than you learn that sometimes there right and sometimes there wrong. The only way you’ll find out, is by taking a chance. You’re a good judge and whatever you choose to do I-am confident you will be okay.
We made the move and I feel so much better. We did not buy a house, yet. We our living in a five-room duplex its small, remodeled and clean. We got rid of all those things that were collecting dust, if we need any maintenance work we just call the landlord. This works for us right now because we work, have a child, and a marriage to maintain. We decided at this point we’re not big fix it people. So if we bought a house we might end up right back in the situation we started in. If there is one thing I try to live by that also came from my dad years ago. “Never Back Only Forward”
It turns out that your neighbor on the Plane (or the person sitting at the table next to you is a chatty tourist. Do you try to switch seats go for a non-committal brief small talk, or make this person your new best friend?
Shortly after my graduation, I flew to Florida to visit a friend. I boarded the plane and found my seat it was on the right hand side of the back of the plane. I was one seat away from sitting next to the isle. There was a space between me and a short, slender, Korean lady. She had her face and body pressed towards the window as far as she could go. She gave me a glance and then smashed herself back into the window. I sat down and got situated with my music gear preparing for take off. I noticed after I stopped shuffling around. My neighbor, was sniffling and quivering. Was she crying I thought to myself? All I could see was her long, shiny, healthy, black, hair. I figured I better put my headset on and mind my own business. (not typically my style).
After we got up in the air she peeled herself off the seat and told me she had to use the restroom. She had a few Kleenex in her hand waded up when she came back. I could see her watery eyes, her red nose, and another surprise growing in her tummy. I figured this was a sad situation, after about an hour of still hearing her sniffling, catching her breath and quivering. I decided to approach her. I knew it was the right thing to do. If she turned me down I could live with it and have no regrets.
Me: Are you going to be okay
Her: No not for a while
Me: If you would like to talk about it, we can?
Her parents sent her off to college. I can’t recall which one, this has been years ago. I want to say somewhere in Washington D.C They had deposited a check into an account for her to help get by while she was going to school. The amount was insane TO ME. I take they were well off. She then started crying, telling me most of the money was gone. She had met some friends at college and they decided to boycott school and take a few trips. She told me during this time she met someone who was married and basically dated him until she got pregnant then things started going down hill. He disappeared and quit answering her calls, he even changed his number and left the job he had. She was telling me all this and scratching herself all over her body. She said the pregnancy was stretching out her skin and making her itch, she wasn’t able to keep any food down, her clothes were getting to small and she wasn’t happy. She hadn’t told her parents about the money or the baby. She said the only people who knew was herself, the boyfriend and me. She told me she left town after people started asking her if she was pregnant. She sobbed and sobbed as she poured herself out to me. She was looking for someone somewhere to perform an abortion. She said only certain States perform them after a certain amount of months. She was five months, twenty weeks and torn about the decision. She said she could feel the baby moving around inside her and it was basically pulling at her heart-strings. The conversation went around in a circle for most of the flight. I never said much to her because I felt like I was there to listen. I stayed as monotone as I am in this post. When the plane landed she grabbed me and gave me a hug. I hugged her tighter and told her she would be in my thoughts, and she has been for almost twenty years.
It was more towards the end of the month. when people start decorating for the fourth of July. We are from The United States. We had been out late this particular night and Gabe was still wound for sound. I told my husband to drive around for a few minutes he agreed. We drove down a road that seemed a bit more lit up with red, white and blue. Gabe pointed out “look mom it’s the American flag?” (He Is five.)
Mom: Yes Gabe
Gabe: Can we get out and say the Pledge Of Allegiance
Steve and I looked at one another like we didn’t know what he was talking about? Steve whispered to me. “I thought they took the Pledge out of schools”
Me: I’m not sure… Gabe who taught you the Pledge?
Gabe: Mrs W
I told Steve we need to do as he asked us because of what it represents and to MYSELF and my HUSBAND it’s freedom, sacrifice, and God
Me: Park across the street in that vacant lot. We step out of the car, we put our right hand over our hearts and say the pledge. Gabe knew the whole pledge and never missed or skipped a beat. I was not only proud to be his mother at that moment (and many others of course.) I was also proud of the teacher who taught him about the flag and the pledge!
Describe your last nightmare. What do you think it meant?
All last week I was busy, with my regular job, side job and spending time with family that I haven’t been able to sit-down and write. I couldn’t wait until today. I have a few hours for myself. I had planned on writing to all of you but my slate was blank. Then as I was looking at my reader my eyebrows raised up from the dead!
Nightmares: They have stuck by me my entire life. I can’t say that I have never had a good dream because it would be a lie. I wrote a poem not so long ago about windows which didn’t actually turn out the way I seen it but was one of the most symbolic dreams of my life. Do I believe dreams have a meaning? Yes, sometimes it’s a direct line from god to you. Go ahead and chuckle. We all have gifts and it says so here.
My friend Christy decided to move to a gated community. She asked me to think about moving in? I decided to pop in for an unannounced visit one evening! It was spitting rain, foggy and only a few cars sat in the parking lot. I got out of my car to no voices, no birds chirping or wind blowing. I walked up the steel stairs to apartment number thirty-eight and loudly knocked! the door opened slow as she peeked her head from behind it, bleakly staring at me without a word. She walked over to her card table. On top of it was a black rotary phone. The phone rang and startled the crap out us! She answered hello in a mono tone voice. she answered yes, no, and said Thank you? After she hung up she informed me she was going to step outside. I watched her walk down the stairs, pass the parking lot, to a vacant, dusty, storage unit. I decided to head down there. Upon arrival, my friend of twenty some years was holding a cigarette and trying to hide it. After all these years? I was just about ready to say something. Then out of nowhere I heard my name being called. It was muffled and faint but it was my name. I squinted my eyes looking around for whoever it was. Then over by the stairs I saw what looked to be an old man with a brown, dirty, tattered cloak that covered is head. He barely made my name out as he motioned me over. The closer I got I noticed he or she was cradling something in his hand. When we came up on one another I could barely see his face to make out the sex of what was in front of me. The small baby he cradled in one arm looked like a blow up toy that had just been deflated. He held the baby out as to offer me to take him, I wept over his lifeless body as I wrapped my arms around him for a better grip. He opened up his mouth and took a bite out of my arm with his three sharp pointy teeth, I pressed through the pain without loosing a stride. We walked over to the storage shed, and went inside. The light rica shade off the glossy tiles making them look like porcelain, the showers were on and a blanket of clear water covered the tiles and my bare feet. I lathered the baby up with soap, hugs, and kisses over and over with each piece of affection his lifeless body begun to fill up. He became the full, beautiful, thriving baby he was created to be all because of love life was restored.
Do you have animals in your life? If no, why have you opted not to?
I have recently drifted from the 101, however I will eventually finish what I started. It may not be right on schedule but someday I will get it done. When I saw the prompt about our animals my mind started flooding about my dog, Murphy. He’s a Yorkie. He was mine first and foremost. My mom Linda called me out of the clear blue sky shortly after my “grams” passed away. She told me she was coming to get me we were going to go on a ride.
So let me inform y’all about my mom Linda. When she calls ya out of the blue and tells you she is on her way to pick you up, clap your hands together, keep them together swiftly rubbing them like you’re warming yourself up because something good is about to come your way. Linda is hard to catch and always on the go for the good of the family. If you ever get a chance to take a ride with her she is one train you don’t want to miss!
The trip was long. I can’t even tell you exactly where the place was. We went through five towns to get there,towns you only hear about on the weather radio. You know the ones you google and they only have like ten people living in them? uh yea, most of the driving consisted of narrow bumpy roads and lots of fields. One point on the car ride I had chalked it up that she had, had enough of my deep dark side and was going to end it for both of us. This is only a glimpse of how my imagination runs away with itself. I guess that is what I get for being a complete horror nut most of my life. My favorite seat in the house as a child was on grams lap eating sauerkraut from the jar, watching Hitchcock, Tales from The Darkside, and whatever mystery or horror grams had on. The older I got it just progressed maybe one day y’all can get a load of my nightmares.
We finally got to our destination.
An old house, on an old road, with an old farm. My mom pulled up into the driveway right next to a white utility van with no windows. The van looked to be old, It had rust in random spots, dents that looked as if during a high-speed chase they hit whatever was in their way and kept going. To the left was a cage th
[/caption]at had about five sections, each cage had three or four adult dogs in them. There was what I thought to be a chicken coop behind the cage? The house was white and it even looked as if it were lopsided. I sat in the car with my hand on the door handle observing and debating about getting out, Linda says in a firm tone let’s go! and gets out of the car quickly. I’m still holding on to the door handle. She says whats wrong? Well first of all were in the middle of no where, no one is coming outside to meet us, I’m just letting you know if we have to scream, screaming ain’t going to get anyones attention around here its going to fuel the flame. I don’t know if this is safe… My mom being my mom “Shelley get out of the car!” we walked up to the door Linda leading me, I’m trailing behind mumbling “as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.” She motions me with her hand and an a violent whisper, “get over here!” she knocks on the door, we wait for a few moments, Linda is all up in the screen doing a side to side type thing with her head trying to get a glimpse of someone or something but cannot see through all the residue on the window. This wasn’t helping the thoughts that were playing out in my head. The lady cracks the screen only sticking her nose out. “Do you have the Yorkies for sale says Linda?” The lady stepped out of the door and kid you not. You know the grandma in Texas Chainsaw massacre? Yep same physique and hair do. I could have been too far into my imagination but I was scared out of my wits! She said “follow me” you know that chicken coop we discussed earlier? We’re headed right towards it. I whispered in Linda’s ear let’s just go home? “shut up Shelley” when she opened the door of the coop the smell of dog poo took your breath away, you couldn’t escape a fly, the dogs barking and yelping sounded like human cries for help, and the medium-sized cages with more than one dog in them was an animal lovers worst nightmare.
I was in a puppy mill for the first time in my life and was over whelmed with sadness, helplessness and anger. The company surrounding me was obviously not on the same page. (I stood there as my mom walked forward with the lady from the massacre) and looked around at miles upon miles of puppies. Linda says where are the yourkies? We headed to the back to the far left corner of the coop. This particular cage sat lower than the rest and was a bit longer in size, In the corner all curled up was my dog “this is the last one he was the biggest out of the litter” and I reckon that is why nobody took him.” My mom said “he is yours if want him?” yep let’s go! My mom chuckled as the lady handed Murphy to me. She said “are you sure this is the dog you want?” are you kidding? This is who we came for and this is who we’re leaving with, he shook as he always does when he’s scared. She handed him to me, his cage was right by the door so I made a mad dash outside. When Murphy saw the light for the first time he could barely open his eyes, when I put him down on the ground he marched in one place getting used to the grass, after he did his business he walked over putting his paw on my shoe letting me know to pick him up.
My mom did the deal with the devil and we were on our way!
Murphy has always showed his appreciation of my rescue that day. He has been exactly what my mom bought him for, my grief. Through my grams, through my foster child, our twins and a few of my residents. He knows my grief cry compared to any other cry. He is patient when the grief comes, it’s almost like he knows I need that time to mourn. He will walk slowly over to where I’m lying and every time a tear falls he nestles right under my neck as if he is trying to catch every single one.
Day Six: A Character-Building Experience Today’s Prompt; Who’s the most interesting person or people you’ve met this year?
Do you prefer an open book or a mystery?
The most interesting person I have met this year is only what I have made her up to be. She prefers to play hide and seek, not only with who she is but with her words. If you read them over and over again, like any good book or movie, you can gather up pebbles she has dropped along the way.
The life she describes behind the screen as a wife, teacher, and friend looks nothing like the words she writes of a life of love she walked away from many miles down the road, and now is nothing but a hologram over her shoulder. She projects words out to her audience like an eagle gliding on an invisible air current.
My eyes fill with water enough to blur my vision, my throat tightens, and my heart goes out to her every time I read her words. I’m left wondering where she’s hiding, who she is, and how or if I should throw her a life jacket to help her out of the deep rough water she seems to be in.
I’m typically drawn to people with wounds.It’s my nature to pick them up and cradle them in my arms, swaying back and forth or side to side. I wish I could crawl inside the screen to figure out a way to help her go back to the era of which she speaks. However, I don’t want to forfeit the fantasy I have created so, for now, I will take the quilt my grandma stitched depicting the milestones of my life and lay it down where everything is green. A small emerald creek bubbles over the mossy rocks as the animals relish the cooling water. Green saplings delicately line each side of the creek, forming a canopy from the beaming sun. I find a tree to lean against and quietly read her poetry worthy of rustic frame thickly lined with white leaves and the backdrop of the place I described to you.
Today’s Prompt: You stumble upon a random letter on the path. You read it. It affects you deeply, and you wish it could be returned to the person to which it’s addressed Write a story about this encounter.
I left the bar earlier than everyone else that night. My car was in the parking lot across the brick road. The air was muggy making it hard to breath. I swiftly looked both ways mainly using my Peripheral vision, there were a few street lights but no soul in sight, My keys were in my hand as I galloped across the road I worked on finding my door key so when I got to my car I could hurry up and get in. I walked up to my door and unlocked it. I climb inside, put the key into the ignition, look up to see a letter on my windshield. I wrestled with my thoughts before grabbing the letter off my window.
I saw you hit my car. I took down your plates!
phew wee, this isn’t my letter. I crinkle it up and give it a toss!
Today’s Prompt: Write about a loss: something (or someone) that was part of your life and isn’t anymore. Today’s twist: Make today’s post the first in a three-post series.
If you had the power to change one thing about this world what would it be and why? Please feel free to leave your answer in the comments.
In my last post we talked about songs that had important meaning in my life. In which I told you Phil Collins, In The Air tonight: reminded me of my friend Nikki and her mom. She was the first friend in elementary school I ever had. She is my lost someone who isn’t anymore.
The school we both attended at the time was predominately all white. She was the color of a Snickers Bar and I was a bit lighter like the background of a Cheerios box. We both had coarse curly hair, only with hers you could see her curls, since her mom knew how to manage it. My hair was just a thick, short, frizz ball of fuzz that stood straight up.
My friend and I would have sleep overs. We would always play with each others hair especially when our hair was wet. We would have competitions about who’s hair was longest. She would always win. This did not bother me. I was just glad to have a friend who was like me. She didnt stare at me, she didn’t ask me questions about my dad, Why he had red hair and was white and I was dark with hair that didn’t necessarily add up! She loved me the way people should love regardless of color, gender. size, age and anything else that will fit into this category. She was the only black girl this “black girl” had and I’m not black, but it was the way kids and adults seen us, from the “outside.”
I lost understanding and equality when she vanished from my life.
I never knew what she meant to me until the day before yesterday. My thoughts have come back to her all my life. Recently my dad sent me a message it was a link to her dad’s obituary, When we were asked to write about the songs that had significant meaning “In The Air Tonight” was the first song that came to the shore, now here I am writing this post about loss and yet she shows up again…
This is why I been writing. To get down to the nitty-gritty of all the things that have been laying dormant in my life for years. I won’t lie somethings have lingered especially the bullies but I’m pressing forward in hopes to forgive those who know not what they do. I have been held hostage long enough and I,m to old to be looking over my shoulder wondering why these kids treated me the way they did.
Steve and I have been looking for houses. This has been an ongoing battle in more ways than one. The more time it takes, I realize “What I am looking for is not out there its inside me” Helen Keller