I have no friends but the words talk to me. They don’t say what I read, they say something else.
When I was young I read what I heard. I was diagnosed as being dyslexic but I ignored everyone and concentrated on listening to the words. I hid in that diagnosis for many years.
Sometimes the words make me smile, sometimes they make me cry but most of all they make me curious.
I first met Jim when I was working in a food bank. He came in to ask if he could get some food. He was reeking of Buckfast. I told him that he had to be referred.
He laughed, “Take your referral and your food bank and stick them right up, and I mean right up your fucking arse!”
“Someone once said that life prepares you for what it throws at you.
Man O’ fuck! That’s a very wise and comforting thought for coping.
The sun fell sideways through windows of his home looking on the river, silence an absolute enemy, his mind suddenly clearer than ever, 79-year old Guillaume Gee Gee Poupon threw down his cane and screamed from the head of the stairs: I’m tired of leaning. I’m tired of being alone. I’m tired of this goddamn house holding me like a briefcase. I’m out of here. He cursed in a deep Acadian voice and the sounds brought a smile on his face. Blood pumped in his chest, being known; cavalier, he thought, Vesuvian, oh that once I had been so young.
Denise organized the chairs in a circle, each no more than six inches apart. She sorted the donuts on the tray so each had its own space, none touching. The coffee was positioned to allow for steady traffic and conversation.
Denise smiled and watched each person enter the room, grab donuts, gulp coffee, and slid chairs out of position. She stayed silent, reminding herself this was part of the healing process.
I have a lot of guns. Most of them people have given me, and one I stole. Adam bought me a shotgun to hunt grouse and ptarmigan in the mountains, and we would eat the meat carefully, picking out the pellets. The rifle I couldn’t resist taking from the old man who was an evicted hoarder, and I was hired to clean out his basement. It had been under a pile of new shirts with their tags still on them, and I stuffed it with the clothes in a trash bag, carried it out, and put it in my trunk. I never shot deer, so I would lend it to Adam, who sometimes brought home venison that I would cook with carrots and tomatoes in a stew. A friend had given me the handgun. I had been complaining to her about my current job weeding the landscaping for some man who worked for Google, wore silver chains and Hawaiian shirts, and kept trying to touch my shoulder when we talked.
Alan joined his sister.
“You OK Trish?”
“I’m getting there. I’m no good with this.”
“I know, you can’t handle a hamster dying never mind anything else.