Maggie’s Memory

I wanted to go to Berlin last summer. I’d purchased two round trip, first-class tickets, a hotel room, and an upgraded rental car for me and my sister Lucy. Instead, I fell down the stairs of my apartment building and broke my right arm in three places. I got stuck in the hospital for a week because it was such a severe injury.  Lucy said I was lucky I didn’t crack my skull open too. Looking back now, I think she may have been right. My arm was still casted up to the middle of my bicep. Friday evening, a week after my release from the hospital, I slid grouchily  around my second story apartment in the heart of North Hollywood. The heat was nearly unbearable, one hundred and six degrees. I suffered from an overly itchy arm, cabin fever, and a huge dose of self pity. I couldn’t write  my stories, or type up my articles on my laptop. When I finally decided to even try to write, it was barely legible and looked like the work of a drunk two year old. Tommy, my boss and my editor, called to say that he was mildly perturbed for losing his “second best” journalist for at least a month. I reminded him that if I had not broken my arm, I would have been in Berlin, chasing their latest music scene.

My boyfriend came by every day though. He was so handsome. Devon, dark brown eyes, six feet and some change, muscles where muscles shouldn’t exist on a man. His skin was the color of caramel. I liked kissing him. I think he liked kissing me too. He used to tell me “Maggie, you have the lips of a goddess.” I never knew how to take that though, because if he’d kissed a goddess, then, what the hell was he doing kissing me? The morning  he told me I smelled like a freshly baked peach pie, I thought we’d be together for ever. I never had the courage to tell him that I was having such a pity party the evening before, that I had my sister Lucy stop at the cute little French bakery on the corner of my street and  bring over a whole peach pie and some vanilla bean  ice cream so that I could eat it all by myself. As, I had forbidden Lucy to take the trip without me, she stayed and watched me eat the entire pie. We were both miserable. She told me about her day. John, her favorite patient had died suddenly, so my company was welcomed. She was happy to bring the pie and the ice cream. She had plans of her own. She’d eaten about thirty purple lollipop’s in John’s honor that day. We fell asleep on the couch, my arm raised with pillows and she snoring in her purple scrubs, and my three tabby cats, Muffy, Popcorn and Speedy draped over the back of the oversized brown leather sofa.

The next morning, I woke up first at the sound of loud footsteps just outside my apartment door. I heard a key scratching against the lock and I knew it was Devon. I made a valiant effort to run to the tiny half a bathroom to brush my teeth, and I’d forgotten that I’d already used the last of the Colgate. He slipped into the bathroom behind me and put his hands in my tangled mass of hair. “Mmm… you smell like peach pie. Get dressed. I’m taking you out of this dump today.” he whispered. ” I need more toothpaste.” I retorted. And he stood there staring at me liked I’d shot him in the face with a pellet gun. Mild disgust. I noticed it just for a second. “I got a job in Maryland.” He stated. I know now that he assumed that I would drop everything and go with him. We broke up. It wasn’t messy. He just laid his key on the counter when I looked at him like he’d shot me in the face with a double barrel shot gun. I said goodbye, as I heard the door shut with a very final snap.  Lucy didn’t even stir. She heard nothing, but dreamt everything. She told me later that day as we walked to the corner bakery for more peach pie.

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Mother’s Pearls

Two weeks ago, our mother’s pearls fell to the floor with a small crash. I knew it was those pearls as I looked out of the giant bay window in her overly decorated, and lavender scented bedroom. I had never seen her wear them. I had never heard her speak of them. Part of me hoped those pearls weren’t very expensive. The other part of me hoped that she wouldn’t ask me to fix them. I had never really had a true appreciation for pearls. They seem so sterile and plain. Pearls are supposed to be precious. Yes, precious, but who gets to determine the quality of a what a gem is and what it  isn’t.  As I went to collect the unstrung, fragmented pearls from the dust ridden oak floor, I noticed the pink fuzzy lint from her sexy low heeled pink satin slippers with the fuzz near the peek-a-boo toe, laying haphazardly underneath my mother’s four poster cherry stained bed. I hated those shoes and what they represented. My grandmother and her desperate need to be loved. Her desperate need to seem as though she was perfect in every way.  I could see her vividly in my mind looking like some made up character from a 50’s pin up magazine. Lips, slick with fire engine  red lipstick, black pill box hat tilted slightly to the left, the black lace veil falling just over her left eye, lips curled in a come- hither- and- get-me  grin. I am sure she wreaked of the latest rosy smelling perfume she’d spent a week’s wages on. I hated that look, and that smell sometimes. She made me angry. She died when Maggie and I turned Eleven. She never got to explain to me about my gifts.

The constant mechanical thuds of the whirlpool dishwasher in the kitchen brings me back to this reality. It makes me remember that I don’t really hate my mother for asking me to fix her stupid pearls, and that I just miss my grandmother’s presence. Perhaps it was my mother’s sadness that I felt as a child, that I carry to this day when I look at my grandmother’s solemn face in the washed out photograph that hangs on the living room wall, next to the photo of my mother when she was a child and the rest of the dead people in my family. That day, I hung the newly framed picture of my own dead mother on the wall next to my grandmother Phillips, and suddenly, that constant sadness slipped away in the thick of the madness I call my thoughts. I was free from the chain that bound me to both of them. My second thought is that I’ll tear this house apart and erase all the despair, fear, and treachery that happened under this roof. I will also fix my mother’s silly pearls, perhaps my grandchildren will find an appreciation for them. I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror as I walk to the front door, and it seems as if it were my mother looking back at me, she knows what I am thinking. She knows she won’t have to ask me to fix those pearls. She knows I miss her like crazy. She knows that Maggie will be broken for a little while, but eventually she will pull herself together. I know she loved us, more than anything. I let my tears fall silently, and I shut the giant oak door in my wake. I couldn’t wait to get back to my life on this side of the universe.

Lucy’s Memory

The sweet and sugary scent of peach pie came to my senses quickly, and then it left.  My ears perked up and my stomach began to bellow cries of emptiness even though I had already eaten my fill of scrambled eggs, crispy bacon, wheat toast with homemade choke cherry preserves and butter. I sat up quickly in my bed. I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming or if this was an actual premonition. I have those sometimes. Well, sometimes is practically an understatement. Then I think to myself, who does this peach pie remind me of? Immediately, thoughts of my grandfather swam into my heart. I got out of bed; again, I thought I would have a few moments of silence before I started my day in the outside world. When I’d lain down after breakfast I was planning out my evening, I’d pull out an old Danielle Steel novel and get lost in the thick of hot steamy romance and take a rose-water bath to sooth my aching muscles. For some reason I never contemplate the middle of my day. Is this a mistake? I wonder, or is it fashionable to just fly by the seat of my pants?

My work is never done as a psychic. I can never leave well enough alone and it’s a miracle that I can see anything while my brain moves faster than a humming-bird beats its wings. Relax. It’s what I really love to do. Just relax, and see what I see. Sometimes, I pass on a message at the risk of being called insane, other times I just laugh and keep on going, with the expressed intention to get into my rose-water bath that evening.

I walked pass my television and I turned it on. The shadow of the latest stringbean- legged supermodel was bouncing around with an oversized Siamese cat draped across her skinny shoulders appeared  on the screen. My first thought was death. My second thought was poor cat. My third thought was sorrow for the stringbean-legged lady with the skinny shoulders. Tomorrow she will die. She has no idea that she is terribly allergic to cats. Her throat was going to close and no one would hear her muffled cries for help. She would be free. Perhaps in the afterlife, where ever that is, she’ll be able to have that peach pie my grandfather used to make. That’s when it occurred to me that perhaps my grandfather was there with me, having his peach pie, with a smile on his old weathered wrinkly face. I looked to my bathroom mirror and I blow him a kiss. He used to think it was sweet that I would blow him kisses.

I dressed for work in bright purple scrubs. I hurried, because there is a little boy who likes my company in the mornings. His name is John, he’s critically ill. His parents have forgotten what it’s like to have a child since he’s been in the hospital for the last three years. He’s twelve; he wears glasses like Harry Potter. As I stood in the mirror brushing my mass of curls into a manageable ponytail, I saw it. He would lose the function of his internal organs, and his parents would no longer be parents.

I walked to work. The hospital is only six minutes from my home. There was silence on my street. It’s empty. The street lights have all gone out and I know that several of my neighbors have already called the city to complain. It’s four fifteen in the morning and I can’t help myself from running the last short distance to the hospital. I shout my hello’s as I enter the building to Murray, Sandy, and Grace. I race to the locker room on the third floor in the pediatric ICU. I press my badge to the worn out sensor with a little extra force.

Dr. Stabb is paging me. I’m his favorite nurse. I break into a full run to meet him in the operating room. The sound of his hurried foot steps behind mine steadied me just a little. He knows what will happen; I can hear him thinking it over and over. He also thinks that it’s his duty to at least try. As we scrub in, our patient is being prepared by the other hospital OR staff. We wash our hands together in silence. Dr. Stabb thinks to himself, to ask me to hold this child’s heart in my hands, because I have the hands of a healer. He thinks I’m a healer. Seven years of trying, and he can never figure out why I’m always two steps ahead of him, or why I never became a Doctor. I hear him call my name. “Lucy, let’s go.” he says quietly.

His mind is quiet now. He is focused on his intention to save this boy. My John. I looked into John’s eyes and we both know it’s over. Mine was the last face he saw. “I wish you were my mother.” he whispered before the anesthesia took him under. I wished it too. And he was gone.

Dr. Stabb did his best. I did as he asked me to. I held John’s heart in my hands, to keep his blood circulating. Even though I knew he had no intention of waking up. It was over. I loved him. I knew then, that I would wait everyday for a sign of his energy around me.

Dr. Stabb understood when I asked to accompany him to tell John’s parents the news. John’s mother stood, looking helpless and small. Her ruthlessly straight black hair was disheveled; she wore faded pink pajamas, and the first pair of shoes she could find. They didn’t match. Her silver eyes were blood shot from crying. Her pale white face was puffy, she looked like death. His father, a big man, sat in the waiting room chair with his dark face in his large hands. He was sobbing so hard, I thought I could hear his bones creaking from the force. He was fully dressed in a green polo shirt and black Dockers and loafers, as if he had known his only son was going to die that day. He never looked up as we approached them.

“Mr. and Mrs. Fuller” Dr. Stabb addressed them formally and steadily, although inside he was quivering. His hands were as steady as if he were operating. “I’m sorry, John didn’t make it.” Dr. Stabb’s already deep voice dropped like a sledge hammer as Mrs. Fuller fell to her knees in a silent cry. Mr. Fuller swept down on her from his nearby chair. He tried to help her to her feet, but she’d left her senses, and could not bear her own weight. I went to the other side of her seemingly frail frame and helped Mr. Fuller guide her to the chair he’d recently vacated. She clung to my hand like she needed an anchor between this world and death.  All at once, I felt her emotion slam into my heart like one thousand angry fists. This was the second time I’d ever had this kind of closeness with another human being. I was drowning. I was sobbing, I was laughing. I felt an unbearable rage, a slippery happiness, guilt, sorrow and a sudden knowledge of how empty life had just become.

The rest of the day seemed to be hazy and silent. No more premonitions. No more stray thoughts or brief glimpses of another’s feelings or disappointments.  Now, looking back, I like to think it was the spirit’s way of letting me and John have our moment of respite together. He was sweet. I reached into the pocket of my bright purple scrubs that I refused to change after surgery. I found the purple lollipop I’d shoved in that pocket at four o’clock that morning. I pulled the wrapper off, and enjoyed it as much as I knew John would have if he were still there.

My Favorite Love Song

I love you,

wandering over my skin

like stars burning with wind

struggling between my fingertips

the subtle notes

of the deepest love

twinkles from my toes,

the breath of light

dances within my heart,

for you,

you, my favorite dream,

I am so full,

my voice floats on a watery cloud

to cover you

in a rain filled with beauty,

you are my favorite flower,

like spring, you are bright,

and my favorite love song,

when death becomes me,

you will be my favorite memory.

Long Stroll to Eternity

Hand in hand

we’ve started our love,

our journey, our truth,

we’ve conquered lingering fears,

we’ve endured envy,

and played a little with pain,

beside each other, holding on,

this road is quite long,

we’ve got memories to make,

flowers to grow,

ambitions to feed,

dreams to dream,

beside each other, only love holds true

There are those other moments

that even we can’t see

but with grace giving us our wings

we will conquer those too,

I’ll stroll this road to eternity

heart to heart

with you.

Lifted From Our Eyes

 

I’ll hold on to the knowledge

that love conquers everything

and to my independence,

my strength, my dignity,

and my new capacity to love without fear,

when others are so full,

full with anger, jealousy,

envy, confusion and hate,

sometimes it’s much easier,

ignorance is not an excuse to deconstruct

the people you love, the friends that are loyal,

or the earth that is innocent

I’ll hold on to love,

we all know what that is,

i’ll hold on to letting go of negativity

that binds so many of us into a mental prison,

i’ll hold on until the veil is lifted

from our eyes.

Cured: Part 2

Some things are melting now,

Like the snow,

The wind,

Mountains, and mostly our minds.

 

Still we feud and struggle our way

Around, between, underneath, above,

Beyond our infidelity, anger, hate,

Our passion, energy , disease,

Our rage, mostly our deceitfulness.

 

We propagate panic, destruction,

Filth, patriotism, demonism, strife,

Envy, jealousy , and Christianity.

 

 

Our souls suffer the agony of hell

Everyday,

We experience the bliss of heaven

Our bodies possess the temple to be worshiped,

But we are ignorant to inner worldly knowledge

 

When the world is right again,

I dream, that the demons are quiet,

That man does not exist,

And there is no fault in nature…

I dream that we are not blind,

 

When the world is right again,

She will smile,

She will deliver without interruption,

Perfection.