Thursday, October 25, 2012

Dislocated I,II


She put her bags down and left the room. Her life would never be the same. How could she go back to country life after the bustling busyness, the sheer energy of the city. Cars honking madly if you drove too slowly, or carelessly stepped off the curb even when you knew you had the light. Garbage cans banged loudly as they were thrown down the street by angry city workers who hadn’t gotten a raise in three years. The economy sucked. The neighbor down the hall had Fiona Apple singing Better Than Fine”. The base notes drummed into her skull in a rhythm that make her headache worse. The dog in 325 yapped, and yapped, and yapped till she wanted to take her skillet and pound its door down. Candidates whined day after day about the deficiencies of their opponents on TV. She hated election season. It seemed to get longer every year. Well, maybe the quiet life would be better after all.

Her plane would take off in 45 minutes. She wondered if he’d meet her at the airport or whether she’d have to take a taxi again. Do they even have taxis? She wished she’d thought to call and make sure he’d be there. Leaving a message wasn’t always best.
She wasn’t sure he ever checked voice mail any more. Her head ached as her stomach churned, tied in knots. What am I doing!  WHAT am I doing? She pulled out her sweater, placing her bag in the overhead compartment and snuggled against the window to read her book, “A Wanted Man” by Lee Child.

The cat said,” what took you so long.””
She sat there on the stool, like a princess on her lofty throne, a touch of arrogance in her green eyes, as she looked down her long nose. “I’ve been waiting for my dinner, and none of that icky shrimp and chicken liver. I want the salmon.” Oh and a nice bit of that cheese Anda brought over. No, no cracker today, I’m watching my waist you know. She raised her svelte little body, stretched her legs and settled in again on the stool.

It had been a long and boring day at work. He wasn’t sure he was ready to kowtow to Magnolia tonight, but he knew she would never leave him alone till she had her way.
Something was happening tonight. What was it? A memory skirted the edge of his mind—something important ……oh well, they say if it‘s important it would come to him.
He took a dish from the cupboard, the one with roosters on it, and opened a tin of tuna. Umm that smells good. I think I’ll have one too, he thought. He put the dish on the floor in the accustomed place and got a can of Chicken Of the Sea out for his own dinner. He chopped celery, onions and sweet pickle. Tossing in a few craisins and pecans, the way Gwyneth always used to do, he stirred in the Miracle Whip, no mayonnaise for him and spread a thick layer of it onto the fresh whole wheat hazelnut bread he’d picked up an Hanna and Nate’s on his way to work this morning. Tucking the Journal  under his arm, he walked out onto the screened porch for dinner and  to watch the evening sun go down.

The cat jumped down from her throne to check out the dish. “Tuna! I said I wanted salmon you lunkhead! See If I’ll ever snag another mouse for you! Oh well, might as well eat, I’m going to be ignored till tomorrow.” Maybe I can sneak out later and go hunting.”

Gwyneth arrived in Dallas late, missing her flight connection. She had hated the thought of having to sit next to the lady with the toddler. The little girl with springy yellow curls was a handful. Mothers shouldn’t be allowed to travel with children who were too young to just be told, “shut up!” “Get off me!” “Go find your own window, this one is mine!”  Well that conversation was a winner! Ignoring the nasty looks of the child’s mother, she closed her eyes feigning sleep. Maybe that would stop the snide remarks.
“Well if you’re just going to sleep anyway, why don’t you trade places so Rosie can look out the window?
“No Mommy! I want to see outside! “No Mommee!, I don’t want to sit!”
“ No! Noo! No aieeeeee aiiiieahhh!”
After thirty minutes of this constant screaming the cabin attendant warned the mother that she would be asked to deplane is she didn’t shut the kid up. A cheer and applause ran back through the plane as other passengers agreed to this sentiment.
But Rosie, undaunted by the threat, continued to scream and bounce on the center seat. Finely, exhausted, Rosie leaned her head on Gwyneth’s shoulder and threw up.
The plane made an emergency stop in Chattanooga Tennessee and Rosie, her mother and a soggy, smelly Gwyneth were rudely escorted off the plane, while maintenance workers cleaned the seats.  Standing on the tarmac, waiting for air port personnel to take them back to the loading dock they watched the plane turn, and take off… without them.
“Well! I hope that window seat was worth it to you!” glowered Rosie’s mother, as she stomped off dragging her suitcase in one hand, Rosie in the other.
“Not really,” murmured Gwyneth looking down at the ruined Armani skirt and lavender silk blouse.

Gwyneth grabbed her own carryon, sighed and looked for the personnel cart. Climbing aboard, she settled down for the short ride back to the terminal. Since most of her baggage had been sent on to Albuquerque, she would have to buy something less fragrant to wear before finding the next available flight.

Gwyneth looked around the small airport shop in despair.
We are Big Orange. We are unstoppable.
University of Tennessee Knoxville Volunteers

Jansport Hooded Vandy Sweatshirt- Gold
$59.98 Vanderbuilt University

Too bad they didn’t have a red hoodie with the Nashville Sounds printed on it. She would have liked that one  best. Settling for a pair of black yoga pants and a cerise Tee , with Chattanooga Choo Choo in slick silver letters under the silhouette of an old wood burning train, she headed to the restroom, dressed, tossed the damp clothes in the trash, and headed for Gate B11
“Guess I’d better call Bert and tell him about the change in plans.’ She remembered as her flight was finally called.

Finishing her dinner, the cat strolled into the large back room. It was supposed to be “Mom’s studio. Ha! This is my lair. The large overstuffed blue couch had been hers since childhood when she’d had to share it with Ashburn that hairy hare. What a mistake he’d been. If she even went near him, he kicked her with a satisfying thump, Then he’d race through the room to hide out.-- Not even a chance for retaliation. Oh well, he’d gotten his hadn’t he! Magnolia leapt lightly into the corner with her fuzzy pink pillow ready for a short nap.
Eeww! Looks like one of the visiting cats had left a gift that no one had remembered to clean up. Pests! All of them were pests!

Bert picked up the yellow legal pad and started writing, “
Creative Innovation-still a vital force for America

At this time of great challenge for our nation it’s only natural to ask: “where will we find the spark or driving force that will put us back on the path to growth and prosperity”? Clearly, technological innovation has been a key element of past success from the dawn of the industrial revolution to the Internet and the first serious hints of artificial intelligence (AI).  Recently, however, thoughtful analyses have been presented that question if we have reached the limits of innovation as a central force in society (Edsall- New Your Times, Oct. 15 & Christian Science Monitor Oct. 9 Editorial). Prof. Robert Gordon  (of Northwestern Univ.) uses the phrase “Faltering Innovation” in his study (National Bureau of Economic Research), which displays the growth in GDP (in America) as it lines up with key technological developments such as the full use of electricity or the more recent Internet “revolution”. In this kind of comparison, our recent “computer-internet” age seems to have far less “punch” when it comes to influencing economic output….”

The phone rang shrilly making him lose his train of thought.
Gwyneth! He’d totally forgotten. He’d been so wrapped up in this assignment. At least she was calling from Dallas. He still had an hour before she came. Work to be done, he hustled into the other room.

The ride home was quiet, silent, stressed. Parking in front of the house Bert got out and grabbed her luggage from the back. As they walked into the house, Gwyneth sat tiredly on the old blue sofa. A spring from the broken seat dug into her hip, but she was too tired to protest, or move. Bert was making some fumbling noises from the brick kitchen. Soon he brought her a cup of hot homemade apple cider and a slice of warm pumpkin bread slathered thickly with pineapple cream cheese. Sitting down beside her, he took her into his arms. Magnolia jumped into their combined lap, purring loudly, yawned, smiled and thought. Home at last.

1 comment:

~T~ said...

Yes, I hope the quiet life turns out better...