Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Spumona and me, a sad love story

Spumona and me, a short sad love story

edward w pritchard

First day after work at my new job, the blind girl, an aide at the School for the Autistic Children where I now taught sat next to me on the bus ride back to my neighborhood. It was my first time on a public bus in over forty years.

Her name was Spumona she said and she handed me her purse to guard as she laid her head on my shoulder, grabbed my left arm tightly and went straight to sleep. I must look like her Father to the other passengers. The bus driver alerted me at her stop and I walked her to her house.

Her Mother was disabled and sat in a wheel chair watching game shows. Two brothers played Euchre at the table in the small kitchen. Spumona made us peanut butter sandwiches. I ate the white bread just this once. I had Pepsi, first time in a long time. Her brothers left the kitchen, the older brother who had been a soldier called me sir.

Spumona had been working at the school for two weeks already helping organize the class rooms for the grand opening yesterday. I started today teaching English literature to the older students. Of Mice and Men and Shirley Jackson The Lottery. It was time for me to be getting on home. She walked me out to the bus stop.

Next day I picked Spumona up on the way to work in my car. I gave her the cell phone I bought her last night at Wal Mart. We sat together at lunch. Her job makes her very tired. Spumona is sensitive to noise because of her blindness. Hearing is important to her ability to perceive the world. The Autistic children can be loud sometimes, about like the regular students in the public schools where I taught part time the last four years. Spumona stayed at my house Friday night. She slept from five pm to seven the next morning. I heard her get up about two thirty am to have the rest of the Chinese food I had went out to get. I called her Mother and told her she was with me. Spumona is twenty five; she takes offense if people treat her as a child because of her blindness.

She told me to relax. I have quite a temper anymore. I hide it by teaching handicapped students. Saturday morning we watched DVD's on you tube. She wanted to go by the house I used to live at in the suburbs before I got divorced. Our first fight. I told her I hadn't been by in six years. since my daughter had been sick. My John Deere tractor was in the side yard; its still running I see. We sat just up the road from the house across from corn fields. Spumona liked it here. She said it must have been hard for me to leave. We went by Wal Mart and bought some things for my house in town. She spent a long time cleaning the kitchen. She asked first but she threw a lot of my stuff away. I still had nine or ten boxes in the garage from my old life.

Just after Christmas that year I told Spumona she should get a friend her own age. I have been teaching again in the public schools now and then. I spend a lot of time alone, like before. Sometimes I drive by Spumona's Mother's house. I always smile when I think of her hearing my car's unique sounds.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Coda's Dowry

Coda's Dowry

edward w pritchard

A tribute to the extended family

Mother wept in bliss at the birth of her daughter and called the girl Coda, the last child. Susan taught her daughter to cook, clean sing and play the piano.

When Coda  was four her Dad took her to play soccer against the boys. Coda was very coachable and always stayed at her post at fullback and Coda kicked the ball very hard. No one got around Coda, the only way to get to the goal was to run Coda down and Zak who played the other fullback would run over to help when Coda was in trouble. No one ran over Zak.

Coda's family including Grandma Fae always went to watch Coda receive medals for good character and virtue at Private church school even though the awards were presented in the middle of services usually on a Tuesday or Wednesday night.

When Coda was twelve or so and wanted a horse her Mom helped her find a good one. Susan also showed Coda how to survey a field and raise a barn and taught her how to be a good biblical wife like Susan's parents Fae and Richard had taught  Coda's Mother Susan to be. Once when the horse Quicky had bit Coda hard on the arm I slapped the horse.

At home Coda listened as Uncle Joe and Ben talked very fast about reverse Computer engineering or her Brother Jeb explained to her how to read an obscure Medical text.

Coda was about the best student in the City later, but when she went to her Grandmother Fae's house for holidays Coda struggled to get a word in. What with all the Artists, Doctors, Lawyers, Professors and Architects that were Coda's Aunts and Uncles each one smarter than the next, sometimes all the intellect and opinions threatened to lift the roof off Fae's small house.

At Dad's side of the family at Aunt Debra's Coda watched Danny out slug at home run derby. At aunt Sue's Coda would ask Cousin Jenny if the final four was football, baseball or basketball. Danny always knew more about sports history than Uncle Greg or even Uncle Jim.

In high school Coda stood with Dad at the fence at track meets on cold snowy days. Coda would be the first girl to start stretching and warming up. Under Coda's quiet leadership the relay teams broke several records that year that still stand.

When Coda went to France as an exchange student her Mom flew over to be sure they had Vegan food there. Susan also went with Coda in the Choir to China and Italy. Later when Coda traveled for school Uncle Jim helped with the horse.

When Coda wanted a house her Mom helped her find a unique one and Susan taught coda about finances. Coda, her Mom and Coda's friends worked long to remodel. Coda's dad tamed the yard. Zak Ed, Danny and Coda strung fence in the back pasture in a cold driving rain. Coda was happy.

Now Coda looks after her niece Bella and Coda drives all over town to buy Bella the most unique and valuable presents, just like Coda's Aunt Kelly Koelker Wolfe did for her. Thanks Kelly.

No one gives Coda away but as Coda joins Danny in marriage, Coda Koelker Pritchard has a good character and an honorable name to bring to the Derrig family.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

the end of the relationship

the end of the relationship

edward w pritchard

Stumbling half awake about a large house, like an aged actor on too small a stage, but contented, ingrained in habit, sunken in love one day after ample warning she dumped me.

Was it a dream. Was there no such place as our life together. For me it was the only solid ground I knew. An island in the choppy seas.

Her ship vanished over the sunken horizon to be invaded by water thieves, pirates boarded her vessel. In solitude after the initial shock and pain, me disconnected from reality escaped into phantom memories of an imaginary and magical past together with her. Concern about money, jobs and friends vanished for me. Existence being mere escapism. My mind tossed on the waves and I retreated deep deep into our early life together.

Slowly, slowly I confronted the truth of her feelings. I avoided the harbour less another ship returning from sea to port would bring news of the world and her name would be linked and connected to stealthful liaisons.

From a dream I awoke after 2095 days give or take a few hours. Sadly, I saw reality as it was and surveyed my pathetic state. Turning from the fickle churning ocean I set off alone south toward the cloud covered Mountains of tomorrow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Hush campfire

Hush Campfire

edward w pritchard

Hush campfire,
wood don't crackle and pop,
silence moon,
still night wind.
I hear her on the steep mountain pass.
She puts her palms to her knees to help with the arduous climb.
Still heart,
what does she call?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Stones, stacked stones

edward w pritchard

Stones, stacked stones, fill the crevice.
Sweet, succulent, sugarful.