/ Forward or first page - A Book I am Writing
When y'all get a minute (or an hour) tell me if this is really boring or if I have only read it too many times while editing. There is quite a bit more, but I will spare you that for now, teehee! Be advised, it is 763 words, so grab your hot tea and cookies first!
Forward or first page
There is no mark that a skydiver leaves; no vapor trail, no tracks in the snow, no wake in the water. You would not even know we had been there if not for the blue sky that whispers of the sweet, secret passing of souls through its magnificence. The blue sky is loud and cannot keep a secret very well from those who choose to listen. I remember every word for I have passed through that beauty. I have seen the light from other souls. I have witnessed the silent screaming of joy, and I have tasted my own love. I was born here.
I was a little girl with the first dawning of innocence being slowly broken by years. I wanted so much to feel the Truth. I wanted to be free and untouched by ugliness. I would sway in the tree-tops for hours, bending the branch to the very cusp of its snap. I wanted to know that God was there. I wanted everyone to know that I was not afraid.
I was terrified. Not of the tree or of its branches breaking, but of living a life without the hope of ever being good enough. Most of all, I wanted to be happy. The tree made me happy. The cold-metal taste of the sky made my tongue bless my ancient eyes, and the dark, secret, flesh of the highest leaves caused my thighs to grab tightly. I am old now.
I have noticed the words "use to be" leaving my lips often throughout the day.
Used to be, I plucked my own tomatoes off the vine and ate them where I stood, or brought them to the stand where we sold the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. Most of the time, we just played and picked, laughed and planted, plowed and moaned. It was a very good time.
Our fields in Ellington, Connecticut, weren't really ours; they belonged to our Landlord, Samuel Fuches. Yes, that was really his name and we made fun of it too! He was a very nice old man. He always had a hat perched just above his brow, in imminent danger of falling off, and a business suit that was worn and frayed around the cuffs but respectable and rather grand nonetheless, and he gave me a dollar for washing the windows of his Cadillac.
Though grownups never actually told me what Mr. Fuches was there for (and I was shooed from any proximity of their adult parley), I knew what was going on, and I felt the tension and the sweat of mommy's anxiety; nevertheless, he let us plant and plow, and my mom always came up with the rent somehow. One year there would be wheat on one side, tobacco on the other; the next, it would be corn and...well...more corn
The tobacco years were the best. I liked the tobacco people. Most of them were hippies or "Spanish". Off-season, I slept many a night in the tobacco barn's rafters watching the bats and owls catch bugs and mice. When there were tobacco-pickers, there were thirsty folk. My Kool-Aid stand was a hit! The bonus was getting to meet all those nice hippies, learning how to count to ten in Spanish, and finding the fat grapes as they turned from green to purple on that hot, sunny, dirt road. It would all come to an end, of course, in the fall.
I would sit and watch the dry dust as the trucks pulled out. The hippies would be long gone, but there were a few Spanish friends nodding and smiling as they walked back up to the road. They pointed to me and laughed, "lemon-aid bandita!", as I kneeled high on the back of my pony, Squirt, and hollered, "After banana!" (That meant "see you tomorrow in Spanish... It took me a few more years to figure out differently, but I know they understood). In one fluid motion, I would wrap my legs once more around Squirt's withers and charge after them, showing off. I was always sad to see them, my summer-school teachers, go. But I felt the hinting chill in the air. I saw the bright, fruitless, promise of blood-orange leaves sucking the last will and testament of summer from the trees before giving it all up to the purple, crimson, waxing of winter. It was the fall. I always knew by the chestnuts showing their soft, green spines. I remember the chestnuts very well, not only for their new and shapely innocence, but for mine.