I remember her clearly, the oversized suitcase, the faded rose on her jacket.
Later, at the diner, I asked a local about her.
For at least 30 years she had gone down to the bus station daily and waited for her lover to come take her away.
Funny thing was that the dark-haired stranger had jilted her long before, back in the 1950s. She had waited patiently for him until she was 41 and began the crazy ritual.
I saw her the next day, the spring beauty just beneath the snowy old surface.
I wonder if she is still waiting?
Some of you (if you are old enough) may recognize this as coming from the song Delta Dawn (or try this if you like Tanya better than Helen), only I set it 30 years later, say 2003, when poor Dawn is in her 70s, not her 40s (the song says 41).
It seemed that every time I opened the door they were there. They followed me when I walked and even when I drove. They were everywhere. And, no, it wasn’t just my imagination since a few people commented on it.
The wings were beginning to drive me crazy. Why was I being shadowed so?
We all know what happened next, and the less said, the better.
Yep, lucky me, I was a survivor. A one in perhaps ten million survivor.
Only it wasn’t luck.
As I explored the new, emptier world, I still had my constant companions. The wings stopped bothering me and became welcome.
The world was not just emptier, it was lonelier and so I tried to communicate with my new “friends”. I slowly began to understand them.
No, it wasn’t luck.
I discovered that I was the region’s appointed survivor.
They knew it was coming and wanted a representative human to keep around for a while. You know, as a warning.
Years ago someone at work was stealing TP. I don’t think they caught the thief, btu everyone knew the person doing it most likely made 3 times what the average American made. I always wondered why they risked their super high salary and nice career for the nastiest TP on the face of the Earth…. (If you didn’t notice, there is a lock on the roll in the photo…)
I look up at the dark ridge where I last saw him silhouetted against the sinking sun.
It continues to scream its emptiness.
I had always heard that he was the type to hold a grudge, so was a little surprised when he called me. After a nice, amicable chat we decided to go hiking in the mountains. We both loved getting out into the fresh air, though I had to admit that he was a better, stronger hiker.
He drove us out into deep wilderness. Perfect. We didn’t see a person all day.
I have no idea what happened. The day had been long and I was very tired. Making mistakes. Having a hard time with footing.
It was great! After many years of struggle and hard work, they were finally an “overnight success”, the unknown band tearing up the charts. All they had to do was a tour to support their debut album, and all was gold.
“Did you read the news?”
“It’s getting worse.”
“Boston just cancelled.”
“Don’t worry, it’s not a big college town…”
“Ha ha, Mr. Spinal Tap…”
“What are we going to do?”
“We’re no longer on the Billboard top 100.”
“Sorry guys, we’ll have to cancel the tour.”
“And we thought 2020 would be our year to hit the big time?”
The chair was uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. I didn’t remember that.
I studied the desk, toying with various objects on it. Why in the Hell did I need any of it?
Paper, paper, everything had to do with paper!
Scissors, tape, stapler, highlighters and paperclips. Paperclips! There were more of those than anything.
I had been working from home for over a year and discovered that 99.999% of the paper we used in the office was completely useless. Despite not being face-to-face, our productivity was up and our expenses down.