Keri’s last chapter

silouhet of profile of woman

Keri’s last chapter…. Or at least  an experiment, starting from the end and going forward….

After reconnecting, Keri was wary. But slowly let down her guard. Though there was never an innocent place for them to land. They said  everything and more. All the things that they ever wanted to say after a lifetime of not being able to.  It was almost like going under water and gasping for air as they hit the surface, taking a breath and going under over and over again. Trying not to respond.  Not wanting to hurt anyone. Weaning themselves, from the connection.  Most of their contact was through sporadic writing.  It was hard to stop.  A year would go by and then one or the other would break the hiatus with a bit of news. His dad died, his wife died, Keri’s friend died, there was always something, always a reason to reach out to the other, and maybe always would be, until God forbid, one of them died.

Keri knew now, that  she’d been deeply in love with the boy,  at least as much as a young girl could be, and recently had come to terms with the fact that her love for Jack the man, seemed to be convoluted with all the memories of Jack the boy.

Though through the intensity of their exchange her heart seemed to explode, Saying things she was afraid to say before but having nothing to lose now. It was empowering and in the beginning she was ruthless. Jack had no idea how crystal clear her memories would be. He’d found her first. From what he could tell, it was apparent that she was married with a family. He told himself that he was going to just ask for forgiveness and move on. Nothing more. But she surprised him by letting him into her life a little more than he’d hoped for. At first the exchange was very guarded and it pained him to know that she feared him. But slowly she began to share memories and he told her that “this time” IT would be about her, that he could take it.

For several months their exchange was lost in a fantasy, when they talked or wrote, they both imagined the younger versions of one another. It was hard to grasp the reality of what their relationship had become. Keri worked non-stop on her book the first year after they’d stopped the contact. And then, something just died inside of her. The need to write about it seemed to lessen. The last time she’d heard his voice gave her a sad panicked feeling, much like when she was a girl, trying to break up with the boy she’d loved so much. In a time she felt that there’d been no place to run.

Now she felt unsettled. Needing  a place to land to write and remember. And so she wrote….

computer2

Why haven’t I learned to trust my gut? My first punch of intuition? Why didn’t I run like the wind like I did the last time we saw each other when I was so much younger and afraid of you? Did you know that  I hid from you? That I hated you? And yet I loved you, she typed  in agony. She stopped suddenly and clicked print. And read. She printed another and another page and crossed things out and added things and all at once she was inspired and for the first time began really writing.

siloette of writer standing up

Inside My Memories

drinks

City lights and jazz in the air

the smell of smoke in my hair,

the first scent of a lit cigarette

are memories I just can’t forget.

city view with bridge

Coppertone still fills my head

reminds me of things you said.

beach chairs

A time of day still makes me smile,

our hearts store them like a file.

Forgotten like a vapor’s mist

don’t mean that they don’t exist.

smoke

 A song or smell has a knack

of snapping us so quickly back,

at any given time you see

I can find you in my memories.

Ah, yes the smell of smoke in my hair

I close my eyes and find you there.

floating face

Keri London

2011©

I originally wrote this one  on my http://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com   blog today, but really felt that it belonged here.

2011©

The End

keris journal

Keri felt as if the air was being siphened from her lungs as she swallowed, trying to breathe. Her head pounded as she tried to filter out the background noise. The pain was the kind  you feel that stings when something smacks you in the face. It was a surprise, so unexpected. She closed her eyes as she tuned out the voice booming somewhere in her head. There were no blows. Nothing physical about it, except for maybe when he yanked her arm. But that was not the pain she was feeling now. It was the humiliation and the shame. It happened more often now, and lasted longer and it exhausted her.

 couple fighting in car

They’d been driving. It was a beautiful morning. Their day began with passionate love making and Keri believed that today would be a good day. They’d just been laughing minutes before. And then like a ball in her face, things turned, Jack’s…

View original post 253 more words

#56 The Way Christmas is Supposed to Be.

 

Dear Journal,

Christmas was quiet this year. His dad loved his watch which we gave him during the day on Christmas Eve. He gave Jack money and me a wonderful book of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning.. I was so touched that he’d remembered that I liked to write poetry and that she was supposed to be my ancestor.  We did Christmas Eve at our house as we always do and then on Christmas morning I got up really early to go to Jack’s to make him a Christmas breakfast. I told him that it would be our tradition in all the years to come.

 coffee

 When I woke him up with a cup of coffee, he grabbed me and pushed me into bed with him. He felt warm and his mood was sweet so I set the coffee down and climbed in bed with him.

hugging lying downcouple in bed

 It was a nice beginning to the day. Then Jack hopped up and brought me a gift in bed. It was  the softest robe I’d ever felt and I put it on and finished breakfast and opening presents wearing just that.

sad couple in a moment

Jack spoiled me this year as always. He got me a cassette player for my car and told me that he would install it. I am so lucky that he is so handy. I bought him a new bedspread and some clothes and at the last minute I found  him a poster first and then a stuffed Tigger. He fell in love with him when we saw the Winnie The Pooh movie at the Drive In with another feature we wanted to see. At first when we heard that one of the movies was going to be a cartoon, we almost didn’t go!  But we ended up loving it. And after seeing it Jack always says ttfn when he says good bye cuz he said he doesn’t like to say “goodbye”. You know ttfn, means ta ta for now. He said he relates to Tigger’s character and he laughed so hard when he opened that gift and saw him. When we made his bed, he put on the new bedspread and then ran to get his stuffed Tigger  and put him on top of it. It was cute.

Tigger dancing

I brought a basket of cookies over to Jess and Louise and a toy for Mopsy from Jack and I and he made them a plaque for their house. He’d taken a picture of them sitting on the porch of their house and then shlacked it onto a piece of wood and burnt the edges and stained it. They thought that it was so thoughtful and Jess seemed really impressed. Jack had shown him what he was doing with posters but you could tell that they were both pretty touched by the gift since they were planning on moving and said that they would always treasure it.  Louise  gave me a wonderful recipe box filled with all of her wonderful recipes she has been teaching me to make. Jess gave Jack some tool for his shed that he seemed to really appreciate.

Christmas tree tinsel

 

I stayed till late that night because Jack decided to put my stereo in and it took a few hours longer than I think he was counting on. But it works perfectly. We ended up snuggling up at the end of the night under the Christmas tree staring up at the lights, talking about our future. It was perfect.

 

radio

 

Jack had surprised me. When I started the car. He’d put a BREAD cassette in my player and put the song on Baby I’m A Want You. I listened to it all the way home.  I love him so much! It was the best Christmas ever. Just how Christmas is supposed to be.

 

 

Dear Journal #22 New Jobs

journall

Dear Journal,

I am sorry. It has been a while since I’ve posted. Even though I have made a deal with Mrs. Walker to try to keep up with you daily, she said that as long as I had a certain number of pages she would give me credit so the next few entries will be catching up. Sorry about that! And just so you know… I am not just coming back for the credit… I really have begun to enjoy my time writing here.

A+

I wasn’t sure how I was going to gracefully move out of my job at Amber Oil even though summer was half over, but I got a job at a dental office in Hawthorne. It was short-lived. It was at a clinic which was in a pretty bad area. Not that Amber Oil is,  in the best area, in the industrial section East of Los Angeles but I was so surprised when I stopped at a grocery store with a friend that I’d made there on the way back  to work after lunch, and there were armed guards outside the doors! So after a few month I left that job. I saw the writing on the wall there anyway. The turn over was crazy.

scroc dental

 

I actually had an interesting call the other day from Betty, one of my mom’s customers turned friends. Okay so let me explain…When I was about eleven, my mom started doing art shows and ever since I was very small, she’s always done something artsy. But my dad especially liked to walk around at different local art shows on his weekends off. He works a lot of hours but he always seemed to relax walking around looking at artwork and talking to artists. So he bought my mom some paints and she began painting these paintings of kids and forest scenes that actually were pretty good. She gave a few as gifts and began getting orders. So once my dad asked the organizer of one of the larger art shows how to get in and got my mom in. He built her A-frames for her exhibits and helped her set up. Soon she began having customers come to the house and that is where I met Betty.

artshow1

Betty was a good customer and purchased several paintings for her kid’s rooms by the time I met her. Usually, I’d run in and run out and my mom would call me in to meet a customer. I’d roll my eyes and run down the hall to her paint room and paint a smile on my face and shake their hands and take a minute for small talk and excuse myself but something made me stick around that day. This was probably about a year before I met Jack because I’d just gotten my license. Anyway,  I stayed to play with Betty’s little girl Christina. She was about six or seven and couldn’t talk, not one word. Well, she could say no (smile) but she was so smart and I was so intrigued. Betty told me that Christina had something called Aphasia and that she was going to a wonderful school in Buena Park that was teaching her to talk.

balloon little girl

I told her that I’d be glad to babysit sometime. I am not sure why. I was way past the babysitting place in my life. But there was something that drew me to that little girl. So I began taking Christina out on outings. We’d go to the park or to the library and I’d sit with her at story time. Or I’d take her to the mall and we’d ride the merry-go-round and then one day I bought her a balloon.  She kept pointing at it and I kept asking her if she wanted it and she kept nodding and I kept telling her to tell me what she wanted. Finally she said B-A-L-L-O-O-N!!! I freaked out! I was so happy! I bought her three! and we counted them and we talked about what color they were. She loves blue so she pointed to two blue ones so we talked about how there were two blue ones! And when I brought her home I said ….”Christina, tell your mom what you’ve got!” And she held them behind her back even though they were flying RIGHT over her head and  said… “bawooon” and Betty looked at me and cried. Later that month Betty took me to Christina’s school and she worked it out for me to volunteer two days a month during my sophomore year. (That is why I have so many credits and along with the ones I got from SCROC last year, can graduate so early.) Well, she called a few days ago and said that they missed me and they let her call to tell me that they wanted to offer me a real paying job working in the Pre-K class next year when I graduate in January!!!!

When Jack and I first met and we were getting to know each other,  I told him about Christina and the school and he seemed so proud of me and was even supportive about me wanting to explore going to school to become a Speech Therapist but we never really talked about it again. And then one time, when we ran into them at the market he was so sweet with Christina and it was my turn to be proud.  Betty even caught my eye and winked at me, as if she was telling me that she thought he was a good guy. But when I called him all excited about my job offer he got real quiet.

Falling

finger in the sand

You trace the sand with your finger

as my heart follows close behind.

I listen to your words and breathe you in

as my soul watches for some kind of sign…

I can’t help wondering if God sent you,

as I  notice your blue eyes.

I breathe in everthing about you,

as I begin to realize…

Ive lost my stable footing

the ground is not so solid after all.

I think I’m slipping into the hole of love

Please….  don’t mind me as I fall!

Keri London

1974

Continue reading