Following a similar ‘disaster’ sent from a friend I recalled the time that one wet windy day I slipped in muddy wet manure patch (worn out Crocs, never wise to wear on these sort of days) and was covered in yuck from head to toe. I stripped off, shoved everything into the washing machine, found some rubber boots and trundled the wheelbarrow through the rest of the chores…stark naked! No one around to faint in shock and disapproval!
Nervous nibbling of frayed fingernails. Hopping, half-hopefully, semi-smiling from side to side, drawing deep on cheap cigarette (not that any fags are inexpensive these days – perhaps it’s designing the gruesome anti-smoking warnings that makes them cost so much?)
Giggling, gracelessly, despite the litheness of his long legs when he moves, moodily, meaning to appear arrogantly acerbic, but instead evidently empty, envious of everyone else who seems to calm, so content, so clearly complete.
(c) Jane Davis, 2020
I took the title of this one from one of Allison’s recent posts, basing it on someone I saw at a bus stop last week. It’s a bit shorter than many of the other posts in this series because my five stray minuteses only seem to turn up when I’m writing by hand!
The orange juice on the tray in front of me starts rippling. Absent-mindedly, I grasp the plastic cup. I hear the engines roar as the plane rocks and shudders. Abruptly, I realize where I am: 38,000 feet in the air, traveling at 700mph in a tiny, fragile metal tube. It’s night outside, but even if it weren’t, all I would be seeing out the Plexiglas windows would be clouds, and maybe mountains.
“My Mom was once on a flight and in just a few seconds the plane dropped about 10,000 feet. Even the cabin crew were screaming!”
Why do I have to remember that story now? It’s just turbulence, it happens all the time. It’s not dangerous!
The rocking intensifies. A part of me knows that it’s safe, but that last voice of reason is stifled by primal fear taking over. I grasp his arm. How long has this been going on? A minute, maybe two?
I glance at the flight information. Eight hours to go. I can’t take this any longer. But there’s nowhere to go. Upon boarding that plane I surrendered my life to the crew and the engineers who built that tin can. Foolishly, I trusted that they knew what they were doing.
The engines are revving, and I can feel the plane accelerating. There is a soft ping and the seatbelt signs light up. The crew are sitting down…that cannot be good. I bury my face in his chest. I cannot lift my head to look at the screen anymore. The primal fear now has me completely paralyzed. All I can do is wheeze with every new jerking.
He reads out the numbers to me. Speed, altitude, trajectory. Over and over, while I am certain that I’ll never escape from this death trap. His voice is soothing, and if I died right now it wouldn’t be so bad…
But the elements aren’t kind enough to end it right here. They keep toying with us for the next two hours. Two hours, each minute of which seems like an eternity, gnawing away my sanity with every bit of shaking and revving and rocking.
And then it stops. Reluctantly, I open my eyes and squint into the unexpected brightness. It’s daylight now, and outside the window I can see clouds and mountains passing by…peaceful and impassive and eternal.
(c) Anett Enzmann 2020
I have been away for quite some time now. Too much has happened in the last three months, and it has kept my mind preoccupied with things other than writing. Work, the day-to-day nuisances of life, and—most importantly—nesting. For me, the winter months are a time during which I withdraw to be by myself, to enjoy the serenity of the tranquil dark, to wrap myself in cozy blankets, to shut out the world…if only for a little while. The smell of the cold, the gothic gloom brought on by the early nightfall, and the vague excitement about the upcoming holidays always held an almost magical quality for me. Writing about it and thus dissecting it, attempting to put it to paper (or—worse—typing it into an impassive, cold, logical machine and revising it on a bright screen) would rob it of the very magic I hope to preserve. So I simply took it all in, and in time, when the magic has faded on its own, I will be able to write again…about the smell of homemade food, the comforting warmth of Wassail, the purring of the feline companions, and the dreams
, slowly fading away in the first light of dawn.
(c) Anett Enzmann 2020
I rise at 6.15. I’m in my pyjamas and I water the garden; Wednesday is one of the two days we are permitted to water. Wednesday and Sunday are our days.
Watering the garden takes some time because I have to make sure to move the sprinkler every 10 minutes. Apparently overwatering is nearly as bad as underwatering. I’ve applied soil conditioner, so the water sinks in instead of pooling and then running off. This is because the soil in this garden is sand. Beach sand. Hydrophobic.
I finish watering and Yoga asana practice follows. I have breakfast and then get dressed for my volunteer job at the Seniors Centre. So, I get in the car and off I go. My seniors are happy to see me and I get a lot of hugs.
I arrived home before dusk, anxious in case the four new chicks a friend brought me earlier in a cat box wouldn’t know where to sleep. Little orphans, barely feathered out, rescued chicks, released into a strange flock that morning and pecked into their order. No clue where the bedroom was and no idea which perch was theirs. As darkness wrapped itself around us, they became blind, running erratically into bushes and corners and driven by instinct, peeping to each other in fear. The cats stalked them, I stalked them. All was terror. I cornered each bird one by one, capturing them in a flurry of feathers and squawks, their skinny feathery bodies trembling in my hands. The cockerel tutted inside the dark coop, he wasn’t coming out for a few tearways. The last one caught, I shut them all in safely, cussing softly, relieved at their capture. I waited in the dark until their peeps subsided. Turning, I caught the Hunter’s moon rising behind me, mellow, yellow and calm. My little drama was a scene the moon had witnessed millions of times before.
Big, sudden events edge themselves visually and geographically into your memory, especially if they involve terrible emotions. You always remember where you were and what you did when you first learned about them.
I was in the entrance area of our family home when one evening a phone call informed me that my mom had had a car accident and was in the ICU.
Years later as a student, I was in my dormitory in the kitchen when she called me to tell me that her husband had suddenly left her.
I was in Japan with my boyfriend, watching TV, when the twin towers fell.
I was in a train from Paris to Germany with my small son when the BBC sent an alert to my phone: “Shooting in central Paris”, followed by a night of horrendous news, unfolding the terrorist attack of November 2015.
Why do we always remember the exact location where we had been? Like being frozen in time. A snapshot. *This* is where I was at that exact moment.
Even as it happens, we immediately recognise the magnitude and it’s as if we take a picture of ourselves in a moment of history.
Copyright 2019 Andrea Bernard