After going to bed at the responsible hour of 11, I could not turn off the movie in my mind. I could not pause it or rewind it. I thought maybe it would make a book if I could just straighten out the plot or find a theme other then Misery. It started at the roller skating rink when I was nine and thinking life was amazing until I got home and learned my grandmother was dead. Then scenes shifted to various funerals. I inserted a morning in Positano for a sunny respite on a Mediterranean terrace.  Then I was off making mistakes. I contemplated them like a nun with a rosary. The first decade, I did that terrible thing at Girl Scout camp. The next decade I hurt someone who loved me. The third decade I made a major stupid life choice.


 Time for comic relief – but I could not think of anything funny. So it was on to soul deadening betrayal and grief. How does thirty years ago feel like yesterday at midnight?

I got up, turned on computer, and cancelled tomorrow’s teaching assignment. I took a sleeping pill and let the dogs out so they won’t wake me later. I look forward to sleeping in tomorrow. To doing what I please tomorrow. I anticipate morning sunshine and coffee on my porch and watching the birds if the dogs don’t scare them off. Tomorrow I will be the writer that I am and not the teacher I am not.

My little victory is this:  I ripped my mind from the fangs of the memory beast. It will cost me a day’s pay. A good investment, I think.


No more “I think.” A day’s pay is a fair price for a good night. It is sad that it has taken six decades to find a way and have the means to tame the midnight memory beast. Is that a subplot? The rising action peaked when I got up and popped a pill. In lit classes we called that a climax, but I am not going off on that predictable tangent. It’s falling action now. Sleep and a good day tomorrow. Stiggerink and her dogs peacefully progress through one bright May day. I’ll leave the “Ever after” in fairy tales.

The theme is this: I am blessed.



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