Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Story-Time Tuesday - Living Fiction

Jenny Matlock
If you missed where this story started just click here to read it or simply click on the Story-Time Tuesday link at the top of my blog to take you to previous chapters.

Living Fiction - Chapter 50

Here's where Chapter 49 left you.

Griffin laughed again. I was starting to dislike him a little bit. Nobody should be quite that happy. “Pearl, listen. When I bring your daughter home I’ll take a look at what you’ve got going on and see if I can help. Okay?”

“Okay?” I blurted, “That’s more than okay. That would be great!”

My voice might have gotten a bit loud in my enthusiasm because Jessie looked a little embarrassed.

I didn’t care! Griffin was going to help me with my blog.

The jingle of the bell made me smile as I almost skipped to my car.

As I glanced at the happy face in the rearview mirror, I almost didn’t recognize myself. It had been a long time since I’d seen a reflection with a happy smile.

And now, Chapter 50 Continues.

Grinning all the way home, I unlocked the door and ran inside to tell Edgar the happy news.

Edgar had some news of his own to share with me…and none of it was happy.

First of all, Edgar very clearly let me know that I had left him inside too long. The puddle of yellow in the middle of the kitchen floor spoke very definitely of his unhappiness.

The shredded couch pillows also gave testament to the fact that Edgar was NOT happy with my dog-sitting skills.

Throwing a wad of paper towels onto Edgar’s little ‘accident’, I quickly grabbed his leash and a poo bag and hustled him out the kitchen door. I gave him some privacy and let him do his business, then I rushed him around the block as quickly as I could since I wasn’t sure what time Jessie and Griffin arrive.

When we got back to the house, I picked up the soggy paper towels (can I just say ‘ewwwwww’) and quickly mopped the floor with disinfectant. I vacuumed up the shredded foam from the massacred pillows and then sprayed the whole downstairs with air freshener. Edgar watched me quizzically from the living room doorway.

I realized, belatedly, that I should have chastised him for his transgressions but my half-hearted scolding seemed to go right over his head. I didn’t even feel right scolding him at all, though, because it was really my fault both things had happened.

Patting his head, I apologized and told him I would do better! He wagged his tail and looked happy I understood the situation so clearly.

I debated with myself about putting a pot of coffee on. It seemed like the last thing Griffin would want is some of my badly made coffee so I put some cider on the stove to warm and added some spices and the rind of an orange.
I had to think for a moment where I had left my laptop. After I finally found it, I put it on the kitchen table and turned it on. Password? Password? Aha! I remembered. I had written it on the outside of my laptop in silver sharpie!

I typed in the magic word and I was into my blog.

It was so cute. I liked the little happy background of green grass and a bright blue sky. The white dandelions looked really sweet, too. I read what I had written:

At a certain age everyone needs to take inventory of where they are in life. Right now, I have been at the same place doing the same things for way too long. I am ready to shake up my life with new friends, new foods, and new things to do. My name is Pearl, and this is my blog.

I’d also like to shake up my life by getting new comments on my blog. Please leave one for me.

And you’re probably not going to believe this but THERE WERE STILL NO COMMENTS! None. Nada. Nyet. Ummm… zero.

While I was waiting for Jessie and Griffin to arrive, I sat in my spicy, cider-scented kitchen and looked at other blogs. Some of them had comments, but now I realized that some of them didn’t. I ran across some blogs where there were thousands and thousands of comments. The only thing they seemed to have in common is that they were tied to giveaways. One blog in particular, was giving away huge prizes…like kitchenaid mixers and Le Creuset pans. I thought about leaving a comment so I could be entered, too, but I wasn’t sure how good my chances were against 27,362 other entries.

I wondered how those blogs could afford to give away those big prizes. And why did they do that anyway? If I got a brand new kitchenaid mixer, I wouldn’t give it away.

After awhile Edgar wandered out into the kitchen looking bored. “I know, buddy,” I told him, “I don’t know where those two kids are.” Edgar sat down and tilted his head at me. “So, do you want to go for a another walk? We could leave a note?” Edgar tilted his head the other way and looked distinctly unexcited.

Noticing a few errant make-up items Millie had forgotten on the counter, I asked, “Should we take these over to Millie? Maybe you can see Princess for a minute?”

I’m not sure if ‘Millie’ or ‘Princess’ was the magic word, but Edgar jumped up and gave a few happy barks.

I grabbed the leash and my jacket. Edgar jumped around like a crazy dog. He was so cute.

I quickly scrawled a note to Jessie and put it on top of my laptop, and then we headed out the door.

The weather had gotten cooler since I’d been out with Edgar an hour or so ago. The breeze smelled faintly of leaves burning. Autumn had always been my favorite season, but now the fragrance and the low, golden sun made my heart hurt.

This was hard.
It seemed like the only time I felt like me anymore was when I totally immersed myself in a distraction. I would feel hope and possibility fluttering around in my soul and then, BAM!, reality would just slam me in the face, grab me around the throat and shout, “You moron! This is your life now! Quit trying to make it any different!”

Was this ever going to get easier?

I paused for a moment and turned my face toward the glow of the sun. Back in the days when I still thought I could ‘save’ my son, I had immersed myself in his rehabilitation programs and their mantras…’one day at a time’, ‘today is a new yesterday’, ‘God grant me the serenity…’. I had sat through all the meetings but somehow, after awhile, the hope the sayings gave me originally went away.

Edgar whined and tugged at the leash. “Hold on, bud. Just a second.”

I returned quickly to my thoughts. Maybe the sayings quit working for me because I wasn’t really using them for me. I think I was always saying the words in my heart as a prayer for my son. The words were never for me.

Maybe for today I would try applying them to myself. I straightened my shoulders, “Okay, Pearl. One day at a time…one day at a time…”

I walked to Millie’s repeating the words over and over again in my head.

She wasn’t home. Edgar seemed depressed. I wasn’t.

I left the make-up on the welcome mat where Millie would be certain to see it.

On the short walk home, Edgar lagged behind. “C’mon, Edgar, one day at a time! We’ll try and see Princess tomorrow!”

I think my pep talk cheered him up. Or maybe he just perked up when we got into the kitchen and he saw Jessie and Griffin seated at the table looking at my blog!

To be continued on Tuesday, September 13.

(c) 2010 Jennifer R. Matlock
This publication is the exclusive property of Jennifer R. Matlock and is protected
under the US Copyright Act of 1976 and all other applicable international, federal, state and local laws. The contents of this post/story may not be reproduced as a whole or in part, by any means whatsoever, without consent of the author, Jennifer R. Matlock. All rights reserved.

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People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

If it's Tuesday, it's Living Fiction day AND Ukulele lesson day. Oh yes! A winning combo to be sure.

Pearl is in your heart....even when you don't feel like she is.

"And you’re probably not going to believe this but THERE WERE STILL NO COMMENTS! None. Nada. Nyet. Ummm… zero." - you can make me laugh so easy!!!!

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

Yes -- I've come home to a few Edgar scenes like that myself! Looking forward to Pearl mastering the blog!

Viki said...

Good chapter. I almost forgot today was Tuesday with the holiday, ha, ha. I'm really interested what her blog will be like, kinda like yours?

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Did you know my middle name was Pearl? My Mom wanted to name me that after her Mom (who's name was Americanized to Pearl) but my Dad won over with the name Patricia :)

You are so right, Jenny, thatmy grandsons are growing so quickly! The big guy is so chatty now and he kept telling me "no more pictures, Nonna! Put your camera away!" which reminded me of my son...lol

Mrs. M said...

So excited to see what Griffin is going to tell Pearl about her blog. :)

Ames said...

Ha! I remember when we were late getting home one time and the girls had chewed an area of the carpet approximately 10 inches by 25 inches right in front of the sliding glass door. That is how we ended up with wood floors. Now we crate our girls, even though they are older, can hold it longer, and we leave the door to the crate open.
The reference to the spiced cider is making me anxious for Fall.

Looking forward to next week's installation.~Ames

Susan Anderson said...

Can't wait to hear Griffin's advice!


H said...

Like Sue, I'm looking forward to reading what Griffin has got to say about the blog.

Interesting that Edgar was so keen to visit Princess. Are you really writing a 3-way romance here Jenny?

Ms. A said...

Hope Griffin doesn't advise her to start doing giveaways, in order to get comments.

J said...

I really loved this, Jenny.

By the way, I've tagged you in something: http://herestothegoldendays.blogspot.com/2011/09/meme-seven-links.html

Judie said...

Edgar didn't WANT to pee on the floor--she gave him no choice!!

Well, I am happy for Pearl that she has made some life-altering decisions in her life!

cj Schlottman said...

Poor Edgar! I'm glad Pearl didn't punish him. As usual, I am looking forward to next week, want to know how Pearl's "One day at a time" philosophy is going. Also want to see how the web site goes.

I love this series.


Anonymous said...

I am looking forward to seeing what Pearl does with her blog after she gets advice from Griffin. Hugs