Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Portrait of Words: A Piece of a Bigger Story

The Big Brawny Beautiful Jeff B hosts a monthly writing exercise. PORTRAIT OF WORDS. This is Month #1. Please stop by Jeff’s place and check out the stories. It’s very simple. Look at a few pictures, write a story.

These are the photos we worked with:

And this is my story:

Paul sat quietly in the far corner of the funeral home’s main lobby. The doorway to Viewing Room B was right by the main entrance but he found it necessary to get as far away from that doorway as possible. He was grateful for being removed from the moment, distant from the scene. He had so much to work out and so little time. Soon he would need to face Patricia’s family and he was certain they had questions and he was afraid they had accusations.

Paul pulled back deeper into the shadows of the corner. He buried his head in his hands and stared at his feet. Christ! He had left his worn Keds on. He’d been in such a hurry to get to Brooklyn. A hurry to get to where he didn’t want to be.

Paul had been at school for just a few days when he met Patricia. She was, in Paul’s world, glamorous. She had Farrah Fawcett hair that she loved to toss about. She wore designer clothes, everything she owned had a name, and she seemed to only take the kind of classes that weren’t necessary. She was part of the Equestrian Club and looked like Lady of the Manor wherever she went. Paul was ROTC. He managed to look respectful in full dress uniform but was otherwise pretty much invisible. Certainly he was off the radar screen of girls like Patricia.

They met late on a rainy Friday afternoon. Paul commuted, Patricia lived in the dorms. Paul had heard she was from Brooklyn but lived in the dorms to avoid the long unsavory subway trip. The school itself was beautiful, lush green grounds, lovely old buildings that were well maintained and a bridge that connected the outer fringe of the campus to the famous Zoological Park and Botanical Gardens next door. A huge oasis in one of NYC’s declining neighborhoods. Paul noticed her at the top of the subway stairs. He was surprised she was alone, most female students traveled off campus in groups. She was searching through her bag as Paul took a deep breath and approached. “Need an umbrella?” he asked holding his out to her. She took it without a thank you. They stood staring at each other. Paul wasn’t at all surprised to realize she was even prettier up close. She had dark brown eyes and porcelain skin. “I guess we should share this” Patricia said, already walking. “Hope you can keep up”. Paul kept up, the umbrella barely covering his shoulder and dangerously close to poking out his eye. He peeked down at her shoes; they were flat which meant she was at least 2 inches taller than him. One more self inflicted demerit on his list of “Reasons Patricia Will Never Date Me”.

Paul and Patricia ran into each other many times before they spoke again. Patricia was always surrounded by a gaggle of giggling clothes horses and barely gave Paul more than a passing nod. Paul was a loner, his only friends were the other ROTC officers and they rarely socialized. Paul had developed a routine of playing handball at the deserted guest house of the old mansion that now served as senior housing. The school had run out of funding after renovating the mansion and had left the old guest house to sit in ruins. Paul liked it there. It was quiet and the old wood floors and hard marble walls made it an excellent all weather court. He usually went there early in the morning. A good fast game of hardball was a great way to start the day. Today however he went there just before dark. He hoped to get in a game before it was too dark to see. As he approached the front door Paul heard music coming from inside. It had never before occurred to Paul to wonder about the safety of being out here alone and it didn’t now. He walked in calling out “Hello, Hello, Who’s here?” The music stopped abruptly as the beam of a flashlight made its way toward Paul. “Who is here?” a quiet voice asked. Paul stepped forward and ran straight into Patricia.

“What are you doing here!?” they both said. Paul laughed, Patricia looked confused and annoyed; a look Paul would come to be very well acquainted with. “I come here to read” Patricia spoke first. “It’s too noisy and chaotic at the dorm. Even though I have my own room the common room is a non-stop party”. Paul understood. He told Patricia about his exercise routine and then they both fell silent. Finally Paul asked what Patricia was reading. She told him about the extensive reading lists for her Music Appreciation and Photographic Technique Classes. “So you’re interested in the arts?” “Not really” Patricia responded, “I want to be well rounded, I plan on marrying well”. And with that she left.

Paul started dropping by the old guest house every afternoon. Most days Patricia was there. She read, played music on her little portable cassette player and pretty much ignored Paul. Some days he’d actually play handball outside but most days he just sat and watched Patricia. After the first few times she didn’t seem to mind much. Their conversations were limited to superficial things – the neighborhood, restaurants, professors. Any time Paul tried to ask deeper, more personal questions he was shut down. If he spoke about his own life Patricia listened politely but never showed any real interest. They never saw each other anywhere but at the guest house or in passing on campus. Paul dearly wanted to explore their relationship but didn’t have a clue on how to get past Patricia’s icy demeanor.

The holidays came and Paul didn’t see Patricia for several weeks. They had never exchanged home numbers. Paul spent a good part of his holiday thinking about Patricia and asking himself what the attraction was. Certainly she was pretty but a lot of women who were actually interested in him were pretty as well. She was interesting only in her mystery. The more Paul thought about Patricia the less he liked her. Finally he decided to stay away from the guest house when school resumed. He laughed at himself for momentarily thinking of this as a break-up. He doubted Patricia would notice his absence.

School started soon after the New Year and Paul jumped into added classes and more ROTC activities, he also joined a local gym to avoid the guest house. He tried not to attach too much importance to avoiding Patricia by telling himself the guest house was too cold in the winter and it got dark too early. Weeks went by and he found it was easier and easier to not think about Patricia. Then he ran into her roommate. She stopped him on campus for some small talk. This seemed odd to Paul, they didn’t know each other well, they only shared one class and Patricia, and Paul was sure no one knew of his feelings for Patricia. After a few minutes of benign chatter the roommate asked if Paul has spoken to Patricia. “No” he told her, “why would I?” The roommate explained that since they were friends and since Patricia hadn’t come back to school yet she assumed Paul had contacted her. “Not back at school?” Paul was confused and worried. “Haven’t you spoken to her?” The roommate said she couldn’t get past Patricia’s mother and had hoped Paul had better luck. “I lost her number” Paul lied. “Plus I wasn’t sure she wanted to talk to me, we’re not that close”. The roommate told Paul that Patricia has often mentioned how kind he was. “I think she needs some kindness”. The roommate gave Paul the number in Brooklyn and asked him to let her know if he found out what was happening.

After a lot of staring at the telephone Paul dialed the number. No answer. No answering machine. He tried several time a day for days. And then he saw Patricia. It was a reenactment of the day they met. She stood at the top of the subway stairs. This time when she saw Paul she smiled and waved. She looked tired and pale which concerned Paul but she also looked softer, more approachable. He ran over, grabbed her bag and they walked to campus in silence. As much as he wanted to know what was happening he was so afraid of making the wrong move, asking the wrong question. “I guess everyone wants to know what’s wrong with me”. She sounded as exhausted as she looked. Paul told her he and her roommate were worried. She’d missed a lot of classes and hadn’t called anyone. “I told the school, I worked it out”. Paul was glad she had worked out school but how about life, and friends. “I didn’t know what was happening” he said gently. “I was worried … and I missed you”. Patricia graced him with a smile and touched his arm, for a moment. He walked her to her dorm and left her to get settled in. She promised to meet him at the guest house in the morning.

Paul got to the guest house early. He had prepared a picnic breakfast and had with him all the new music he had discovered. He also brought along his old camera, it had not seen the light of day in years. During the holiday break, while trying not to think of Patricia, he had done some research into the classical music she enjoyed. He was pleased to discover he liked it, the melodies were soothing. He listened all the time, even though his ROTC buddies teased him. Paul was very action oriented so gazing at someone else’s photographs could not hold his attention. He had dug out the camera from High School Yearbook days and had already shot several rolls of film. He hoped all this would give him easy common ground with Patricia. Although she seemed warmer, more vulnerable she was still a puzzle to Paul. Patricia arrived almost an hour late. “Coffee is cold and the toast is dry” Paul said testily. Patricia apologized and explained that she had needed the extra time to get up the courage to come. “I don’t make friends easily. I’m great with shallow acquaintances but not so good with real conversations”. Paul put on some music. Patricia was pleased that he had remembered all the masters she was studying. He pulled out the camera and took some photos of the guest house. Patricia remarked on how beautiful the winter morning shadows were. “Are you feeling better? You look more rested than yesterday.” Paul was still so careful. Patricia made him think of a jittery bird, always just about to fly off. “I’m fine, it was nothing” she said. She tried to sound dismissive but Paul sensed a great deal of weight in her words. The morning went well and they agreed to meet again the next day.

The morning meetings at the guest house became a regular thing. It was a mild winter so weather rarely got in the way. As spring approached Paul and Patricia started appearing as a couple. They went to student events together. They joined others to venture out into the neighborhood. Arthur Avenue was close by and offered up the best Italian food in the city. Paul had filled many albums with the photos he took of the area. He snuck Patricia into as many shots as he could. For someone so concerned about appearance – her clothes and her make-up always had to be perfect – Patricia hated posing for photos.

Summer was approaching and both Paul and Patricia had intern positions in Manhattan. They would both be living at home – Paul in Queens and Patricia in Brooklyn. Patricia’s mood darkened during these last days at school. She often hinted at hating the idea of being back at home. She rarely spoke about home and family. She mostly mentioned her mother who she seemed to pity and her sister who she seemed to resent. This too was a contradiction since she was very close to her sister’s son. Paul felt silly asking but he always felt he needed to be sure where he stood with Patricia. “So we’ll get together during the summer?” Patricia favored him with one of her infrequent genuine smiles. “Of course we will, I almost didn’t make it during Christmas, I’ll need you for the summer”.

I almost didn’t make it. Those words had always haunted Paul but now, sitting here in the corner of the funeral home they echoed in his head and took on more power than Paul could handle. He watched the door hoping to see people from school. It had only been a couple of years since graduation, was he really the only person she had stayed in touch with? He watched her family – her brother Michael seemed to be reveling in the attention, John was trying to disappear into the walls and her sister was holding her son’s hand in a death grip. Paul knew he needed to speak to them.

“You can’t hide forever” Dianne told Paul as she sat down beside him and touched his hand. “Trust me, I’m trying. The professional mourners are out in full force and Michael is hoping the paparazzi show up”. Paul asked where her son was. “I sent him out with Raymond; I’ve been making up errands all day. Anything to keep him away from this. I wish I’d been stronger. I wish I had put my foot down about wakes. This is barbaric. What’s really fucked up is that a lot of people think it was an accident. An accident! She happened to be walking on the railing of her roof and slipped? What the fuck.” Paul was a military man and valued being direct. “I wasn’t sure what happened” he said and faltered. “I, the newspaper, I …” Dianne laughed. “It made it into the paper. That amazes me. I’m sorry you saw it there first. The police had her purse and I didn’t get it back in time to find her phone book”. Paul told her not to think about that. They sat in silence for a bit. People approached. Dianne smiled at them and said thank you. She sent them to Michael. He was holding court.

“She tried a few days ago” Dianne blurted out. “They kept her in the hospital, they released her into our care, the shrink said she was getting better. This is going to take forever to sort through. You need a machete to cut through the guilt”. Paul cursed his inability to speak. “It’s OK you know” Dianne continued. “I figured out that she tried it during college. I think more than once. Definitely that first year. I told her not to go back there for Christmas. She was out, stay out. But my Mother dragged her back in. Always did”. “I knew her for years and we never spoke about anything important” Paul felt as though a lifetime of words were about to spill out. “I knew what I almost didn’t make it meant and I never dealt with it. And now I feel …” He stopped. Dianne’s son was approaching. A tall boy looking so much older than he was. He grabbed his Mom’s hand, the death grip renewed and leaned over and hugged Paul. “I don’t know who you are” he smiled, “but hugging everyone seems to work”. Paul saw his Mother’s personality immediately – an easy comfortable intimate way of just being with people. He also saw Patricia’s face, especially her mouth. Jeffrey looked so much like Patricia.

“He looks a lot like her” Dianne’s voice made Paul jump. He realized Jeffrey had moved on, he was hugging more people. “I need to make some rounds; if I get them first they will leave me alone. I’m glad you’re here Paul. And I’m glad you were her friend, I know it wasn’t easy. It would take forever for me to sort it out for you and I’m not even sure I’d be right. Just one thing – promise me this one thing – you’ll remember that it’s not your fault. If it’s your fault then it is certainly mine. And it isn’t. You can’t breathe for people Paul".

This is kinda, sorta a true story. Paul is a compilation of 3 young men. All the other names have NOT been changed since no one did anything they need protecting from.

September 9 was my sister Patricia’s birthday. This coming October 17 it will be 21 years since she stepped off the roof of her crappy apartment building. She will have been dead almost as long as she was alive. She forever altered my favorite season. That pisses me off. Jeffrey was the last person she spoke to. She called him, all 13 years old of him, right before she did it. That really pisses me off. A therapist we went to right after “the deed” said that suicide was the “ultimate fuck you”. I loved that guy for giving me something to wrap my head around.

I am the only person who speaks of Patricia regularly and in a normal tone of voice. Jeffrey will mention her from time to time but always quietly, as if the name will echo too long and too loud. My nieces don’t know she existed and my brothers never say her name. Her photo is not displayed. If I speak the “P” word in their homes all the air leaves the room. It’s not for me to judge. And it is not for me to fix.

I wanted to post something about Patricia on the 9th and then I didn’t. And then the day mercifully moved on. Later that day I went back to the POW photos. I had started and stopped 3 different stories. The girl in the frilly white. Bandaged wrists. The poor young man. The sheet seeming to trap him there. It all just came to be.

I don’t think this honors Patricia. She really wasn’t a very nice person. She was manipulative and cold. We were always at tug of war over Jeffrey. I know she didn’t like me much. She always felt the need to put me down. Jeffrey said it was because she was jealous. I was so much stronger. I don’t know if that’s it. I don’t think that matters much anymore.

I do know you should always speak out loud. Live out loud. Even if it’s messy. Even if it’s inconvenient. Secrets and darkness and isolation lead down ugly roads. And sometimes those roads end at a cliff.


Raven said...

What a brave and profound post. As I read the story, I sort of thought you were writing about your sister. I'm glad you did and I'm especially glad you wrote the comments after. Suicide is a fuck you. It's sad and tragic and mostly it's cruel and viscious to those you leave behind. It's a lot like murder. It really IS murder, just with another level of complexity because the villain and the victim are the same person and you love them both - and probably hate them both. I know first hand how hard murder is to put behind you. I'm sorry your sister left you and those you love with this pain and anger and loss. And I'm glad you spoke the truth about it. That's good for you and I'll bet it will be a gift to others who have not been allowed to speak such profound truth.

Well and bravely done.

CrazyCath said...

This is the most powerful piece of writing I have seen in a long time. It made my blood run cold. I have dealt with suicide all my working life - and the way you deal with this is the healthiest and most honest I have ever had the privilege to encounter.

This is such a brave post. So well written. The story is fantastic, but your footnote - reality smacks.

Brilliant. Thank you for sharing.

bobbie said...

A very strong, sad post, Dianne. I'm sorry about Patricia, but yes, you are dealing with it the healthiest way I can imagine. "You should always speak out loud. Live out loud." The last person who said something like that to me was my oldest daughter. And she should know. She has had a lot to face. And she has followed her own advice.

The story you have written is really excellent.

Getting past that day on the calendar must always be difficult. I have a few like that. Perhaps we all do.

Cherie said...

This project was well worth the wait. It doesn't feel right calling it a story since it is a part of your real life. I love how you told it through Paul's eyes. Very moving, and very well told.

Tammy said...

WOW!!! I keep telling you I think you should be a writer and this is just another reason why.

Dianne said...

raven - thank you, I know you know all about the levels of complexity.

crazycath - wow! that made me feel so much more at ease. I hated the idea that this story might be morbid - sucky morbid. Or too sappy. I was so far in it I wsn't sure so I hit publish. A comment like yours makes it all better :)
thank you
I'll be by soon to read your story. You were first!! Show-off ;)

bobbie - I'm positive we all do. Anniversaries are like mile markers. Every road seems to need to have them. I suppose they serve a purpose. I know the happy ones do, I'm still trying to figure out the not so happy ones.
thanks Bobbie.

cherie - I'm still so happy you're here LOL
and I love seeing your face
Paul is the 3 men my sister had relationships with - college through to her death. Each one tried. It's still a story though - the guest house doesn't exist although the campus of Fordham is that beautiful and Arthur Avenue is the best place for Italian food.
And Jeffrey does look like her. I guess I wanted all the Pauls in the world to have their say :)
thanks my cherie.

Dianne said...

tammy - thanks!! you are always so supportive and encouraging. I have actually sent some samples to a few places. And the local paper has actually called back and shown some interest in me writing some local human interest stuff. We'll see.

Akelamalu said...

I had a feeling when I read the name 'Dianne' that the story was more fact than fiction. How brave of you to share it. Excellently written m'dear. x

Jeff B said...

"The Big Brawny Beautiful ..." Have I told you that you're my favorite!?!

I almost stopped reading right there. Certainly glad I didn't though.

I literally had a chill run up my spine when you explained how this story was inspired. I would imagine you thought more than once about hitting the publish button after you'd written this. Thank you so much for laying that out there for us to read. Very moving indeed.

Bear Naked said...

You are a gifted writer.
Your words have left me speechless.

Warm bear hugs to you.

Bear((( )))

Dianne said...

akelamalu - thanks lady! appreciate that :)

jeff b - as I wrote the big brawny beautiful intro I was thinking of how your brother would love to scoff at that. it made me laugh and then - well - I just hit publish! it's important to live out loud isn't it?

thank you bear - your hugs are always valued.

CrazyCath said...

LOL at "Show off!" - believe me it was nerves! It had been written a week before. The family thought I had gone mad and couldn't understand the pacing.... ;0)

kenju said...

Dianne, I had no idea that you were writing about a real person. I am so sorry about your sister. Your story is very compelling and I think you should flesh it out a bit and submit it to a publisher of amagazine.

Reb said...

Dianne, I am sorry your sister felt the need to give you all a big fuck you. This was incredibly well told and you are so strong to have shared it with us all.

Lu' said...

Dianne, I dug it. Dug the hell out of your words following the story. Wow, powerful. I...

Dianne said...

crazycath - I get the pacing! creative people are nuts!!
your story was beautiful!

kenju - I may do that. thank you for the vote of confidence. and the sympathies :)

reb - thank you for embracing the "ultimate fuck you" - it makes a lot of people uncomfortable.

lu' - thanks!! I love how your comments are always so free, they read as though you're on the phone with me. :)

RiverPoet said...

OMG, Dianne. I had no idea. What a powerful story.

You know, my daughter has borderline personality disorder. She has tried to kill herself before, has engaged in self-mutilation, and is now a prescription drug addict and alcoholic. I keep waiting to get a call from the police that she's dead. We have done everything humanly possible to get her well, but she seems to want to be a disaster - or she can't help herself.

I'm glad you said this, "We can't breathe for people."

Peace - D

Queen-Size funny bone said...

You need a publisher for sure.

Michelle's Rambling Woods said...

Oh gosh..loss of words again...

jennifer said...

Good night Dianne. This post.... I don't have words.

Just so well written and I am sorry, if for no other reason than that you have to deal with such a harsh reality.

The fact that you gave such kind praise for my story, now that I have read yours, is even more flattering.

You are gifted with words.


Dianne said...

riverpoet - it is exhausting isn't it? and I know a child is even harder to grieve for than a sibling. I'm glad for you that you know you have done all you can - still I know the feelings creep in at times and as I said, it can be exhausting ...

queen size funny bone - thank you!!

Dianne said...

michelle - that made me laugh, a really good laugh. I keep taking your words away - thank you cause I know exactly what you're saying :)

jen - your story is wonderful. It handles a tragedy and the aftermath in such a gentle way. so I feel the same way - makes your comment to me all the more lovely
night Jen :)

Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

Hi Dianne! It took me a while to figure out that Patricia was your sister. (I'm dense). Now I feel that I am about to say something stupid. (Which I do often) You may not feel or think this, but I think your sister loved you. She just didn't know how to express it. She did it the only way she knew how. You may not feel this either, but this was a lovely tribute to your sister. That's it. I'm done saying stupid stuff except I'm sending you a big hug up the parkway. Lisa

Farmer*swife said...

ACK!! I never got to this! Then "IKE" came and [excuse] I didn't have the necessities to complete the assignment.

I am SO GLAD you played this! The pictures were awesome to work with. I am too tired and lacking time but I've got this bookmarked and open in a side window too -- to read. Definately!!!!!!

Farmer*swife said...

As the tear rolls down my cheek? My gut is wrenched and I feel a little sick. But, it is only because I can relate on alternately related levels.

It looked interesting when I skimmed the first few sentences. I made time to come back and read....

Whew....great writing. Sure hit hard. Life, family, and people aren't always fair.

Thanks for sharing so deeply.

Jay said...

WOW! This is a an amazing story Dianne. I really wish I had something more intelligent to say here. But, it was really amazing.

Roger said...

You are so very talented in many ways Di! :D

the walking man said...

I went to 9 funerals in one year not so long ago. Only 3 of them were from natural causes. It is not easily described, this aftermath of a persons suicide. Not a year later, not decades later.

Yet somehow them that are left alive must for our own reasons keep with us the memory of them gone in their own way, for their own reasons.

I found a certain comfort in this writing, thanks kiddo. I appreciate that.

Dianne said...

lisa - thank you for that big hug coming up the parkway :)
it caused quite a traffic jam at exit 117

farmers wife - thanks for coming back and taking the time!! I hope you write next month, you were good at this back when you know who hosted
and yes, a lot is not fair :)

jay - what you say is always enough :)

thank you roger - that makes me feel like one of the cool kids

mark - I love when you call me kiddo and I'm pleased that there is comfort in here somewhere

Bond said...

Dianne: Yesterday I stopped by and saw you had a story. Time was so limited so I did not read it as I always try and give my friends writings the time they deserve..

Today I came back and smiled as I recognized the campus immediately...smiled when you got to Arthur Avenue, a place that holds special meanings to me.

And then as I continued reading a nagging feeling began creeping into my brain. When I finished and I read your words they did not shock me as I had begun to feel the truth in your story.

Powerful, intense, gut-wrenching, brave. Those are the four words that leap to mind.

The brave is for you. I totally agree that keeping silent can only cause more pain and suffering than speaking the truth and speaking Patricia's name out loud.

Your family may not want it done. I am glad you have this place and your 'friends' here to allow you to speak it and feel better - I hope it made you feel better at least.

Thank you.

Dianne said...

bond - I adore Arthur Avenue. It is a lot like my beloved 18th Avenue back in Brooklyn. Remember when all you had to say was "I'm going to the Avenue"? :)
You hit on something I was hoping to convey. The nagging truth - always there, especially in hindsight. Thank you for getting that and thank you for being one of those "friends"
I hope we get to meet one day over BBQ, with lovely Nancy along as well. What fun to take the quote marks off of friends :)

Bond said...

Dianne: "I'm going to the Avenue" I'm going to The City" I am going to the Stadium"
Maybe they can do that in other cities, but it all started in NY! LOL
It would be a great pleasure to share drinks and food with you..and as far as I am concerned the quote marks are now gone!

Dianne said...

LOL Bond!! It is uniquely NY, I can't even do it here in the outer province of NJ. They just don't get it!!
"" are gone :)

Daryl said...

Beautiful ... you paint pictures with your words and these words are especially illustrative ..

Live out loud for sure ... sadly we cant live for others.


Ivanhoe said...

You are so right. Communication is very important. If stuff piles up in those little heads of ours...crazy things happen.
And yes, you are one of the strongest women I know :o)

Karen said...

How brave of you to share this story and your memories of your sister. I particularly think it is awesome that you can express that you are pissed off by the circumstances. Isn't funny how different people deal with the same pain in different ways.

Dianne said...

daryl - that's a wonderful compliment, thank you

ivanhoe - too much stuff and you get system overload :)
thank you

karen - I really appreciate that.

Knight said...

I read this yesterday and had to digest it for awhile. To be honest I'm still not done digesting but I need to comment anyway. The story is beautiful, dark, and the personal touch is heart breaking. This is the third time this subject has come up for me in the past few days so I'm going to address it on my blog but I wanted to thank you for so candidly sharing your feelings. They surprised me and they are honest. I'm always learning something about life from you.

Dianne said...

knight - I love that you describe this as beautiful and dark, so many people don't get how they go hand in hand at times.
I hope this subject hasn't come up to hurt you or anyone close to you. And I love that you feel you learn from me, thank you!

the walking man said...

The comfort Dianne is because the story brought back memories for me of people I cared for and re-invoked my faith on what death and dying is.

Dianne said...

mark - I have always felt it is important to think of those who have passed on. And to think of them "normally" and to speak of them casually. In the manner you had for them when they were here. Perhaps a bit more kindness if necessary. I do think and speak of Patricia with more kindness now than when she was alive although I don't negate who she was on this playing field, I just believe she's different in the new one.
Peace My Friend.

CG said...

Well, you stopped me in my tracks - the story was powerful enough but the words after. I am literally without the words to express my admiration for your writing and for the person you are.

Dianne said...

cg - thank you. I wanted the power to come from how ordinary yet ominous warning signs can be and how we still can't be expected to recognize them. Paul's life was so changed because of what Patricia did and that has been for hard for all 3 of the people Paul represents.
Hugs cg :)

Travis said...


Dianne said...

travis - I felt that wow. thank you.

Patti said...

When I was here Thursday (when I was first, first!!) to see your Creative Photography post I noticed you had written a story and made a mental note to return. I was in a rush at the time.

Now it's Saturday morning and I just read it.
Your writing is powerful, Dianne. You really put me there with your characters. And having one with my name made me feel even closer. ;-)

I envy your creativne writing talent. And you're right, it is important to communicate and not sweep stuff under the rug. It just festers under there and never goes totally away.

You are a great writer and I hope you are published someday.


Dianne said...

Patti - you are one of the few people who would make sure to come back on a Saturday to read something they noticed on a Thursday. I love that about you. And thank you for these kind words, mean a lot to me.

Patti said...

You are most welcome.

I forgot to ask how you were. Hope the ankle is doing better.

Lanny said...

Got home from the fair at eleven and started reading POW stories, I was reading yours at about one thiry or so and really was moved by it but too tired to comment. I have come back to do so, but after seeing all the comments you already have here there really isn't much more that I could add.

Funny how we both noticed the bandages. Certain lives make things more noticable.

Thank you for reading my story and your generous comments.

Dianne said...

lanny - "Certain lives make things more noticable."
they sure do!
that line just gave me the idea for another story - or maybe the certain life did and you just clarified it.
regardless of how many comments I ever get I cherish each one. Each comment is like one more friendly voice in a sometimes dark place.