CONTENTS The Sea …… 5 The Ogre …… 7 The Kitten …… 8 Snow …… 9 A Good Man …… 11 My Cat …… 12 About the Author …… 14 3
Way far away into the horizon I sit alone and lonely on a platform in the green rolling sea where the opaque fog is my fragile curtain to the sudden early morning dawn and the cries of the scattered seagulls are my quickened wake up call. When I stretch myself awake, my bare hands touch the outer reaches of the wet planks of wood on which starfish and abalone have made their home. My tangled hair has grown to enormous length and very often drifts in the salt water like seaweed in which many small fish and sleek otters play hide and seek. I sit and watch the sun come up over the dry and barren land that faces me to the east and that is forsaken of all life, except for the occasional lost bird of prey. In my solitary existence, there is no room for longing for fellow human beings, as I am hardly a human being myself anymore, but rather a creature that is one with the salty air and water. 5
One night, when the slow transformation is complete, I will let myself drop off the wooden platform into the briny sea and sink to the bottom, where I will walk amongst the debris of old Spanish Galleons and put gold coins into my pockets, so I will be rich beyond belief and forever weighed down to the sandy ocean floor.
When I was three, I thought my mother was an ogre with eyes in the back of her head, at least, that’s what she always told me. I was afraid of her terrifying eyes and when she wanted to hold me and have me sit on her lap, I struggled to free myself from her embrace and find the safety of my father’s arms, if he was home. If he was not home, I hid under the dining room table and pretended I was in a magical country where ogres couldn’t reach me. I actually thought she would devour me some day with her large mouth and her forever hungry appetite. I think I very often wished her dead, but couldn’t stand the thought of her leaving me on my own and was terrified that she would one day walk out the door and leave me by myself forever. I was as dependent on her as an alcoholic is dependent on his bottle and clung to her accordingly, and I tell you, what is worse than clinging to an ogre? 7
“I’ll skin him alive,” my father said when I brought home a six week old kitten for my little sister. She was six and I was thirteen and it was her birthday. My father was an unpredictable man who claimed to hate all animals for no reason that we knew of, except that this creature’s presence seemed to bring out the worst possible homicidal tendencies in him. For some reason, he went to his workshop and built a litter box and filled it with dirt from the garden. The kitten was not going to be killed yet, but we were going to have to prevent it from giving it reason to seal its own fate. When it died twelve years later, after having been struck by a car, my father cried like a child and was inconsolable; so much for his homicidal tendencies, which we may or may not have believed in.
It was snowing and great big, beautiful snowflakes stuck to my jacket and eyelashes, melting on my cheekbones, proving that my waterproof mascara really worked. On the way home, I teetered on my heavily loaded bike when I tried to make a left turn into the oncoming traffic and I almost toppled over when my timing was off and I had to wait a little longer than I had anticipated. Then there was a short break and I sped across the left lane, almost hitting the opposite sidewalk, which would have been bad for my half empty tires, which I always forget to pump up. Once home, I unpacked my cereal made with four grains and my oatmeal containing fruit and fiber, because when you get to be my age, you need all the help you can get. Outside, a layer of snow blanketed the cold cars and the barren hedges and the winter trodden lawns and a lonely sparrow hopped around on the sidewalk. It must be a 9
snowbird, I thought, illogically, and put away the low-fat yogurt beside the cottage cheese from last weekâ€™s shopping expedition, when it had rained and I had to seek shelter under the awning of the Turkish vegetable manâ€™s shop.
A Good Man
It was with his job the way it had been with his marriage. He didnâ€™t walk out on his own, but made himself so unloved by management, that they had no other choice but to let him go. So it had been with his 15 year long marriage. He wanted to get out, but didnâ€™t have the courage to make the decision, so he made himself unloved by his wife by loving someone else and expecting her to be understanding and accepting of it, knowing all along that he was asking for the impossible and knowing where the story would end. Now he is single and unemployed, both states of existence that he secretly wished for all along. He is unencumbered and guiltless, because he was thrown out against his will and he will always claim that he had the best of intentions.
My cat Nouri is half Siamese. This entitles her to be extra finicky and as sensitive as the “Princess Who Slept on the Pea.” I can not move through the apartment without it causing her to have major nervous breakdowns, as she is the drama queen and the least little movement sends her into spectacular near fainting spells, that are proceeded by sudden runs and jumps to the left or right, depending on the direction I’m coming from. This is than followed by a stressful session of plucking the hair out of her fur, which causes the floor to be scattered with snowy white fluffs of down that whirl in my wake when I walk by. She loves the dog, but the dog is not enamoured by her and her highly-strung emotions and avoids her whenever possible, even when she insists on following him through the brightly lit rooms. I’m hoping she is cast in a remake of Gone With the Wind and have her play Scarlett O’Hara, so she sixsentences.blogspot.com
can maybe pick up some tips on how to be a tough Southern broad, but I donâ€™t hold my breath as she is not getting any younger and the competition is fierce.
About the Author
Irene Sieders is a coffee-drinking, cigarettesmoking Dutch woman who prefers to write in English. She's a rampaging socialist and a cardcarrying agnostic.