Six Sixes by Juliana Perry
CONTENTS Oz …… 5 Morning Glory …… 6 Mobile Mechanic …… 7 Honey Thick …… 8 Funnel Web …… 9 Final Touches …… 10 About the Author …… 12
Carol is the mother in law who lives next door to me. She's not my mother in law, just my neighbor, and she's quiet, quiet until about 9:30pm every night. My guess is she's about 65 years old, but it's hard to tell when information is conflicting; she shovels her own gravel but listens to her TV at volumes that can be heard a house away. As far as neighbors go she's pretty good, keeps her house and yard nice, doesn't party and has no real interest in me or mine. Come 9:30 at night though, without fail, you can hear Carol crooning for her cats "TOBY TOOOOOOBY" in a voice that sounds like the wicked witch of the west just beyond my bedroom wall each night. Sometimes I pause in my reading and wonder if I heard "TOTO TOOOOTO;â€? I can picture the witch living next door to me, on the island, in her rambler, calling for her kitty at bedtime. 5
With a start, suddenly she woke to the cries of a dog in the night. It sounded like a child screaming and it haunted her dream and left her with a taste like metal in her mouth. She turned over and tried to find the position that would allow her to sleep again and find her place in the dream with the man. Was he a dream? Sleep would not come to her and the night turned to day with no return to the place she had spent with the man. As she opened the sliding shower door for her morning sluicing she noticed the wet tile and grout.
The American flag decal on the side of his truck loomed over the lovers as they stood facing each other, Semper Fi. She turned from him and walked toward her house looking back once with a squinty come hither glance. She walked as if she had lost all muscle tone in her pelvis, her painted on wranglers rising and dropping with each step. He did not hesitate to follow her up the walk with his upright, militant quick pace. He liked being ordered around and the way she moved it was obvious she was in charge. I watched this from my kitchen window; the country singer and her mechanic, engaging in a private rendezvous while her children were at school.
Three years and I've been promising great things, high functioning is a powerful phrase. Year one was like slow motion and then BAM, growth and some progress. Year two was even better, so much so quickly, I had to stop in my tracks to keep it all in and to record the moments as they passed, in case I missed something. Year three has seen a plateau and things have become as thick as the liquid he drinks, honey thick. Honey thick is how I will recall these years; it makes a certain kind of sense to me, just three tablespoons per every four ounces. Three years and I measure my son with Down syndrome's life by honey thick.
Knowing she would see him again, she knew a degree of contentment. Wondering where it would lead added questions that were better unanswered. Typically she plundered and pillaged the men in her life. Why she was treating this one differently had her insides twisted and made her uneasy. With the unease burning, she worked her hair through her fingers, thinking about things she knew she had no right to think. Hoping for another few hours with him and wanting more, imagining something deeper and warmer than she, holding the moment she held his hand in her mindâ€™s eye.
With each laborious step he was closer to his goal, his metal walker silently bringing him to the counter and the salesman behind it; stopping just short, his breathing shallow and ragged he could hear the whispered words, the words that were his alone â€œthe prognoses is multiple Sclerosis, a particularly aggressive strain.â€? Today he could see only with his right eye, and he struggled to walk, lifting his feet for each step was like walking through heavy muck and mire; too heavy for his 52 years. The vice around his chest was as tightly wound as it had ever been as words like pulmonary embolism, blindness, heart failure, and rapid muscle degeneration crowded his thoughts as he arrived at the counter where after a pause he made his voice young, strong and certain for the salesman. â€œI am looking for one like I had as a kid, you know the one that fit just so and sixsentences.blogspot.com
was always true?â€? The salesman knew just the one, sign here and here and here and it was done, no, he didnâ€™t need a case and yes, thank you Iâ€™ll need the ammunition. At home he mounted it on the wall in his studio and started cleaning his art supplies, fine pencils and brushes that were impossible to use as numb and palsied as his hands had become, not too numb however to finish the job.
About the Author
Juliana Perry is a single mom of three, a lover of all things wine, cheese and bread, a maintainer of all things house and home, a student of business and psychology, and a professional scheduler and multi-tasker.
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