Home Away from Home

Randy could see nothing exceptional in this man—a man at least twice their age. This made no sense for a survivor.

He slowly kicked open wide the driver’s door, his heart pounding against the constraints of veins. He tried to wet his lips with a dry tongue. What he wanted was a smoke. He’d quit tobacco three years ago and there was no one in the motel parking lot to bum a cigarette from anyhow. Continue reading

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Sweetly Sentenced

From behind, she snatched the soda pop can out of his hand with urgency enough to spray his clothes and the back of the couch.

“You know you can’t have regular colas—” She caught sight of the empty Drumsticks® wrapper on the end table. The pitch of her voice climbed. “Ice cream?”

She faced him. “You’re a diabetic. This stuff will kill you.”

He gripped in his fist the candy bar he’d opened before his wife’s unexpected return from errands. The chocolatey guts squished from between his fingers.

She stood back and crossed her arms, glaring as if he were her child. “What, have you got a death wish?”

He glanced away.

©2015 Sandra R. Davidson (Image)
deepfriedmars

Double Glazed

“It’s my job, Rick.”

“Whoa, they laying you off?”

“Nah, I’m good, I’m good.” James took a drag from the fresh espresso. “I’m on the phone with a person for a minute, two max—except today. Today I get a 20-minute window into this couple’s life. He puts me on speaker phone and walks around the house. This woman’s voice comes on. They’re laughing together trying to get the motion detector apart. The guy finally manages it and she’s, like, cheering.”

Rick nods in the slow quiet between them.

“I could use me some cheering.”

©2015 Sandra R. Davidson (Image)

Really? Labels on Psychology Today

Beyond YourselfMental health issues have come a long way from being covered up by family or applying the label, “nutcase.” Labeling reduces people to objects, convenient as the phrases may be.

Psychology Today is the last place I would expect the use of derogatory labels such as “crazy.”

Here is a list of the instances of crazy in the article by Donna Jackson Nakazawa.

Paragraph 1: “…[someone] simply acts crazy in ways that confound us…”
Suggestion: Drop the word crazy.

Paragraph 3: “How can we stop feeling embroiled in other people’s craziness?”
Suggestion: The word behavior would be a suitable substitute for “craziness,” though I can think of other alternatives.

Item 11: “…to prevent a crazy-making altercation…”
Suggestion: Slightly less succinct would be, to prevent an altercation that leaves us with distressing thoughts.

Item 14: “…who’s driving you crazy…”
Suggestion: How about, who’s become the center of your thoughts.

Also, I ask, “Who is behind the wheel driving? And why isn’t it you to begin with?” That could be another article in itself. I suspect there is more than one side of the equation that needs to address mental health.

Postscript: From the point listed in response to paragraph 3 [“How can we stop feeling embroiled in other people’s craziness?”], are we conveniently turning away from recognizing others require help? We likely are not the person to help them; however there are many ways to foster connections between the person in need and persons who can offer help.

Sandra R. Davidson

Young

YA friend of mine is one of the youngest people I know. She’s also hovering around age 70.

Simply contagious. It is as if all the extra protons attach themselves to nearby electrons, even those of strangers.

Gregarious ought to be her middle name. She drives from the north to the south borders of the west coast and east a ways too. She teaches anyone who has an eye for artful craft. This is an annual odyssey. People remember her–hard not to–and return each year to see what new product she has brought along.

With her there is no pretentiousness. She has no patience for thoughtless people yet she will spend all the time it takes to teach a child who expresses interest in crafts. Adults too when she senses sincerity.

There will come a day arthritis claims the dexterity of her fingers; it is already working its way to the bones. I expect she may become road weary. If not, the financial hassles of buying, selling, tracking earnings and reporting taxes may erode her enthusiasm.

Hard to imagine her confined to fewer road trips. Harder still to know she may not visit each year on her pilgrimage.

So I steep in her company when she is here, phone and email between. And wish, fervently wish I had met her so much sooner.

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson

Trail

TI know she’ll be hungry. She’s inexperienced enough to fire a rifle while standing—on a hillside. She chanced a kill with no way to haul it. I boggle.

I’ve been two days and three nights puzzling. Okay, worrying. If a person has so little experience with the essentials of sustenance, how will she manage her own bandages? Shelter likely is an issue. Does she have something safe to eat?

With the venison smoked at different camps, the tanning of the hide was underway. Always on the move.

“April, I feel compelled to find this girl…woman.”

“You think it wise given her attitude?”

“Her inexperience might take her life.”

“Trying to find her might cost us our lives. If she has access to one gun, she probably has access to more.”

She has a point. I thought it through during the nights of worry. “We’ll have to take that chance.”

©2014 Sandra R. Davidson