Opportunity lost, tastes sour in my mouth,
All my food is seasoned with it.
The smallest joy, finding a good book to read,
Is dampened by the knowledge lurking,
Of what might have been.
Regret digs so deep in my veins that I’m sure,
I’m turning to stone.
Hardened against hope,
I stand at the edge of a cliff and wonder,
Is there a next step for me?
What I don’t count on is, another plain,
I haven’t seen, don’t know about it;
Rena the head librarian has offered me a job.
She likes that I always put my books back,
She sees me helping others because I know just where to go for what.
She says I remind her of her son.
She doesn’t remind me of my mom,
That’s a good thing.
This Blog is based on the backstory of fictional character Tyler Rowan in the novel (unpublished) “Kill Words” by Clare Graith. Find out more about Clare at ClareGraith.com
There are very few things a person needs to have with him. Some cash or a debit card tied to an account that actually has money in it, a good pair of socks in the winter, a good pair of sandals in summer, a knife. I’m not talking about a switch blade. A utility knife or better a Swiss Army knife with all kinds of gadgets in one simple object that slides easily into the pocket and if you can handle it, an old fashioned handkerchief and a bit of duct tape rolled up on a nail. What’s that all about? Well, you can use the handkerchief for any number of things not the least being impressing a girl who happens to tell you a teary eyed story about how some guy treated her like trash. Pull out that handkerchief and hand it to her and I can promise you she’ll think you’re a saint, might even ask you over for dinner. It’s a meal ticket. Other than that, if ever you have the unfortunate experience of slicing your hand open on a sharp gutter, you can wrap the wound with the handkerchief and secure it with the tape. And the nail? It’s the one I pulled out of my foot. It went clean through the sole and into my heel. I had to limp my way into a clinic when it became infected. For awhile I wore the blood stained nail on a string around my neck to remind me danger lurks in unexpected places plus it’s a good place to keep a bit of tape.
Courage isn’t worn on a person’s sleeve. It goes unnoticed like nice ears. Who ever notices if ears are perfectly symmetrical; not too big, not to small, lobes just right? It’s not like a pretty face or a high forehead that makes someone look smart. Everyone can appreciate those features. I’m not sure I even know what my own ears look like. Yet people are walking around with perfect ears.
Why is that like courage? Courage is not obvious and it’s often confused with admirable actions. Like for instance, handing a blanket to an old lady sitting on a park bench, snow under her feet, night stretching from trees behind her, arms and legs thin, fragile like glass, is that courage? Or is courage to sit on the other end of the bench and not move, listening to her mutter the name Fred, nodding as she turns to you and tells you he was a kind man. Knowing that every minute with her means you’re out in the cold longer and didn’t you feel a sore throat coming on? Won’t you lose a spot at FOS shelter? Miss the dinner hour?
Is it courage to make a phone call to social services and report that she may need help or is courage bringing her a cup of tea, because you guess she drinks tea and she does, and so did Fred. When she talks about how they would sit in the kitchen and drink tea, you take that window of opportunity to encourage her to go home but she wants you to walk with her because you remind her of her Fred. Is that courage? Is it courage to say hello every single morning when you pass her by or is it courage to ring her bell, visit, look at pictures of Fred and little Bobby who lives in California and Maggie who died of cancer ten years ago? Courage isn’t obvious. It goes about in a person and no one may notice yet it’s still there, beautiful, kind of like perfect ears. Have you looked in the mirror lately? What kind of ears do you have?