Just Checking In



With the sun massaging the top of my head and shoulders, I sat there feeling uncomfortable in my own backyard. I made a careful study of scratching the dead skin from the edges of my fingernails, occasionally cutting my eyes to the woman lounging in an armchair to my left.

Sitting in the wicker chair with her riotous hair exclaiming around her exotic face, her dress flowing over her body and down her legs like a river of satisfaction, she was a mythical creature made flesh. Why did she drop by here anyway? She was the mirror that reflected back my inadequacies, my failed attempts at womanhood.

Where she viewed her life as a series of adventures to be played out and reveled in, I viewed mine as incessant challenges and obstacles, rocks on my road to "happiness" (and me in bare feet). She believed life happened "for" her, I believed life happened "to" me. She piloted her life effortlessly through the skies, skimming all the silver linings of every cloud that pointed the way to a new horizon, while I was a passenger, bouncing around from the turbulence and unable to buckle my parachute properly before the nosedive.

I couldn't really remember a time when I didn't know her. It seemed she had always been flitting in and out of my life at the strangest times. It had actually occurred to me once that maybe she was in my life to assist me, to be a role model for me, and maybe even to teach me how to claim the life that I should have had from the womb. Or at least the life I was supposed to have before society screwed me up. However, I quickly discarded that idea, and instead took the stance that she was here to taunt me, to make herself feel better, and to brag about her brilliance (I was always good at figuring stuff out, you know).

So here she was, glowing in my garden, holding court with Nature. She had just returned from painting in Mexico, and had appeared on my doorstep relaxed and burnished, just needing to "check in". I realized that she was saying something so I gave her my full attention to catch up.

"Back then, I would open my arms wide, and I would spread my legs for them, yes I would, And I GAVE them attention, I gave them ALL my woman-ness." She settled herself more comfortably on the back of the chair.

"You see, they thought that they were "getting over" on me, but what they didn't know was that I chose them; I could see their PAIN, I could feel their self-hatred, I knew the depths of their loneliness. And I knew that I was the only one who could be there and understand them- to give them the unconditional energy that they needed. I would listen to all their secrets, and lock them up safe forever. I would hold them while they gave confession, and comfort them while they grieved. I would nod while they made discoveries, and smile sweetly when they found their own answers simply by telling their own histories."

She pulled on her short smoke, and frowning, looked at it as though to reprimand it, jutting as it was from her fingers. An offensive, vile thing. She closed her eyes and slowly shook her head. A heavy sigh blew from her lips, and she opened her eyes to look at me. My heart fluttered at the intensity of her gaze. Those eyes bore into my soul and pulled me right in, disabling me from the power to look away for fear I may appear "guilty".

"Well," she continued," if there's something true in this wide world, I DO know that they have never forgotten me, and I DO know that when the silent pictures of their lives flip before them as they prepare to close their eyes for the last time, I can tell you now that my face will be there, in those pictures. And in the moment that my face goes by, well, now they will KNOW what I was all about, they will finally understand, and it will all be perfect."


She closed her eyes again and shook back her hair.
As she raised her face up to the heat of the sun, I knew with my entire being that every word she said was the truth. Was it possible that I could be that honest? Was it even remotely possible that I could tell another person MY truth without the fear of judgment? I almost laughed out loud, because I knew the second I thought it, that it wasn't possible, no, NOT remotely!

I had so carefully placed restraints and shackles all about me, made so certain that I was impenetrable; hell, even I could not undo the powerful illusion I had wrought. As long as I didn't look too close or dig too deep, I was temporarily safe. But everything about her was a total bust. I figured the best I could do to "defend" myself would be to go into my "rap".

"Well, it sounds like you have it all figured out. I think that it's great that you know all that stuff, but, well, what difference does it make anyway? I mean, that was all in the past, huh? You're not the same person today, right? I don't know."


I shrugged my shoulders up quick, more a nervous tic than anything else, and looked up at the cloudless sky, praying for a bolt of merciful lightening to fry me where I sat.

She just looked at me out of the sides of her eyes with this strange little smile and I felt like a moron, like a teenager trying to fit in with a group that had grown up together. She flicked her cigarette butt out into the yard and stood to go.

"I'll call you sometime." She turned to go, but then turned back to me.

"Thanks for the time. You take care now, alright?" and I watched as she strode out to the street and around the way.

Her head was up and proud because she knew who she was. Her shoulders were back because this was HER world, HER legacy, and her legs strode wide and solid to the ground because she owned it all, and claimed it all. She rode her life like a Maverick across a lush plain, with absolute clarity, and now she was riding that Maverick right out of my life.

I knew it; I knew the day would come when she would realize that I was never going to get the "point". All those years that she had been in my life, she had believed that I was special. She had believed that I would open up like a Lotus blossom and reveal my brilliance as well, that I would take my rightful place amongst the actualized women of the world that I would be whole again. The problem was obviously that I would never believe that.

In my minds eye, I saw myself spring to my feet and dash to the gate, calling her name, begging for her to come back, telling her that I would listen, and I would change! Instead, I got up, brushed off the seat of my pants, and went back into the cool, dark house.



© Copyright 2006 J. E. George (UN: goddesspoet at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.


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