Serious was in her DNA. But she could cover it up with an acceptable amount of humor. She was able to make people laugh. In fact, that was what she missed about her isolation, that guttural laugh that she on numerous occasions produced with friends.
About her isolation, one has to wonder why. To that moment when everything shifted. Well maybe it didn’t “just” happen? Sometimes things just evolve and are what they are. They don’t have to have any great break trough or break down. They just happen.
She knew that she like being alone. She was never lonely. And she could go days and only interact with that grocery store clerk or the gas station attendant. It was calming to not have to participate sometimes. To not have to be present. Because to not be present in a conversation or in a relationship, what is the point of either. So she had always given 110% when it came to both. Never regretting either or any. But liking the ability to keep some for herself. To store up if you will.
Maybe that’s where the story is or was. Hidden or bubbling just below the surface. Which makes her sound shallow. Which she was never really accused of. But it was a way to avoid it.
She kept herself so busy with others that she didn’t have to pay attention to herself. She could give everything to those around her and then not have time or the energy to bother with anything else. She didn’t mind that. Kind of liked it. But she knew she needed to do what she was meant to do. She hoped that it was writing?
What if after all the thinking, contemplating and preparing to get herself perfectly aligned to write she had no real talent or ability to carry a story or an idea and she would forever just pound out words on the page. Words that never went anywhere or meant anything that no one wanted and most certainly didn’t want to pay for! What then? Where was the idea that would stick?
That day on the bus was just another day. The weather was good and without incident she bought her four apples, three bananas and a yogurt. It was Wednesday after all.
Later that day while on the streetcar she noticed a nicely dressed young man. Maybe thirty, not much more than that. She noticed that he had a map of the streetcar out and unfolded. He was looking at the map and then up at the map in the streetcar. As she looked closer she realized that the map had been laminated. She had never seen that map laminated before? Had he gotten it that way? Or did he do it himself. She then noticed his brief case. She thought that he must be either very successful or very important. The briefcase was one of those very sturdy one, aluminum maybe? But it was a light color of brown. Very nice, she thought. She watched as he folded the map and opened his briefcase to put the map back. As he opened the case she noticed that for the most part it was empty. Except for 3 other laminated maps.
Her father had a briefcase when she was a child. He was very important and she only saw him on Sundays, sometimes during the week, but rarely. He was a gentle and quiet man, but very busy and very important. She knew he was important because of the crease between his eyebrows. He was very serious all the time. He was also gone frequently, traveling on business.
She didn’t see much of her mother either. She was busy planning party’s, at the club or traveling with her father. So mostly she saw the maid, the cook and her nanny. And while well cared for and watched over closely she was left to do just about what ever she wanted. As long as she went to school and made good grades, which she did.
The house they lived in was big. Not enormous, but big for the town that it was in. It actually was most of the town. Close to 800 acres. There was a stable for the horses a green house, a church and houses for the people who worked the land and building for her father. Many of the people who lived in the town worked for her father.
When her father was home on Sunday’s breakfast would be served on the sun porch. They would walk to church then back to the house for reading, maybe a game of cards and supper. Sometimes they would have company for supper. None of her parent’s friends had children. Well they had children but they were older so none of them really cared to play with her so she was once again left to her own imagination.