IThis is Ruth's Meme. It's taken me awhile to write my chapter. (Sorry Ruth!) If you have a good idea, for Chapter three, I would be delighted. (I have never done this before!) Meanwhile, here are the rules:
Put a link to this post. Label the Link "Chapter Two." and to Ruth's "Chapter One. "
Write your own installment and label it "Chapter Three." Remember to leave it unresolved.
Come leave a comment on this post when you're done. I will list links to all possible versions of the second chapter at the bottom of this post.
Anyone who writes a version of Chapter Three should leave it open-ended and invite people to create Chapter Four. Etc, etc.
Let's see what happens and how far this goes.
P.S. There is no time limit on doing this, but this post will drop into the archives in about a week.
As I look back now, I can see that this small strange dream marked the beginning, a turning point. But of course at the time, I didn't know that yet. All I knew is that, for the first time in a long time, I felt acutely the deep hole of time since my father's death. All of a sudden I could see him quite clearly: his gray work shirt with the pocket protector and screwdrivers in it, the earnest way he like to talk to customers, with his hands clasped behind his back, the black curl of hair just on his forehead.
I poured myself a cup of coffee, picked my morning paper off the front step, and sat down at the kitchen table, alone. The house was quiet. I was alone, as always. I didn't think of myself as a loner, a solitary person, but in that moment, I listened to the clock ticking, and I thought, I am alone. Has it always been like this?
I'll be honest: if I'm not quite "old" yet, I can safely say that I'm bordering on "elderly", anyway. My retirement looms, and I look at that horizon with a mixture of anticipation and dread. M&F Insurance has been a sort of family to me; the work hasn't been exciting, but I know all of the people, and I feel that we don't just work together; we are a part of each other's lives.
But that morning, after the dream, I wondered if that was really true; how connected was I to anybody in my life, really? Shirley at the desk next to mine, who had pictures of her children taped to her wall, Fred in accounting who, once, long ago, asked me out -- Mary down the hall who keeps three extra pairs of shoes in her desk, and likes to slip out 10 minutes early on Friday.
I sipped coffee and read the news with moderate interest. There were rumors of wars, like always; the president was traveling to Europe, I saw. I read a story about an enterprising young boy who earned money selling lemonade and giving away kittens; he was saving his earnings to send his brother to a special camp for MD. There was another story of corporate embezzlement. Nothing out of the ordinary.
Just as I was turning to the obituaries, the phone rang. No one ever calls me, I thought. I wonder who it is.