The Shades of Life

The sun shone on a pastoral scene, as she looked out over the vista, her heart beat with anticipation of the coming change.  She gazed over the visual scene of expansive pastures with backdrops of tree covered mountains, as her mind struggled; Was he real, did he mean all the things he said to her?  Deep down inside, she felt the quivering of unsorted emotions.  Would she be able contain her apprehension?, she asked her self.  Her mother had done everything but push her out the door when she had revealed the things he had asked her to do in reward for a lavish life style.

He was old, past his prime but he had asked nothing more of her on the surface than to be a companion/wife, the type who merely kept up appearances and feed his seemingly simple needs and ego.  She had met him on a business trip to New York a chance encounter many years ago. Now he was asking her to dump her present and troublesome relationship and take up with him.  He had money and property, a yacht, a vineyard, a small empire built over the years.  She was being cajoled into becoming part of his life, yet deep down, it terrified and excited her at the same time.  The moth to the flame syndrome as many experts would describe the dilemma.

She turned away from the peaceful scenery and focused her attention on the many boxes waiting in silent mute testimony to her present course.  It seemed a little poetic the symbolism of her life, compartmental and boxed up like the cardboard containers before her.  Here was her whole world before her, ten boxes, six large ones and four small ones.  Was this all there was to her world?  Her clothes, art supplies, her computer, her other meager possessions carefully packed away in cellulose and glue.  It seemed sad in a way, a women her age reduced to this, no real home,  no real relationship, no real love.  Just memories of life, a life that she wished somehow was different today.  Her hopeful plans now put aside for an excursion into uncertainty.  Though she kept trying to convince herself that it was some sort of certainty it seemed pale at the moment with no real tangible things to grasp and hold onto.

The new life she now chose enraged her estranged boyfriend to the extent that he had called her horrible vile things, the stinging words stabbing her with murderous precision rending her heart once again with his usual selfish diatribes and barbs.  She had endured his alcoholic fits of rage and depression for too long.  He had driven her over the edge finally and she sought desperately to be free of him.  The bad times far outweighed the good and she now had a pathway out of the darkness or so she thought.  She could not see the coming storm of emotions on the horizon.

The doorbell rang and she came out of her thoughts.  FedEx was at the door ready to move her world to another place and time zone.  How many miles was it, a world away it seemed.  An unsure path lay ahead, her stomach churned with the prospect as she helped the delivery driver estimate weights and document her boxed life.  She felt a little piece of herself seemingly drift away as each box was loaded onto the truck. As the cargo door slammed shut her sense of finality was shaken and she shivered inwardly.  Fuck it, she thought to herself she was going through with this.  All her friends, except one, had tentatively approved her decision based on their knowledge of her ex-boy fried. She had to stick with her plans now, she had gone too far and backing out did not seem an option.  She watched as the FedEx truck pulled out the driveway and sped away with part of her existence.

Now she faced the coming change in her life, her locale, and her sense of herself as a person.  Would she be able carry this through?  Outwardly she had convinced everyone that she could pull it off. Inwardly she hoped she could go through with this decision and make the best of it for herself and those she cared about.  She had come to her mother’s small town to share a house, after her marriage to a high profile political celebrity had failed in L.A.  That momentous change, had affected her art and her psyche to such an extent to be almost crippling.  Now she was making another change just as momentous.  She turned and looked at the empty space where her possessions once sat and realized she felt some sort of detachment.  The feeling was very real and disconcerting as if she realized she had made hollow the reason for the move.  Then the phone rang, she the answering machine take the call.  The caller let into a venomous diatribe about what a whore she was and how she had betrayed and “dissed” him,  Daniel was calling again.  She went over and hit the power button killing the scathing rant in mid spew.  That’s it Dan, just re-enforce my determination to get the hell out of here, she said out loud.

Her mother hearing her outburst inquired as to the problem, Sheryl looked around glaring at her other antagonist with sharp derision.  “Oh nothing just the asshole calling to empty his verbal bladder on me once again.” Her sarcasm obvious as daylight.  Her mother shrugged her shoulders and went about unloading the results of her grocery shopping seemingly oblivious to her daughter’s internal pain.  Sheryl stalked out of the room intent on getting away from her mothers presence before she said something she would regret.  Her mother just did not get what was going on in her daughters life.  She had long ago tuned out and merely reacted to whatever crises her daughter found herself in at the moment.  There was no real love, only tolerance tempered with apathy.

Sheryl strode down the hall and entered her small room closing the door quickly but quietly behind her.  She sat down and began the first of many tearful crying sessions.  What had she done to herself and how had she gotten to this point.  Her talents, her aspirations, her desires seemed fleeting as if they meant nothing.  Her eyes cast about the room as she took in her existence, a seemingly pitiful existence at the moment.  The feeling that she had surrendered her life to uncertainty grew in the pit of her stomach like a bad meal.  She felt sick and desperate all at once, trapped between baleful extremes.

Escape seemed the only path to sanity.  A long but unsure path across the expanse of the country.  Escape was all she could think of at the moment, run, run away fast, the flight mode acceding to the will to fight.  She had no fight left in her, only the desire to dump the present situation and flee.  The world was not presently her oyster, it felt more like a prison of emotion.  Giving of her self had turfed into a merry go round of depression and loathing everything to do with her boyfriend.

“Oh God why have you forsaken me”, she thought.

An answer came to her in her mind but she did not like it, it was to much.  Yes she had forsaken herself, so what’s new, she thought.

The phone rang again,
Assholes Anonymous calling, selling their brand of salvation!
Credit Cards accepted!

©2002 Tommy Barrios

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