The Blue Apron . . . Where Can It Take The Writer?
Lately my blogs have veered dramatically from being a creative place to being a space to vent, to editorialize, or to fret, and while that has been useful to clarify my thinking, today I decided to go back to what I love most: creative writing - creating from nothing. I’ve decided to do this for the next few blogs simply for practice and basically to see what happens. Today I began with “the blue apron”. (And really, who wears an apron anymore?) I followed the words though and below one can read the result of that effort.
The blue apron had been hanging on the same ten-penny nail for eight years. Eight years. Nora had hung it up there herself, turned toward her husband, Ned, and said, “Well, done for another day.”
She had taken three steps forward and had collapsed right beside Daisy, the beloved, old, half-collie dog that had been roaming Nora’s house for thirteen years, ever since the young, mongrel bitch slinked up on the back porch, matted, filthy, and laden with pups that were more than ready to see the light of day. It had been love at first sight for Nora who had yearned for a dog all her life; the feeling for Daisy was instantly mutual although she might have reconsidered if she had known what was coming to her.
Nora unceremoniously had dragged Daisy, at that point unnamed, to a wide, metal drinking pail, given her a moment to lap up some much-needed water, and then turned on her, dousing the unsuspecting mutt with the rest of the water and sudsing her from nose to tail with a bar of handmade lye soap. The dog detested and adored every minute of the attention. When the washing was done, Nora informed her new pooch that she’d be called Daisy and Daisy responded with a gigantic wiggle that thoroughly soaked Nora as well. Daisy showed her enthusiasm by bounding around the backyard grass in an ecstatic frenzy. A day later eight puppies were suckling contentedly while Daisy gazed up at Nora with happy, glassy eyes. The puppies, when ready, were parceled out to friends and neighbors, but Daisy stayed on with Nora and Ned until the end.
The moment Nora crumpled to the floor that evening after hanging up her well-used, blue apron, both Daisy and Ned were upon her, Ned patting her face and hands breathlessly and Daisy pawing nervously at Nora’s legs before licking the old woman from head to toe.
“Nora, Nora,” Ned repeated over and over, his voice growing raspy and faint as fear took over. And, when at last Daisy lay down beside her best friend, she whined, a tiny, forlorn sound that seemed to catch in her throat for it continued as though it might possibly remain forever.
The efforts of the two beings, Daisy and Ned, who loved Nora more than life itself were futile. Nora’s breathing came to a halt. Her last movement found her grasping the fur on Daisy’s chest, while at the same time, her other hand softly squeezed Ned’s hand until it fell free.
Daisy mourned Nora for four days before deciding she’d had enough. The old dog died on the kitchen floor in the exact spot where Nora had fallen. When Ned found Daisy, cool and not breathing in the grey of an early morning, he grabbed Nora’s blue apron and placed it over the dog before wrapping her in a soft blanket. Ned buried sweet Daisy in the far corner of the backyard at noon when the sun was at its highest. Nora would have approved.