Friday, March 16, 2018

Stuck and Alone

I began this little vignette with one word – a girl’s name. Agnes. I had no idea when I began writing where this piece would take me. As it turns out, I created a female who is baffled by her life. Though it hasn’t quite turned out as she might have planned, she has decided to take it just as it is. 

Agnes had no idea why she had no answers, but she realized a little too late, that she did not. She had been searching her whole life for a purpose, for a reason to be, for a means to make a difference, for the perfect relationship, for one of those loves that make magical movies. All of it, every bit, had evaded her and now that she was on the verge of forty, she felt as if she were an empty vessel. Even her feelings had betrayed her. She had none . . . or so it seemed. She was not happy; nor was she sad. She did not expect anything, did not look forward, and did not look back. The only good thing, she supposed was that she was here, breathing, taking in air, in and out, in and out.
How does one reach her fortieth year feeling unaccomplished, unappreciated, unloved, undone? Agnes had to wonder, but that was about all she could do.
            Maybe it’s my name. Why in the world did my parents name me Agnes? Agnes. Ag-nes . . . the pure and holy one. She had looked up the meaning once. “Who in this day and age,” she had asked herself, “is going to employ, befriend, or love an Agnes? Maybe if I’d been a Jennifer, a Shelley, a Madison, a Rachel, Alisha, Emily, Deb, Chloe, anything other than Agnes, my life would be different.
            Maybe it’s my face. I’m ordinary. The fact was that Agnes was Agnes - brown hair, honey-brown eyes, paler than olive skin, a straight nose, a mouth . . . one that seldom smiled. She was of average height, normal weight, and was far from ugly, but not beautiful either. She did not stand out in any way. She was convinced she had gone through life unnoticed. Completely unnoticed . . . pathetically unseen.
            Maybe it’s my intellect. Agnes was smart, but not too smart. She had graduated from high school and junior college with every grade being a B or C. It didn’t matter the subject – one she liked or one she hated - she always earned, or, at least, was given a B or C . . . nothing more and nothing less.
            Maybe it’s my personality. Not one person disliked Agnes. How could they? No one had ever been close to her because, whether consciously or subconsciously, she had kept others at bay. Better to be safe than sorry. Her reasoning had become her bond - an enemy and a friend.
            And so it was. Agnes would spend her fortieth birthday on her own. Her parents had died, her sister lived miles away, and her only acquaintances were distant as well, both in proximity and in relationship too. It’s all right, Agnes. Being alone would be an advantage in itself. No one would listen, no one would hear, and she wouldn’t have to answer to anyone.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

A New Start

So, here’s what’s up. In the past few days, I have begun a new novel. I have only a little over 2000 words in print so far, and the passage below is the very first, short section. In this book, I hope to explore the notion of aging. When one reaches really old age, what does one consider? My main character is eighty-eight year-old, Grace. Through her telling and flashbacks, I am hoping others can understand, and in essence, “live” her life. I would very much appreciate comments.

If it had been up to Grace she might have thrown in the proverbial, goddamned towel years before, but she evidentially had not been afforded rights to final jurisdiction as to when the end might come, even though she possessed a very heady mind of her own; as a result, here she was, carrying on as if, indeed, there was a tomorrow. It’s not that she hadn’t considered the notion that the prerogative of ending it all, right then and there, was hers for the taking, but she had thought better of it. It would leave a mess. And, besides, she had never lusted for dubious attention. As a matter of fact, if the truth were known, the mere thought of such an impulse sent her mind reeling. For lost in a sea of memories, was a rather sordid chapter that she just as soon would have forgotten entirely if she could have. Unfortunately, with untimely, aggravating regularity recollection of the incident weaseled its way into her consciousness. That annoyance never had sat well, but what could she do? She could only visualize what had happened and then pack the memory away with all the others - and there was a litany of them - until next time.
And now, here she was, eighty-eight and counting; eighty-eight and reminiscing; eighty-eight and regretting, grieving, and often enough, rejoicing or savoring the many morsels of her life. A non-stop scramble of thoughts, reflections, and considerations swirled like a dervish around in her weary mind. And though at times she grew tired of remembering, it gave her something to do. She had to wonder though. How in the devil did I come this far? And furthermore, for God’s sake, what’s apt to happen next?