So, when I was a kid I had this love for certain sandwiches. I ate one almost every day, when I got home from school. It was not your typical sandwich, mind you, but I looked forward to it! Here’s the recipe: I got two pieces of Wonder Bread (white bread wasn’t vilified back in those days). I placed them side by side on a plate. My mouth was watering by this time! Then I would add the magic ingredients: four Oreo cookies, arranged just so! Placing one piece of bread on top, I had myself a meal, baby! That first bite was always so amazing! No need for condiments. The icing mixed perfectly with the lovely taste of chocolate cookie wafers and Wonder Bread. Doesn’t it just make your mouth giddy with anticipation?
Okay, okay…so in college, long after the days of my Oreo cookie sandwiches, the thought occurred to me. I do not have much money. I wondered, “Would an Oreo Cookie Sandwich would still be tasty? It certainly would be cheap and would last a long time…”
All I’d have to buy is one loaf of bread and a package of Oreos, so I tried it. By this time, health conscious people were at least trying to eat wheat bread. So I drove to the grocery store, reluctantly grabbed a loaf of wheat bread, hoping for the best. I snatched up a package of Oreo cookies and headed home for my experiment. On the drive home, I was already pretty hungry. I could not wait to taste my old friend, the Oreo Cookie Sandwich again. “This is going to be awesome!” I thought expectantly. I arrived home. I got out a plate. I placed two pieces of wheat bread on the plate. I then carefully placed the Oreo cookies. Placing the second piece of bread on top, I prepared for the first delectable bite. Oh my goodness! I am shocked! I cannot believe how utterly disgusting. This tastes! I stopped myself from spitting it in the trash can, trying to give it some time to grow on me. After I swallowed it, I looked at the sandwich and wondered, “What in the hell was I thinking?” Into the trash it flew! Ewww…never trust those childhood memories!
(C) Copyright -Stacey M. Patterson. All rights reserved.
“We couldn’t ask for more beautiful day!” said the man to his wife, as they sauntered through the park together, hand-in-hand. His wife was quiet, but she smiled sweetly. “She finally seems content.,” he thought silently. The events of the last few months had exhausted his wife. But now, she seemed to rise from her depression, fresh and confident. They could start anew, unburdened. Feeling relieved, he turned to see an elderly woman on a bench, knitting a tiny, infant-sized sweater. Tears filled his eyes. “Well, this insanity,” he thought. But as he dropped his wife’s hand and crouched to his knees, covering his red, sobbing face in embarrassment, he cried like he never had before. He began to grieve the loss of their unborn child. His wife knelt beside him, cradling him. He heard her whisper softly, “It is about time you cried, my dear sweetheart. Thank you.”
His sad, clown-like eyes shine a deep but vibrant brown. A mess of amber hair is sliced with a patch of white at his right temple. His nose twitches. I watch his eyebrows express curiosity as well as laziness as he looks about the room without moving his head. His lower jaw juts forward to reveal a peek-a-boo lower tooth, refusing to hide behind his lip. His tiny chin is covered with an old man’s beard, long and white. His soft belly rises and lowers in a soothing, meditative rhythm, begging to be scratched. He is my Shih Tzu, Barry.
“I require proof of everything!” snorted the haughty man. The Mystic replied, “If you require proof of everything,you will never reach Enlightenment.” There was a long silence, while the two men sipped hot green tea. The man, staring at the crude, dirt floor, sighed. with impatient irritation. “How do you expect modern-day society to accept that which you cannot explain, touch or feel? You are asking us to place reason aside in favor of something that is merely a nebulous proposition. That is just not reality.” There was another long and uncomfortable silence, after which the Mystic replied, “You come to me seeking the key to happiness. Yet when it is offered to you, your back is already turned. That, indeed, is a most sad reality.”
The Most Interesting Person I Have Met This Year
Her eyes sparkle with nervous energy. Her laughter and enthusiasm make her appear to be on the verge of almost happily jumping out of her own skin at any moment while speaking. She looks me directly in the eye and I sense that she is genuinely grateful for the stolen chance to tell me of her difficult journey. She shares a heart-wrenching, tragic story, with an abundance of comedy to soften the razor-sharp edges. While she speaks at long length, she has the remarkable ability to mesmerize me. Awestruck, no one shifts in their seat. I am glued to my chair, even though my bladder says otherwise. No potty breaks for me- I must hear her every word. She tells my story- the story of a part of my life that has not yet happened. With alternating terror and hilarity, she moves me back-and-forth between raucous belly-laughs and silent, held-back tears. She narrates with the charisma of a Southern preacher, alternating her voice between barely audible words to fiery exclamations. As she abruptly ends her awesome talk to take a seat, I am acutely aware that I have been touched deeply by her beautiful spirit. She is my sister in Spirit, telling me how bad it can get. She validates the ominous warning: all I have is “a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of my spiritual condition.” My heart is full.
Writing 101: be brief.
During my daily walk, an unusually high wind gust picked up a piece of crumpled paper and gently placed it at my feet. I picked it up and read:
“Dear son: as the care of you has become too burdensome for my drug addicted mind and body to bear, I have chosen to leave you with your Mi-Ma. I know she will take good care of you. Will you ever forgive me for being so weak? Your life will be better off without me. You are now the five-year-old, “man of the house.” Take good care of your grandmother, she is frail. Love, Mom.”
I have often wondered what happened to this poor little boy and his grandmother. If only I knew more…At this point, I kneeled to pray on the sidewalk. I am so grateful for my family.
Writing 101: day 4
Today I am writing about a loss: something or someone that was part of my life that is not anymore. One of my earliest and most significant losses was the loss of my first dog. His name was Bouvier, but we called him Boot-wa. It was a cold, snowy night in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The snow was about one foot deep and very fluffy. Outside was a winter wonderland for children to play in. There would definitely be no school the next day. I put on my coat, hat, gloves and boots and went outside through the automatic garage door to shovel my neighbor’s driveway; she was always good for a bunch of money after she had been drinking! My dog had been in the garage in his usual back corner, sleeping away.
The next part is difficult to write about. As the garage door was going down my dog must have slipped out into the snowy darkness. I had no idea. He was a white poodle; about 25 to 30 pounds in weight, and against the snow one would have never seen him in the darkness. When I returned home, I realized my dog was not in the garage. It was several hours later, as I had taken the opportunity to play in the snow. I by the time I got back and told my dad that the dog was nowhere to be found, it was too late. My sweet poodle had frozen to death, and we found him in the street covered in snow. I wondered why I had not looked back as I left the garage, earlier that night. I felt a heavy burden and a monstrously deep regret for being responsible for the death of my beloved canine.
Yes, I was but a child who made a mistake; but I still feel the pain, thinking about it, some forty years later. After that, I began taking in every stray dog I could find. My poor endured my version of repentance and accepted my strays as family. This really helped heal my pain. I am so grateful he understood.