Gathering her skirts and notes and bags and bells,
the Radiant One steps into the waiting car,
and I back out the long leafy drive, and
onto the red clay road, leading to town.
I have already loaded the one bag for the dump.
I’d cleaned things up long ago, but she wants it all gone.
The long list appears, and the woman begins the rundown….
“Turn here” she says, while I remind her it’s OK, I’ve lived
here a while, and can likely find my way to town.
“First we need to get gas… oh There…that’s where we get it.
Oh wait, pull around and back up, wait…. there’s another one
a little further on, and I think it’s cheaper…. there on the right,
pull in there. ”
Smoke signals tiptoe out of one ear.
I of course pump the gas, and pay for it. Bad back.
“Now I need to stop at the Natch… wait….turn right here, and
then you can go to the dump down that road…. Wait!
Wait! …you need to turn right there, so we can go to the dump! ”
“We’ll go on the way back” I announce, beginning to feel some
semblance of my old spunk returning.
“OH, but the Smell…. we need to go there First” she whines,
not realizing that those hot pink ear muffs are now already in place,
and the road long gone.
It is becoming clear to me that at this moment, My hands are
on the wheel, and if only for a short while, I am in control.
“So now we need park there….oh wait….no, I think there’s another
one closer…go around again, and yes, you can pull up right there…
right there in front!”
“But it says NO PARKING…” I reply, calmly tapping my fingernails.
“Oh it’s OK, I’ll just be a minute, she smiles, and unloads her Self,
taking out her list as she arranges her layers.
I sit a while, then pull away, somewhat embarrassed …I mean,
this is the Groovy Natural Food Store, everyone looking healthy
and tan, very healthy and very Green, and tan, and
I’m parked in the NO PARKING ZONE?
I drive around a couple times…. the minutes go by.
It’s now been 15…..
I find another parking space, and slide in, figuring she’ll
eventually see me, which she does at last, after
another 15 minutes have passed….
“Why did you part here?” she querries. I don’t answer.
I’ve now boldly moved to passive aggressive, an inner smile
softly warming my gallstones.
“Now we need to go to my appointment at the Welfare Office…
…..it’s at 2..
It’s on Aloha, near the park…. turn left here, and then….”
…and the instructions lead us to a modern low slung
office building, ample parking, full slots.
I pull up the the curb near the door, the way she likes it…
“So, I’ll go do something for a while, and come back…
…how long do you think?” I smile…
Freedom!……. I think….
“OH! come back at 2:15! my appointment will only take
15 minutes,” she instructs me.
I return at 2:15, such a good girl I am.
Oh! Surprise! ……I wait..
Half an hour later, she ambles out, and slides into the back seat,
and without my help. She smiles serenely, as though all is well,
and my taxi clock has just been dutifully running…
“Now we need to stop at that …….and then…….and then the… ”
Smoke signals, this time in deep Fuschia.
At last we/she is done, I think, and we head homeward, this time
taking that turn for the dump.
I throw the one small bag into the pile, breathing a sigh of relief,
thinking I’m nearly There, and
I went to the dump when I Wanted to!
Yes! I’ve passed through the fruit loops, with
the goddess nearly gone.
“Oh Wait!…. if you turn right at the next road, we can go by
that plant store, and I can find something I really need,
and the pet store is right next door…
Park there….no wait, there’s one over there….no wait….”
I purposefully park where I damn well feel like,
wild and crazy rebel that I am, and stare straight ahead.
I quietly hold my breath so that the
now very Chartreuse smoke signals sink down,
twining around my body, oozing out onto my sandals.
At last we are home, I step out into the banana palms and
flowering trees, never looking back, walking down
that red clay road,
deep breaths and sky smiles,
ignoring any possibility of the call to arms,
or any other part of me she might think she owns.