Friday, March 7, 2014


No definite aim, no direction, no rules, no method. Random. Madness. Kindness. Senseless.

If I were defining a writing style, I would say words and phrases thrown together. Scrambled. Hidden messages. Disorder that takes the reader out of his/her comfort zone to see beyond what is written.    

If I were speaking of an act or occurrence, I would say from where I stand it might seem inexplicable/random. Then I might add, that if I could stand somewhere else, I might see the order in it.

On the calendar, February 11th has always recalled the memory of my first important date in high school. It took place at the Pierpont Inn. I was 16. I wore a sweet red and white floral, floor length halter dress with a red collar. My first dance that night was to "You're Still A Young Man" by Tower of Power and it was the first time I would feel a boy's hand on my bare back.

Now, February 11th has added a new memory and one not so pleasant. I was returning from seeing Baryshnikov in a play by Anton Chekhov about a man who is extraordinarily orderly and never makes exceptions to the rules. (Later, the irony of this is not lost on me.) I am now 56. I wore a black pencil skirt and cardigan. The music was playing but I don't remember the song and the hand I felt was Nancy's hand in mine. I remember several loud sounds and then I remember a silence so quiet I wondered if we had been transported far beyond the boundaries of this planet. There was white nothingness and clouds of smoke that choked me into a reality I wasn't ready for. It all happened so fast. Nothing orderly about it. Random.

When our car was hit by the energy/force of the 100 mile an hour impact, it sent us against the wall and then across 5 lanes in a matter of seconds.  We couldn't see anything and in the moment that carried us floating across the lanes of 101, Nancy asked/screamed what she should do.  I said, "Hold my hand."
Feeling her hand in mine was an attempt to find comfort/order. But really, it was the act of letting go while holding on. Every other part of me let go and to a place I had never been.

When we came to a stop, I thought it was over and we were safe. I hurt everywhere and I hoped everything was attached.  But there was still more terror to endure as we were escorted to an unmarked police car and told to get down on the floor. It began to dawn on me that we were innocent pawns in a police chase and that we had stopped the getaway car. My eye glasses had flown into the back seat of Nancy's car so I couldn't see anything in the night. I think that was a blessing... I know it was, for when they were found and given back to me I saw 30 or more rifle carrying policemen running and shouting --chasing the 3 gunmen who were on the loose. I wish I could tell you I was brave, but I was whimpering quietly on the floor of that car and shaking from the shock of it all.  How did we get in the eye of this storm? If we had just left the theatre a bit earlier or a bit later. Random.

Three weeks have passed and I am now standing in a different place, but I do not see order in any of this. My body is working on healing but my mind is still struggling.  Randomness gives meaning and simultaneously, takes it away. I am trying to bring order to everything I do and then I laugh at the absurdity of that. Mostly, I sleep and ice and laugh/cry.
And also, I look a bit longer into the eyes of my loved ones.