More freewriting today.
Marilynne Robinson—Housekeeping, p. 199.
“The sky was a strong, plain blue, but the light was cool and indirect and the shadows black and precise.”
I just realized that I am probably not going to die in anyone’s arms. I don’t know who put that crap in my head, and put it in there rather solidly, that belief that the end of a life well lived brought you a deservedly poignant and strangely romantic death. I’ve read too many romantic southern novels I suppose. In my death fantasy I pictured myself, beautiful in my old age, though terribly pale and thin, lying on the sun porch on the chintz chaise lounge, covered with a pink cashmere throw. My grandchildren were playing noisily on the lawn below the veranda. The sky was a strong, plain blue. The children played a game only they understood—a game called the glorious green fish wish. There didn’t seem to be anything glorious or green or fish-like in the game but they hid in the shrubs and giggled and tied my old linen napkins around their heads. And I, though weakening fast, smiled wanly at them and enjoyed the unbridled joy of being a child who had no knowledge of the crazy old grandmother dying in their midst. Well, most of this is a fantasy. The crazy old grandmother is dying but it’s just an annoyance to them. There’s no romance, no knowing smiles about the good old days, no chaise lounge or pink cashmere throw. It’s just me alone, slowly rotting. My family has retreated. I no longer have friends—all of my friends have either died or I have pushed them away. The Jamaican woman who comes to care for me just watches television all day, game shows and soap operas. I can’t hear what she says to me so she stopped trying to have a conversation. She gives me tea and toast for breakfast, soup for lunch, and soup for dinner. I want to drive to the beach and feel the warm sand on my feet. I want to dance in the moonlight. I’m not as crazy as they think. I have a plan. Tonight after the Jamaican woman has gone I’m going to gather my strength and walk into the woods. I’ll sit under the split oak tree by the creek until I fall asleep. And I’ll dream long and deep. I’ll dream the fantasy where I was on the sun porch on the chintz chaise lounge, covered with a pink cashmere throw. My grandchildren were playing noisily on the lawn. The sky was a strong, plain blue, but the light was cool and indirect and the shadows black and precise.