Expectations In The Dark


 

            old-woman-praying1She had always expected grandchildren.  She had expected, even as a young girl, to live deep into her twilight surrounded by chittering, smiling faces.  Even before she had thought of having children or even knew what that meant, she had expected grandchildren.  She had expected full tables at thanksgiving and long lists of names at Christmas.

She could always see it so vividly.

Sitting next to a man who would have looked remarkably like a potato whose skin had gone loose after too long in a cupboard.  She would have borne the years with more grace and would have had tight skin that shone like a mirror as it stretched across her forehead.  She had expected to buy him little sweaters that he would have worn as he sat in front of a typewriter, or sat in his favorite chair reading the paper or a book that he loved.  The sweaters would have always been soft against her face when he hugged her unexpectedly in the middle of a frigid morning.  Continue reading

Advertisements

That’s all I can remember.


The_Red_Dress_by_bigskystudioThat’s All I Can Remember

That’s all I can remember.

Showing up fifteen minutes early to make sure I didn’t miss you.

Standing in front of La Forchetta alone. Checking my watch. Making small talk with the valets.

Their blue vests, red ties, white shirts, and neatly creased black slacks.

Looking for and seeing a dozen red dresses. You said you’d wear a red dress.

The dress because I could only imagine how great you would look in red. Continue reading

The eyes of fire, the nostrils of air, the mouth of water, the beard of earth.


Dust flew in wisps around his feet as he stood at the edge of the rocky peak.  He stared down into the deep valley below the mountain, fury gripping him in tight bonds.  The smooth features of his face were taut, frozen in a grim snarl.

“Not now.  Not here!”  He focused on the small figures far below.  They scurried like ants around a small, newly forming building with a symbol perched on its sharply peaked roof.  A symbol he recognized.  A symbol he did not want to believe was in his village.   Continue reading

Papa and Me.


This is a series of vignettes that make up the larger piece that is Papa and Me.  I wrote this a little while ago, and I had it posted on another blog, so I thought I’d move it here.  It should also be said that this piece won me the Grand Prize from Bergen Community College for Creative Non-Fiction, an honor I dedicate specifically to my Papa, Joyce Wensel Schmidthuber.

Papa and Me

First Impressions

To say that my start was a rocky one might be an understatement.  My parents were married young and I came into a family of alcoholics and addicts.  Inevitably, the relationship went downhill and my mother called home to her parents for a way out.  They bought us a plane ticket, and put us on a plane home when I was only six months old.  Now of course I don’t remember any of this, but my mom tells me that the flight went well and that I wasn’t fussy on the plane at all.  An older man sat next to my mom and I on the longer of the two flights and when she was given her meal, he held me and kept me entertained while she ate.  It’s funny to me now, but my mom seems to remember that the man looked exactly like an actor that was in a Norelco Shaving commercial.  She said she wanted to ask him, but never did.   She’s been curious ever since. Continue reading

Sometimes it’s just a blanket.


I’m not sure why, maybe it’s because I was born on April 1st, but I’ve always thought my life was kind of a joke being played on me by everyone else. For example, its January 5th, and my parents are “wintering” in North Dakota.  People don’t even summer in North Dakota.  Yet another in a long line of bad jokes. Continue reading