Sunday Is Still For Vampire But I’ve A Book To Read

 

The first cardinal rule in Philosophy is never assume. Isn’t it amazing in a very sad way that’s what most people do from just a glance and what piss-poor attitudes they have when it turns up they’re dead wrong? What makes it worse is everyone else’s attitude toward the assumptor / assumptorette when it becomes apparent there was 100% no truth anywhere. The vanity scale goes through the roof but there’s no one else to blame, after all; you’re the bonehead who believed without knowing a damn thing, without instinct or thought process. Is there a lecture in this? Nah, but Petra’s mind was still rattled from the last staff meeting. “Does she honestly think we’ll all believe she’s that kind of intuitive, like a mystic or something and we’ll fear our thoughts because she’ll know them before we even think them? She’s in our minds is she? If it’s a joke it’s a bad one.” The director had opened the meeting with a shocking revelation in her menopausal mind state to startle everyone into unquestionable obedience and servitude through fear. She knew everyone’s thoughts. She knew what everyone was thinking without speaking. Intangible objective knowing was simply her state of being, her job. The other side of that bad joke was Emma, the lead on the floor who got caught taking 30-minute 10-minute breaks, using her laptop to write a book instead of doing her job, and utilizing the office equipment to print everything off. She had actually gone on a tirade blaming Petra for her actions although at first it seemed like generalizations of bad excuses. It turned out it was her fault because she was efficient on the floor. She got so much work done so well that it burdened Emma and left her no other choices. There was just nothing left to do. The kicker was the director allowed it to be dumped in Petra’s lap. She hadn’t even realized it until the director’d asked, “Does anyone have anything to say?” Petra had been listening and thinking how glad she was this catty, petty complaining had nothing to do with her to get sucker-punched with a baseball bat that the meeting wasn’t an emergency staff meeting but her personal lynching trial. The director was looking right at her as Emma ranted on about how she wasn’t going to apologize to her for her abusive language and berating in front of the staff and students. “You aren’t paying attention”, the director had said. “I am… I’m listening.” “Do you have anything to say?” Petra was briefly stumped. “Well, I had no idea this was going to turn out to be a meeting about me.” Her voice cracked a little. The director and Emma thought for sure they had her. What they didn’t understand was it wasn’t an indication they were breaking Petra down, she was pissed, mortified at the utter absence of professionalism with the open-door policy permitted that if there was a complaint about another co-worker to come to the director’s office and tell her. Instead of diffusing the director would go to the person complained about and level accusations. It was as bad as allowing catfights as opposed to cockfights. The facility was run by women. There would be none of those although some of them thought they had spiritually acquired the specific appendage. “What’s next, inviting people in off the streets to place bets?”

 

One thing Petra knew and had been observing since she was a kid, “You learn a lot about people when they think you’re weak or stupid.” Didn’t most of them love to think she was stupid or they each were lord over her? Oh yes, they sure did. “Let them have go. Hopefully I’ll survive it.” She knew, well suspected already but would find out exactly what was running this place. If she played it right, it might just get its long time coming spring-cleaning.

 

Silent Through Fall Leaves

     The first time Jill’s, well, let’s call them abilities, began showing themselves was around 3 years old. She’d knocked colored pencils from her mom’s desk. “Jill”, mom called, “Jill are you ok?” But by the time she’d reached the room there was nothing to see. When Jill’d heard her mom’s footsteps she’d mustered a “no” that sent pencils back into their caddy that went back onto the desk. Her mom looked around, “Did you bump something punkin’? Did you say no? No is your first word, and a woman too. Oh boy. Here, come to the balcony with mommy.” Jill didn’t realize fully what’d happened because, maybe, this is the way people made stuff better. After that if she’d spill milk or knock a plate on the floor, by saying “no” Jill could reverse what had happened except when her mother was right there; it wasn’t necessary seeing mom took care of it. Luckily Jill didn’t make a connection with the damage she could do. It wasn’t in her nature in any case; she was one of the good ones.

When she was around 8 her mom had a spring-cleaning mishap causing bookshelves to topple onto her. Jill came running but her mom pushed her back so she wouldn’t get hurt managing to get herself pinned, not seriously, but she wasn’t sure if now was the time to let her daughter see what mom was capable of. “Go get Mrs. Tuturroni next door. She’ll help lift it.” At the same time Jill’d brought her hands to her mouth in alarm and said, “Get off her!” Up went the shelves and all that was on them back in place. She nervously looked at her mom who smiled up at her. “Well, that’s my girl. Here, help me up. I’m OK though I’m going to feel that. I’ll bet this isn’t the first time.” “Mom?” She wasn’t sure if she should smile back or panic. They held on to each other on the way to the bathroom to check out the bruise situation then went into the kitchen for something hot to drink, possibly toast though cookies would be better, and a nice long talk.

*

“It doesn’t seem so long ago. I miss you mom.” At 70, Jill was spry as if she were still 21. Her mom’d passed only 2 months ago at the ripe old age of 105, well, not exactly passed away, “We have longevity on our side but not long enough” she thought to herself. In the local paper “Get The Skinny”, the obituary read Jill’s mom’d died peacefully in her sleep but in reality she’d moved on. Several including Jill were present as she was surrounded by fall leaves supposedly symbolic of her human stage of life, and then vanished, became the leaves and vanished… something like that. The leaves scattered, floating to the ground as if a breeze had blown them from the trees and her mom was gone.

“Do we know if she actually went anywhere? Is that where the idea came from for Oogway in Kung Fu Panda?”

Krista her mom’s youngest sister laughed. “We’re legion – you never know.”

“Legion!”

“Yes, there’re a lot of us around. That might have been based on tradition, who knows, maybe one of us was thinking too loud one day and a director picked up on it. Seriously, she’ll be with you always, but you’ll feel her strongest when you use your gifts, you know, when you’re yourself.”

“Well, yeah, that makes sense. We used them together most times.”

As far as the locals knew there’d been a closed casket and only immediate family were permitted at the cemetery, which was accepted as another one of those private family tradition things. Looking out over the balcony from her home built over 2 centuries ago, Jill felt mom’s presence as if she were sitting there like they’d done so many mornings together, listening, sensing, both overseers of a small town unaware it was being looked after. They had prevented catastrophes, fixed mistakes, averted accidents.

“How interesting people are” she thought. “How they rationalize what they’re not sure they saw or when they don’t fully understand what happened.”

Her mind drifted to her 21st birthday. “Why do signs say not to change lanes on a bridge” her boyfriend’d said, “look at all this room”, as he swerved from lane to lane crossing the Pequot Bridge on the way to a movie, then blew a tire, didn’t see that coming, and would have plunged into the rapids below if she hadn’t stopped it. She’d instinctively grabbed the dash with one hand and the door with the other and’d shouted “No!”

Of course he didn’t get it.

“Don’t worry! I’ve got it!”

“Charlie!”

The car jerked forward, straightened-scraped the railing knocked itself into a 360 and back to the right hand lane coming to a complete stop. Charlie thought he’d recovered the vehicle and saved them thanks to his driving skills and lightening reflexes. He broke up with Jill some months later to go to L.A. and become a stunt driver. She chuckled to herself. He’d wound up becoming part of a pit crew, which would hopefully keep him alive longer. When she was around 50 she and her mom prevented a fire from consuming the local bank that was caused by one of its managers and a robbery attempt that went awry. “Definitely backfired.” The woman babbled she could have sworn there had been flames as the police pulled her from the smoke-filled building. Nothing had been burned but she’d be responsible for damages, the least of her worries along with theft. Jill and her mom certainly had had a full, fruitful life together. She thought of her own daughter who’d settled in a small town in Bulgaria. Camille had studied at an art academy there and decided to stay. Although she hadn’t made it back for her grandmother’s funeral, she was coming back to stay for a couple of months to get the house organized so Jill could return with her. “The town will have to go on without you for a bit. Some days you just need your Ma.” How well Jill knew that.

She looked at the town below. “Well Mom, is there anything we can help anyone with today?” She exhaled and closed her eyes and felt warmth on her shoulders as if an arm had been put around them. She stilled completely and listened.