Sunday, December 11, 2016

Excerpt from “Indelible”: Christmas 2003—Snowdrift Memories

Excerpt from "Indelible" (Memoir in Progress): 

I gave Jim a bath before I fed him. When I took him back to his recliner, he fell asleep, tilted, and fell. He finally started taking steps even though he didn’t seem to wake up. He finally woke up when I put him into his recliner.

 I had planned to take down his Christmas tree, but the box was still in the car where I had forgotten it. The rain pelted against Jim’s windows, and I dreaded going back outside.

As I spooned his food, I talked to him. “Well, I’m not going back out in that crap to get the box for the Christmas tree.” Jim’s eyes moved toward the tree. “I guess you’ll get to enjoy it one more day.”

Since Jim had been in the home, the only thing that kept me off the roads was snow drifted so deep I couldn’t drive on the gravel roads. The roads drifted depending on which way the wind blew. If the roads running east and west weren’t drifted, then the roads running north and south would be.

I could remember a time when I wouldn’t dream of driving on wintry roads, but then, I didn’t have to drive when the weather was bad. Jim used to drive me to work when the roads were slick. It seemed that the worse the roads, the more he wanted to drive on them. He called it “busting the drifts.” Driving a four-wheel drive wouldn’t have been half the fun of traversing treacherous roads in our old two-wheel drive cars, pickups, or vans. We had been stuck in many snowdrifts.

One morning, several years ago, Jim and I headed off to work in our baby-blue Ford van. Jim  navigated the drifted snow like nothing was wrong. We drove past his brother’s house, and we could barely see the tracks Billy had made on his way to work. Snow was still falling and high drifts had formed on the section of Sinkhole Road that headed north.

We slid and plowed through the snow until we came to a standstill in a drift.

“Guess, we’ll just have to go back,” Jim said.

“When we get home, I’ll call and tell them I’m drifted in,” I said.

Jim threw the van in reverse, but it wouldn’t budge. There we sat in the middle of the road, giant flakes of snow falling in the predawn hour.

“We might as well walk back to Billy’s,” Jim said.

“Okay,” I said, grabbing up my purse and lunch. I tried to force open the van door, but it was pushing snow.

I slammed the door. “I’m not going out in that! The snow is up to my knees, the wind is blowing, and it’s like a blizzard out there.”

“Well,” Jim said, picking up the thermos and pouring two steaming cups of coffee, “We’ll just wait here. No one can get past us without helping us out.”

Smiling at the memories of being stuck in snowdrifts with Jim, I pulled a blanket over him and reclined him in his chair. Jim turned his big blue eyes toward me, and for an instant, I was looking into the eyes of the man Jim used to be when he was my lover and my best friend.

“Goodnight, sweetie,” I said, kissing him on his nose. His eyes glazed over, and he seemed to be looking through me. Robotically, he turned toward the TV, and its dancing lights and music grabbed his attention.

Copyright © December 2016 by L.S. Fisher

No comments: