What She Said

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I am Eric’s Wife. I am also mother to two teenagers on the very cusp of adulthood, the founding director of Scripture from the Heart, an avid world watcher, bold and insecure at once. I serve a merciful God and I love a guy who makes my knees weak. This is where I write about it all.  Thank you for reading!

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Facebook, USA

May 16, 2020

It’s a ritual of mine. Before coffee, before I speak to my husband or children, before showering or any other thing I like to start my day by spending time with every person I’ve ever met from pre-school, up to the guy who bought my lawn mower off Craigslist last week. I take my time strolling up and down these streets; it carries with it a pressing sense that I am getting somewhere for some purpose, but, alas, I stroll these streets aimlessly in my bathrobe.

At the yellow house on the corner lives an older woman that I look up to for wisdom and insight. She is leaning out her window with a megaphone.

“Friends, I am sad to say that the world has turned awful and there is no fixing it. People are terrible and it will never get better. Also, here is a picture of my cat.”

Well, she’s usually full of insight and not so bleak. I guess it’s an off day.

The bright blue house belongs to a guy I went to church with back in middle school. He likes to give long winded sermons and always draws a crowd. And there he is, standing on his porch like it’s a stage and there’s 10 people gathered around.

“Christians!! You need to stop being divisive!! The worst thing we can do during these very trying times is to bring division into the world. I’d like to hold up this moron who disagrees with me on the things as an example of people causing division. He is such an unread idiot. Don’t be like him. Don’t divide people by dismissing the possibility that they have thought things through and come to a better right choice than yours. Basically, what I am saying, brothers, is that if the bulk of society agrees that you should do a thing, do the thing. Unless you are an idiot who deserves to be cancelled. But, that’s on you. Now, look at this picture of an old man’s hands holding a Bible.”

There’s a heap of “Amen”s unloaded from his small audience. I sure hope those idiots he was hoping to reach were there to listen, but, it’s more likely that he was just preaching to the choir in an echo chamber.

I continue to stroll the street. Red house that always makes pies, purple house that sells make-up, brick house that sells supplements, another red house where they…

Wait. Stop. Be very quiet. On that porch over there is a girl I know from high school. I’m pretty sure she forgot that we both live in this neighborhood years ago. There’s no way she knows how much I know about her. I saw her at Walmart last year and she couldn’t remember my name, but I knew what she had for dinner the night before. She’s on the porch and having a chat on her phone with someone. She’s yelling.

“Listen, Charlene. You and that crackhead brother of yours better get your acts together. What do you mean, ‘Which crackhead brother?’? I am talking about Darrel. He took all the copper wiring out of my AC and now I’m sweating like I’m at an outdoor wedding in August.”

I’ve heard enough. I’m not nosy, but, if you’re going to have private conversations out loud where I can hear, I am all about it. They dropped Darrel’s address and I figured it was just around the block, so I ran/walked over there to see if he was as big a train wreck as had been promised.

Darrel does not disappoint.

Right away, his house is a crumbling mess, with cinder blocks for the foundation, white (or was it mint green?) paint peeling, a washer and refrigerator on the porch by the front door – neither working. I mean, Darrel was the creeper’s gift that keeps on giving. There’s no sign of cars, beyond the 92 Ford Fiesta with no tires in the carport, so I help myself to a little more digging around. For reasons I cannot explain, I need desperately to figure this crackhead brother of a frenemy of a kind of friend out.

To my shock, the front door is open.

I walk in and am immediately greeted with pictures on the wall of a guy with a mullet, rarely in shirts, always with a cigarette in hand. I see a picture of him in high school, cleaned up and standing by his Mom. She is beaming. There’s a picture of him in a military uniform. Still looking sharp. And then the pictures get grungier; his hair gets rattier, beard unchecked. Oh, gasp, this must be a picture of his Mom’s tombstone.

My brazen investigation into his life continues and I peer into what looks like his downstairs bedroom. I reach for the top drawer of the dresser and carefully pull it open. It’s full of underwear.

Suddenly, I wake from my haze and realize that I am in some weird man’s bedroom and looking through his underwear drawer. How did I get here? Just then I hear a cough behind me. Startled I throw my hands in the air, dropping the boxers I did not know I was clutching.

My mind blank and flustered, I rushed the words, “Want to be my friend?”

Not what I meant! My bad! Unfriend, backspace, forget this ever happened.

Back out on the street, I decide to head back home. Surely my family needs some attention. I’ve been strolling Facebook, USA for an hour, but it feels like five minutes.

 

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