HydroFloat Short

I recently tried out Hydro Therapy and very much enjoyed it. They encourage people to create afterwards and it is understandable why. I did it late in the evening so having actually fallen asleep in the water I was a bit out of it when it came to a close and I stepped out. I was extremely energized and at first could not focus, but as my body calmed my mind opened up.

Here is what came out:

 

She came from no wehre, which of course is somewhere. She had no plans, no goals, no worries, and no woes. She travelled here and there without a care. Until she found us. The ones who cared. The ones who had to put everything into a box. What we did to her as we began to bend her mind. Her head having always been light was now uncomfortably heavy. Her mind wizzed and the pressure was so much.

She lost th edesier to travel and imagine. The things we told her she must do and the things we told her was silly or stupid… it crushed who she was to become the nothing from which she came from.

What we have done was – no is – unforgivable. She died the moment she walked into our world. A world we consider living is truly that of the living dead. We allow nothing of the true freedom of the soul, though we claim we do.

The conventions we live by crush, smother, and eventually kill us.

The Empty Guru

“What is wrong with the world today, and especially in America, is there are too many things! Reject those things! Reject the cars, reject the big house, reject the tons of clothes. You do not need these things to be happy. You only need a few essentials…” the speaker, known as Guru Kiara spoke to the audience and walked around the stage in a simple white flowing outfit. An outfit Elizabeth would never have even touched. She was not good when it came to white things. She listened to the words the Guru in front of her spoke and tried to think of how her apartment would look if she got rid of everything she did not need. She couldn’t imagine it… she needed everything, right?

“You may be currently thinking about your home and all the things in it and maybe be having a hard time thinking of getting rid of the things you may think you need. Here is a simple exercise….” the Guru continued on her explanation and Elizabeth tried to listen, but the words just seemed to slip in one ear and out the other.

Two hours went by and Elizabeth wasn’t sure how she hadn’t fallen asleep through the entire seminar. She had gone to it because her friends had begun joking about her being a hoarder and while she denied it, she worried that perhaps she had started to keep a few too many things. The seminar had been about The Simplicity of Life and How to Get There. Well, Elizabeth felt just about the same way she did as before she went to the seminar. Walking out of the convention center she walked over to the coffee shop just around the corner. She bought her double shot medium mocha and sat down at a table near the window. People watching and sipping on the warm beverage she relaxed into the chair. The day was chilly even if the sun was shining and the hot mocha was perfect to take the edge off.

Watching out the window she recognized a woman walking up to the coffee house. But she couldn’t place her. She watched her walk in and stand in line. The itch of knowing but not knowing was driving Elizabeth a bit nutty. She tried not to stare but kept an eye on the woman. The woman reached into a large bag and started to dig for, what Elizabeth assumed, was her wallet. She finally pulled out a trifold wallet which had the well known Chanel Cavier symbol on the clasp. The wallet itself was a beautiful navy blue with what appeared to be soft leather. The woman quickly opened it and selected one of the credit cards from it. It was easy to see she had quite a few and the wallet wasn’t on the slim side either. Huh, I wonder what Guru Kiara would say about having so many cards in your wallet, Elizabeth mused to herself as she sipped her mocha. The woman ordered an elaborate drink which Elizabeth couldn’t have tried to repeat for the life of her. The woman then stood over by the receiving section, took her elaborate coffee, and walked back out the front door.

Elizabeth, having already finished the mocha in her hand, decided she was going to try and figure out how she knew this well-groomed woman. She got up and threw away her one time use cup and followed the woman outside. The woman’s hair was up in a high ponytail but had beautiful black large curls bouncing as she walked. The woman’s attire was anything from simple, Elizabeth decided and began to wonder if the seminar didn’t actually instill something in her after all. She wore light tan slacks, which seemed to be thick enough for the weather as the woman did not seem uncomfortable, then again it could probably have something to do with the camel colored jacket she wore which looked like real camel… or something leathery and soft anyway, Elizabeth had no idea what it could be beside it probably being nice to touch. The woman’s shoes were another thing Elizabeth noticed, about four inches high, matching the tan color of the pants the woman wore, and with a stylish point in front. Elizabeth would never have been able to wear something like that and walk the streets of the city.

The woman continued walking and Elizabeth tried to act like she wasn’t following her, but kept her insight. She had a sense of wonder about this woman who she thought she knew, but could not put her finger on it. Then the woman did the one thing Elizabeth had been dreading… she got into a car. Frantically, Elizabeth began to look around for a taxi and upon seeing one turn down the street she was in she jumped out into the street from between two cars waving her arms.

“Taxi!” she screamed like a crazy woman.

The taxi driver slammed on his brakes and the sandwich he had been about to take a bite out of went flying across the stirring wheel and onto the window. He cursed the woman who had just jumped in front of his cab.

Elizabeth, glad the driver had stopped, ran around to the back door on the passenger side and jumped in. “Follow that car!” she said pointing at the silver sedan the woman had climbed into and had just pulled into traffic.

The driver looked at the woman in the mirror for a moment. Elizabeth looked back at him wondering if perhaps he may be deaf. “Please, quick! You can’t lose her!”

The driver looked at the car which he was to follow and memorized the license plate number. He then hit a button on the taximeter and pulled back into traffic. The traffic was moving slowly for the moment and the driver pulled out of his center console a pair of driving gloves which he pulled on as he crept through the traffic.

Elizabeth paid no mind to the driver besides being impatient with how slow the traffic was being. Granted the woman was in the same traffic and so was still only a couple of cars ahead, but she was afraid they would lose her. Just as she was about to jump out of the car and run the driver said, “Siri, play Chase Playlist”.  And all of a sudden the music that came from the speakers of the car was something out of a high-end chase movie. With this sudden change of music the driver merged over and all of a sudden, they were right behind the woman.

The traffic eased up and they were following this woman through the streets of the city, never losing sight of her. Elizabeth thought the music was a bit much for the occasion, but the driver seemed to be enjoying it and she wasn’t about to take that away from him

As Elizabeth began to wonder if this whole thing was just too ridiculous for reason the woman merged onto an onramp for the local freeway. The driver followed and began to pick up speed as the rest of the vehicles did. The woman seemed to like to speed and the driver obliged in matching her speed to keep up with her. Making some unnecessary merges and probably going faster than he should Elizabeth had to give it to him, he never did lose the woman’s car.

Elizabeth finally sat back in her seat and buckled the seatbelt. The trip was getting a bit crazier than she would have ever imagined. She held onto the seat and tried to keep from being thrown around the vehicle too badly. She had lost sight of the woman’s car and only hoped the driver hadn’t and wasn’t just driving crazy for the heck of it.

Finally, they took an off ramp which led them to a small suburban area of a town just outside of the main city. Elizabeth could finally see the woman’s car again and slower speeds made her relax a bit. The driver seemed somewhat upset the “chase” seemed to be coming to an end, while Elizabeth hoped the woman lived around her so she could get out of the crazy taxi.

As they watched the car, they saw it pull into a beautifully tailored house with an open gate. The driveway pulled in and around the front to the front of the house and then swung back out the way it came. The woman parked in front of the door which also had a canopy to make it a carport of sorts.

“Pull over there,” Elizabeth indicated to pull just pass the entrance to the driveway. She then grabbed for her wallet and pulled out cash to pay for the ride.

“You know what, don’t worry about it. Rarely do I get a chance to follow a dream I have always had. You helped me enjoy a very mundane day. I hope you the best with whatever is going on. The trip is on me,” he said as he cleared out the taximeter.

Elizabeth surprised stuttered, “Uh, thanks. I hope your day is more enjoyable.” And with that, she stuffed her money and wallet back into her purse and exited the crazy taxi. It drove off out of sight within moments.

Elizabeth shook her head and looked at the house the woman had walked into. She peered up the driveway, and not seeing anyone, she walked up the driveway.

She had no idea what she was going to say or do. Should she just knock on the door and tell her that she thought she knew her and so she had followed her all the way from the city to figure it out? Should she spy through the windows to figure out who this woman was? Should she just call another cab… or a friend and just go home?

But before she had figured out really what she was going to do she was at the front door and staring at the doorbell. She took a breath and rang the bell. As she waited she considered hiding behind the car which was right behind her. Or perhaps she should say she was selling girl scout cookies but had forgotten EVERYTHING about the cookies and was standing there like an idiot. Well, she was standing there like an idiot, but what excuse was she going to tell this woman.

Then the door opened Elizabeth finally knew why she had recognized the woman. It was Guru Kiara from the seminar. But she wasn’t in the plain white outfit and with her hair no longer pulled back, she saw the beautiful curls cascading around her face, framing it like it had up on stage.

“Yes?” the woman said curiously to who this woman was standing on her doorstep. But Elizabeth could only stare in shock.

“You… you… you’re the guru!” Elizabeth finally blurted out.

The look on the woman’s face was ashen and had a show of dread, “Who are you?”

“I was at the seminar this afternoon. I saw you in the coffee shop and couldn’t figure out where I knew you from… because you had a ton of stuff and I assumed…” Elizabeth trailed off as she looked up at the house and behind the woman she now knew to be the false guru.

The woman seemed to relax a tad, “Come inside.” She moved to the side and let Elizabeth walk pass her, she closed the door. “Please, come sit and let me try to help you through what I am sure has been a shock.”

Elizabeth was stunned. The house was EMPTY!

“What I said at the seminar I still hold true. But my getting rid of stuff had to do with the small things. The house and the car are gifts from my parents who won them in a lottery and did not have any use for them. My purse and the things you most likely saw in it… all things I have traded for or purchased at thrift stores. My money is very little, but my life is very full.”

Elizabeth looked at the woman and began to laugh. She laughed and laughed at the absurdity of the day and the absurdity of this woman. “You have NOTHING to show for anything. You have no pictures, you have no… well, you have nothing. I chased a guru who tells us to get rid of our things because they mean nothing in the long run and here she sits with nothing but has nothing to sit on!”

The woman was shocked by what Elizabeth was saying, “I have nothing, but I have a fuller sense of….”

Elizabeth cut her off, “No, you don’t. You don’t even have photos of your parents.”

The woman looked at her empty house like she had never seen it before, “I… But… I…” she sighed, deflated, “I am empty not only in material goods… I am empty within as well. You are right, I have nothing, I have no family to show, I have no real life to live. I do the seminars and that is all I do anymore.” She stopped and looked at Elizabeth. She wasn’t much to look at, but she seemed to be happier than she was. “How are you so happy? What am I missing?”

With that Elizabeth took the guru who told everyone to get rid of everything and told her why material goods were not a thing to despise. They worked out a happy medium over months and months of in-depth talk. And slowly the guru began to add things to her house which had to mean to her. The first being a photo of her parents she placed on the wall opposite her front door.

The next seminar held two women up on stage. They held up items and explained to the people there how to better their lives while still keeping the items they did not want to part with. Repeatedly they told the ridiculous story of how a woman who had gone to a guru seminar had taught the guru herself that she was nothing with what she did not hold near. The audience would typically laugh at the story and shake their heads at the strangeness of the tale, but the ladies did not mind, as long as everyone learned from the adventure which had unfolded. Elizabeth and Guru Kiara were better from having met each other and their lives were richer from what they taught each other.

Windy Autumn Day

The wind howled outside the windows. Crashing and thumps were heard as trees broke and loose items toppled head over tail. No trees touched the house, but it sounded as if there were hundreds of branches hitting the walls. Inside the home, the temperature dropped below what it had for quite some time. Extra blankets were thrown on beds and longer clothes were put on children. A warm shower and bath were also enjoyed by all who stayed indoors while the wind thundered through the area.

The wind had started early in the morning and by the evening, when all were preparing for bed, an extra strain could be felt as it had lasted all day and did not seem to be wishing to let up through the night. Hair had been blown askew and into eyes. Chills had been felt and jackets had been donned throughout the day. And slow walks had been pushed as the wind blew from behind or slowed as the person had to work their way through the high-speed wind.

As all began to climb into beds, which were much colder than they would have liked, warm kitties joined those who they wished to be near and warmed themselves and their people. And as the wind blew hard against the house, rattling things the people inside could only guess at, the warmth and comfort of the felines who had joined them helped them quickly succumb to their tired limbs and fall right asleep.

The rest was not as peaceful as it could have been, with waking slightly to all the noise which was happening without the walls, but sleep held fast until the morning hours which started all too early for the family. It was hard to pull out of the warm covers, though they were now only warmed by ourselves, rather than by the felines which had begun the night but pull ourselves out of them we did. Slowly and defiantly pulling off warm clothes to put on cold clothes to start the day. Wishing only to be able to crawl back into the beds we had just left, hoping to find some warmth.

The wind continued to howl outside and the day seemed as if it would be repeating itself. The coffee was started and the food was made. Teeth were brushed along with hair combed. Items were gathered and refound from where they had been left the day before. The light outside began to grey the sky and with it, a feeling of less dreariness seemed to take hold of the family.

Quickly clambering into vehicles to quickly flee the strong winds and try to keep some semblance of warmth and neat hair, the family was off to begin another day. Listening to soft tunes on the radio and fighting against the wind, moving along the roads as safe as one can. Finally arriving at the destination for which they had set out for. The wind continued to howl and batter at them.

Jackets were quickly donned and gathering bags was done at a higher tempo than typical. The wish to play fighting with the wish to be warm and finally winning as the children join the others on the playground. All are dressed in warm jackets and long pants. The feeling of Autumn distinct in the air. Standing and watching the playing the parents shiver within their coats but a smile stays on their face as they watch their sweet children climb and laugh and chase one another.

The bell finally tolls and children rush to their classrooms. The escape of the wind is so near it is tangible. Rushing quickly back to the car and just sitting in the quiet and warmth, not wishing to think of the things that need to be done that day, which would also require leaving this warm quiet location.

Finally, without having the car running, the cold slowly seeps into the car and a heavy sigh is made as the car is turned on and the rest of the cold day is fought through. With things being accomplished, others being put off, things being remembered at the last minute, and things being added to the list for tomorrow.

This is the typical rundown of a day in Autumn when the wind blows so hard you wish to only stay curled up in your bed, reading a good book, cuddling with your cat, and sipping upon your favorite beverage, but the day just gets in the way.

Spring Virgin

She looked down at the babe in the basket which sat next to her sleeping cot. The little one had just finished his meal of milk from her and was fast asleep, swaddled sweetly in a blanket she had made while pregnant with him. She was young and had been scared while pregnant because she did not know what to expect. Her mother had died in childbirth, her grandparents had died while she was still young, and the rest of the females of her tribe did not wish to discuss such things with her because she was not family. She had her father, who was the greatest comfort through the entire thing, but without the reassurance of a woman, she just did not know what to expect.

The father was an unknown variable to her, for she had lost her virginity and came pregnant with the child from a fertility festival. She had just hit the minimum age to participate and most everyone thought she would not be the one to be chosen from all the girls who were of age and who were not betrothed already. Because she was from a small family and one that was not so well known, no one had wished to marry the lonely girl. She had seemed fragile and many thought she would die like her mother in childbirth.

The festival had happened on the Spring Solstice when the day started to become longer than the nights and the nip in the air started to warm. The females dressed all in white gowns which flowed to their knees and were tied with rope around their middles. They had to run through the forest as the sun set and as soon as the sun’s last rays left the earth the young males were released. All parties, male and female, wore masks. The males ran after the females who had passed into the trees a while before and had to find them. During this, the females would find hiding places within the forest. There were definitely better hiders than others, but any female who was found would then follow the male who found her back to the village where they would drink and dine. Sometimes those couples would hook up but it was not a necessity of the rite.

The main goal was for the females to remain hidden from the males as long as possible. If they were able to do this until the sun started to make the sky gray to welcome the morning sun, they could then try to sneak around any males still looking back to the village. If they were able to do this and there was still a male looking to find female then that female would be crowned the Spring Virgin. If there was a male who came walking in last after having not found any female, they would have to stay back with the younger lads and relearn the lessons they should have already known to complete this challenge.

The Spring Virgin would have a feast the following night and a test of strength, wits, and courage would be demonstrated in front of her. She would choose among the masked males the one she thought would be the best mate. Typically these two would end up being the two highest ranking individuals of their genders, but it was not always the case. If it was not one of the top people speculation and curiosity would run through the village. It was not always clear as to who the Spring Virgin had been either since there would be a few pregnancies from the festivities. And there was always the chance that the Spring Virgin would not produce a child this time.

It just so happened this past Spring, she had become the Spring Virgin. She was used to sneaking around and not being seen and so found it easier than most to get through the night and back into the village before anyone even realized it. The following night she had been out of her element with everyone putting themselves on display for her. She found it frightening and exhilerating.

Thinking back to those nights as she watched her little boy sleep so soundly made her smile. They had been scary, but they changed her life for the best. No, she did not have a husband, but she would prove to her family and her village she did not need a man in her life to get through it.

Dragon Intro

Flying high above the treetops, the cool air flowing over and under her wings, the blue dragon felt the tensions of normal life slip away. She knew she could be fairly open in this area as it was rare to see a human and even when one did, they typically were of the lowly tribes, with not much in the way of distance weapons. She had seen her fair amount of civilization of humans and elves who did not enjoy her beauty. She had never once attacked any human or elf and yet she was chased and hurt.

Her family had told her that once dragons and elves used to live in peace, but then humans appeared among them and poisoned the hearts of elves against them. They said dragons were not to be trusted with their giant claws and teeth. If you angered one it would be all too easy to for a dragon to just kill the one who angered it. But this was not the ways of dragons and it hurt them all so deeply as elves and humans plotted against them. The humans swore that different parts of dragons could make magic brews all that more powerful. And while elves had lived much longer and known dragons, they fell for this treacherous falsehood. For while, yes, dragons anatomy was different and some dragons seemed to pose magickal abilities, none of their body was more powerful than those of elves or humans and anyone who tried to sell such was just looking for a sucker to part with their money.

These thoughts made the blue dragon huff a steam of water as the memories angered her. She did not want these thoughts to impair her joyful afternoon in the sky. She had nowhere to really be and she was not expected back by anyone. Which wasn’t all that unusual once a dragon was old enough to be on their own. Families stuck together for a few centuries until the elders believed the young ones would be able to handle themselves on their own. She had passed that stage about 50 years ago and loved to go on long trips and see the different lands.

When she reached a land she did not know and did not think had been explored by her kind, she would fly higher than normal so her shadow did not appear like anything to those below. Thankfully this did not hinder her view of what was below since dragons had such wonderful eyesight. The only problem was having to see through or around clouds at times. But, once she was able to find a place to hide she could normally watch from afar for quite some time before moving on.

She had seen many different types of people and creatures in her travels. She liked to think about some of them at times like these as she soared above the wilderness below. To think these wildernesses used to stretch across everything she had seen and people changed that landscape to make it their own. Some found it disturbing, but she found it fascinating.

Swooping down towards the ground, she landed at the edge of a fairly deep river which rushed by. It ran too quickly for most other animals to take a sip, but, as big as she was, she did not fear the rushing water as she bent to drink. The sun was starting to dip and this meant her eyesight would be less reliable for a few hours until darkness came upon the land, but again, she was not in any hurry and did not see any reason to fly during the night.

Finding a clearing about her size she nestled down with her tail wrapped around to touch her nose and her wings spread as if to make a blanket over her. The veins in her wings were warm and would help keep the chill off the main part of her body during the night. Having scouted around the area from up above for a while before deciding on this spot, she had no fear of anyone finding her resting spot that night.

 

Dawn came and went and as the last of the early birds brought food back to their nests, the dragon began to stir. First, the wings unfurled and then tucked into her back while her neck and tail stretched to opposite ends. The jaws opened wide and the dragon yawned. Blinking to get the last of the sleep out of her eyes she looked around the clearing. There were no animals or people around, which was fine by her. She did not need to feed currently, though before she found new civilization she may want to top off, just in case it took a while to leave said civilization. It would do no good to become hungry and have to steal livestock from those she did not want to know about her.

With that thought in her mind, she sniffed the air. There was the smell of venison on a downdraft which appeared to be on the older side. She rather take the lives of those who had already lived most of their lives rather than those who had just begun to live it. She lifted her head and saw a male deer with broken antlers bent low, munching on the grass in the meadow, not far from the river she had visited the day before. It appeared the deer either was too old to care or did not realize there was a dragon in the area. Or perhaps they had never seen a dragon before and did not realize the danger she could possess. Which was also a sign that dragons may not have visited this area as of yet.

Without taking more than a few flaps of her wings she was up in the air and as the deer looked up to the sky to see what had caused the shadow upon the grass he was eating, the dragon dove and took the deer in her jaws. It only took a few chomps to dismember the deer enough to swallow and she did not even have time to land before the deer had passed from her jaws down her gullet.

Having already taken off, she decided to continue on with her flying, but this time she flew higher as the whiff of smoke had also come to her senses which meant people of some sort ahead.

Little Bar

She walked into the bar not really sure what to expect. Having driven by it to her hotel she had brushed it off as just a dive bar, but then was told it was the most hopping place in this little town. Granted that may not amount to much, but at least it was something other than the 4 walls of her small little motel room which didn’t even have a privacy wall for the toilet.

Showing her ID at the door she walked by the bouncer who gave her only the cursory look to make sure she was the woman on the ID she had presented. He seemed to do the bare minimum of his job, but, then again, was it really worth trying to pull something over his eyes if he probably knew everyone in the town? She walked through the single metal door and walked into a bar she would have never imagined in her life.

There wasn’t an apparent theme, but then again, there was. It was not something you could describe but it was something you could feel as the theme. Making her way to the bar she ordered a basic beer on tap and was surprised at the bite she got from a drink she was pretty sure she had drunk a hundred times.

It was early in the evening and only a few people were currently in the bar. They all seemed to be regulars as they sat with their drinks and ignored most everyone around them. They did not even look at the newcomer, that she was, which really threw her. She was used to being gawked at and being harassed by men of all ages. She was used to it and not to have it done here was actually throwing her off. She felt out of place in a place where there did not seem to be an out of place. Finishing the beer she had, she ordered a simple cocktail and found a seat towards the back of the room where she could watch people arrive.

It took a bit of time for a crowd to start trickling in, but when it did, it came in a rush. The bar had been mostly quiet up until this point. The music had been on low with nothing really being chosen on the box, but it just running on auto. Now there was hard and loud music playing and there was a disco ball which had been turned on. The lights were on low and the flashing of the lights on the disco ball made it hard to pinpoint any single individual.

At any other bar, she would have been approached no more than half a dozen times by this point. But here, she still had yet to even be noticed except by the bartender who sent a waitress to her every so often to make sure she was still okay with her drink. She was sipping it slowly, not quite sure what to make of this situation she was finding herself in.

She had expected a country vibe to the place, but instead, it was more rock and heavy alternative music being played. Songs which you either could not understand the lyrics or, if you could, you were most likely singing along to the song since it was so well known. The people dancing and drinking ranged from their 21st birthday up to their 90th and there was no rhyme nor reason as to what each person was interested in. It seemed everyone was interested in their own thing and screw what age group it would have been assigned to.

It was actually quite freeing and as she had, probably, her third drink she was beginning to loosen up to this strange array of a crowd. She let her hair down and joined in on the music and dance floor. The people around her finally noticed her and welcomed her onto the dance floor. And that is where she stayed for the rest of the night until the bar closed, and she dragged her tired, dehydrated behind down the block to her motel room.

The alarm sounded like an irritating bug which would not shut up and she whacked at the clock with a hand which might as well have been a wet rolled up wad of newspaper. She finally knocked it off the small table and it was again quiet. The windows were letting the sunshine in and she realized she probably should be getting ready to leave.

As she checked out, with a complimentary cup of coffee in hand, the front desk attendant asked if she had enjoyed her stay. When she told the attendant about the bar down the road she had been the night previous, the look she received was that of confusion.

“Ma’am, there is no bar there… well there was… but there isn’t anymore. It burned down about a year ago after the disco ball short-circuited and fell. The majority of the town was injured in the fire.”

Thinking her leg was being pulled she just nodded and said her good-bye. She drove back down the way she had come the night before and past the bar she had enjoyed herself at and sure enough, while there was still a front to the building, the rest of the building had fallen and crumbled along time ago. She wasn’t sure who this could be, but as she drove on, she thought she heard a distant sound of rock and hard alternative play as she drove out of town.

Welcoming the End

Laying in the hospital bed with the beeping of the monitors which were hooked up to me I began to feel my body starting to fade. Being quasi-religious I was not too worried about what would come next, but still, there was that nagging feeling of what if I was wrong. I turned my head and looked out the window. There were clouds darkening outside as a major storm system came into the area. The nurses and doctors were trying to stay calm, but the nervousness was all to palatable within the hospital. But within my room, there was a strange calm. I knew I would not make it through this storm and so I watched the wind pick up and the clouds move in the sky. Allowing my mind to wander back through the years.

Growing up I had an interesting life. My family lived in the circus, with my father teaching bears to perform. I had always had such a fascination with what he did and when I was old enough he taught me how to make the bears accept me and teach them how to do the tricks which so many people came to see. One of these people being the man I would marry.

He and I did a few shows together as we got to know each other and after we married and decided to let that part of our lives go, I knew I would always have a soft spot for those animals. Thankfully my husband was willing to indulge in my little adventure and helped me open up a place to allow animals who were retired from the circus to come and reside out the remainder of their years. Some of the animals had not been cared for as well as they should have been and because of that we were always a topic for PETA to attack, but I loved those animals and tried to care for them as well as I could. I brought in trainers, veterinarians, and anyone else who could help them. I want to say that I made a difference in their lives.

The circus life seemed to be dying out with the political correctness movement picking up steam. Animal rights activists picketed circuses which had elephants and other animals they thought were being mistreated. It was hard to watch something I grew up with start to wither and die.

As the years went on and my life with my husband quieted I wondered from time to time if we had made the right decision on not having children, in the end, I always concluded that we did. Now, as I lay in my bed, and having 20/20 vision, I believe we made the right decision.

While children are a wonder to have, neither I nor my husband had the disposition to handle little ones as they grew. My husband probably would have left it all to me anyway and while we would have been able to afford a nanny, that was just not how I wished the cards to fall.

The years continued on, our health began to fail; his quicker than mine. The years seemed to stretch into endless days of the same routine. Sure an event would change things up every so often, but it was typically the same day in and day out. Especially as his getting around became harder and harder.

We finally admitted we needed to have help in the house for him as I was beginning to not be able to help him out of bed. It was a much-needed break from the stress of shouldering his health all by myself. But there was something off with this nurse. I wish I had seen it earlier, but I didn’t and before I knew it… well… let’s say there were happier times.

Laying in bed in this hospital and having family come and visit it has dawned on me, most of the family I cared about was his family. They were not my blood relatives, they were his. Being divorced, they did not actually have to come and visit me, but they did and it brought tears to my eyes, which I tried to hide until they were no longer in the room. It was moments like those which made me wonder if having children would have been helpful or not. But, the last few years would have been hard on them just as they were hard on me.

The anger which had burned inside of me the past few years seemed silly now. The truth had been exposed and the lies and hate had been laid out on the table. But now, as the end approached, it all seemed so silly. The wind blew and something rattled outside my window as if to say, “I will take all of those troubles from you soon,” and I silently stared out the window accepting such an arrangement.

And as the storm grew and the clouds darkened I felt a heaviness come over me. Sleep sounded wonderful, though I knew I would not wake from it. A jolt of fear coursed through my body as I closed my eyes but the wind softened for a moment and the peacefulness came over me. I knew my time was up and so I held on to the happiness which was my life; from the time in the circus to the many years with my loving husband and family. And I said silently, goodbye, and taking a final breath and I smiled and released it, leaving the world and the storm to carry on without me.

 

(This story is a fictional narrative from the perspective of my Great Aunt who passed away on 9/11/17. It is in no way of anything she told me or which I went through with her. I was unable to be there with her in her final days, but this is how I wish to remember those last days could have gone by as.)