Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Happy Fifth

In a clearing amidst a grove of oak trees, surrounded by farms and swampland, lives a cape style, three-story home, red like boiled lobster. Inside, past two young boys jumping from the living room couch onto a stack of pillows and blankets on a dark, wooden planked floor, past their mother folding piping hot t-shirts--softened silky smooth with the fragrance of baby powder--from the dryer into a basket, and upstairs past their father hunched in his office chair, sipping coffee and staring blankly into a computer monitor pretending to work, through the attic hatch that pulls down like a dragon's maw--with a folding ladder tongue--by a retractable string as the springs groan in protest, and into the biting cold, in the farthest dark corner on a sheet of chipboard stretched atop open ceiling rafters stuffed with dirty pink, cotton-candy-like insulation, lies a box marked "Mom's Things" in black Sharpie.

The box is sealed with packaging tape over every crack to protect it from bug intrusion. Inside are stacks of papers, books, and pictures, and trinkets that once adorned her desk at the Houston car dealership where she steadfastly kept herself busy while the cancer spread through her lungs, up her spine and into the brain. A little green book, hardly the size of a palm, could be seen just under top flap of the box if it were opened. Inscribed in plain gold letters is the title, "One Day at a Time." Tucked into the book's pages is a card in an opened envelope, with a platinum and black chip featuring the roman numeral five tucked inside, and a message written in neat black-ink script, "Happy fifth Mom. I'm proud of you."

9 comments:

Tee said...

Beautiful writing! I can picture everything.... particularly the boys jumping off the couch onto pillows because that is exactly what my 4 yr old is doing this minute. LOL.

Eve said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Shesawriter said...

When is somebody going to snap you up, bucko? You're wonderful.

Tanya

The Zombieslayer said...

Wonderful, Scott. Those were two very strong paragraphs.

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

Yeah, I like this too.

To be so vivid with such economy is rare indeed.

Kathleen said...

Very evocative.

Sadie Lou said...

I liked it too, Scott. Touching and sweet without being that other 's' word...


...(sappy)

Scott said...

All - Thanks for the nice compliments, and sorry I've been away and haven't replied sooner.

Moni said...

Awwe Scott that was awesome. I got teary-eyed.