Day 7 | Dusty Dry | Don’t Pass the Meatloaf, That Raw Carrot Looks Damn Scrumptious
“You’ve had a nice visit, now you have to leave. Just go.”
“Can’t I say good-”
My neighbor Eileen. She’s Florence’s CSA. Florence is 98-years-old and completely with it. She doesn’t move around so great, but her mind is all there. LOVE speaking with her. It’s like I walk into her presence and I’m my old self again. “Got your mall walking shoes on, eh, Florence?” She laughs. I’m at ease.
Eileen is Frumpzilla, late fifties. Probably never tasted a drop of alcohol her whole life. An expert on all matters. Says weird shit. Abstract stuff. Plato and his Theory of Forms. Occupies a bedroom upstairs where her black cat’s existence is limited to a few square feet.
I was telling her and Florence how I was looking for work; that technology-wise I’ve been sorely left behind. That kids today are proficient with computers at five years of age. Eileen says, “you can learn anything.” I’m like, in polite diction, “Not really, it’s a whole different mindset—a different way of thinking and seeing the world. I can’t learn it. At five years old I was in the backyard turning over rocks and feeding worms to our ducks. I wasn’t lying on my bedroom floor transfixed to a handheld.”
Eileen’s glaring at me. Her perspective is meant to be a pep-talk (or not). She reiterates, “You can learn anything.”
I’ve been sitting opposing Florence in a thirty-year-old Lazy-Boy that I’ve threatened to haul out of there for our TV room. I say, for the second time, “I’ve got to go, dog’s itching for her walk.
Florence waves her hand, fooey, and says, “no, no, stay.”
At 1:54, Eileen wanders into the living room and calls me. I’m thinking my car has rolled out of the driveway and into the street, say so, and Florence laughs. Eileen’s standing by the door. She kicks me out.
Door slams closed, its locked and bolted. I stand there, jaw scrapping the asphalt. The dog’s looking at me, head cocked.
We get in the car, I drive a block, pull over and text my husband:
Was leaving cookies for Florence when Eileen intercepted me and invited me in. She told me I couldn’t stay long and I kept telling Florence I had to go and Florence kept saying please stay. And then Eileen called me into the living room and booted me out, glaring at me an inch from my face like I just ran over her cat and jesus, what the hell’s the matter with her. Didn’t even get to say goodbye to Florence. I’m sort of in shock over the whole thing. Weird vibes. Feel bad.
*UPDATE #1* [July 10]
I met one of Florence’s daughters. She’s ’bout my age. I had thrown Sabrina’s frisbee over the fence and Robin had just gotten out of her car and was approaching the house when she caught glimpses of Sabrina hunting around for the chewed-up disc of plastic. She was taken with Sabrina and played with her while we chatted over the fence. In a subtle, beat-around-the-bush-don’t-want-to-make-any-trouble kind of way, I mentioned Eileen and how she threw me out of the house.
Robin said, “I took my mom to lunch today and left my purse behind in the kitchen and while Mom and I were chatting at P.F. Chang’s, she calls me and says in a defiant tone, ‘I didn’t expect you today.'”
Florence appeared coming out of the front door. It had started to rain. She asked Robin if she was coming inside, the rain, and before we could get another word in about Eileen, Florence was there with her arm hooked inside of Robin’s. I say to Florence, “I’m wearing my barrel with suspenders.” Their perspective only lent to my neck and higher.
*UPDATE #2* [July 24]
Eileen’s crappy Corolla is MIA. Has been for at least a week. She could be on vacation. Or not.
*UPDATE #3* [July 31]