Sunday, February 4

Sunday scribblings: electric goodbyes

Falling down; unconscious uncontrollable undulations followed by inevitable, indelible sadness. Separation anxiety taken to a whole new level.

Karin left on the late flight Friday night. After watching the plane take off, she got a lift home, a little sad perhaps, who knows how long until they see each other again, but also relieved; that familiar, slightly guilty relief of having your home and your routine back.

But at night, in bed, memories from their childhood come flooding back. Swimming in endless lakes, climbing magical trees, building secret hiding places. Spending every waking moment outside; summer, winter, it didn’t matter. The memories, mingled with the evening's goodbye are like buds; threatening to burst open, revealing not a beautiful flower but unfelt grief of their once shared closeness. She pushes it away.

But sleep evades her. Tossing and turning until the morning chorus eventually lulls her to sleep. But the shrill and incessant beeping of the alarm clock reminding her of an early morning shift forces her up, just as her sleep is deep and dreamless.

Everyone else is still asleep as she steps into the shower. As she closes… closes the screen ddd door an unwelcome but familiar sensation surges through… her, her… She resolutely turns her face up, willing the powerful jets to wash it away. It’s going to be a busy day, and she cannot be late. The feeling will pass.

Getting ddd dressed ok. She tries not to think, thoughts jerky make her nervous. She forgets to kiss he who still sleeps goodbye and goes outside. Sitting on the steps she puts on her bike shoes, slightly muddy from last weekend’s trail ride. Bike leaning aggg, agh, aghhh… against the side… side of the hhh house. She takes the helmet from the handle where she usually leaves it, puts it on.

As she gets on her bike her leg sort of gets stuck, stuck in midair; she’s confused, doesn’t understand. Tells herself it’s OK, it will pass, it will pass, it will pass, it will… she cycles through the quiet residential streets, willing her mind, her brain to cooperate. She feels cold wet fear on her back, her legs full of lactic acid. Not so good, not so ggghhhgd… gghrrrggghhhhddddd…….

Llook, llo, llloooking over left shoulder to check for traff… ffffffick before changing lanes. Frank’s Honey Bun cccc, cccafĂ©…. Not so good, not so ggghhhgd… gghrrrggghhhhddddd…….

Someone is asking her something, they keep asking the same thing. STOP asking. “What’s your name?” Go away………………………… The voice is still there.... Go away..... "Do you know your telephone number?...... 32..? No, she doesn't know her telephone number........ Go away...... “Do you know what has happened?”

She knows then. She doesn’t want to know, but she knows. She knows what has happened. She hates what has happened. What she doesn’t know then, but eventually comes to understand is that it always follows a farewell. Unfelt sadness becomes an electric goodbye.

Photo from


gautami tripathy said...

I liked the picture.

And the questions in her mind.


GoGo said...

Hmm. This describes exactly how seizures came on when I was a child.

Very well done...but too real for me. I love how you brought us readers through the characters experience with stretching and twisting the words.

Paris Parfait said...

You've done a good job, but the piece gave me a frisson of fear! Reminds me of too many close calls for friends and as a reporter, covering too many accidents.

Waspgoddess said...

Writing this piece was painful, but also cathartic; trying to express in words something that is really completely devoid of words was a challenge to say the least...

Gogo: I can understand if it feels too real for you, it would probably seem the same to me if I had read it somewhere. The opportunity was too great to miss though.

Tara: Thinking back of how easily it could have ended differently gives me too a frisson of fear, but it felt very positive to get that feeling off my chest.

kristen robinson said...

WOW I am quite rocked if you will by this piece very intriquing and very much a journey up hill and back down again.

Remiman said...

Riveting and spellbinding. When you can bring your readers into the tale so much that they share the feelings, then you have done a masterful job.

Miss Iyer said...

Wow! By far the best short story I've read with a tragic ending. You're great at retaining your readers' attention.

By the time I finished reading this one, I almost wanted to know what happened next!

Btw, I'm blogrolling you, hope you don't mind.

Waspgoddess said...

Kristen, Ramiman, Miss Iyer:

Wow, thank you so much, I feel quite moved by your words.

angel said...

that was incredible!

Edvard Moonke said...

I found this very moving and haunting.

Waspgoddess said...

Angel, EM:

When I wrote this (prompted by SS) I did it purely to try and say goodbye to a painful memory, it was almost an act of exorcism... But afterwards I can't help but wonder what people who came across it made of it. Is it clear what is going on? I don't know.

But I do know that reading your comments has been... I don't know what words to use, but I appreciate them so much.

Thank you.

GeL(Emerald Eyes) said...

Dear WG,
I have read and reread this several times in one sitting, each time, picturing and hearing memories and thoughts I cannot convey in a comment here. (I hope I can email you this week, if we don't lose power from a snowstorm.)

Apart from the incredibly painful and riveting (required) metamorpheses, your writing opens petal by petal like a delicate flower blooming. Even those that one blows petals on later to make wishes...
Your writing draws me inward so deep, I feel like I'm seeing into your heart-guts. (Forgive me, if I'm offbase in my commenting and missed something. Sleep has eluded me and I'm reading this groggily after no sleep, but I cannot leave without commenting.)

The photo and title are compelling: like voltage searing through you, strong "currents" you (and she) must traverse. Sometimes it feels like a lifejacket is needed. So many more thoughts. This piece speaks to me on so many levels, I'm literally shivering.