Monday, October 05, 2009

Of Aliens and Alzheimer's

There's no feeling like getting a story out of the file, writing and finishing it and being able to sleep again, not that I'll be sleeping any time soon since it's Monday and I have to work -- again.

I managed to work chakras, the color purple and Alzheimer's into the story fairly well. Don't know how the two readers feel about the story yet, but I'm hopeful. I thought I had everything written in and just needed to do a little polishing later today, but, no, details nibbled at my dreams. I ignored them and they decided to poke gaping holes in my dreams until all I could see or think about was the pulsing purple heartbeat of the light. Let's just say it involved a bathroom mirror and a relative dead of what was described as senile dementia but turned out to be the purple light. Things started to make sense in that scary, alternate universe way that would make a person certifiable if she wasn't a writer. Still, I am happy with the results and I fulfilled an old promise to Verna.

Back in Columbus when I lived on the west side, after getting rid of Nick and changing jobs so he couldn't sue me for alimony, I met this woman who claimed that her husband's Alzheimer's was brought on by a purple light that shone on him every night. Verna wasn't the kind of person who was good at lying or ever considered lying since the truth was so handy and she didn't like fantasy. Verna was the kind of person who has both feet firmly planted on the ground and seldom looks up. She's the only person of her advanced years I've ever known who didn't clutter up her home with knick-knacks and pictures and junk. Her home was immaculate like a TV series set. Her only personal item was an anniversary clock, one of those marble and metal clocks under glass, her husband gave her on their fifth anniversary. There were a few tasteful and original paintings on the walls and hand-crocheted doilies on the tables and console television set, but not enough to be fussy. Considering the apartment she and her husband shared for over sixty years was about 900 square feet and the closet space was negligible, I always wondered on what they spent their income.

Vernon was an engineer who worked for the federal government out at the Depot. He made really good money, but it wasn't evident anywhere in that little apartment. Knowing Verna, she probably saved every penny for her old age and the state ended up with it since she had no children and no living relatives, unless she willed it to Clyde's mother who was her best friend.

Verna dressed nicely, but not ostentatiously and she didn't have a full length mink to wear in the winter. She always wore a sensible camel hair overcoat. Maybe the money got beamed up with Vernon's mind, but Verna can't tell me because she died several years ago in the middle of the night several years after Vernon died. Verna's death was expected. She had congestive heart disease and slept sitting upright on the living room sofa.

Ah, well, at least now her story has been told and expanded just a bit. After all, writers get paid to weave fantastical tales.

That is all. Disperse.

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