Not A Zombie

Am not!

1. Recently I slouched on a bale of hay, waiting for my son to appear at the bottom of a tube slide attached to a combine machine turned playset. A boy of about 10 popped out of the slide first, then his mom. She stood, wobbly from the fast ride. Her sunglasses caught mine. “He is a special needs boy,” she told me at once, as if I might be judging her for being on the slide. “So I must teach him everything.” I smiled and nodded. “It’s a whole other world,” she said. “I understand,” I assured her, frantically searching for something else to say because I will never understand all she has been experiencing in her world. I didn’t want her to think I was presumptuous, or unfeeling. “Thank you,” she said, shocking me, and lurched after her son who was off to explore the stationary tractors. I was groggy from a night of frequent wakings by my preschooler. I needed coffee injected into my veins. The April heatwave was putting me to sleep…Still. I should have said more. Screams from my son as he popped out of the slide— my sweet, gorgeous little world in action.  I wish I had said more.

No Zombie!

2. We hiked through ploughed fields to a well-attended Easter egg hunt. Our son raced ahead of us, singing something and swinging his Easter basket. I hurried after him, passing a mom who, according to my husband, was saying this to her little boys: And then Jesus returned from the dead. But he wasn’t a zombie.

3. Driving up Topanga Canyon, in and out of exquisitely rounded shadow, my son snoozing in the backseat, jazz on the radio, sun glossing canyon walls—the town center always surprises me, appearing just as I’m sinking into total nature bliss-out.Red light. At first I dismissed her: your average person crossing a street. But her bare feet caught my eye, then the oversized blazer straight out of St. Elmo’s Fire and how her right arm was held strangely because perched on it was an enormous cockatoo, feathers billowing, staring right at me. As the bird puffed, I whispered, “What is this place.”

4. Plopped in an Adirondack chair made not of wood, but recycled materials (is it still an Adirondack, then?), April sky a fat blue ribbon over my yard, I checked email on the Kindle and opened a rejection letter. I deleted it and a mockingbird divebombed my head. As I ran for the house through a fresh pile of dog poop, I heard the ocean—but shook off that delusion along with my soiled running shoes. It was the ocean’s infamous stand-in: the Ventura Freeway, its hiss carried miles to my yard on wind flipping through my manuscript abandoned on the chair, messing with just about everything—rose petals, hose spray, my badly bunned locks, thoughts…How long, how long? Thank you.

Stop pointing at me!

5. Here, PB—an A for effort. HOLD ON NOW—you have a child you play with, a husband you talk to, multiple pets, a house you more than vaguely protect from a wheezy, dustbowl-valley environment, and you write—productively—you can write productively—when not blogging. You are no zombie (yet)! A+

About PB Rippey

Writer, wife, mother, grateful. Fiction, memoir, poetry, kidlit (MG), member SCBWI.
This entry was posted in dog, Fiction, Pets, Writer's Angst, Writing, WTF and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Not A Zombie

  1. Joann Fuller says:

    ok… P… you crack my Sh*t up! I love you & miss you!

  2. Beth Hull says:

    No, you’re not a zombie. Yes, you definitely deserve that A+. Ugh, rejections. I am so glad for family and friends to get me through them! And zombies!

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