Father or Paddy as I thought of him, because that’s what my Mother called him, when she was in a good mood, was devouring his burger and fries, although he was not drinking the stale coffee I served him. I had to laugh to myself over that because he thought he was an expert on coffee. He had to have the best brand and it had to be ground just so and brewed so many minutes. I wondered how he liked the lukewarm coffee I served him that had been sitting there for a few hours? I thought he wouldn’t be coming here anymore, which was of course my purpose in being so obnoxious to him. That and I was really angry at him for leaving us again with out so much as a goodby.
I was angry and at the same time I was relieved that he was gone, because he was making Mother miserable and they were always arguing. Also Anna and I had a lot more freedom when he wasn’t there. Not that we got into trouble but we did like to be able to go wherever and whenever we wanted.
We were Catholic school girls for crying out loud and we had so many guilt trips laid on us, mostly by the priests and nuns, that we wouldn’t know how to be “wild,” which was the phrase of the day for young people, even if we wanted to. Our idea of a good time was to go to the library, the movies or to a school dance. At this time we really hadn’t started dating, so we just got together with our friends at school or at the school dances and those times we were in with our friends whose company we enjoyed.
As I was waiting on people, I saw that Paddy was trying to get my attention but I pretended not to notice and kept my back turned. A few minutes later Trudy went over to see if he wanted anything else and they spoke for a few minutes before he got up and headed for the door. I happened to be waiting on several people at the soda fountain so my attention was diverted and I did not see him leave.
I don’t know what he expected of me, he is the one who left us so many times that I couldn’t remember. And the last time was the last time! Mother had it with him and she swore she would never take him back. Don’t know what he thought I could do about the situation, if anything. Sure I sat with him and his buddies while they played poker and told stories about the war. Most of them were too old to be in the war anyway but it didn’t stop them from telling the stories. The only reason he was drafted at forty- two was because he had deserted his family! Then he didn’t want his allotment sent to us until he had to, because the Army took that decision out of his hands.
If it were up to him we would be still living in the shack with the rain coming through the holes in the roof. Why Mother had taken him back at all, I didn’t know, he was never a help to us. I suppose he thought now that Anna and I were getting older, we would be working and bringing in money to the family and he wouldn’t have to work much, if at all.
After he left, Trudy came over and said, “He left this for you,” as she handed me two dollars.
I took the money and put it in my uniform pocket and noticing the look on her face said, “What’s with you?”
“How could you treat your Father like that?” she said.
“Don’t question me unless you know what you are talking about!” I snapped back.
She let it drop then and we went back to our respective duties.
I did not know it then but that was the last time I saw my Father. I was fourteen.
The stories I am going to tell you are based on real events. The names have been changed due to the confidential nature of the subject matter. Also, some other changes have been made to make the story flow. These events happened during the late 1980’s through the early 1990’s. I worked on the Mental Health Inpatient Unit as a Clerk. I was working a three-day weekend, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It was a twelve-hour day for three days, totaling thirty-six hours. The hours were grueling but we had four days off which more than made up for the long hours that we worked.
My story begins on a bright October Sunday afternoon. We got the call that a patient had gone AWOL, which I promptly told the Charge Nurse who then told me to announce it over the loudspeaker. This was standard procedure, first the announcement, then everyone who wasn’t busy would gather at the Nurse’s Station, which was right behind my station. Both my station and the Nurse’s Station were enclosed with sliding glass windows which enabled us to see out into the Day Room and beyond. This was important so that we could see all the activity and interaction between the patients.
The Charge Nurse would decide who was going to go after the patient. The patient who went AWOL was male and a regular on the Unit. Most of the people chasing him, knew him well as he had been admitted into the Inpatient Unit on many occasions. So a few of the HT’s, PT’s and sometimes the Charge Nurse herself, would go after the patient if we were shorthanded. This time the Charge Nurse decided she was going to join the others to go after the AWOL patient. Security was also alerted, usually consisting of one person who patrolled the parking lot for patients who may be wandering around. We kept in touch through walkie talkies then, since it was the early 1990’s.
There were four people plus security looking for the AWOL patient. He was spotted running through the parking lot, heading towards the ER (emergency room). The hospital was a short distance from the Unit and the ER entrance was the first door you came to from the parking lot. The patient was running at a pretty good clip and had almost reached the door to the ER, when Jennifer, the Charge Nurse, who was the closest to the patient, fell down on one knee.
She threw her hands down to break her fall and let out a cry as her knee hit the pavement. Blood started to spurt out of her injured knee when all of a sudden the patient, instead of running into the ER as he intended, stopped in his tracks, turned toward the injured Charge Nurse as though he wanted to help. He said, “You better be careful Jennifer.”
He then turned back towards the hospital door which opened automatically and disappeared through the ER entrance with the others following closely at his heels.
The prompts are very useful but sometimes they just don’t click or give you any ideas for a post. Then it is best to just go about your business and do a post on something that blows up your skirt or pants, whatever you happen to be wearing at the time. I would say for me the prompts sometimes give me an idea and I can roll with it, with no problem; then I just type like a demon. Then again, which is usually the case, I go with my own ideas and I find that usually I start typing and either do something that I think is good, or other times I have a problem coming up with ideas and struggle and maybe just give up or produce something that I think is crap. Of course it helps to be in the Zone and when that happens I can go on and on forever it seems and it all feels good. We all know how that feels.
Even with non fiction which I have been doing lately, I think it is mostly depending on your memory to come up with the stories, you still need to put it in a story form that will keep people interested and want to read your work. Otherwise it is not good!
So while I like to have the prompts to maybe help me come up with ideas when I am fresh out, I really do not depend on them for a post. But an idea may spring from a prompt that you may have never had without it,
Ta Da! Introducing my new Title and Tagline
Writer and Artist in Progress
I am taking your advice, all you worker bees at Word Press et al and changing my title and tagline. Feel better already! I think it explains what I am trying to do on my Blog. Only problem is I wonder if my followers will be able to find me with the new title and tagline. I will have to check on that. I like the way it looks and sounds. So this is my Post for today!
It may not be twinkling but it is a beautiful light.
I suppose there is something to be said for either wanting everything or wanting nothing. Realistically, I think we all know that we can’t have everything as we see when we look at the movie stars with their lives splattered all over the magazines, gossip rags and on the internet. They would probably like to have their privacy from the media but by the same token, they would not like to give up their lives in the movies, tv, etc.
So they and they families suffer, by not having them around as much as they would like; but the money they earn is so much that they would never be able to give it up. They already have everything they could ever want, the beautiful homes, the exotic cars. the best food. Money for the kids to go to college. And except for the privacy they long for, there is not much else they want or need. They would be in the ‘want nothing’ category.
On the other hand, there is the average or below average person who is working two jobs or not working at all and maybe collecting unemployment if they are lucky. These people would be in the ‘want everything category.’ They want a house in a good neighborhood, and of course a good job making an excellent salary. Also a job for the wife would be a plus, making a good salary. They also want a nice car, fairly new because they don’t want big repair bills and enough money to send their kids to college.
So we have the ‘want nothing’ or ‘want everything’ categories. I am not sure which would be more dangerous. On the one hand there is always the possibility of losing everything in the ‘want nothing’ people. They may not be called to a particular movie or TV part that they thought they would surely get. And things go downhill after that and then they lose their house. That is a pretty dangerous position to be in.
Whereas the people in the ‘want everything’ category on the other hand, apply for and get much better jobs with really good salaries. This enables them to finance a larger house with enough bedrooms and bathrooms for everyone in the family. Soon after the kids are accepted into the better colleges and they are all happy as clams.
To sum up then, I think I would rather be in the position of the ‘want everything’ family. Assuming you have the where with all to keep at it until you get that great job, and then your wife gets an equally good job, both with benefits of course. There’s probably a bit of luck in there somewhere but keeping a positive attitude and ability to do a good days work would also be helpful.
So I think it would be more dangerous ‘wanting nothing’, because you have nothing to aim for and there’s always the possibility of losing it all!
I know if I had been given a day to do anything I wanted as a kid, I would have bought one of each of the boxes of candy that were in the machine in the movie house.
Being an avid movie goer from an early age, I of course liked candy. You might say I loved candy! And going to the movies and having all the candy I wanted was my idea of Heaven. But I digress.
Being an adult for many years now, I have different dreams and desires. Not the least of which is Art! I became interested in art late in life but since then I have taken advantage when I could, to not only become an artist but to find occasions to see and appreciate art.
So if I had unlimited funds at my disposal to do anything I wanted for a day, I would travel to places where the greatest art resides. I would start at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, staying at the best hotel in New York City and of course eating at the finest restaurant I could find.
Next onto Paris and the Louvre Museum and again the best hotel and finest restaurant. Then, still in Paris, the Musee de Orsay where I have for a long time, wanted to go to see the painting, “The Artist’s Studio,” by Gustave Courbet which takes up a whole wall of the Musee de Orsay.
Then onto Italy and Rome, and to the Sistine Chapel which is a work of art in itself. Then time permitting on to Milan and Florence.
I realize there may not be enough time to do all that I’ve listed here but I would try to squeeze most of the museums in. Also, may not need the hotels except for showering and changing clothes, etc. The food may be a hurried event, but I will be eating as much as I can of my favorite foods. Pasta in Italy, croissants in Paris with lattes of course. And in New York, deli food would be my favorite, bagels, knishes and like that.
Sounds like the perfect day to me with of course, using as many of the twenty-four hours as possible. I can always sleep later right?
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Wronged Objects.”
If my furniture and other inanimate objects could talk and have feelings, what would I apologize to them for?
Well first I guess I abuse my computer chair the most! I am on it most of the time much to my cat Merlin’s chagrin. He tries to vie for attention first by patting me on the leg, then when that does not work, he puts a little claw into the patting. Then I push him away with a reprimand.
Now to give Merlin a break I must say he is very patient as he does not start this until I’ve been on the computer a few hours. And he also, in addition to wanting my attention he actually wants to sleep on the chair. He also likes to be near the computer for the heat it throw off. It’s gotten so bad, I have even put a hassock next to my chair so he can be close to me and his beloved chair. This works for a while, but soon he is at it again.
And oftentimes, I finally give up and go and do some necessary chore I was supposed to be doing anyway. He is curled up on the chair when I return and often as not, I don’t have the heart to make him get off the chair.
So as far as the chair is concerned I do heartily apologize as it has taken abuse over the years. From both myself and Merlin. In fact, I just had to get a new chair as the old one was worn out. I am still keeping it though and using it at my art board in the bedroom. The chair seems to like it in there, not as much use but always at the ready when necessary!