Sunday, January 22, 2012
ELWW -- last class assignment - a story within a story .......
ONE – TRACK MIND
by Audrey Austin
I think of Thomas Friedman’s words, my world is flat right now. To Brian I say, “It’s way too soon after his surgery!”
But Brian is determined. “He’s been begging all morning. He wants to go.”
“He doesn’t need a walk today!” I insist. Taut with anxiety I close my eyes for just a second and pray for cessation of my mind’s melee.
I open my eyes to see one best friend, face somber and unrelenting, dressing my other best friend, tail wagging, in his little red woolen coat.
I persist, “His resistance is low. He’s still on antibiotic. If you take him out he’s going to be sniffing other dogs’ poop and God only knows what kind of bacteria will attack him.”
Brian just gives me that look and says, “Your imagination is fantastic. You’re being ridiculous!”
Am I being ridiculous? What does he know?
“Brian, on-line yesterday one of my friends was posting about all the salt on the roads. Do you know how painful it is when that road salt gets into a dog’s paws?”
“There are no roads in the woods,” he responds as though I am the child and he my mentor.
“Oh, all right then,” I concede. “But don’t go –“and the door slams before I can finish my sentence, -- too far.”
Don’t go too far, I’m thinking, and as I stand alone in the kitchen it is my dear mother’s voice I am hearing. I’m nine years old, excited about showing off my new bathing suit at the beach. “Race you to the water!” my brother shouts.
Bobby beats me, of course. And when we reach the water’s edge I hear my mother shouting, “Don’t go out too far!”
Bobby always was a show-off; always wanted to win; always wanted to be the best.
My brother drowned that day.
I stand frozen on the cold, wet sand, listening to my mother’s cries, as the lifeguards kneel over Bobby’s still body.
And now what’s taking him so long? I stand, impatient, watching out the window. He should have been back twenty minutes ago.
Waiting! I’m deflated.
At last I hear Brian’s key in the side door. I heave a sigh of relief, move into the living-room where I sit and pick up my book. My two best friends are home. My world is round again.