Tag Archives: loneliness

After The War Part 3: A Rustling

Still life with fruit (with scorpion and frog) by Walter Crane This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.
Still life with fruit (with scorpion and frog)
by Walter Crane
This work is in the public domain in the United States, and those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 100 years or less.

Based on the prompt on Today’s Author: “When the wind blew a certain way, it brought a scent that reminded him of his grandmother’s house.”

When the wind blew a certain way, it brought a scent that reminded her of her grandmother’s house. She had to stay on task but being back in this village so many years later, she could not help turn head. If she walked a little upwind, she was sure she would find the old houses in gardens with their tiny stalls lined up on dusty streets along the railroad.

The first time she spent the night at her grandmother’s house, she was woken up by the train passing by, shaking the whole house like a cradle. She was surprised to see her father still fast asleep.

While staring up at the ceiling, watching the shadow of the train pass by right through her room, she thought about her father’s childhood. He had mentioned a few times how he would run around bare foot, back in the days when he could not pronounce his “r”s. She imagined her own authoritative dad, had she known the word, she would have used charismatic, asking his “mothav” for “bvead” with “buttev” and “sugav”. She giggled.

Her silent laughter froze in mid-air. She sensed motion, the sound of rustling at the window by her bed, a presence. Her heart started thumping, filling the room louder than the train that had just passed. If only her father would wake up. He would know how to deal with it. He would take care of the “presence”.

Instead he inhaled loudly with a touch of snotty snore sitting on his nostrils. The rustling stopped. A second later, she heard it again, too close for her to lie still in her bed. It was touching her, brushing against her hair. She got up screaming. Her father woke up with an instinct to protect his offspring, turned the lights on and grabbed his daughter in a matter of seconds, throwing a threatening glare at the enemy.

In her father’s arms, she shut her eyes, trembling. When her father did not move, she opened her eyes to face the enemy… on the floor. Staring back at them, too afraid to move, except for its chin swelling regularly, was a frog. All this commotion, fear and anxiety was only for… a frog.

Her father let her go. Cranky that his sleep had been interrupted, he told her frogs were all over the place in this town. She could not be so jumpy, away from the protective high concrete walls of the big city. This was one of the safest places they could be, so she better go back to sleep.

After the speech, he caught the frog and set it free through the same window it had gotten in.

A soft touch on her shoulder brought her back to the present. It was time for lunch. She washed the soil off her hands and followed the rest of the volunteers into the food tent.

For lunch, they were serving a root dish she had only eaten at her grandmother’s house before. It was a dish specific to this area, a meal that required tradition in the execution.

Years ago, for dinner, her grandmother had cooked the root that only the locals knew where to find, how to cut and how to cook. The smell of the dish was still lingering in all the rooms long after they had sat in the common room, sharing fruits and eating the corn her grandmother had popped in her special pan.

When she went to bed, the root smell had mixed with popcorn, comforting her to sleep. She opened her eyes only slightly now when the train passed, and let it rock her to sleep with its regular “tuddum, tuddum” lullaby on the rails.

She still found rustling by the window somewhat distressing, but had gotten used to the animals she could not easily find in the city. If it was not a frog, it was a dog; if not, a cat, a sheep or once, even the neighbor’s donkey that had made its way out of the stall.

So when there was some rustling by the window, she did not make much of it. She closed her eyes and let her body waft into slumber in the arms of root and corn…

A hand suddenly grabbed her shoulder. For a split second she took it for her father’s but it was much harsher, and a lot less loving.

“Get down on the floor!” Her father woke up with fear in his eyes, staring beggingly at the man holding his daughter.

She heard thumping and her father painfully screaming, begging for his daughter to be left free while she was locked in an empty room.

Soon, her grandparents’ voices joined the choir of painful begging in between blunt thumps and fierce orders.

She hid under the bed. She expected her father to chase those men away any second, to open the door and hold her, to make everything right, turn everything back to the way they were a few hours ago, eating fruits and popcorn with her grandparents in a root smelling house, where the greatest disturbance was animals gone astray.

This was the last time she saw her father, her grandparents and the house itself. The same night, various other houses were attacked with most people either dragged away into anonymity or killed on the spot.

A greater part of the village was damaged first by the civil war and then by the bombings of origins too obscure and tangled to figure out.

She was dragged from one camp to another on trains and trucks until she was left at the porch of an old woman who took care of a small collection of orphans in her little home as if they were her own.

Now, a grown woman, she was back at this village of her childhood she could not recognize anymore, building a new town from scratch for the a little girl to live in safety with her family, in a house that would be smelling roots only her people could cook while the train scheduled to run again soon rocked their home in peace and only harmless animals slowly approached her window.

Word Count: 1030



Patten Elf Dan Fishes for the Lobster Man by Matt Corrigan This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.      You are free:         to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Patten Elf Dan Fishes for the Lobster Man by Matt Corrigan
This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
You are free:
to share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work
Writing Challenge: Leftovers
For this week’s writing challenge, shake the dust off something — a clothing item, a post draft, a toy — you haven’t touched in ages, but can’t bring yourself to throw away.

I have this friend I love very much, but sometimes while talking to him, I feel like I am crashing into a wall and cannot advance any further, so I switch to “yeah”, “sure” whether I agree with him or not just to keep the friendship rolling.

But I am not rolling anymore, and am stuck a great distance away, back in my solitude, in between the little fences I remember having built as a young girl.

It is surprising to still find them there, that they have not disappeared after such a very long time, and sad that I should need them after so many birthdays…

( I think hormones are making me a little melancholic)

Fresh Dirt

Women Riding a Donkey by Modesto Teixidor y Torres This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.
Women Riding a Donkey by Modesto Teixidor y Torres
This work is in the public domain in those countries with a copyright term of life of the author plus 80 years or less.
Daily Post Weekly Writing Challenge:
Fifty-Word Inspiration: This week, find inspiration in fifty words. Use a fellow blogger’s response to a previous challenge, “Fifty,” as a springboard for this week’s post.

I saw fresh dirt and made a move to touch it.

I saw the hand underneath and tried to hold it.

I heard his voice and responded.

Then silence followed and I was left with no hand to hold or voice to listen to. He was gone, I was left behind…

Wordcount: 50, pure luck!

My first go at ultra flash fiction.

The Waiting

He looked at the clock on the wall. A toilet flushed upstairs. With his eyes, he followed the water flowing through the pipes in the walls. She used to hate this sound. She would say: “We are living in their sewage!” To him, it was relaxing like the sound of waves. However, now the sound of the water only reminded him of the emptiness of the house, with every drop resonating in the hollow rooms squeezed in between the walls.

He looked at her shoes. The pair of shoes she had worn every single day of the last ten years. They were torn at the edges. One of them had a hole on the sole that she had tried to cover with a piece of felt. She loved those shoes. It was part of her daily routine to polish them every evening. The more her shoes shined, the greater the dignity she emanated as she walked.

Being presentable and clean was of utmost importance to her. That is why no one dared to say anything when her vision deteriorated and she could no longer detect the stains on her shoes. Bits of blotches began to accumulate on everything she used to clean. Cleanliness, her signature, began to wear off as the smell of dust and old wooden furniture grew.

The dishes also carried the impact of her weakened eyesight. Bits of grease appeared on the rims of the plates. Whenever he ran his hands on the once smooth china, he would feel the grease forming bumps here and there. Yet, he never uttered a word to her about it. He knew she needed to believe in her abilities as a home maker. As long as no one made a remark about dirt lingering on the kitchen counter, there was peace in the house. As long as she kept the house running, they were reassured that they could carry on.

The fact was that things had not been going quite smoothly but he did not care. The only thing that mattered to him was that they were making it through the day together. One would find what the other had lost. One would remember what the other forgot. One would provide what the other could not.

In the last couple of years, however, what each could do had diminished, and they had learned to live with less. They had been shopping lighter since neither had the strength to carry heavy bags. With their bones losing their mass, high shelf tops were no longer among the parts of the home they visited often. Many photographs and letters placed on top shelves years ago had become parts of their lives rarely remembered, forgotten among papers turned yellow.

The clock rang eleven o’clock. He boiled an egg for lunch and sat to eat it with tomatoes and bread. He did not have much appetite anymore. He did not know much about cooking anyway, with her having taken care of meals ever since they had moved into their first home together.

During lunch, he had a look at the newspaper. He did not read about the country politics anymore. Politics, he deemed, were for those who still had the energy to believe in seeing the outcomes of changes. Nor was he interested in classified ads. They were for people eager to make a fresh start with a new car or a new apartment. He read third page news about lonely old people vandalized in their homes by young drug addicts for silverware in cupboards. He always checked the weather report to decide whether to put on another cardigan and of course he loved crosswords.

Until four o’clock, he did the crosswords. At four, he got up from his sofa, of which the seat had sunk under years of weight, and placed his dinner on the stove. He looked up at the clock on the wall. With each minute the minute move of the handles echoed in the house. The shoes of his late wife were by the door, shining under the dust with the polish she had last applied. The toilet flushed upstairs, and he watched the water flow through the walls.

 And he waited…

Driverless Bus 2: Crying Man

“It’s been months since someone called me dad.”

I heard a crying man mutter at the abandoned city center, kneeling by a deep crater on the ground where it had all started.

Had it been a few months earlier, had I not held the cold dusty hand I had found under the relics of the house where I grew up, and seen the woman who had catered for my every need, who had always held my hand with greatest affection, had I not seen her eyes half shut blood oozing from ears; had I not watched my boyfriend, the man who had brought hope and happiness to me, an escape from every stinging loss I would feel trying to make it through the day, had I not watched him disappear as a crater similar to the one the man was kneeling by opened on one of the busiest streets, I could have empathized with him. I could have knelt by him and cried with him for his loss with greatest sympathy, but the energy I needed to mourn was consumed. I had none left for compassion.

Thus, I followed a stranger I had met a few months ago by a bus and looked away from the crying lonely man…

Shared Freakdom

On a psychiatry website, I read the description of a psychopath. It freaked me out that most of the points listed in the article applied to me. Then I thought, probably they also applied for a lot of other people as well… People are social beings, an almost basic description of human beings. Therefore it is “normal”, acceptable (?), common place (!) to try to adapt to a community.

The article stated that in order to fit into a certain group, trying to hide some aspects of one’s personality is part of what makes a psychopath. Well, if this is enough, then I am one as well.

Thank god, that is not all. You would also have to have extreme ideas and tendencies that would be hard to accept by almost anybody. And according to the article, trying to hide tendencies, one would lose it and display psychopathic behavior.

Reading about personality disorders on a psychiatry website and trying to figure out whether they applied to me also made me think of my adolescence. As an adolescent, I would read through psychiatry magazines and books with a friend and we would believe that we had borderline disorder, schizophrenia or that we were sociopaths and what not.

Now that I am a grown up woman fully aware of the significance of turning towards professional opinions rather than googling for answers on sensitive issues, instead of consulting a shrink, I narrowed down my possible psychological disorders to bipolar type something. The type that has mood swings almost every hour, as I wrote in an earlier post…

Coming back to the website and my reading about it… Reading about the comments that many people had added there, even the videos that they had uploaded of themselves going through a certain phase of their disorder, I realized that their sharing was making everything so much easier. It was helping others express what they were going through and helping them feel less lonely.

Even I felt like I was getting support from a bunch of people that I had never seen, that I was not even interacting with. Merely finding similarities between their stories and mine helped me get a brighter point of view about my life.

Considering the amount of information there is about growing up and teenage tantrums and frustrations, along with all the risks that the Internet may pose for adolescents, I bet had I been a teenager now, the loneliness that accompanied me in those days like a dark cloud blocking my view of reality would have become much lighter, less dense and easier to deal with.

I am glad that there are people sharing their stories with the rest of us and making the transition from birth to death called life so much easier. Helping the likes and “unlikes” of me feel they are not as freakish as they are made to believe through the shared stories. The more we read about shared “freakdom”, the less we freak out…

Coming to Canada (2)

At 5 am, my parents and I arrived at the airport and met my husband and his family. Being grown up and all, we both chose to spend our last night in Turkey with our own parents. Many people were surprised at our choice but I think it makes sense; after all, we would be spending a lot of time in the same house in the days to come.

I was hyper energetic and my heart was racing faster than a purebred on steroids (had to google this). Colors were brighter, future was promising despite the doubts in my head and I was with my hubby whom I trusted to hold my hand whenever I needed (ehem). That was true happiness.

Thank god, I was not naïve enough to believe that these feelings would be ever lasting. I knew that in the months to come, I would be going crazy either looking for jobs and wondering why noone ever responded to my applications or even worse, still waiting for the damn work permit, and of course it was the latter case. I knew that we would be stuck doing the same activities as we would be too broke to “spice up” our daily routines, which would lead to some kind of frustration in our relationship every once in a while. I also knew that I would be feeling very lonely, since lacking a work permit and study permit along with money means there are few ways I could socialize.

Yet, I still did enjoy these first months, as I had enough time to take long walks through the city and daydream about the shops, jobs and lives behind the building walls I passed by. It was once again in these first few months that I did everything I can to find out about events and festivals in the city. I believed that from then on, life could only get better. I thought that as soon as I found a job in this country where human rights are respected, where people can express their wishes freely, where life is easier, our lives would only be on the rise for a better standard of living.

That’s where I was mistaken…