I roll onto my side and stare out the venetian blinds at the blue sky beyond. After a few minutes I'm lulled into a sort of peace. The sky, the sky--same as it always was.
The more distressing the memory, the more persistent it's presence.
I scan the room. Catherine is writing quickly, her light brown hair falling over her face. She is left-handed, and because she writes in pencil her left arm is silver from wrist to elbow.
The sky the sky- same as it always was.
After sixty-one years together, she simply clutched my hand and exhaled.
I stare at her for a long moment. I want to kiss her. I want to kiss her more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.
The thought has cheered me, and I'd like to hang onto that. Must protect my little pockets of happiness.
Afterward she lies nestled against me, her hair tickling my face. I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin.
I strain to hear, but my old ears, for all their obscene hugeness, pick up nothing but snippets:
Then I lie down on the horse blanket and drift into a dream about Marlena that will probably cost me my soul.
All I can do is put in time waiting for the inevitable, observing as the ghost of my past rattle around my vacuous present. They crash and bang and make themselves at home, mostly because there's no competition. I've stopped fighting them. They're crashing and banging around in there now. Make yourselves at home, boys. Stay awhile. Oh, sorry- I see you already have. Damn ghost.
I stroke her lightly, memorizing her body. I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I lie motionless, savoring the feeling of her body against mine. I'm afraid to breathe in case I break the spell.
There is no question that I am the only thing standing between these animals and the business practices of August and Uncle Al, and what my father would do--what my father would want me to do--is look after them, and I am filled with that absolute and unwavering conviction. No matter what I did last night, I cannot leave these animals. I am their shepherd, their protector.
Although there are times I'd give anything to have her back, I'm glad she went first. Losing her was like being cleft down the middle. It was the moment it all ended for me, and I wouldn't have wanted her to go through that.
I used to think I preferred getting old to the alternative, but now I'm not sure. Sometimes the momotony of bingo and sing-alongs and ancient dusty people parked in teh hallway in wheelchairs makes me long for death. Particularly when I rememver that I'm one of the ancient dusty people, filed away like some worthless tchotchke.
They grew fat and happy--the horses, not the children, or Marlena for that matter.
And don't miss Frank Otto, the world's most tattooed man! Held hostage in the darkest jungles of Borneo and tried for a crime he didn't commit, and his punishment? Well, folks, his punishment is written all over his body in permanent ink!
Is where you're from the place you're leaving or where you have roots?
We traveled for two weeks with a pickled hippo.
But it all zipped by. One minute Marlena and I were up to our eyeballs, and the next thing we knew the kids were borrowing the car and fleeing the coop for college. And now, here I am. In my nineties and alone.
It's as though I've been sleepwalking and suddenly woken to find myself here
When I first submerged my feet into frigid water, they hurt so badly I yanked them out again. I persisted, dunking them for longer and longer periods, until the cold finally blistered.
Dear God. Not only am I unemployed and homeless, but I also have a pregnant woman, bereaved dog, elephant, and eleven horses to take care of.
It's just a crazy damned life, that's all ...
Why the hell shouldn't I run away with the circus?
Do you have any idea how much an elephant drinks?
I've decided it's not about me at all. It's a protective mechanism for them, a way of buffering themselves against my future death, like when teenagers distance themselves from their parents in preparation for leaving home.
Hey! Shouts Camel. There ain't no woman in the world worth two bottles of whiskey!
Just when you're getting the hang of life, it knocks your legs out from under you and stoops your back. It makes you ache and muddies your head...
Honey, I plan to marry you the moment the ink is dry on that death certificate.
More Sara Gruen Quotations (Based on Topics)
Life - Death & Dying - World - People - Man - Home - Body - Woman - Faces - Dogs - Memory - College - Horse - Business & Commerce - Happiness - Work & Career - Animals - Fathers - War & Peace - View All Sara Gruen Quotations
More Sara Gruen Quotations (By Book Titles)
- Water for Elephants
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