Lately, I’ve been writing a lot. Some of it is the regular stuff I do: blog posts about social media or marketing and snippests from the book I’m trying to finish. There have been other pieces though. Some of them are stream of conciousness pieces that allow me to work through my feelings so I can understand them better. I’ve also been writing more creative stuff, though. Sometimes they’re bits of poetry or creative writing that pop into my head from a sudden inspiration. Other times they are memories like the one featured in today’s post. I’ve made a commitment this year to “ship more”, to put more stuff out into the world. So, here is an example of some stuff I’ve been writing lately.
It’s nothing big, just a small memory that visited me in the middle of the day. I hope you enjoy reading it.
Isn’t it funny how a sound or a smell can bring back a memory? I was sitting here today, surfing Facebook after work, and I heard a sound. A car (or I assume it was a car) drove over the speed bump just outside my apartment and there was a loud rattling sound. I realized the speed bump must have scraped the underside of the car. Possibly the rattling sound came from the muffler. At least that’s what I imagined as I looked out my balcony door, unable to see anything but the tree that was blocking my view. Suddenly, I was hearing another sound, that I had not heard for years.
The scream of brakes as someone stood on them to stop suddenly, before anti-lock braking systems came standard in cars. Then the sound of a yelp and a whimper, high-pitched and excruciating. I was on the lawn of my house in a tiny town outside Stockton, Missouri called Jerico Springs, and I was playing wiffle ball. I remember distinctly that it was wiffle ball because we were playing in the front yard, and playing with an actual baseball or softball would have resulted in the ball sailing into the road, into oncoming traffic, or possibly into the forest on the other side of the road.This would not do, thus it was wiffle ball that we played.
I remember being up to bat, and freezing as I heard those sounds. I was turned away, slightly from where I heard the sound, unable to look and verify what my brain already knew. My dog, my
Lady, had just been hit by a car. When I finally did turn to look, which felt like an eternity to me, I saw that I had imagined it correctly. There, stopped, almost, at the edge of my driveway was a small blue car. Two people were now rushing out of the doors and around the front.
I stumbled, dropping my bat at some point. Though I don’t remember it. Then I ran. My sandals slapping across the grass, then skittering across the gravel as I crossed into my driveway and into the street. My Mom ran up behind me. It was then I realized that I was crying, balling really. The people, a man and a woman, turned to me and said how they were sorry, that they didn’t see her in time. By this time, I was kneeling beside Lady in the road, stroking her fur, but still crying. I was unable to stop. I could tell that they wished I would stop, but they didn’t understand.
They didn’t understand that my tears were not because she had been run over by them, but because I had failed to see her run out into the road. I was responsible. Not the people who had accidentally hurt my dog, but the girl who had looked away while she was playing ball with her friends and family. I was content to let my puppy run free without fear of consequences.
It happened so long ago, and yet, I can still feel the emotions that I felt that day. First shock, then fear, and then, finally, an infinite sadness that I thought would never end. And now I am sad again for something that happened years ago in a town far, far away. Isn’t it funny how our memories never really fade. They merely wait, standing in the shadows of stage left, just waiting for us to pull them onto the stage again and shine a light on them. So they stand, center stage, reminding us again that they do exist, and are not to be forgotten.
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