Monday, August 07, 2006
This Heart of Mine
Hello, Blog People. It's me, Wilbur.
So. A lot's been happening around here, as you well noticed. By now the reporters have gone, and things are trying to get back to normal. But Bailey'll get her knickers in a snit if I keep talking about it. She's already giving me the Eye as she types my words. The Scenes and Beans bloggers ain't supposed to talk about the elephant in the living room, see. Fine, then, I'll talk around it. But I'm gonna tell you why the murder and Paige Williams' trouble and all affected me so much.
First I got to back up a bit. I was as surprised as most folks 'round here that when I went in for a triple-bypass they found a heart beating inside me. Thought to St. Pete I had lost that thing back when my daughter died in '75. Took it out, locked it in a box, tossed the box up in the attic with the rest of the foolishness of bygone years, and mailed the key to a dead letter office in Albuquerque. But all these years later the docs told me there really was a heart in there, pumping as well as could be expected for all the gunk in my arteries. Imagine that.
Then after I got out of the hospital--it happened. I saw my daughter, Diana, again. The first day I was able to walk down Main Street, there she was. Young woman was working in Sarah Wray's Simple Pleasures shop, across the street from Java Joint. Girl was adjusting some nonsense they have in the shop window. (Bailey's just shot me a look. It's not nonsense if you like soft and frilly things, or candles and whatnot; I just got no use for it.)
Back to my story. I got a good look at the girl's eyes and criminently if they weren't the same aquamarine as Di's. Hadn't never seen that color eyes anywhere outside my baby's face and there it was. The girl's face was even framed by raven's-wing black hair cut short--like Diana's looked when it grew in after the chemo. If I'd still had all that gunk in my arteries, my ticker would've quit for sure. As it was I barely made it to my stool at Java Joint, and another ten minutes 'til I could tell Bailey I'd seen a ghost.
The girl, Paige Williams, came into Java Joint a few days later and all I could do is gawp at my Diana. Carla Radling told me later the girl must've thought I was a decrepit old sex fiend the way I was staring, but I think that was mostly so Carla could call me decrepit and old.
When I first saw Paige's eyes--that was the first day since Diana died that I really wanted to be alive. Not that I was suicidal before then, but I could take or leave life, made no difference to me. My scar became a trophy, a badge of honor. My heart was still beating and I had something to show for it.
Now Blog People, I'm not gonna get all gooshy here and tell you to carpe your diem and all that, because that's not me. And if you're readjusting your life based on advice from an ol' geezer on the Internet then you're a bigger fool than I am. But I will say this: I've shown my scar to every man, woman, child, and four-legged friend in town a dozen times and more. They've groused and they've groaned and they're tired of it, I know. But they all--without saying it--are as glad to see it as I am to show it. (Bailey's giving me another look. Maybe I'm exaggerating about their enthusiasm.) What I mean is the folks 'round here understand and appreciate that I'm alive. That there's a heart under that fishbelly seam, not the bag of sawdust we all along suspected I had.
Blog People, if you don't want to visit a place where folks give a rip about the simple fact you're alive, then maybe you need to try one of those blood pressure machines at the pharmacy and check for a pulse of your own.
Anyway, this is why I'm rootin' for Paige. You all read the papers; you know what I'm talkin' about. (Bailey's givin' me her Eye again.)
So now that it's a mite quieter around here, come visit Kanner Lake. Stop by Java Joint and say hi. (Before you get on back home.) Just remember like I told you last time--stay off the first stool at the counter. It's mine.
Hats off to you for your post.
I knew you change after Diana died, and you never recovered your jovial self. Frank and I both missed the old Wilbur, but we still loved you. And now that you mention it, I do see the resemblance between Diana and Paige, and they were both too young for all this tragedy.
p.s. Baily, the blog is a wonderful break for me from all of the craziness at the paper. It's a good reminder that Kanner Lake is still Kanner Lake, despite the horrific recent crime.
Links to this post:
Bailey Truitt ~ Java Joint owner
Leslie Brymes ~ reporter extraordinaire
Carla Radling ~ realtor at your service
Wilbur Hucks ~ ya gotta love him
Jake Tremaine ~ retired logger
Ted Dawson (S-Man) ~ sci-fi writer
Hank Detcher ~ pastor and friend
Janet Detcher ~ keeps Hank in line
Bev Trexel ~ retired teacher
Angie Brendt ~ Bev's best pal
Sarah Wray ~ Simple Pleasures owner
Jared Moore ~ Kanner Lake Times
LEARN MORE ABOUT KANNER LAKE
A Christian Worldview of Fiction
Mary Ann Diorio
Girl's Write Out
Joy in the Litter Box
A Life in Pages
Pieces of Me
Readin N Writin with Patricia
Robin Lee Hatcher's Write Thinking
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