Chapter 19, The Wandering Self
It’s decided: I am certifiably crazy!
I am such a mess right now; I don’t even know what to think. As I try to recollect the past few days, I am sent spinning, a force greater than I could ever hope to overcome. The mind is a mysterious maze of muddled muck! Fortunately, alliteration is on point!
Sarcasm is a wonderful coping tool…but only for a short while. It is amazing how much of the physical world falls away when one is lost within their mind: a dimension all its own, private, secret to the one in possession of said mind.
I am walking a pace that makes me appear to have some urgent errand to run: Purposeful. If only. Of course, I do have a purpose; I just have no way of knowing how to fulfill that purpose.
I keep repeating all that has transpired in the past seven days, a reel stuck on a loop, doomed to play forever. I can’t believe my vacation is half over and I feel farther from the truth than before I got here. My brain, working in overdrive, trying to summarize the information it’s absorbed into a cohesive paragraph of facts, interrupted by questions. Here it goes:
My mother, Rosemarie, made a decision that only my grandmother, Lillian, knew about. What was that decision? Somehow, Oliver, my uncle, found out, affecting a plan set in motion years before. Why? And how? I am assuming Oliver did, or said, something to the wrong people in regards to this secret, that resulted in him being killed. But by whom? My mother was then blackmailed and attacked. But in what order? And, again, by whom? This caused my mother and grandmother to keep me in the cabin in an effort to protect me. What made the bookstore so dangerous? Was there something there? Were they involved in something dark?
Other questions swirling in nauseating form: What exactly happened to Rosemarie? Why was I sent away from Copseville? What did I see that was so horrific? And where did my grandfather, Carter, really go?
The biggest question: Who is my father?
Sigh…Again…But louder and deeper. I can’t help but question the series of events from the past week. Did they happen as I recall? Half of my reality of time spent here during the present has been in my mind. Between dreams and visions of the past, what is real?
I fold my arms around my chest, wishing for a jacket. The temperature the lowest it’s been since I arrived, the breeze harsher, more of a swooping wind desperate to make its presence known to all who have ventured into Mother Nature. Crisp is the word to describe the conditions of the Outside. The crunching under my feet startle me, this being the first time I am aware of the noise coming from my quick stride. I look around, seeing rays of light filter through the canopy high above; few of the fallen leaves and ferns still retaining drops of dew, now glistening where the light cascades across their surfaces.
My shoes are wet. So are my feet. There’s lack of foresight for you – sarcasm again – and I roll my eyes at myself. I realize I have no idea where I am. I started on the trail that leads from the cabin to Overlook Pass, only now understanding I have headed north instead of east. The odd thing, I am still on a path of some sort. It’s almost as if my body knew where to take me, while my mind was busy with other things.
God, the human flesh is an interesting mystery of wonders! I am in awe…of God. What an intricately delicate form to have created, that is just as equally strong. Mind blowing…of course it could be argued my mind is already blown…
I choose to get lost in my thoughts, to prevent a detour my body does not want. If I start to think about where I am walking I may actually get lost – of course, I know the highway is to the east. My mind wanders to the three people that have rallied around me: Stella, Todd, and Ava. What a blessing God has bestowed upon me. The only problem, I have no idea who to be around them. I do not even know who I am, so how am I to be when in their presence?
Stella: my rock. I know that whatever form I exist, she will always be my best friend, caring about what is best for me.
Ava – this one is harder. I knew her in a former life. Based on my recollections, though there are few, we had fun together. Honest, wholesome fun. I wonder what secrets we shared. It’s evident there are secrets we didn’t share. How long did we know each other? Can we rekindle our lost friendship? Can we start anew? I have to assume she still cares, leading me to believe she was terribly hurt by the events of the past. Can we heal our scars together?
Todd. What can I say? He is a beautiful man that has chosen me while being slapped in the face with my varying crazy. He is obviously a strong secure man. He is tender and warm. He is smart and mischievous. He is wonderful. I can’t help but wonder, what will we be like when we have the answers and everything that has brought us together has dissipated into the past? When will I become boring to him?
It has been seven days. Am I allowed to give myself a break?
It just now dawns on me that I left the cabin without letting them know where I went, or that I left. Once I heard I lived above the bookstore…
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I walked through the woods to the south side of town. Looking before me, I notice I am standing in front of the back entry to the bookstore. Is this how I walked to and from town and the cabin? Makes sense that there would be a path between the two locations. The path is only one and a half miles. It also makes sense I would be used to coming in the rear entry. A flash of the man running into the woods from the cabin graces the forefront of my mind. What if he came from town instead of Overlook Pass? I feel as if I have a puzzle but only half of the pieces…Will this picture ever be complete?
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Believe it or not – I’m not sure if I do – the current owners of Reticence Unlocked actually are fans of Lillian Sanders! That part of my delusion was, well, not a delusion. Insert smiley face here!
But, I cannot smile. I am not sure what I have said to this lovely couple to gain their trust in me, but whatever it was, they had no hesitation of letting me in. Maybe they fear I will need psychiatric help after the other day. They certainly remember it – it seems my delusion began before the “tour” of the rooms in the back of the shop. It amazes me how the mind works, to ease us into transitions within the mind. I can’t help but think my own mind has tricked me. And that makes me a little salty.
Anyhow, here I am, with the couple in tow, though at a distance. I think they just want to make sure I don’t freak out. I touch surfaces, running my fingers across desks, chairs, counters, willing them to speak to me. I want them to share their memories. I realize that what will probably have the most impact on my memory is the apartment I grew up in. I am not sure that I am ready for such an event; however, I know I must move forward. How will I get up there? Is it presumptuous to ask? Will they be offended? I am secretly grateful I am alone. Todd, Stella, and Ava left behind. Time has passed, nerve not building. When will they tire of me? I tell myself to just bite the bullet. What’s the worst that will happen, they say no?
Ask and you shall receive.
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