The wall was a myriad of things – objects, photos, cut out magazine pictures, headlines, random words, scraps of fabric, and pieces of stone and glass. This was her storyboard. In some forgotten time and place she had lost herself. Did it begin after marriage? Did it begin in childhood? Or had it taken place at birth? She was misplaced, a character out of mythical time that didn’t quite fit anymore, a fairy child stolen away from the mists of the willow tree branches and forced to live in a humans made up world. Every morning she took her cup of coffee and tiptoed to the storyboard. She silently walked it from one end to the other and then from center to periphery. It was the only way she had to remind herself of who she was.
She died alone. Which is how she always felt so it seemed fitting at the time. Her family was right outside the door, holding vigil, praying to a God she had never quite been able to believe in. That was fitting too. Them praying to their God and her in that hospital bed alone. They wouldn’t understand how fitting it was. The nurse came to tell her that she had a heart attack and they had to do surgery to unclog the artery and her family was all there – where, she wondered – and that it would all be okay. Okay. Then the nurse went away and she was left alone, drifting in between gray clouds of soft gauze. She knew she was alone then and it was comforting, a familiar feeling in an alien place. Just before the bubble in her brain burst, pushing her brain violently against her brain stem and ending her life, she wondered silently to the cotton ceiling, “What happened to my story?”
If stories create us, then can we create our own story? This story is not mine, not the one I saw myself living. Where is the Jeep? The long hair? The published novels on the shelf? The book signings and the talk shows? Where are the beads and windchimes? The log cabin on a mountain overlooking the tumultuous ocean on the Oregon coast? Where are the hardwood floors and the canopy bed with the wispy fly in the breeze curtains? Where are the flowers arranged haphazardly in thrown away found again vases? Where is the gold charm bracelet that tinkles softly as I type these words that don’t seem to want to come? Where is my story? Could it be that I simply have not created it yet? Is it waiting out there? Are the muses holding on to it patiently waiting for me to come for it? I know the story. I know the story deep down in my heart. Somehow I keep forgetting to live it.
K. Y. Hamilton, BA, MA - Copyright 2006