Daily Doodle: Josephine
Song of the Day: Stand by Me by Ben E. King
Musical Pipe Dream: I approach a man that’s panhandling and I ask him if he’s interested in singing a song. Anything, it’s his choice. I’ve got a PVC bucket and a paint brush and I sit down on the side of a planter that’s full of tanbark and he starts singing Stand by Me. I play background beats on the PVC bucket alternating between drumming with the stick and slightly lifting the bucket with the side of my shoe.
Short Fictional Story: Contagious Memories
Betty found out about memory contagions when she was eight years old.
It used to be popular to have chicken pox parties so that kids could get it over with at a somewhat planned time. Betty went over to Marcy’s house because she and her sister both had the chicken pox. Their cousin Janet was also there. She lives on the coast and her mom drove her all the way there just to try and get the chicken pox during summer break. The party was a success and they all got the chicken pox. Unfortunately, Betty caught a cold, too. It was a really bad cold that kept her in bed all day. She could remember being really bummed out because she was planning to spend her time in the living room playing Nintendo for the duration of the chicken pox.
Betty started to have really bad dreams. She thought it was just because she was sick and on so much cough medicine. But these dreams were too real and too much for an eight year old mind to conjure up. Somebody was hurting her in these dreams. In them, there was always something gold shining in her face that she couldn’t avoid. Betty didn’t understand what was happening to her, but it was scary and she couldn’t breathe.
She got over the cold within a week or two and the dreams seemed to have subsided but she could never forget them or the way they made her feel.
Months passed and the first half of school was finally over. Betty was excited for winter break. Her parents and their friends decided to have a “Friends & No Family Holiday Party” in the spirit of keeping everybody happy and not making either spouse see each other’s in-laws. Marcy’s family came and Janet’s family was able to join them, too. Betty was happy to see them since the only time she had met Janet was at the chicken pox party. Now they had school pictures to exchange and cookies to eat.
Everybody arrived and Betty skipped down the hallway to greet the guests. Suddenly, she froze. In the doorway was the outline of a figure holding a crockpot. Janet rushed over to help with the dangling electric cord and that’s when Betty saw his face. It was the man from her dreams. Her nightmares. She was so scared, she peed. It seeped through her tights and dripped onto the floor.
Betty’s parents were embarrassed for her and blurted out, “You think you’re in the clear when they’re past five, but it still happens!”
Betty was dry heaving once her parents got her to her room. They were trying to get her to take a quick bath but she refused to take off her clothes. She told her parents about her dreams and that it was Janet’s dad who was hurting her in them. They told me it was just a coincidence. None of them had ever met or seen Janet’s dad before that night.
Betty was such a wreck that her parents decided to end the party and send everybody home with “Take Away Holiday Packs”. Everybody was understanding. Somebody joked that the take away packs were actually a good idea for future parties with their in-laws. Betty peeked out the door when they were getting ready to leave. Janet’s dad said goodbye and smiled. The hallway light was at just the right angle to reflect off of his four gold front teeth.
She was too young then to realize what she knew.
That was the last time Betty ever saw Janet. Betty believes it’s because she couldn’t help Janet that she’s so involved with her research. Many people say they have weird dreams when they’re sick. Why is the common cold so common? It may be another way for us to communicate.