Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Spouse was away, I was horribly alone, and our house, unfamiliar as it was back then, seemed vast. Lonely, I telephoned my mother, but she was stifling her yawns, about to turn in for the night. She passed me on to my brother. The sun was beginning to set on my side of the world.
"Why don't you," my brother said to me, as cheerily as though he were suggesting a fairground visit on a sunny afternoon with a crowd of friends, "rent a scary movie tonight?" He named one such frightener that he had lately seen.
"I don't know," I said. But I certainly did know, and I intended to avoid such calamities.
"Go on," he coaxed, aware of my tendency to be chilled at the slightest provocation.
"It's too late anyway," I retorted. "It's going to get dark soon, and of course I don't have a car. And, oh, too bad, I don't have a membership card for any of the videostores."
"Then take a bus, and get one," said my relentless sibling.
At exactly that point in time I ought to have brought up the fact that there were probably no more buses running, or that I had a supper to cook. Instead I said to him, to myself, "why not? I'll do it."
My brother was pleased to be victorious, and shortly thereafter I was riding a bus into town.
I felt awfully grown-up as I signed on the dotted line for my very own video club card, and brave as I selected my brother's film choice.
I was just in time: I caught the last bus home.
As I twisted the key in the front door I glanced up at the sky, with its shrinking shreds of precious sunlight, and I all of a sudden remembered that Spouse was not home. But I had a promise to keep; I cooked my supper and settled down to watch the spooky cinematic offering.
The usual cliches followed: the house creaked, shadows danced. And yet, I did what I set out to do- I sat through the entire film.
The desperate, midnight telephone call I made to a friend, half-way through- best forgotten, I think. Once she knew what my agenda was, she gently set me back on the track to completing the spine-tingling odyssey by refusing to indulge my dawdling any further.
Best forgotten, because after all, I did what my brother challenged me to do. Still, I wish he had chosen a jolly comedy.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 5:24 PM