The View From My Window (painting & story)

Reply Mon 28 Apr, 2003 07:19 pm
(I used the "At The Window" painting by Richard Earl Thompson) to go with the following story: http://www.richardthompsongallery.com/at_the_window__canvas_prints_.htm

By BumbleBeeBoogie

From my second-story sitting room window on a warm Fourth of July afternoon, I first noticed him while brushing my porcelain doll's blonde tresses and arranging her blue satin gown. He climbed down from the touring car, with its oiled black top and isinglass windows, all splotched and milky from the sun's unrelenting rays. He sat next to his father in the grassy field watching the baseball game, hollering and pounding his little fist into his mitt, just like the big boys in the game.

Years passed. A new grocery store now occupied one corner of the former sandlot baseball field. I was in my sitting room, admiring my new bobbed hairdo and crimson nail polish. The Model T's backfire rattled the glass in my window and brought me running in time to see him jump down from the rumble seat, cheered on by his friends. He'd changed since I last saw him, all muscular angles and long legs, much taller than I imagined he'd be.

In time a pharmacy and hardware store were erected next to the enlarged and remodeled grocery store. The town was growing as the young men returned after the war. I thought I saw him again with a young blond woman clutching his arm. But I couldn't be sure because his face had changed, no doubt ravaged by memories of Bastogne and Auschwitz.

Stately old oak trees were wrenched from the ground and replaced by a large asphalt parking lot when the old buildings were razed. A new supermarket complex changed the familiar view from my window. The sound of honking horns and gasoline fumes replaced the beauty and perfume of field wildflowers.

When next I saw them they were three. His son rode high on his broad shoulders, batting the blue awning above the windows as they entered the store. His eyes looked less haunted, I thought. He's recovered now, at peace, and content with his life.

Several years passed before I saw him again, alone, as he left his Volkswagen van in the parking lot. He entered the new video rental store that had taken over the space formerly occupied by my favorite bookseller. I put on my glasses to be sure it was him because the view from my window grows more blurred day by day. His face was framed by graying sideburns. Blue bell-bottom jeans rode low on his still slim hips. His stride wasn't so long or so strong, but, no doubt about it, it was him.

They suddenly appeared later that year driving up to the pharmacy in a sleek silver Honda Accord. She was so thin and frail, her steps seemed uncertain. He held her arm tightly as they walked across the lot. I'd just bought new glasses with thick heavy lens to clear away the blurs clouding my view of the world so I could continue to crochet tiny sweaters and booties for new grandbabies. But even through my old eyes, his worried look was clear.

I was shocked when next I saw him, still driving his silver Accord. He sat for several minutes, gathering strength before leaving the car. Then cautiously, with the help of a cane, he stood up on his feet, but they wouldn't move. No matter how hard he tried, no matter how many messages his brain sent to his feet, they only made little stabbing tap tap taps, an inch at a time, like a stutterer unable to speak. Cars whizzed around him, children raced by on their bikes. No one seemed to notice the old man inching his way across the parking lot. I screamed silently, please God, won't someone take away his car keys and help him safely along his way home?

It's getting harder for me to see my window's world through milky cataract eyes where I can no longer go. I hear the pulsing sound of a marching band and firecrackers exploding nearby. It must be another Independence Day. It's odd he's never looked up at my window, not once in all these long years. He doesn't know I've been watching him passing in and out of my view.

Has anyone out there noticed me? Does anyone out there care?
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 05:06 pm
[quote]Has anyone out there noticed me? Does anyone out there care?[/quote]

I have, and do.
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Reply Wed 30 Apr, 2003 08:07 pm
Aunt Bea,

Finally a story from you. It was worth the wait. More.
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Reply Fri 2 May, 2003 08:14 pm
BBB, I almost missed you--so glad I looked up, or scrolled down.

I would love to hear more of this touching story. I found myself longing to see her face as she looked out the window and I kept hoping that the man would look up.

Asherman is right, we need to read more of your work.
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Reply Sat 3 May, 2003 08:55 am
How BBB came to write "The View From My Window"
Diane, you will be surprised to learn the source of my inspiration for The View From My Window.

I was driving down a busy city street one day and halted at a corner stoplight. A very thin old man with a cane started to cross the street. He obviously had survive a stroke because he trying to walk with the typical tiny steps, tap tap tap, as he tried to reach the other side of the street before the light changed. He grew anxious as he reached the middle of the intersection and his feet just tap tap tapped in place, making no progress. All of the car drivers waited when the light changed while one man got out of his car and took the old man by his arms and helped him to the sidewalk---out of harms way. Everyone waved at the good samaritan as he returned to his car and then drove away.

I couldn't get that scene out of my head and wondered about the old man's life. So, a few days later I wrote The View From My Window and the life of an youngster to old age. I created the person at the window from her youth to old age to observe the man's progress.

So, Diane, you can get inspiration from every day events to write stories. You only have to recognize the potential.

I've written several stories, all based on real events in my life. I will see what I can find to post here.

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