Who fascinates me and why
Who fascinates me and why, would have to be the people in my tribe who like to tell stories, that and the people who do good in the world, who selflessly give back to the community.
Our fascinating elders
The elderly most of all, who talk to me and share their stories, giving advice. I hang onto their every word, they are funny, have lived, experienced much. Their eyes, droopy, muscles failing to offer to support their eyeballs, tears collecting in the corners, skin folding loosely around their bones, covered in bruises. Either shuffling around the traps, or the fit and healthy ones pounding the pavement. I wait to be invited to chat, sometimes I stalk them, hang around hoping they notice me.
I am a shopping centre stalker
I am a shopping centre stalker, (I need counselling don’t I) our eyes meet, I smile, they smile back, and we connect. Maybe a few sentences, maybe more, depending on time or willingness a story. To lay a gentle hand on their arm encouraging more.
I look into their faces, sit beside them on a bench, or stand chatting on the street it doesn’t matter. A smile, an ear to listen, questioning, silence where needed. Their secrets shared.
Our elder’s memories are precious; to be captured before they are lost to us. In photos that we gaze upon, wondering what was going on, where was that, who was that, why was it special?
Trying to capture dads memories are difficult as we live in different countries, never fear I have a plan. I have a 24-hour flight ahead (bit extravagant I know), and am arming myself with a tape recorder. No escaping me unless he decides to jump. He has done that before but it was in a controlled environment and he had a jumping buddy. He was 81, I was beside myself, he survived, as did I.
My mothers generation and hers were a whispering lot, many a secret taken to the grave.
A family gathering, woman sitting around a table heaving with cold meats, salads, teapot, cups and saucers. A promise, of a jam and cream sponge ready for slicing. Clatter of plates, cutlery, and chink of teacups, no space spared.
One leans forward, head bowed, the rest follow suit, not wanting to miss a piece of gossip, elbows bent on the table supporting themselves, heads swivelling to make sure no young ears are near by. I can hear the low murmurings. I, pretending to get a drink from the kitchen, which is just far enough out of reach for me to hear, my cheeks flush, wondering who was going to get it this time.
Then all eyes swing towards the children who are outside surrounding the swing set, playing a game of I spy. A fifteen year old family friend is watching over the littlest, her waist thickened, she is tall, wearing a baggy dress, now I understand an unlikely disguise. I just thought she had put a bit of weight on.
Nods all round from the ladies at the table, more whispers. She was never seen again. I will not forget her sad face, her silence; I don’t remember her saying boo. I often wondered what happened to her, she was outcast, shamed, hidden from view and never to be seen again.
I vowed then to never be part of that adult whispering secrets circle, so far I’ve kept that promise and I don’t intend to break it. Makes me uncomfortable, I don’t like secrets and I can’t lie. My mother realised my inability to lie when, as a teenager, I was questioned by the police, a story for another time. I can keep a secret, I promise.
Next week, what tattoos you have and their meaning