Thursday, March 1, 2012

Wretched . . . Pitiful

I sat opposite my father. Clamped my lips to stifle the sob working its way up and out. I gripped my ribs and rocked. My smart daddy.
            I glanced at my husband. “He’ll never smile again. Ever.”
            I jumped up. Scraped the tears from my cheeks. Pierced my hair with my fingers. Paced beside Dad’s Geri-Chair.
            “For crying out loud, he’ll never even walk again,” I said. “Look at him, He’s wretched. Pitiful.”
             A skim of tears shone in my husband’s eyes as he studied my father’s blank expression.
            I rattled Dad’s tray. Locked tight to his wheel chair. “Look at this! It’s a prison. On wheels.”
            I laid my hands on my father’s head. Like I was blessing him.
            “His hair is filthy,” I said. “When was the last time he was bathed?”
            Behind me, Tony rested his hands on my shoulders. “He can still hear, you know.”
            I whirled. Glared. “Hear what?” I said. “Blah, blah, blah! That’s all he hears. What good are three degrees now? When he doesn’t even know his own daughter?”
            I knelt before my dad. Gripped the surface where he outlined circles. Over and over.
            “Who am I?” I said. “Who am I, Daddy? Say it! Say my name!”
            My father didn’t move. Didn’t blink. I crumpled beside him. A moment later I scrambled to my knees in front of him. Stilled his pointer fingers with my palms.
            “It’s me, Daddy,” I said. “Remember me? How you used to call me Diane Sue with a Tin Lizzy too?”
            I smeared snot with my sleeve. Snatched the rumpled tissue Tony offered. Honked into it. I reached out and grabbed the sides of my father's stained bib. Yanked hard.
            “No bib!” I spat. “No daddy of mine, and certainly not one with a degree from Harvard, is going to wear a stupid, stinking bib.”
            Tony tapped my shoulder. I turned. Looked up.
            “Let’s go,” he said. “We’ll come back next Sunday. Maybe he’ll be better then.”


For the Trifecta Writing Challenge, you should write a creative response using the given word. You must use the word in your response, and you must use it correctly.  Your response can be no fewer than 33 and no more than 333 words. Your response can be anything—from fiction to poetry and everything in between. We're looking for creativity, thoughtfulness, and attention to detail. That being said, we do not disallow posts for any particular reason. We're not easily offended--you do what you've got to do to get your story told. Be artsy; be creative; stretch yourself. Write until your fingers bleed. We want to see your guts spilled out on the page. Once you have written a response, you must then post it to your blog and enter your blog's url in the linky form on Trifecta's home page. Today's word is WRETCHED.


barbara said...

It's such a hard thing to see our loved ones waste away to such things as alzheimers. You did a great job in catching some of those emotions.

melody-mae said...

The emotions that this emits brought me tears...sending hugs to you deal with this and write your heartfelt emotions along with it.

November Rain - k~ said...

While I can understand the emotions of someone in the process of being forgotten by someone they never thought would, this piece made me angry with the daughter for being so unkind.

It is said that writing is meant to draw the emotion out of you, and this certainly did. Nice job with the challenge.

writingdianet said...

Thank you so much Barb, Melody-Mae, and Barb for putting your two cents in about this piece.
Daddy is gone now. That scene did occur, but Barb #2, not exactly like I wrote it. Rest assured, I was much sweeter. More sad than angry. Sigh . . .

On the bright side, yippy skippy! I have made it to 100 followers. I'm super psyched. I haven't done a prize giveaway in forever but I'm going to do one right now. To celebrate. Here's the deal:

Anyone who comments on my blog in MARCH, will be entered in a drawing to receive one of my patented and amazing butterfly boxes of awesomeness.

Serafina said...

What a sweet use of your word. That last line really nails the hopelessness - from my POV at least as someone who has been down that road before. In the face of this inexorable decay, all the characters are wretched. Good work!

Nicole said...

I like her. I like the angry woman (please tell me this is not biographical, my heart breaks). The dialogue feels right in. Well written!

Nicole said...

Argh, it was you. Sorry to hear. Extra thanks for sharing something so close to chrome.

Christine Hanolsy said...

I loved this - very raw, with some really beautiful turns of phrase: "pierced my hair with my fingers."

writingdianet said...

At Serafina, hold out your pointer finger and I will too. We'll touch them ET style and they'll light up. And yes! Yes! You're absolutely right. We WERE all wretched.

Thank you for liking me, Nicole, even when I'm crabby.

Carrie said...

what a horrific thing to go through. You crafted the scene quite well

Jester Queen said...

Oh how our bodies become our prisons at the end. The Geri chair and the father's complete lack of response made a perfect foil for the daughter's increasing hysteria.

Trifecta said...

Thanks for linking up, Diane. This is a heart-breaking piece and you capture vividly the pain and the emotion that affects everyone concerned. Nice job and I hope you can join us for the weekend prompt as well.

columbibueno said...

Nicely written! Those emotions...

writingdianet said...

Thank you, Trifecta folks, for stopping by, for saying a few words. I appreciate it very much:)


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