The car is pretty clean as cars go. Except for some sauce on the back seat. I’m not sure why crazy Mr. Robinson was making such a big deal. ‘Everything. Don’t be slacking off at the crevices. I want it cleaned and disinfected. Wash the mats, the boot. Do you know how to lift the seats? Good, below the seats too. And oil the doors.’
‘I have allergies,’ he had splutters when I’d stare at him confounded. ‘You disinfect everything. I’ll be paying you four times as much,’ he’d a added on, for possibly the fourth time.
Rumor was that Mrs. Robinson had left him. Perhaps that was making him loco. What do I care? Four times was good.
It was only when I was going to oil the door that things got a bit mucky, with hair and sticky stuff on the hinge. Hey! Wasn’t Mrs. Robinson a red head too?
I expected questions. I expected protests. I did not expect to be taken boating.
We rowed in silence for a while. You couldn’t rush dad. Eventually he started humming…
‘Row Row Row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily Merrily Merrily Merrily
Life is but a dream.
‘Do you know, like many a rhymes, this one is a metaphor for life too.
Life is a journey and you have to work hard at it. Whether its work or marriage, you have to work on it. You have to row your boat. The stream is sometimes straight, and sometimes crooked. The currents will sometimes flow against you. But you need to be patient, gentle, and continue rowing down the stream. Have faith, trust in God, immerse yourself in prayer, and like a bad dream, the hard times too shall pass.’
We stared at each other for the longest of times. Eventually I rolled up my sleeves and showed him the bruises on my arm.
‘Row Row Row your boat
Gently down the stream.
If you see a crocodile
Don’t forget to scream.’
Marie was one of their best and most sensible investigative journalists. If this message had come from anyone else, he would have dismissed it as a hoax.
He had called O’Donnell at the local office, who in turn confirmed from Zee at Forensics, that some DNA had come in for testing and that the results had been sent directly to Marie.
And yet it was a bit much to believe.
So, he had consulted with Dr. Aileen. She forwarded him a paper on how eDNA sampling technique could be used to capture DNA of any creature that moves through the water. This DNA can then be compared with the other nearby lochs and a database of about 100,000 organisms to see if anything sticks out as unusual.
Confident of due diligence he had run the story.
At 5:30am he was woken up by a hysterical Marie.
“What ever made you think that I was even searching for the Loch Ness monster? I am a crime journalist, not some crazy thrill seeker. I came here to investigate the Foyers murder case. Remember the famous billionaire who went missing, and now the other shareholders are trying to take over controlling interest. That’s the evidence I have – of the murder of Vanessa ‘Nessie’ Fitzgerald.”
Here’s something that I have finally digested courtesy my journey on WordPress – Human issues are the same irrespective of where you’re from.
For the longest of times I blamed my culture, my family, my religion, my parents, and above all else, me.
I had issues… I had more issues than I deserved… My issues were unique to me… Life was unfair to me… I was responsible for my problems… I deserved my problems… I was unworthy because I could not overcome my problems…
The usual yada yada.
I am a reasonably well-read person. I have read enough to know that acceptance, and not blame, is the key to health. I toggle between bouts of self-pity and self-awareness, interspaced with long pauses of denial.
Would life have been different had I been born in another time, another place, to another family? Perhaps. Would life have been pain-free? No.
There is no pain-free. There are only different shades and grades.
I write about issues unique to my culture and generation. People from different cultures and generations tell me that they understand. I read what they have written. I understand. Sometimes we compare notes. My fellow bloggers could just as easily have been my neighbours. That’s the ease we share.
We are all bound by a common thread – we are born human.
It didn’t really matter that her scales were all over the place, or that each tune sounded no different than the other; as a true artist, she performed from her heart, straight into the hearts of her audience.
As the song finished, she was greeted with thunderous claps and cheers.
She was the star performer of the Mercy Home for Special Kids.
You ask me to go with the flow. I’m scared. When ever I’ve gone with the flow, I’ve been met by a dam. Family, practicality, sentiment, you can call the dam anything you like, but it looms ahead, imposing, seemingly unsurmountable.
Thirty years and a marriage should have been enough to forget you. I thought I had. But you lingered in my subconscious, just out of reach, alive, pulsing, waiting for the tiniest of sparks to ignite.
Now the coals are simmering. Your every glance its fuel. Soon the embers will rise, the fire will seek, and the world as I know it will be set ablaze.