Annie Anthony is my guest today with the Musing inspired by this vibrant photo. What does this image say to your muse?
Annie Anthony is an editor, author, volunteer and dog mama. On hiatus from her hometown of Chicago, Annie is temporarily living and working in Los Angeles.
Get Well Soon
By Annie Anthony
The office sent balloons, an arrangement. Cheaper, I’m sure, than flowers. There were seven bright balloons in ROYGIBV colors, filled with a super-helium concoction that kept the perky bulbs aloft in my kitchen for the duration of my recovery. Get Well Soon, the card said. We Don’t Want To Do Your Work!
I was cleared to drive short distances after two weeks, but the first time I tried to drive—to the drugstore to buy more boxes of tissues—I felt nauseous and nearly passed out.
By the fourth week I woke up in the morning at a bit of a distance from fury, the companion I had snuggled tightly for decades. If grief was my lover, we were inching toward separate sides of the bed.
Week 5 saw the closest to “wellness” I had felt since I was 19 and started having the problems. Nineteen. Two decades ago. Twenty years of my life struggling, pursuing, failing, grieving. The barrenness of trying.
There is an emptiness in the word try, a hollow feeling that suggests failure. Try is empty; do is full.
As the surgeons promised, after eight weeks, my body was healed. I put on a dress, my go-to dress. The bodice was a black sheath cut in darts that drew your eye toward the waist where lace overlaid a beautifully draped turquoise skirt. It was a sexy dress, an adult dress, totally inappropriate for a morning walk. But it covered every manner of ugliness and scarring that streaked across my belly far better than the hospital gown, pajamas, sweats.
I put on heels. I slipped a black Sharpie into my purse. I took the balloons and climbed into my car. I drove to the cemetery, the only place, of course, where death really belongs.
I parked my car, uncapped the Sharpie. The balloons were still full—full enough. I didn’t need them to soar, I only needed them to float. Away.
I wrote one word on each balloon with the marker and stepped out of the car.The points of my heelssunk into the damp grass as I walked. The sun was brilliant that day. My body was healed. I was wearing a turquoise dress.
I raised the balloons in both hands, lifting them like a kite against a light breeze.
I did not let the balloons go not all at once but rather one by one, so the words– each word–could have a last moment with me before drifting off to its death. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet.
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