(I’m Lost To Your Flames) Because I Was So Caught Up With What Was Going On Across The Street From My House

“I’m lost to your flames as I look across the way to see into the reflection of my soul,” I said to the Lord while walking back and forth in my bedroom, swinging my arms to and fro, and smacking my forehead with the palm of my hand, “What am I to do about getting a job?  I’ve tried everything, but no one wants to hire me.  I’ve put in job application after job application to no avail, and have either not received a reply back from the business I’ve applied to, or I have been interviewed and the interviewer tells me he or she will let me know.  In other words, Lord, it’s their way of telling me I’m not what they are looking for.

Walking over to my bed, I took each article of clean clothing out of the laundry basket and put them unto my bed where I sorted them.  I gathered my socks, walked over to my dresser, and placed them into their respective drawer.  One by one, I put the rest of the articles of clothing away.

I ran out of my bedroom, and headed downstairs, removed my coat and boots from the closet, put them on, and went out for a walk to clear my head.

Outside, snow was lightly sprinkled on the ground.  Some nearby squirrels were munching on some crackers the neighbors kids left on the ground.

Across the street, a woman approached with a box full of letters.  I saw her put them into the mailbox one by one.  I didn’t understand why she didn’t stuff them into the mailbox in bunches, instead of putting them in there one at a time.

Because I was so caught with what was going on across the street from my house, I wasn’t watching where I was going, and I backed up into a man who happened to be jogging by my house.  “Miss, you need to watch where you are going.  I could have fallen on my face.  That wasn’t very nice.”

Turning around, I looked him in the eye and sighed, “I’m sorry sir.  I have a lot on my mind.  But I do realize I’m the one who is at fault, and it won’t happen again.”

“Honestly,” he blurted out, and proceeded on his way.

There was a couple coming from the direction he was headed.  Evidently, he knew them, because he stopped to talk to them.  I could hear them laughing loudly.  I wasn’t sure if they were laughing about me, or if they were laughing about something else.  The man I bumped into said, “Lawrence, I haven’t seen you in weeks,” while shaking his hand.

This Lawrence introduced the woman to the man.  He gave a polite wave, and said, “It was nice talking to you both, but I’ve got head on home.  The wife and I are going out to dinner tonight, and then to the Civic Theater.  We are going to see a beautiful production.”

I don’t recall what play he said he and his wife were to see, because I lost interest in the conversation, and headed downtown.

Walking fast with my hands in my pockets, I stumbled, but I didn’t fall.  At the time, I remembered what a cousin of mine told me when I was in college about walking with my hands in my pockets.  Actually, he advised me not to do so, because I could fall forward with no means to break my fall.  I’d fall on my face.  I was lucky I didn’t fall on my face when I stumbled.  So, I pulled my gloves out of my coat pockets and put them on.

My first stop was at Bronson Park.  I kicked at the snow, rubbing it into the ground.  The grass was lightly dusted with snow.

I walked up to one of the trees and looked at the almost bare limbs.  There were a few red, orange, gold and dark brown leaves still attached.  I stood there a while waiting for them to fall.  It was windy enough at the time.

I patted the bark of the trunk with my gloved hand, broke off a piece of the bark, and crumbled it between my fingers, letting the remnants fall to the ground.  I was reminded of how it was used at one time to clean teeth.  The early settlers of the United States learned from the native American Indians about grinding the bark into fine powder.  At least some of my teachers from high school on back told me and the rest of the class.

Some passersby caught my attention with their conversation.  They were two women and three small children..  All of them were bundled up in the winter attire.  One woman complained about her job at a local factory in the Kalamazoo area.  She wanted a raise, but wasn’t able to get any.  “I know the work I do is worth more than the money I’m being paid.  However, working in the offices doesn’t have the advantages of the folks who work the machinery.  I don’t think there are unions for office help.”

“Take heart you at least have a job.  There are many folks who were laid off from different businesses in Kalamazoo.  My sister was laid off from the city, because of the job cuts,” she said while leaning down to pick up her crying child.

I then headed over to the fountain containing statues of children.  I thought about what it meant to live.  Hmm.  Some childhood I had.  I was a child; yet, I wasn’t a child.  Having to grow up before my time was no way for a child’s life to be.  I don’t even know who I am.  I have yet to know myself. I gazed up into the gray skies.  There was a storm coming, so I headed back home.

© Copyright, Kiki Stamatiou, 2015

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