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[BBOT] No Excuses

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posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 11:12 AM
No Excuses

Katherine sat ruminating, looking towards the beach; and while taking a sip of iced tea, she mumbled “It won't always be this way. It will be good again, Jamie, I swear to you, it will”.

“I know, Mom, but let's not talk about it today okay? We know it was amazing, and we've seen the pictures of how beautiful it was”. We know it would have been okay if it hadn't been for the storm”.

“It WAS the storm Jamie. Everything would have been alright, they said, if it hadn't been for that monster...that interloper......that hurricane”. BP said they would have gotten it stopped. They just didn't have time. They'll be back to fix it. As soon as they can, they've said so”.

“Mom, can we go to the Lake today? Sims and I want to ski, and we've already put gas in the boat, and made sandwiches”.

“What? No, we can't go to the lake. Today is Saturday. You know what we do on Saturday's”.

Jamie looked over at Sims, her younger sister, and rolled her eyes.

“Mom, don't you want to visit Grandmother alone today? You guys never have any time together, just the two of you. Sims and I are always hanging around.. Ryan's mother said we could go with them, if you don't want to come with us.”

“Well absolutely not! Your Grandmother loves to see you girls. She would be upset if you didn't come along with me. You know that. Now go brush your hair, and I might even let you wear a little bit of lipstick today.”

The prospect of lipstick was motivation enough to get Jamie moving. It wasn't skiing, but it was lipstick. “Alright, I'll go change. Sims can't wear lipgloss, can she?”

“NO!”. Jamie giggled underneath her breath, feeling wickedly delighted to deliver the news to her sister.

When they arrived at the Assisted Living home, they found Margaret, Katherine's mother, sitting on the front porch.

“Hey! What are you doing out here? It's hot and humid! Let's go inside” Katherine said, opening the door.

“ I've been thinking about riding over to the Gulf today.” her mother spoke softly, but with that tone of determination Katherine recognized instantly and dreaded.

This wasn't what Katherine wanted to hear. She still lived as close to the beach as she could, but she knew it would upset her mother. It would hurt her, and Katherine didn't want to drive her, and didn't want her to go. She was used to it. Her mother wasn't.

“Let's just stay here and look at the photo albums I brought you. Let's remember it that way, okay?
Give it a few more months, Mother, and when things clear up a little more, we'll go spend the day and have a picnic. We'll feed the gulls, and float around on the waves. Does that sound good”?


[edit on 6/19/2010 by ladyinwaiting]

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 11:14 AM
“Kathie, I have arthritis and asthma, not dementia. Surely you know I'm aware there are no gulls, and there's no floating either. I just want to go again, and smell the air. Feel the sand. See how the sun looks over the water now. Let the sand crabs pinch my toes.” She laughed.

And with that, she gave herself away. Katherine held back tears. Her mother didn't know as much as she thought. There were many, many small things the television and magazines couldn't capture, (although they had all stopped reporting on it for a while now.) The smell, for one, and there were no little white crabs scampering around in the sand, nipping your toes and getting into your bags, making everybody squeal. No sand pipers. No glistening water reflecting a sparkling sun. There was nothing but blackness and death on the beach. The air smelled of oil and death. The breezes were sticky coming across the water. Katherine's hair constantly felt and looked dirty.

Most of the dead sea life had been removed from the beach by now, but there seemed to be no end to what washed ashore each morning, even after all this time. Some were just skeletons of what previously were sharks and dolphins, grouper, and all the rest.

But she knew her mother. If she didn't take her, she would call a cab, or get someone else to drive her. Her daughters looked at her questioningly, as they had heard their mother say many times she was glad their grandmother hadn't seen the beach since she had insisted on going, right after the storm. Pictures were bad enough, but the full reality of it was overwhelming, especially the first time you saw it. Breathed it. Felt it squish beneath your feet.

Margaret seemed to know instantly that Katherine would take her. “You girls run along now and get in the jeep," she said, "I'm comin'!” Katherine could see her mother was in an adventuresome mood.

The drive was mostly pleasant, with the girls explaining what happened to the previous stores, and shopping malls; why they were closed. About the only store that remained was Walmart. Many people had moved away, the girls told her, and most places simply didn't rebuild. The oil was bad enough, and the merchants were barely hanging on, but the storms finished them off. Margaret was quiet. “Oh, I see”, she would say. “Yes, I see.”

The vegetation was not nearly as lush and thick as it had been in many places. Margaret watched quietly, but didn't comment. Katherine hoped she hadn't noticed how “dead” everything was. Finally her mother asked “What happened to Daniel Savakis' Pecan Orchard? And I see that old Magnolia tree is gone. The one they put on the cover of Southern Living? Did the storm get them?”

“I guess so, Mother. Or somethin' did”.

She knew where her mother wanted to go, so she drove down past the bay, and into the area where they had lived, where she had grown up on the Gulf. Her father had fished there, and her mother had raised her three children. It seemed like everything they did revolved around those waters. Work, recreation, leisure, exercise, meals. She could see her father walking through the door at dusk, carrying his catch of the day. “We're having flounder tonight, ladies”. All of it was provided by the Gulf, and free of charge. She remembered her mother often telling them how lucky they were to live there. And they all believed it was true. None of them had left, until the storms came, the coup de gras, bringing the oil and completing the devastation.

The girls got their rubber boots and gloves out of the back, and headed to the beach. Katherine lagged back to help her mother with walking and stepping over small debris, after she helped her into a pair of her “beach shoes”, which were now rubber boots, rather than the flip flops they'd always worn.

They were getting close to the water's edge when her mother stopped, her eyes fixed on the water, on the beach. On her granddaughters.

“Are you okay?” If you're too tired we can go back”. Katherine said. She could see ahead the girls were already throwing dead fish back into the water, trying to clear the way for their grandmother. She smiled seeing Jamie's glossy lips, with what looked like a dead sand -shark in her hand. The girls seemed to be examining it carefully. She was proud of them.

“I knew it was going to be hard for you to breath down here, Mother. I was afraid you might even have an asthma attack. Did you bring your inhaler? Actually, I think you have one in the glovebox--- here, I'll go get it.....

“No, it's not that, Kathie. I am tired, but it's not that.....I'm tired of knowing I'll never go home again. Thomas Wolfe was right,” she laughed what Katherine recognized as her fake laugh, and their moods changed.

“I'm tired of knowing there is not a shred of what was my life, that is left. That every flower I planted will never bring forth seed. That the dunes my children played on, have been wiped away. That my grandchildren will never gear up and dive in the jetties like we used to do. And even if they what? There's no little blow fish there to see anymore. No fish at all. No coral. I'm tired of knowing the things that made my life good, are gone, except for my children.

I'm tired of worrying about how this happened, but mostly, I'm tired of thinking and cryin' over why it happened.

The reason is just not good enough. There are no reasons. Just a bunch of people making excuses. Talkin' like if we didn't have oil, we'd all drop dead by midnight. We wouldn't.”

“I know, Mama”.

“Yes, Katherine, I'm tired. Worn out. Get the girls. I'm ready to go.”

[edit on 6/19/2010 by ladyinwaiting]

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 11:43 AM

off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 12:07 PM
Very well done

That really brings it all home that entire lives and even the fond memories have been changed because of this. It is good that she had her children.

Excellent story!

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 12:25 PM
Great story and well written! I especially like the juxtaposition of the way the children accept it and grandma's final acceptance, while mom is still in denial. Good job!

posted on Jun, 19 2010 @ 03:43 PM
Wow. Really well done. I felt longing for what used to be, but an acceptance of what was now and couldn't be changed.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:19 AM
This was so beautifully written.

So well done, loved it.

Really makes you think about how terrible what we have done is. Poor Grandma.

I truly hope things get better in the gulf.....

Thanks Enjoyed it very much.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 06:30 AM
Thank you LIW, I enjoyed your story. It made me sad. I am glad I waited to put on my mascara.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 12:30 PM
Woo Hoo!

Thank all you guys for your kind comments!

Much appreciated. I'm going to try very hard to believe them.

posted on Jun, 20 2010 @ 12:31 PM

Love the story, very good.

I look forward to more of your work.

Man this is going to be a hard contest to judge!


posted on Jun, 21 2010 @ 03:33 PM
reply to post by tothetenthpower

I'm glad you enjoyed my little story, and I appreciate your comments.

posted on Jun, 22 2010 @ 04:39 PM
Damn. That was absolutely brilliant x infinity. It's exceptionally well written and well was bloody brilliant.

posted on Jun, 24 2010 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

What an awesome story my friend. I was so glad to see that you participated in this contest. Your story conjured such a feeling of despair! I pray that this is not prophetic. When I consider the opening post, a fictional account of how the oil spill affects our world, this is spot on! Great work here my friend.

posted on Jun, 25 2010 @ 09:01 AM
Thank you all so much for your comments.

Much appreciated, thanks again and again.

posted on Jul, 8 2010 @ 09:50 AM
I waited til I read all the stories until I commented on any.

This is my favorite one because I think it is the most realistic and beleivable.

This really could have happened, and probably it will.

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:23 PM

Daniel Savakis' Pecan Orchard.

Tsk, tsk. Tut, tut!


After reading the story, I want to kill myself (again)!

Of course, that is intended as a compliment. Great work! It depressed the hell out of me.

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:38 PM
reply to post by EnlightenUp

You know, I'm glad someone finally paid some attention to Daniel Savakis.
He's probably the most interesting character in the story. Very eccentric, and has a fascinating history.

He lives alone, and is essentially quiet. Spends most of his down time sitting in front of the computer, or so we are told. He is said to have a lover in another town, or maybe even another country; sometimes he disappears for weeks at the time.

About the pecan orchards.......he permitted the less fortunate children who lived in the area to pick them up when they fell. They would set up roadside stands and sell them for money to buy school clothes. He was very generous in this way, and plus he was very goodlooking.

Like Katherine, he remained near the beach, even after the oil-cane.

Ah, yes. Daniel Savakis. An intriguing fellow in his own right. But I hear he's quick tempered. Rumor has it he attacked a BP executive with a flashlight and a Siberian Husky!

[edit on 7/10/2010 by ladyinwaiting]

posted on Jul, 10 2010 @ 01:43 PM

Originally posted by ladyinwaiting
reply to post by EnlightenUp

Rumor has it he attacked a BP official with a flashlight and Siberian Husky!

It's no rumor, aside from details being changed from telling to telling. It was a 40-megawatt laser pointer powered by cold fusion and a Siberian Husky with a friggin' laser beam on its collar. Even Chuck Norris won't get near that guy.

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 03:58 PM
reply to post by ladyinwaiting

Very well done!!! Any writer who can take me there and make me feel as if Im actually in the story seeing and feeling the emotions, is a very good writer. Thank you

posted on Jul, 11 2010 @ 06:20 PM
reply to post by Magantice

Thank you Magantice! I think your creativity surpasses mine, however.
You have a great imagination, as do many on this forum.

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