Published June 27, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Sometimes I file long newsy letters in my journals, so I won’t forget, but it didn’t work this time. While clearing the path for the carpet man,  I just unearthed a “newsy” letter from my notebook from about 1980:

I just returned from a week in Atlanta where I attended a Rorschach workshop by Exner. For most of the week I “house sat” in Patricia’s new solar home. Though the burglar alarm was turned off, it hummed when I passed strategic points in the house, and the first night her son called to say he’d found a stone near the front door and did I want him to come over and stay and/or cut on the burglar alarm. It seems all the neighbors used to park on the vacant lot that is now her property, and they’re mad at her for building there. The last night I stayed there, after Patricia had returned from a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands, there was a little excitement. The neighbor who shares the driveway with her refused to move his cars and Patricia called the police who said they couldn’t interfere with a civil dispute. They did not drive away, however, and were there in the shadows when the man (an explosive personality) pushed Patricia’s car into the street. I woke up to hear a man’s voice in the front of the house (inside) with Patricia and I crept to the door to see if he was holding a gun on her, and if I needed to  burst into the room to save her. It was only the police, who had returned….The Exner workshop was from 8 am til about 5:30 p.m., with about 3 hors homework each night. I fell asleep doing it every night and woke at 5 a.m. to finish it….Phyllis, thanks for trying to take me to the Three Penny Opera the last night; I overheard the invitation on Patricia’s recorder about 11:30 the night of the police visit. I think it was adjacent to a recording of the neighbor threatening to total her car, or something….Mandy and I left Atlanta about  2 p.m. Thursday, arriving in Gallipolis about 1 a.m.  Mandy kept asking why I was sticking my head out the window and slapping my cheeks. That was the condition I arrived home in, to discover my cat sitter had not left the key to the house under the door mat.

I propped a concrete block on end, lifted the storm window carefully, reached in and moved a lamp to the floor and, trying not to knock the television off the marble-topped dresser, I edged in the high window on my belly, as the storm window kept falling down on my ankles, then legs, then thighs–no, the other order–all the while the black cat, happy to see me, was rubbing assertively against my face, as animals do when the rubbing scratches their fleas. What an unbelievable homecoming.  (Is it any wonder I  had forgotten it?) It would probably have been more traumatic if I hadn’t been mostly asleep.

Thanks to the suggestion of some of you I took Mandy and my mother to see Never Cry Wolf today. Perhaps I was still a little contankerous, because my mother wanted an extra cup to put the popcorn kernels she couldn’t chew up in, and they said it would cost as much as a drink. I irritably said she would have to spit the kernels on the floor, then, and I hope she did.

NOTE FOR JOURNALERS:  See how useful journaling daily can be…or not?

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