Tag Archives: 911

The Shed.

# break out of frames

	Header always append X-Frame-Options SAMEORIGIN


They always drove used, beige American cars. Unmarked could be many things, but never exotic. Only the marked dressed outlandishly, she’d read. To these, standing out in a crowd was purposeful; for the subversive, bland was the order.

Such was the descriptor of the vehicle and driver she’d registered that Easter Sunday morning in 2002, just missing it pull away from her curb opening her own car door and stepping in.

She’d always been able to know a face, particularly one which had become the object of her fixation.  And, this white haired balding Anglo-Saxon profile staring straight over the steering wheel was unmistakeable through her side view mirror, the sedan slowing briefly at her corner Stop sign as she passed by heading toward the boulevard.

Her white trimmed navy sheath suit with the covered buttons all the way down the skirt looked smart, her dark hair fluffed full with the last gasp of peri-menopause. If only the side entry shed were not completely overrun with garbage in bags, too many, the stench of rotting food wafting upward through its confined space every winter thaw.

She’d been a good seven years shy of early retirement from public ed and spring, still the season of accelerated chaos, over the more recent five (and, final) years had morphed into rehearsal and production for the school musical, interrupted most inconveniently by Easter vacation.

This year, the living room floor cluttered with the customary foamboard and prop pieces, she’d been invited out. Private studio parents, Ukrainian first generation Americans, he a urologist and she mother to three sons, members of the west side country club for the wealthy elite. Would she meet them for Easter brunch?

Their eldest son her student, readying for high school, was most enamored of the liquid chocolate fountain, driven by soy oil and some obscure solvent. She, recently diagnosed gluten and soy intolerant, would pick at the lavish buffet, a tiny salad, some fruit, relieved to eat sparingly so as to be more comfortable in public dressed in her white buttoned navy sheath.

Congruent with the formality of the grande dining room, tables set several feet apart like the upper classes preferred, his mother – who always spoke in hushed, rapid delivery – would choose this luncheon to disclose to her a history with the NSA. His father, a Venezuelan, confirmed.

Even her tax accountant and his wife, seated just a table away, he, feigning nonchalance, deliberately sniffing around the buffet well within her field of vision, would never be the wiser.

Listening to this revelation, she wondered whether the stink in the side shed had so put off her curious visitor that he’d made a hasty exit, never to return. Perhaps he had placed a bug on her wall, some high tech chip capable of recording her every utterance, her goings and comings, or perhaps that had merely been his plan until he’d caught a whiff of the decay. She’d been reading his best seller, published soon after 911 and thought, sitting there over brunch that, if he had placed one, it would be well hidden from any chance of her discovery; he was certainly impossible to trace, though she’d made several attempts at locating contact info. On the way back home across town, she’d settled for one fleeting hope that he might have considered the foul mess residue from a renter, and herself the lady of the manor.

* * * *

Fifteen years hence, the shed was still a catch all for the loose ends in her life. It had, however, taken on a more refined character, transformed to reflect the subtle but evolved nature of her existence. Gardening tools, political yard signs, several Green Blender boxes, and a large cluster of dug up dahlia bulbs now filled the space formerly suffocated by trash.

He’d published several more books, and she was reading his latest, a novel, one or two chapters at a time before sleep in the wee hours after practicing her trio program on the new Steinway. He’d won a prestigious award, his acceptance speech archived on YouTube, he, standing in classic grey suit, slacks draping the kind of body which preferred boxers to briefs. She marveled at his vitality, and wondered if he played tenor sax like the hero in the novel, or whether this was merely a nod to the former leader of the free world.

The world had come at quite a price, anymore, bond or free; as for herself, she could no longer fit into the white buttoned navy sheath, which had faded to maroon.






© Ruth Ann Scanzillo 1/20/17         All rights those of the author, whose name appears above this line. Thank you for reporting all ghost written plagiarisms.



September 11, 2014.

Today was September 11th. Not a highly unusual day in my house. Met my instructor at the gym for an hour, taught a couple cello lessons, listened to a little Ravel and Milhaud. Scrolled through the Facebook Feed; saw the memorials.

But, this time, I noticed the absence of attention, from all those too young to remember.

I don’t know what really happened on September 11th, 2001. For every photo, interview, video, and essay, there’s one that counters. Who did it? Why? Where did it all come from? How can we know?

First-hand accounts have been suppressed by the media. Stories have been reconstituted. But, the images remain, and the vaporized lives are still absent from our plane, the one we live in, the one we call reality. The events of that day, for me, have ultimately raised far more questions than answers. And, they are disturbing.

I do know this. The solid ground, the firm foundation that we always thought of as “our America” was never the same again after that day. When I look at anything now, I see through different lenses and, I assure you, they are not rose-colored. They are grey, a half-tone, dusty, like the white ash that covered the faces and bodies of those who made their way toward enough oxygen to enable a safe breath.

Now, I alternate between severe cynicism driven by a compulsion to delve so deeply that my vision, when I emerge, is distorted, and an equally-compelling yearning for my grandmother’s fresh vegetables and the smell of pot roast steeping in her pressure cooker. Mammy was never afraid. She had total faith, in everything that mattered – even the pressure cooker. She moved slowly about in her tiny space, making her little mutters and wiping her fingers on her apron, while the pressure cooker hummed on the burner, it’s flat disc-shaped indicator percolating atop the iron-clad lid. Her world was never infiltrated by demons. She could begin and end her day in prayer, and not one single contaminant could touch her. In her kitchen, there would be no explosions. In her world, there would be no hate. In her mind, there would be only the wisdom of the hour and, in her heart, the words of the verses in the Bible upon which she so completely relied.

Our planet is poised to ignite, with ancient religions flanking us on every side, ready for the ultimate showdown. We are the human genome, in all its manifestations, declaring our individual importances with increasing fervor and rancor. We lockdown our houses, set the alarm, and wait for that which we never dreamed could be possible in our lifetime. And, we reach to the heavens, and try to pray.




© Ruth Ann Scanzillo  9/11/14
all rights reserved.