Letters never sent. Letters to no where. Letters to no one. That's what this is. That's what this is all about, isn't it?
She led a sheltered life.
By choice or by convenience?
She did some things. But there were more things she didn't do.
As a young teenager, she fancied herself as an artist. Really, though, she didn't have any idea what an artist does. She liked to draw. And she liked her drawings. She always made sure she didn't run out of pencils and paper. And when she did run out of pencils, she used a ballpoint pen. And when she ran out of paper, she drew on the wall. She pictured herself someday living in Paris.
But she was discouraged.
There was Mr. Gann. He was her biology teacher when she was a freshman in high school. He told her he spotted in her a natural ability for science. And so one day, after school, together they plotted her science career. He said she reminded him of someone. She suspected she reminded him of himself.
Again, she was discouraged.
And then there was the Miss Patton incident. Miss Patton was her fifth grade teacher. She hung on every word that teacher said throughout the school year. But at the end of the year Miss Patton made a written entry on her final report card. Scorching words that she didn't understand -- until over 20 years later.
And it came to light. More evidence that she had been discouraged.
There were other incidents. Too numerable to mention. Too numerable to overcome. She grew accustomed to the life of nothingness. And so at age 45 she sits there alone with nothing to show for a life of nothing. Really.
She led a very sheltered life.
She just didn't do much.
But no one ever sheltered her from herself.
But, wait! It's not over yet. She has seen a flicker of light at the end of the tunnel. Just one more year. And she can set off on the rest of her life. Or something. We'll shall see.
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© Marie Carnes 2002.
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