Darla Ponders the Future

Darla couldn’t believe that she was supposed to be happy taking classes, doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning now that she was married.  Maybe she should have waited until graduation in June and…and…then what?   Run back to the city and hang out with her exciting big city friends?  She did love dear Johnny, and it was sweet that he had found a job that could support them while she finished her last semester in this college town.  But.  There were several handsome guys in her classes.   Even some of her friends’ husbands looked good to her, and she’d noticed a few of them, looking her way, considering her.  She knew that look.  She ran a hand back and forth across her forehead.

The litter box needed changing.  Dirty dishes cluttered the sink.  She’d finished War and Peace and didn’t have a new book to get lost in.  Her physics homework was done.  TV and the Internet only made her feel lost.  Now what?

33 responses to “Darla Ponders the Future

  1. Dearest,

    I watched your curled body sleeping this morning, arms sprawled across the bed, weary from your job, your work, your toil. I longed to clutch your hands worn from their labor, to kiss your lips, to feel your breath, to finally connect with you in some meaningful way, knowing I don’t know how.

    I sensed your coming to bed so late last night, your body spooning mine, your arm cradling me, hand cupping me, wanting me. Perhaps you felt my quiver thinking it some involuntary response to your touch, but it was not. It was but my futile attempt to stifle my tears, my sadness, my guilt, those dreadful thoughts which render me sordid and unholy, unworthy of your love.

    Thrust together in our immaturity, you wanting me, me wanting . . . wanting some meaning for a pointless existence that is my life, filling it with things, feeling at times wrong for you, at other times wrong for me, dying inside if not already dead, a marionette dangling by a single string, a woman of disjointed motions, without emotions. It is a crippling paradox for me, to love someone so dearly, as I do you, without being in love with you, being detached, empty, and adrift in some incomprehensible spiritual void.

    How I envy you and your merging of your emotions, woven so delicately with the reverence of two hands interlaced in prayer while mine wring in anguish, like some abandoned octogenarian who has lost all but her memories, and who sits helplessly watching them, too, fade. How pathetic of me to grieve for what I have not yet enjoyed. How selfish and self-centered it is of me, hating the solitude of my own company, and at the same time withdrawing from your affection so freely given.

    I have tried to think my way through this confusion, have tried to be in love with you, have tried so hard to return your love. But all I can offer is my false affection, which even a soul as shallow as mine cannot bear. So, Dearest, as you read these words, filled with such inadequacies to explain, I am on my way on a journey without destination, looking for something, expecting nothing, wishing I were more, wishing we were whole, and wishing you peace.



    Darla never thought she would be making this call to her mother, especially at this age, and at this stage of her life.
    “Mom, I know you are still struggling with Dad’s passing, but I really need to talk.” she spoke into her Iphone after hearing the message beep, “Please call me when you can. Love you.”
    As she opened a bottle of her favorite Vodka and poured herself a triple shot over ice, she started thinking about how much her life had paralleled that of her mother. Her Dad had supported Mom all through both her undergraduate studies, and while she was her securing her PHD in Behavioral Psychology. Had Dad become boring after the excitement of college life? As the fiery first sips of Grey Goose slid down her parched throat, she realized that this was not the time to question her mother about her relationship with Papa. She needed to stick to the facts about her own life and situation.
    Darla had always felt that asking her mother about emotional matters was like asking a lawyer for free advice at a party. But her desperation and depression were too strong to hold back this time. She looked at her Iphone. Two-thirty-five. Johnny wouldn’t be home for another three hours. Come on Mom, call! She said in her mind’s voice. She finished the last drops of Vodka, and as she tipped the crystal glass up, the remaining ice slid down and bumped her front teeth. She sucked until the last drop was on her tongue. Darla reached for the large thin bottle and poured a straight shot into the glass. No need to waste ice, she mused. The familiar “Mom is Calling” ring tone startled her, and she made a clumsy grab for her phone, almost knocking it off the bar sink.
    “Hi Mom, thanks so much for calling me back.” she said.
    “What is it Darla? Are you sick or something?” asked her mother.
    “Or something.” replied Darla, “Can we meet for coffee tomorrow sometime. I can drive over your way in the morning.”
    “Of course, Darl, does this have anything to do with your father’s passing? We all grieve in different ways, you know.”
    “No Mom, it’s much bigger than that. See you at Jason’s around ten?”
    “I will have to re-schedule a meeting” said her mother, “but I will be there.”

    After listening to Darla over two hours of coffee and various pastries, her mother finally said “You know, I had these same feelings once I had finished school, and began to establish my practice. Your father, rest his soul, seemed to have become just an adjunct to my life instead of the husband and lover he had been when we first married. I too was tempted by wandering male eyes just after college. I was quite a looker, you know. And I have to admit that at first, guilt kept me faithful. After all your father had done for me, I couldn’t have deserted him. But Darl darling, the funny thing is, after only a few months of getting into my work, I began to see your father as an entirely different man. It even improved our love life, if you can stand to hear that.” Darla laughed.
    “So what you are saying is for me to give it more time?” she stated in the form of a question.
    “In my professional opinion, and in my personal experience, as resounding YES!” smiled her mother.”Now I have to get back to my office.”
    Johnny sensed something very different about Darla as she served him his favorite dinner that night. He couldn’t put his finger on it exactly, but somehow the young girl he had married ten years ago appeared to be in his kitchen again.

    • Mother knows best, I guess. It’s nice to know that someone listens to their mother once in a while. Happy ending!

    • This moves me. My mom has often given me fresh perspective on life’s difficult moments. I enjoyed the happy ending. I also enjoyed your take on the plant prompt. Nice one.


    Note..Just sat down and let the muse have at it..And this is what came out.

  4. Ann, I left you a note back in the plant prompt.

  5. Screw this, thought Darla. I’m outta here.

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    “Darla couldn’t believe that she was supposed to be happy taking classes, doing laundry, cooking, and cleaning now that she was married.”

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    ACTION: Cut away from Darla. A man stands in the doorway of his home as his (former) lover walks to the car.

    MAN: (plaintively) “Honey, what came between us?”

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    WOMAN: (enthusiastically) “CUSucka DOT COM! That’s what!”

    ANNOUNCER: Open an account at CUSucka.com today, and stop wondering, “Could I do better?”

    ACTION: Cut back to Darla in the kitchen with the dirty dishes. Having considered the merits of the announcer’s advice, Darla picks up a lipstick and writes “CUSucka” in huge letters across the front of their white refrigerator while smiling impishly. She gets her coat and keys as the disclaimer is read. Tight shot on the dirty dishes and fade to black.

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    • Galelikethewind

      Extremely clever – and so 21st Century. Fun, thanks.

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  7. Loved it, thanks!

  8. That is too too funny. You even have the disclaimer at the end, spoken in that very fast, can’t-quite-make-out-the-words voice. Take bow, Gary!

  9. If anyone’s interested, two of my terrible ebooks are free on Amazon Kindle today (whatever ‘today’ is wherever you are) via http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00A7J4CD0

  10. Johnny was out with his hiking buddies for the weekend. Darla liked the idea of communing with nature but she couldn’t appreciate his endless fascination with the Everglades. The idea of slogging through muck, flat wooded areas and intense humidity while potentially becoming an alligator’s next meal wasn’t enticing to her. She called Cassie to hang out at the Blue Martini.

    Darla enjoyed pretending to be single and engaging in what she thought was mindless flirting. But a few drinks later she was dirty dancing with a green-eyed man-boy in the middle of a half-hearted reenactment of an “Animal House” frat party. When she woke the next morning she was hung over.

    “Aarrgh,” Darla clenched her eyes and placed her palms against her brow as if they could absorb the piercing pain she felt in the middle of her skull. She remained prone, palms on forehead for a few seconds before she realized the fleshy parts of her forearms were resting on the bare fleshy parts of her large breasts. The only time she slept naked was after a satisfying night of wonton sex – episodes of which were becoming fewer and farther between.

    She attempted to pry her eyelids apart but this invited more pain. She lay in bed trying to demuddle her thoughts and memories from the night before and hoping the pain would dissipate. When no relief came she groped the bedside table for support, eased her legs off the side of the bed and gently planted her feet on the floor.

    Her eyes flew open and she shot off the bed hurtling herself against the wall as she heard a slurred, “Hey, stop shaking the bed. You’re making me nauseous.” On Johnny’s side of the bed lay a wiry, tanned male with a sheet covering half his body. She thought, oh, God. Scrambled images of frat row, tequila shots, dirty dancing and wonton sex with a green-eyed man-boy filled her head.

    She lunged through the bathroom door, hurled her face into the toilet and vomited the contents of her stomach into the bowl. She laid her face against the rim as her body slunk down and curled around the toilet. Half hour later she lifted herself from the floor, entered the shower and turned the water on full blast. She dove into the cold downpour hoping to shake off the remnants of her hangover. Darla thought of Johnny’s smiling face and cupped her hand over her mouth as she retched.

    Darla now stood, hands on either side of the pedestal sink, peering at her blurred reflection through the foggy mirror. She saw movement and groaned. She hoped the man-boy was getting dressed and leaving. She stretched her leg toward the door and nudged it shut. She heard a muffled, “See you later. I’ll call you sometime.” She realized being single wasn’t so great after all. Now what, she thought to herself…

    “Hey, babe, I’m home. Wow, something smells great. What’re you up to?”

    Darla popped her head out of the kitchen and quick-stepped over to Johnny. She wrapped her arms around his waist and nuzzled his neck, “I missed you. I made chicken marsala and a surprise for dessert.”

    He leered at her, “You’re the only dessert I need.” Then he swept her off her feet and headed for the bedroom.

    Darla was exhausted but satisfied. She propped herself up and looked down at Johnny, “Wow, you were amazing.”

    He stroked her hair, “Well, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed my welcome home reception. Maybe I should go on hiking trips more often.”

    She averted her eyes, “Uhh, I’ve been thinking. Next time I’d like to go.” She kissed him deeply thinking that muck and humidity may not be so bad after all.

    Johnny waited for Darla to fall asleep and slipped into the kitchen. He grabbed a glass of milk from the fridge, a cookie from the cookie jar and his cell phone from the counter. “Hey, looks like we have to come up with another cover. Darla said she wants to go hiking next time I go.” He listened for a moment.

    “No. I have no idea what’s changed her mind. Looks like I’m going to have to buy some hiking gear.” He listened a moment longer.

    “Love you too. Night, babe.”

    God, I hate muck and humidity Johnny thought to himself.

  11. Hi Lisa – I am LOLing all over the floor! Good for You!, You caught me by surprise at the end. Good job!

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