Grief on a Train: Meeting Marguerite

She’s the absolute picture of grief: petite, aged, black coat draped across her torso and fingers pressed against her lips as she looks blankly towards the curtained window.

“Are you alright?”

She shakes her head no, the tears springing up immediately. She opens up the slim volume in front of her– Psalms and Proverbs, maybe a few other books as well- and shows me a picture of a lovely woman, dyed blond hair, in her forties.

“My daughter,” she says, in an accented voice, “She’s had a five year battle with cancer.”

I’ve started rubbing her shoulder almost immediately. Her sweater is soft, and I try to make my eyes sympathetic.

“She’s beautiful.”

“She was only forty-seven. Too young…what’s your name?”

“Chloe.”

“I’m Marguerite.”

 

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Tea Troubles

Back home, after a whirlwind week of travel that took me to Santa Barbara, Irvine, Riverside, Dana Point, Costa Mesa, and Anaheim. I was without my journal for most of the trip (panic attack!) and now that we’ve been reunited, I can hardly write fast enough.

I’m journalling sporadically, trying to keep up with all the observations and experiences that simply MUST be recorded, and I keep forgetting to drink my tea! Every time I pick up my mug, it’s already gone cold. I take a few gulps, make room for more hot water, and pad quietly to the kitchen for a refill. Half an hour later, I find myself yet again with a mugful of lukewarm tea, and tea’s just not satisfying when it’s not steaming. #writerproblems

But there’s a warm cornbag at my feet, and my journal is back in my hands, so this cat is happy. 

P.S. Who knew that “mugful” is a real word

Marbles Lost in Martinez, Please Return to WriterCat Immediately

The morning started well enough. My train was delayed by three hours, but I was in a fine mood, and spent my time reading and writing sonnets.

Trains are often late, but a WriterCat is always prepared

Trains are often late, but a WriterCat is always prepared

I rarely have the patience for sonnets, because iambic pentameter really cramps my style, but occasionally I’m up for the challenge.

WriterCats do their best work when curled up in the sunshine. (It's also where they take their best naps. Which I may have done.)

WriterCats do their best work when curled up in the sunshine. (It’s also where they take their best naps. Which I may have done.)

Then the unthinkable happened. I boarded the train, set my bags down on my seat, and before we’d even pulled away from the station I realized that my journal was not with me. In a panic, I tried to run back out to the platform, but it was too late, we were slowly moving away, and there was nothing I could do.

An unhappy WriterCat curls up to mope. This is a perk of being a cat-like writer: we fold up into small spaces, allowed optimal moping (and napping) even when limited to one upright seat.

An unhappy WriterCat curls up to mope. This is a perk of being a cat-like writer: we fold up into small spaces, allowing for optimal moping (and napping) even when limited to one upright seat.

Filled with anxious adrenaline while trapped inside a crowded car does not allow for the typical pacing and scurrying of an irritated WriterCat, so I did what any WriterCat would do: curled up for as many naps as I could fit in to the five hour train ride. Because my journal is where I keep my sanity, and when would I ever have the patience to attempt those sonnets again? Never, that’s when.

There is, fortunately, a happy ending. The next day, a package arrived at home, addressed to me, from Amtrak. I assume my sanity is inside, and when I get home, I’ll be writing a heartfelt thank you to Amtrak.

Amtrak Delivers!

Amtrak Delivers!

For now, I’ll fill the blank pages of my aptly named reading material with the thoughts and sentences that just can’t stay in my head any longer. Because there’s just too many words bouncing around inside of me to go even a few days without writing.

An Unquiet Mind

Hooray for train rides and happy endings!