Rambling On About ... 'Everything'...
By Gloria Faye Brown Bates/aka Granny Gee
The man walked alone, head down. His clothes were tattered, torn. I saw that his shoulders carried an invisible load... they were stooped low. Whatever it was... it was heavy. I couldn't see it, but, knew it was almost more than he could bear.
We drove by him twice, then... once more. We were sitting in luxury... we were in a new Kenworth tractor-trailer. We had everything to make our trip nice. Not only that, I had colors in our sleeper that affected our mood. We had the nicest ...of everything. It meant so much....
I made our bed with the prettiest comforter, pillows, bed covers... all matching in the softest, most wonderful colors. On the floor were matching, soft rugs to put our feet on when we got ready to go to bed, or to get up. The inside was like a motor home...
We had a beautiful color tv with weather button; our cellphones, refrigerator. Our closets, shelves were filled with our clothes, toiletries; food. We didn't have a shower ... that would have made all perfect. We had plenty of water, though.
We always carried soft, fluffy, colorful towels, bath clothes to use... if we needed to wash our face. We took our showers daily at modern truck stops.
Truck stops with every convenience... safe haven; home away from home. I know many truck stops... I can still see them in my mind when I think of my favorite ones.
One appreciates a shower so much when they wait for one... once you get into the private shower room... it becomes ... Heaven. Oh, I love my showers... I love the beautiful scents of soap, lotion, powder, and my perfume! I love to be around shower rooms... the wonderful scents in the air!
I love to be clean; I love to have clean, shiny hair... and I love to put perfume in it. When the wind blows... I love to close my eyes, breathe in the beautiful scent! Sunshine, wind on my perfumed hair... I love it! Heavenly, when on just showered skin; hair.... 'clean' is the best feeling in the world.
No one thought to tell me that I would never know another warm, comforting bath in a 'normal' bathtub... when they threw me into Hell. I was nine years old... I looked for the warm water in Grandma Alma and George's old, dirty, porcelain 'claw-foot' bathtub.
How could I know... it wasn't any there. No matter how many times, how much I would fill that old bathtub up... warm water never came.
I remember filling the old, porcelain tub up... the water stayed 'cold'. Not only that... I couldn't understand 'why' there was dirt, bugs in it.
The first part of my life didn't have dirt, scary things to jump, bite, or fall on me. I never saw dirty things. My bathtub 'at home' was spotless... the bathroom warm, inviting. I didn't know what little nine year old girls ...know today.
The first part of my life until I was nine years old... I 'was' a little princess. I wore beautiful clothes, shoes... my dresses were the best. When I became nine, I never understood 'what was happening to me'... while my clothes changed, my shoes changed to shoes that had 'little nails' sticking up in them... to eat my heels until my shoes always had blood in them.
My shoes would smell like blood... do you know any children who wear... bloody shoes, today? I don't. I don't think they use those 'nails' in shoes, 'now'. I lived in town... walked home from school in those shoes. I learned to keep my tears to myself... inside.
I think maybe little nine year old girls 'today' are more mature. Parents raise children to know 'everything' now... 'back then'... in my situation... children were ignored until, they became a pest. They were 'slapped off'....
Today, a nine year old child probably knows better to handle such things... to get help... to think 'how to get out of such'... I'm betting a nine year old 'now'... would figure out 'why there wasn't any hot water'...
No one gave children 'back then,' credit for knowing anything... nor did they try to teach them (in my situation). A child's mind is like a sponge... oh my... the knowledge they can absorb at such a young age.
I look back at the 'waste'... the waste of 'my little girl mind', a mind that was hungry to 'learn everything'... I feel anger, even now.
Shame on people who waste a child's mind, when they want to learn; they are capable of learning many wonderful things.
When I was a child... the older people loved to tell a child that they were meant to be seen... not heard. They knew children couldn't possibly have anything ... important to say.
Some of my most interesting conversations 'today' are... with a young child. I sit in amazement, awe at what comes out of their mouths... I could listen all day!
I was so... innocent; so... unknowing anything. No one bothered to explain the 'whys' of the bad things that began to happen in my life.
I have wandered on to tell you the 'whys' of loving my showers, appreciating them with my heart; I was taught the hard way as a little girl... to learn on my own... about them. I never... forgot.
I never wanted to be dirty... I loved my clean, nice clothes. I was just too innocent to know 'why things weren't like always'... I just didn't know, wasn't aware of 'what had changed, nor had the knowledge to make it all better'.
In school, I learned from other little girls... classmates... that they had begun to 'look down' on me. Do you have any idea how embarrassing, hurtful... that is? When at one time... you were 'just as good' as they was?
How it feels to stand there while 4-5 little girls stand around you, giving you gifts of soap, wash cloth, little comb and brush? Even as a little child.... I felt my face get red, I found that I couldn't ever look 'them' in the eye... anymore. They told me I was dirty, I smelled. Can you imagine being told that as a little girl?
Thank-God they did... thank-God I was 'me'... I always seemed to try to learn as quickly as possible to do things... I always had to learn the hard way. Sadly... the damage was done... I could never be friends with those little girls again.
Even now... when I see them, I... don't like them. It's all I can do ... to smile at them. They hurt me deeply; yet, if they hadn't... how would I have learned one of my most important 'Life's Lesson'?
I have them to be grateful, thankful to... I am. I still don't like them... isn't that awful? I see in their eyes today... they still think 'they are better than me'... yet, I 'know' they aren't. :)))
I am big enough to say 'Thank-you', though. I still don't like them.... no matter what... I still don't like them. I just 'tried to'... in my mind. Nope... I still don't. I still see them as 'those little do-gooder girls'... yet, they helped to make an important difference in my life. How long would it have taken for me to learn... if they hadn't?
Skip and I sat in that big, pretty Kenworth tractor-trailer... the air-conditioner cooling our skin. We had stopped to get fast food; our bags were full of 'good stuff'... we also, had the biggest cups full of our favorite drink. Life was good... we had everything. We had plenty of food, money, and we were comfortable.
The man was still walking, as we circled the block. We were in Yuma, Arizona. We knew he was a homeless man, a man down on his luck. He was very thin, his clothes hung on his body.
Whatever I couldn't see with my naked eye... on his shoulders; was weighing him down. It was heavy; very heavy.
This time, I told Skip to stop just 'in front' of him. I took things from Skip's bag, put it with 'stuff' in my bag. I grabbed one of the big drinks, sat all on the floor until I stepped out onto the top step. I took all, and walked back toward the man. I smiled so, he wouldn't be alarmed.
I asked him if he was hungry; he was very hungry, he said. I asked him if he minded if we shared our food with him... that we really had 'too' much. The man smiled, how warm his eyes were... how pretty his eyes were!
Sunshine... special light came from them to touch my soul... yes, I was doing the right thing. I didn't want to embarrass, hurt him. Thank-God! We all 'know' when things are ... okay. This was!
I handed him the bag of sandwiches, french fries, pie... and as I handed him the big drink, I told him we hadn't drank from it. He didn't care... he was happy to have it.
Just before I turned to go... there was something folded small in my hand... I pressed it into the palm of his hand... between it and the cup of drink he, held. I told him, "Take care"!
I looked back into his eyes, I smiled again... I felt the warmth of his smile again. Why... it was like being near a heater with a glass door... seeing the soft flames burning... feeling the warmth all the way to my ...bones. I hugged him gently...
I walked quickly to the tractor-trailer, I heard him yell, "Thank-you"! I smiled... I was so thankful to give him something to enjoy eating... too. We went our way... the man had something to eat, and for a time... he could still eat. Hopefully, someone else would 'come along'... to help him until one day... he could do better.
I looked into the huge rear-view mirror, hoping to see him as we drove away... somehow, it seemed his shoulders 'had lifted'... maybe, it was my imagination.
Can you see now... why I would write about homeless people I became aware of, in our travels? I never got to be as close to them as I wished; or if I was... there was 'never enough time'... I sat many times, on a bench, in the tractor-trailer... or at a place where I could watch them.
I was fascinated, saddened all at the same time. I wanted to go, felt the pull... to go to them; explore their world. Thankfully, Skip was there to stop me. I was so naive... innocent of the dangerous world they live, sleep, wake up in, every day of their life.
Skip is my hero; he has saved me from many situations through time. I have a curiosity; not only that... I am distracted by colors, drawn to be closer to be near them. Colors are 'dangerous', sometimes...
I don't know 'everything' about homeless people; their secret world. I've only seen the 'surface'... but, somehow... I 'know'... I don't know how, but... I just know... I, also, know 'if I really knew what I suspected'... it would be almost unbearable for me to know.
What do I mean by that statement? I mean, if I knew how truly bad their conditions, treatment from the stronger homeless people; people from the 'outside' who use the 'weakest'... I wouldn't be able to stand the pain I'd feel in my heart.
Just like... I 'know' thousands of innocent animals are abused, mistreated, killed every day. Killed by ignorant, cruel, terrible people... sometimes, by well-meaning people. Same way with children... innocent, trusting souls, not understanding... never getting the chance to understand.
I have to look away from things, try not to see all I can't change. I know I can't save the world... I really used to think I could. I just knew I was going to make a positive difference... I didn't.
People, animals, children still live, die in awful ways... by mean, cruel people... from their hands. Hands that should gently touch another living soul to reassure, to comfort... to give the message that everything's going to be ...okay.
Thank-God, I am writing. Writing to get the sorrowful feelings inside me... out. I don't only feel grief for the loss of Tommy; I feel grief for so much... like dogs being thrown together, forced to fight until one dies... someone making money if their dog kills the other.
I feel grief when people take two homeless men, promising them food, beer, wine... if they will fight each other while being filmed. All that blood... the sounds, screams of pain... I can't bear it.
I grew up hearing such awful pain, the sounds of flesh being beaten, the moans, and cries ... oh, the blood... the blood. Sometimes... I saw ... my own blood.
A vision comes into my mind at this very moment... as a little girl... seeing all that blood on an old hardwood floor... the sounds of someone being beaten. Can you imagine a little nine year old child witnessing such?
Hearing someone struggling to breathe as they are being choked, trying to breathe while their nose is pouring blood... teeth on the floor; no longer in a mouth where they belonged.
Always women 'fighting like hell' to be 'Queen of the hill'... to show someone who is 'boss'... always in the Arena... the room Grandma Alma, George sat in.
Seeing, hearing someone beating a young woman... my mother. The sounds... the blood... I can't bear it. The pain.... the crying, begging.
As a little girl, I witnessed, and was 'victim' at times... I would be sent to school to act as if everything was 'alright'... only to be mistreated there, looked down on, made fun of; bullied.
I remember a boy to this day who bullied me almost to suicide when I was forced to ride the school bus for a time... we lived in town. He would inflict physical pain on me... I was his scapegoat for a time on that bus.
His name was Dallas... I still see him, now. I don't like him; nor do I smile, speak to him. I've told you many times, I'm not perfect... though, I try to be as good as possible. I still have negative feelings toward 'some' people... he is one of them. The 'do-gooder girls'... though, they did me a big favor.
Dallas was a very unusually cruel boy to be so, young. He would hurt me on the bus... when I'd get to Hell (home at Grandma Alma, George's) .... something would happen, a fight or someone would become angry... I'd be hurt physically... again. I had just been physically, verbally abused by him.
The white, hot anger burned inside me... but, so did my heart; my heart was full of ... love. I cared. Suppose I hadn't had the heart I did/do? I grew up to be a good person... I learned to forgive... but, it didn't happen overnight. I was twenty-eight years old when I began learning 'real' forgiving, letting go in my life.
Writing my scary books... my hero, Victoria Fairchild... is my way of having someone who will 'take care' of people who are truly 'bad to the core'. People who harm, abuse, mistreat weaker people, animals. Since it's fiction... and scary... I can make anything happen... and... it will.
Sometimes... the world needs a 'good-bad' person to make all better... sometimes, it takes 'bad' to make ...good happen. Victoria Fairchild is... that person. She is a 'good-scary' character... there's nothing she... won't do, to protect someone, or an animal.
Victoria Fairchild is my main character. She will do anything it takes to help her 'homeless people'; anybody who is helpless, weak, at the mercy of mean people. She will do what it takes to help abused, mistreated animals...
Victoria Fairchild ... doesn't play games; she takes care of business. When she's good, she's good... but, when she's bad... she's very, very bad.
The only thing is... she has met up with 'more than her match'... how it'll end... no one knows; not even I know. As I write, the story just 'begins writing itself'... :)))
Book 2... The Saga Of Victoria Fairchild... will be longer than the first book. The first book was just an introductory to her... I hope you like my main character; my hero... Victoria Fairchild.
She's really a very good person... very, very good.... and hopefully, no one will find out how.... very, very bad... Victoria Fairchild can be.
Today... I've been writing, talking to you just like I would... if we were sitting outside at the patio table, kicked back with our big, old glasses of ice-tea with lemon slices. Sometimes, I'd let you talk... then, I would talk.
The sun would touch our skin with warm, not hot... kisses. The wind would gently blow our hair as the sun made it shine, glisten in the sunlight. We would smell the scent of honeysuckles floating on each breeze that came by. I know I'd be enjoying having my shoes off, my toes playing with the sand beneath them.
Sometimes, while we are sitting there... deep in thought we won't need words. Words aren't needed at that time... birds singing, the soft motor of an airplane... the sound of music from a radio in the distance, dogs barking far off ... all are 'just the right sound'... We might would close our eyes at that time... we are really just 'kicked back'... being ourselves.
What a wonderful time I had listening to you... I hope you enjoyed listening to me 'ramble on about everything'.....