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How one woman regroups after a chaotic day.
[730 words]
Julie Fonda
Ms. Fonda has been writing short stories and articles for the past eight years, and her work has appeared in several online publications, including Haute Mama Magazine, This Month Magazine, The Pow Wow Paper, Quietpoly Writersí Magazine, The Daily Topic and Frazzled Families Magazine. She has won several short-story contests and had a short story published in the Winter, 2003 issue of AIM Magazine.

Julie and her husband have four grown children and three grandbabies. They live in Rancho Cucamonga, California with five canine mutts and two very independent Persian cats.

[June 2007]
[email protected]
Julie Fonda

At times, I need a transfusion to funnel the life's blood back into my soul because it gets siphoned out, tapped and, sometimes, completely emptied by a plethora of unworthy parasites.

Everyone thinks that they can have a piece of my essentiality, my substance. The jerk that tailgates me in rush hour traffic, who, when I pull over to let him pass, flips me off. Imagine! Itís apparent from his aggressive driving style that he has a Class ďAĒ Driverís License Ė (Thatís ďAĒ as in Anarchist.) And in my anger, I hand him a piece of my soul the part that was holding my equanimity in place.

Later, as I am watching the evening news, they flash photos of gruesome dead bodies onto the screen only a few seconds' worth but it's enough to siphon some more of the life right out of me. I switch the channel to "Barney" because I don't want the baby looking at that gory stuff. It might suck some of the life out of him, too.

My husband gets home from work, ready to lash out at anyone who happens to be in his way. Every ounce of peace, goodness, and charity has been tapped out of him during his day at work. He is cloying, expecting me to furnish him with something to be happy about and a fresh view of life which is a pretty tall order for a person running on "half empty."

So, I excuse myself for a couple of hours. I go to the mall and walk around. I stop and buy several pieces of dark, gooey, cream filled chocolate and stuff them into my mouth, greedily, as I observe the shoppers scurrying around. Most of them need transfusions, too, because I can't find a single person who is stopping to smell the roses along his or her way.

Roses. "Blue Roses" is the perfume sample at the cosmetics counter that I spray on my wrists and neck. The cherished scent envelopes me.

"How many ounces would you like to purchase?" asks the salesgirl standing behind the glass display case.

"Oh, this is just perfect," I tell her. "Thank you."

And I continue my walk.

Then, I notice a friend, or rather an acquaintance, from an office that I used to work in Frank. (His co workers nicknamed him "Frank the Crank.") A real soul sapper. I duck into a coffee and tobacco store to prevent myself from being seen. The aromas assault my senses, and it is wonderful. I buy my burnt out, ill natured husband some Vanilla pipe tobacco. Maybe that will cheer him up. You see? My desire to engage in acts of kindness has returned. I'm glad that I have a surprise to bring home to my husband.

The acquaintance has disappeared and the coast is clear. It's getting late, and I want to make sure that, in my absence, my family hasn't trashed the house. When I'm inside my car, I can smell the Blue Roses Cologne mingling with the Vanilla pipe tobacco. They are compatible. I switch on the radio as I'm pulling out of the parking lot and sing along with the tune while Iím driving home.

Another jerk tailgates me, but this time I quickly move over, and with a cherubic smile, I flip him off. First strike advantage. I giggle to myself because Ė if I want Ė I can be a jerk, too.

When I open the front door of my house, my family greets me even the dog. Everyone has calmed down. The house and its inhabitants give off an aura of synchronicity because, unlike earlier in the evening when we were all careening out of control, going in different directions, now we are all traveling in the same lane.

"I bought you something," I say to my husband. And I hand him the bag holding the pipe tobacco. His face lights up in surprise and he looks like the man I married.

We all need occasional life giving transfusions to fill the wells of our souls. They enable us to relate to one another in meaningful ways and enjoy giving more than taking. For the most superior part of mankind is the part that he gives back and builds into the lives of others.

Now I can live inside my skin, equanimity has found me and, once again, life is good.




"Critical review to follow, just giving you fair warning. " -- Richard.
"Your trying day in the life of a left-coast family left me quite unsympathetic due to your condescending, elitist, insistence upon cluttering up this piece with "Do I have an extensive vocabulary or what" words like essentiality, equanimity, cloying, and later synchronicity," - That's the one I really liked. You must have felt somewhat guilty using this one because you go on to re-define it at the end of the sentence. I knew a writer who made a living writing about nothing and saying even less. He was recognized more for his extensive vocabulary than for his substantive themes and story lines. He liked to find words seldom used by most writers. He would then create some thinly woven theme or plot to house these words. Apparently, he impressed the right people. If this is a representative sample of your finer work, I can understand why you have been published in the magazines listed in your bio. Although it may be entirely coincidental, your last name also magnifies the liberal slant which seems to pervade your writing style, most evident in your second last paragraph. We all know that giving pipe tobacco can be a real transfusion to fill the walls of our souls. Gimme a break - only a die-hard liberal could say that with a straight face. Sorry, but I'm just an old-fashioned guy who likes to read and write meat and potatoes tales. Make me laugh or cry; scare the hell out of me or leave me hanging in mid-air. But please don't bore me with a slice of your future auto-biography. " -- Richard.


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© 2003 Julie Fonda
June 2007

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