Shhhhhhhh, be very quiet. She’s back.
I am holding my breath and typing softly. I am afraid to move, lest my movements create sound. Even the soft clicking of my APBA dice could be an indicator I am stirring inside.
After a two-month break, the church lady has returned. She’s outside right now. I just happened to look out the window when I saw the tan Buick roll up to the front of my driveway. I peeked as the car door opened and the lil' lady — this time wearing a purple skirt and dark sweater — walked up the driveway, the thick heels of her shoes making a clacking noise much similar to the pounding of nails into Christ's hands and feet.
I need to sneeze, but I can't.
She began coming here on Saturday mornings about five years ago, right after my wife passed away. I guess she felt I was vulnerable with my loss and susceptible to her creed.
And I answered the door at first. But then I began working late on Friday nights and I tended to sleep in on Saturdays. And if I were awake, I’d not be dressed yet when she came a-callin.’ I didn’t want to answer the door in my relaxed state. Nothing worse than seeing a fat guy in baggy underwear and ripped sleeping tee-shirt, scratching and mussing my hair.
I thought her departure for the past 60 days meant she felt I was a lost cause. I left a bottle of scotch in a bookshelf in my garage in November, about the time the visits stopped. I sit in a rocker and read books, watching the neighborhood through the never-closed garage door, and I polished off my bottle of Dewars. I thought the bottle may have kept her away, much like a scarecrow keeps the birds away.
Instead, it must have been the holidays and now that Christmas and New Year’s are over, she’s returned. I'm back to being a fugitive of fundamentalism, hiding in my house, ironically offering a silent prayer to God that the woman touting God will leave.
The one small advantage is that I've become trained to the possibility of her appearance on Saturday's and, in a subconscious way, I'm ready. It's the Pavlovian dog thing. Hear a bell, salivate. See the tan Buick, cower. I don't turn on the stereo or television until after noon so to mask any sounds that may indicate life abides inside.
Thankfully, I delayed my living room plans of dancing in my shorts to KC and the Sunshine Band's Greatest Hits. "I'm Your Bogeyman" would take on a different meaning had it been playing when The Arrival came.
The car is leaving; she’s gone. I can return to the land of the noise.
For at least two weeks again.