The three things I’m most thankful for in life are sunsets, peach tea and plea bargains.
One saved my life. Or at least the direction it was headed in. A cold small cramped room is no place to watch a decent sunset in, and I’ve never heard stories of Charles Manson sipping peach tea in confinement.
I think these type of things while I rock away on my old rocking chair, it’s a heirloom from my grandmother. It’s cracking mint colored paint goes well with the homely looking hut I call home. But I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else, no one recognizes me here in the upper peninsula. And if they do, they don’t say a word. People don’t come to northern Michigan to relive old memories. And everyone seems to have a mutual respect of that.
It’s summer time, and though the mountainous amounts of snow that was belched from the heavens has now come and gone, in its place are the wretched mosquitos and little black flies. Bug spray keeps them away mostly, but on this particular evening they seem to be especially persistent. I wear a headnet that I lift ever so often to bring my cup of tea up to my lips, which I gingerly sip.
The bright oranges, yellows and purples paint across the calm waters of Lake Superior, looking exactly like a work of art created by the master painter. Sometimes I get out my easel and water colors, and set to work trying to mimic the bright and intoxicating colors- but tonight I’m content with watching. As I seem to have always been.
The sun dips softly into the water which ripples sadly to see its departure. But even once the skies colors have long gone, I sit and listen to the waves crashing against the shore. It brings me back, to better times, and to worse times. I’ve spent my life in Michigan, and much to the discontent of her citizens it’s my home. I’ve lost myself in the colorful sunsets, the snow banks upon snow banks, the frigid cold waters of the Great Lakes- the girl that the reporters so desperately picked apart was lost in it too. She was shed long ago, like how a snake sheds its skin or a bird mulches. But time does that to the best of us, and I know that the rare occurrence that the reporters are able to sniff out my little slice of heaven, they still expect that 17 year old girl from 1972 to open up. Just as doe eyed and rosy cheeked as the day she sat on that witness stand. But no one ever thinks that people like that can change.
They like to pin our disturbances on everything from rock music, to television, to catholic nuns- but their favorite is our homes. That’s where they say the beginning of our disturbed minds is- our troubled home lives.
But really the beginning was at Mr. Chbosky’s dinner party, October 1971.