Well, she was a feisty one, Linda. I guess this where I have to admit that I live in a trailer park, and Linda lived next door to me. I didn’t like her at all, and maybe that’s why she comes back to haunt me from time to time.
Linda worked as a skater in the Ice Capades her whole adult life. She was never what you would call a star. She was more of a production skater. She worked all the time in different routines and different productions, and apparently she did it well. And she did it for many years, traveling all over the country, living in whatever accommodations were available, and worked long, long hours, learning new routines and practicing them.
Skating was all she lived for as a young girl, and she was a pretty blonde with stars in her eyes, and she was sure she would be a headliner one day. But it didn’t happen, and when she grew older, she didn’t know how to do anything else.
The physical and emotional toll it took on her was terrible. Every bone and joint in her body had been beaten up so much over the years that arthritis and bad knees, ankles and back doesn’t even to begin to describe it. Fairly early on, she turned to alcohol and pain pills to ease the pain and disappointment. She was able to get away with that for a remarkably long time, until the day she just couldn’t even walk anymore and was also saddled with drug addiction.
Linda was forced to retire on disability and a small pension. She had managed to save some money, and with this, she bought a refurbished mobile home which happened to be located right in front of my trailer. When I looked out my front door, I saw the back of her trailer lengthwise, with her bathroom window almost directly in line with my front door. Linda had friends who lived in the trailer park, and they looked after her and checked on her pretty often.
She was able to walk a little bit with crutches, and one day I heard something in my front yard. When I looked out, there was Linda, standing awkwardly on two crutches, cutting roses from my bushes and putting them into a basket. I want outside and greeted her, asking how she was doing. She said she was in pain all the time, and she knew I wouldn’t mind if she took some of my roses. I assured her it was okay, and then she explained she had run out of coffee and asked to borrow some. I assisted her back to her front door with the roses and enough coffee for a couple of days.
I learned that Linda was not at all shy about asking for things. If she saw me preparing to get in my car to go somewhere, she would ask for a ride. I would then have to wait for her and usually go out of my way to drop her off wherever she wanted to go. If she saw my husband outside mowing our lawn, she would come over and ask if he would mow her lawn, too, when he was finished.
She came over and asked for cigarettes. When I told her I didn’t smoke, she asked for money to buy some. I had a patio table with an umbrella and chairs outside. Sometimes I would look outside and she would be just sitting there. She said to me, “Your patio furniture is old. You need to buy some new stuff and put this furniture in my yard.” If anything was left outside on the patio, garden tools, BBQ utensils, or even potted plants, they would disappear.
One day, she offered to sell me a little digital clock radio for $10.00. I was astonished. I had put that same clock radio in the trash because it no longer worked. By this time, I knew Linda was heavily into drugs. She was prescribed a lot of pain medication for legitimate reasons, but I’m sure she was supplementing that with street drugs.
I think everyone avoided Linda. Her friends in the neighborhood checked on her less often. She stayed inside her own trailer more. I no longer saw her sitting out on my patio.
There came a day when I heard a great commotion outside. Half a dozen people were gathered outside Linda’s bathroom window, shouting, “Are you in there, Linda? Are you all right?” They could not see inside the window; it was high off the ground. Someone went to get a ladder. Someone called the police. They asked me if I had seen or heard anything, but I had not.
Presently, the coroner arrived. Linda was dead on her bathroom floor from a drug overdose. She had been there for a couple of days. A few weeks later, the trailer was hauled off to the junkyard, being too filthy for human habitation. Before that, I did see some of the people who looked after her coming in and out, taking certain items with them. The coroner had sealed the door, but someone broke it open, and people were in and out frequently. I was glad when they finally took the trailer away.
I knew Linda was going to die. I could see it in her eyes. I was not what you would call kind to her, but maybe a little kinder than others. I do not claim to have any special powers or abilities. But I know I am very sensitive and have a vivid imagination. I believe this combinations kicks in at times, like when sun and cold collide and produce thunderstorms.
When I experience this dynamic, I refer to it as my “knowings.” It happens fairly often, and it happened this morning when I saw Linda sitting outside at my patio table. She looked very much at home there..
Bye for now from Sweet Nan