I’m trying to complete the House of Mayhem scavenger hunt. So here is a zuihitsu for prompt #5 – A zuihitsu featuring the Midwest, #16 – Incorporate: walrus, typeset, hat pin, gregarious, dentist, foxglove, miniatures, baseball, #17 – Incorporate: pigs, lottery, elbow, glitter, talisman, blood, indifference, #19 – Natural disasters are thematically important, #20 – Incorporate: loneliness, mushrooms, November, Roman candles, rust, sturgeon.
Over six decades of living and I know life is a lottery. One minute there is glitter and exploding Roman candles and the next abject loneliness and oppressive indifference. This world is a series of natural disasters. I’ve experienced tornados, floods, hail, blizzards, even ice storms that are just part of life in Indiana.
A Midwest November holds no joy for me. In that month my mother died. Death is part of life for people and leaves on trees. She slipped away, a sturgeon gliding through icy water. There was no blood, only the sound of her breath, a rusty hinge squeaking as the door opened from this world into the next.
The wheel of fortune spins. The freeze thaw cycle creates black ice, a normal condition in Northern Indiana. This time the chance is a fall on ice resulting in a fractured elbow and chipped front teeth. It is the teeth that prove to be the greater pain. The dentist is gregarious. He asks questions I can’t answer with his fingers in my mouth. He caps my front teeth but they are unnaturally long. I feel like a walrus.
My mother was my talisman. She survived the replacement of 2 heart valves. I have to thank the pigs who donated their valves for her. My favorite flower, the Foxglove, provided the drug that strengthened her heart contractions to keep her going. The pigs and the foxglove were “home grown”. She was lucky and so was I when she was here.
Hoosiers are joiners and collectors. She collected miniature vases no more than 2 inches tall and hat pins to hold her big floppy hats in place. Now I collect them because she is gone. And I’m still lucky in finding them at garage sales for a pittance.
Once during a baseball game we took shelter from a severe thunderstorm, just a normal Indiana summer. The lightning strikes were frightening but not as terrifying as being herded into the storage area under the stadium. The air was dank and smelled of mushrooms. My scratch off and team were not winners that day.
I’ve traveled across Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. I’ve hit the jackpot a couple of times. But mostly the house wins. I’m not a big fan of this roll of the dice. Even when you think you win you have to read the fine print and the typeset is in 6 point font.