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Seek and Ye Shall Seek

by Annie Wood about a month ago in marriage

Hollywood Hills, 1998

photo source: Unsplash

Robert and Susan leave their not-so-great-way-over-priced-but-in-the-right-zip-code abode and hurry into their much-too-flashy-no-matter-how-you-justify-it Mercedes Benz and speed their way through Beverly Glen to their horrid destination.

Susan stares out the window while Robert futzes with the radio dial. Where’s the big band station? Susan has her gaze out the window, lost in thought. Robert repeats, Which one is the big band station, Susan? Susan?

Not turning her head away from the passing trees she says, The flower shop across the street from us is hiring.

Honey, we discussed this, you don’t need a job. Besides, what do you know about being a florist?

What do I know about being alive? Susan morbidly thinks to herself as they pull into the driveway full of shiny new cars. The proud owners of the vehicles are loudly nestled in the cracks and curves of their host’s mansion, sipping on their vodka tonics and champagne cocktails, whispering lies to impress one another.

Eddie and Vera are there, on the verge of another knock-down, drag-out fight where one of them blames the other for their screwed-up kids and rotten, unfulfilling lives. Bernice and Todd are discussing their brilliant, new idea for a show. Hank says his friend’s son, one of the kids from Full House, would be great for the lead. Or maybe, if they went another way, the kid from Family Matters. The story is about a gay mafioso teen serial killer who lives with his stepmother. It’s Seven meets I was a Teenage Whack Job afterschool special. Should get huge numbers.

Kara and Janice are lying on the couch chain-smoking unfiltered cigarettes, hating everything. They’re boycotting oranges this week to show solidarity for the sellers on the freeway off-ramps. Susan doesn’t understand how boycotting the thing that the sellers are selling could possibly help the sellers but she rather not ask. She’s too busy wondering if she’ll ever have a real feeling about anything ever again.

Bernice got God, Eddie got Zen, and Susan’s got a headache. Kara and Janice are always going on about some sort of important protest that Susan and Robert really need to get involved with. Eddie’s always reading something mind-expanding that’s changing his life. Just how many times his life needs to be changed remains a mystery. He’s halfway through Zen and the Art of Television Watching. Maybe he’ll find nirvana while watching Friends or maybe the Home Shopping Club will make him at peace with the world.

Susan watches as Robert flirts with an old friend. She remembers when she was the one who brought such a wanting look in his eyes. After twenty-five years of marriage, three children, sagging everything, and countless lost career opportunities, Susan's only hope for happiness is waking up tomorrow as someone else. Perhaps a widowed florist who lives with her three Labrador Retrievers, in a small, cozy home with a beautiful garden that she will tend to in some unknown small town in some unknown small city where she can remain unknown until she wishes to be known.

Janice strokes Kara’s knee as they explain to Susan the spiritual principles behind tantric sex. You see, begins Janice, When the male ejaculates he expends energy. Kara finishes, But when a woman has an orgasm, she builds energy.

This is when Susan checks out. She follows her thoughts to the time she and Robert, still young in love, went to church together for the first time. Susan, a liberal, non-religious Jew, was surprised that she felt so out of place in a church. Something about seeing Jesus, frozen in time, bleeding and suffering on a cross made her feel uneasy. But the idea that millions of people found comfort within the four walls of worship, any worship, fascinates her. In fact, when she found herself and Robert years later fasting in Sedona with some sort of bearded guru-type the same thought occurred to her. There never seems to be a shortage of people searching everywhere outside of themselves to fill those empty places inside.

For Susan, it didn’t take. None of it. At least not yet.

Just then Kara’s voice intruded with, and that’s why two women together are unstoppable and a man and woman together, well, they are limited. Don’t you agree, Susan? Susan?

But it was too late. Susan was gone. She couldn't comprehend anything that took place in this so-called state of reality anymore. So she eloped with herself to the State of Clarity. But she wasn’t sure exactly how she got there or what it would take to stay.

Susan! yells Robert from the other side of the house. Come here! Bernice has a great idea for Celestine Prophecy musical children's board game for the internet!

On the slow walk over to Robert, Susan begins to name her Labradors and settle on a plan for a permanent move to the State of Clarity.

Where the only thing she will ever seek again, is a new flower to plant in her garden.

This story was first published in P.S. I Love You on Medium

Annie Wood
Annie Wood
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Annie Wood

I'm a Hollywood, CA native who writes fiction, plays, essays & poetry. A common theme of mine is embracing your youness by not following the fold.

Also, I'm a TV/film actor & mixed media artist.

My book is out! ->

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