Life in progress

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223. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Wednesday, April 11th, 5:00pm
Hillary (and Drommen)


Hillary sits at the window. Drommen stops in the aisle beside her.

Hillary: (looking up at him) You gonna sit?

Drommen: Is that an invitation?

Hillary shrugs. Drommen sits.

Drommen: How have you been keeping?

Hillary: Okay I guess. I got hit on by another guy on the bus the other day.

Drommen: Not another flasher, I hope.

Hillary: What do you care?

Drommen: (sighs) I do care about you.

Hillary: So you wanna get together then?

Drommen: Change of heart?

Hillary: (shrugs) You’re better then Sean. He’s an asshole.

Drommen: (pats her knee) Know what? You can find someone better than me too. (moves to get up)

Hillary: (grabs his sleeve) Wait! I didn’t mean it that way.

Drommen: Yes you did. And so do I.

Drommen changes seats.


Next stop: Thursday, April 12th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


138. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Tuesday, January 16th, 9:00pm
Dillon (and Zoey)


Dillon sits at the window. Zoey takes the seat beside him.

Zoey: Hey. Aren’t you a bit young to be on the bus alone at this time at night?

Dillon: (stares at her for a moment) My mom’s sick. She went to the hospital.

Zoey: Oh no.

Dillon: So I have to go home to my step-dad. He’s drunk.

Zoey: Are you going to be okay?

Dillon shrugs.

Zoey: Is there a friend you could stay with instead?

Dillon: Yeah. But he lives the other way.

Zoey: Do you know his number? (pulls cell phone from pocket) I could call him.

Dillon: I’ll be okay.

Zoey: Well, can I give you some money to take another bus?

Dillon: (hesitates) Sh … sure.

Zoey: (hands him $3 in coins) Are you sure you’ll be okay?

Dillon: (shrugs) Yeah. Thanks.

Zoey: My stop’s coming up. Do you want to come with me to talk to the bus driver? He can make sure you get where you want to go.

Dillon: Sure.

They get up together.


Next stop: Wednesday, January 17th, 5:55pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.

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126. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Thursday, January 4th, 3:00pm
Drommen and Francine


Francine: Why are you so pissed off at me?

Drommen: (stares at her silently for a moment) I’m picking you up from the hospital and you’re insisting on going back to that hovel you live in. That’s why. Did I not say I’d take care of you?

Francine: I don’t want to be a burden.

Drommen: People you love are never a burden.

Francine: Fine. I’ll move in with you. Is that what you want?

Drommen: Yes.

Francine: (takes his hand) I love you too.


Next stop: Friday, January 5th, 4:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


111. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Wednesday, December 20th, 8:00pm
Drommen (and Stephanie) (and Villem)


Drommen sits at the window. Stephanie takes the seat beside him.

Drommen: (smiling) Good evening.

Stephanie: (smiling back) Hi.

Drommen: Nice evening.

Stephanie: Yes, it … (suddenly looks nervous) Hide me.

Drommen: Hide you?

Stephanie: Yeah. (looking at his long trench coat) Under your coat or something.

Drommen: Well, you see…

Stephanie: That man over there. (pointing) He tried to flash me on the bus the other day.

Drommen: (sits up straight) Which one?

Stephanie: (points) Over there. First seat on the left.

Drommen starts to get up.

Stephanie: (grabbing his arm) No! You can’t go over there.

Drommen: Why not?

Stephanie: Because he’ll know it was me who told you about him.

Drommen: But someone has to deal with this guy. He’s giving the bus a bad name.

Stephanie: (with a tear in her eye) Please?

Drommen settles back in his seat.

Stephanie: Thank you. You’re a very decent man.

Drommen snorts.


Next stop: Thursday, December 21st, 3:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.

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56. Scenes from the Second Seat on the Right

Thursday, October 26th, 5:00pm
Drommen (and Holly)


Drommen sits at the window. Holly takes the seat beside him.

Drommen: Hi.

Holly: Hi.

Drommen: Do you mind if I … Are you crying?

Holly: (wipes her cheek) No.

Drommen: What’s wrong?

Holly: Oh God, my life’s such a mess. First I get pregnant with this guy who disappears, and now my husband’s disappeared and I’m going to get thrown out of my place.

Drommen: That’s terrible.

Holly: And on top of all that, I’ve got this other guy hanging around my house with these fake … (points at her mouth) teeth … things … and I’m pretty sure he was the one who made my husband disappear.

Drommen: Did you call the cops?

Holly: No, because I asked him to get rid of the other guy … my boyfriend … Wait, are you a cop?

Drommen: (snickers) No.

Holly: (sighs in relief) Thank God.

Drommen: So, let me get this straight. You asked the guy with the plastic fangs to get rid of your boyfriend, but he screwed up and now your husband is missing instead?

Holly: Right.

Drommen stares out the window.

Holly: I don’t know why I told you all this. I guess it’s easier to talk to a stranger.

Drommen: (turns back to her) No, it’s fine. I understand. I look to strangers for help all the time. Listen, I think I might be able to help you. (reaches into his pocket) Take this.

Holly: (looks down at a wad of twenty dollar bills he handed her) I can’t …

Drommen: Yes you can. It’s for your rent. And next time I see that little prick with the teeth …

Holly: What are you going to do?

Drommen: It’s probably best I don’t say. (reaches into his pocket again) Wait, can I see that wad again?

Holly holds the stack of money out to him.

Drommen: (replaces the topmost $20 with another) Wrong one.

Holly: What … why?

Drommen: (holds up bill gingerly) This one’s a little gooey.


Next stop: Friday, October 27th, 5:00pm

Click here to learn all about this series, how it works, and where to find your favourite characters.


#SoCS – Compassion

How do we draw the line on compassion? Most of us have it, to some degree or another. It begins with learning how to share, in our toddler years. Which is probably one of the reasons those of us who lack it tend to bring up children who lack it too. Does it begin with consumerism? With the idea that if we work hard for something, it’s ours? Perhaps.

Where do we draw the line on who we’re willing to share with? We have compassion, naturally, for our family and friends. For those we care about who we have met. But how about the strangers we pass every day on the street? How about people who are marginalized and bullied… by even some of our governments? From the outside looking in, it seems to me there are two types of people – those who believe they and they alone are entitled to what they’ve worked for, and those who reach out and go to great lengths to help everyone. Or at least anyone they encounter.  Of course there are those of us who only wish we could save the world, and would if we had the resources.

I went in to a Tim Horton’s today for a bite to eat. Outside, there was a woman sitting with her back against the wall with a sign that read “Broke and Hungry.” She asked me as I walked in the door if I had any change. I told her I didn’t – it was the truth. I keep my change at home, saved for Alex’s bus rides. While I was sitting in the restaurant, the staff went outside and told her to leave. I didn’t think that was very fair.

I see people begging for money online all the time. Sometimes for money to save their lives, sometimes for things they simply want. I saw someone trying to raise $6,000 the other day so they could publish their book. I wanted to shake them and tell them there’s someone trying to scam you… do it yourself for free. And there are people out there with their tin cups… really, what’s the difference? One is braving the harsh weather, the other is using a device likely worth more than the outdoor beggar could hope for in a month. Yet who are we more likely to give our money to? Somehow, $5 on Paypal seems less than a dollar in cash, doesn’t it?

Does our compassion need to be clean? Do we find our sharing only worthy of going to those who can ask most eloquently… those who spend the most time in our faces?

Are we more likely to share with those who we have things in common? Yes? Why? How do we draw the line, when we consider everyone to be equal in our humanity? We all deserve to live. We all deserve what we work hard for. Yet sharing and compassion is what separates us from animals. It’s what makes us human.

Giving feels good. So give. I challenge you. No matter how.


This challenging post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Check it out!


Honest Opinions Wanted

As you probably know, my theme for the A to Z Challenge this year is parenting a Deaf child as a hearing mom. I decided on this theme mainly because I hope one day to write a book on the subject. The A to Z seemed an easy way to compile my thoughts into something that could be organized into chapters. I’m not including every aspect of what it is to be Alex’s parent since not everything fits. But most of it is or will be here.

My plan is to market it as much a guide for people who have Deaf children, as for people who have hearing children. I hope to provide insight into behaviours, reading and understanding body language, and generally to teach parents and children how to spot and be compassionate toward those with limited abilities. Hopefully, without coming off as preachy. The book, if I write it, will be entitled, Don’t Talk With Your Hands Full.

I’m not going to ask you if you’d actually buy my book – I’m not here to put you on the spot. But if you saw something like it on the shelf, and hadn’t already read as much as I’ve written, do you think you’d be interested enough to at least read the back cover? Do you know anyone who doesn’t read my blog who might buy it? Basically, do you think it could be a worthwhile endeavour?

I appreciate honest opinions. Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings; I take criticism well, as long as it’s constructive.


The Life of a Caregiver

Life is strange, isn’t it?

I have to wonder sometimes at its fairness – how some of us get to stay relatively healthy while we watch our loved-ones fall apart.

Some believe it’s all predestined: were those who are put into the role of caregiver always meant to be one? Were they somehow chosen? I’ve heard it said that people who have ended up caring for others may be challenged by a higher power… that they are, by divine intervention, simply the person for the job. Some are able to make their own choice to work in the service of those who are less fortunate, or who are sick, some have no choice other than the choice to run away.

I’m a great believer that everything happens for a reason, though not necessarily in a mystical sense. Good and bad must always have a balance. The weights tip back and forth but nothing is ever absolute. Therefore what weakens us or challenges us can also strengthen us. Positivity can be found in the worst imaginable scenario, if we look hard enough.

What I struggle with mostly is deciding whether being the healthy one is a blessing or a curse. At first glance you think those who are ill have it the worst – and they do. There is no questioning that. But. What of the caregiver, having to watch those he or she loves suffer so?

I suppose it all comes down to the old adage, life is what you make it. In the darkest times, light can be found. But for whom is it hardest to find?


EM is for Merciful

Merciful is how I strive to live my life. When I consider the synonyms: Compassionate, forgiving, generous, kind and sympathetic among others, it just makes sense to me to try to be these things.

I’m not a Christian of any particular kind. I’m not even sure I believe in God, though I’m not adverse to the idea that there is more than we can see in the universe that is plain to our mortal senses. I don’t believe in the concept of karma as it relates to an eye for an eye. I believe in existence. I believe that it’s something we all have, whether we’re of this race or that, whether we’re human, animal, insect or herb. We are all equal in the fact that we live – we, all of us, affect one another in at least some small way. I also believe that we have choices in this life in how we exist. The sick can be happy – the healthy miserable. We can make the best of what we have to deal with, no matter what it is. Or we can dwell on that which is not ideal.

But what can we do for each other? If we all strove to ease one another’s existence, how wonderful would the world be? Yes, there would still be challenges; existence cannot be free of pain. Sometimes a smile, a helping hand, or a compassionate ear for someone who needs to talk things out can make all the difference.

I don’t need a God to tell me these things. I don’t need a proscribed belief system at all. I just need to be and to recognize that so does everyone else. Equally.