Child’s Play

A short story by Laurie Green-Schillawski

His name is Norman. He is very cheeky and wants his cheese RIGHT NOW!! He knows that he shouldn’t demand what he wants. Others have told him how RUDE he is when he does. Norman just doesn’t care. Nope, not one little cheese crumb.  Pushing his right foot against the pavement to propel his scooter down the street, Norman thinks to himself about the cheese curdled day he’s had. Nothing to keep him busy at work and no one is grateful for what he does get done. “Why”, he wonders, “Why do I do this EVERY DAY?” You can almost hear the angst in his thoughts. “I’d rather be out communing with Mother Nature than sitting in that boring, cold office every day.” This isn’t the first time that Norman has had these thoughts. He was 111 years old after all. No, it definitely was not the first time that he’d had these thoughts. So, what was different about today? Why would this day be any different than any other day? He’d gotten up and put his pants on the same way as every other day. He’d eaten his barely buttered toast just like every other day. He’d gotten on his scooter and rode to work just like every other day. Same old boring routine, yet, something was different. Oh, very, very different indeed! Norman continues to paddle his scooter down the road wishing again that he was already home. This commuting to work was getting old, he thought, for the umpteenth time today. “Yes, it used to take me almost an hour to commute one way from Auburn and then another hour back home EVERY DAY just to get to the same BORING job in that cheese blasted COLD office”, he thought angrily. “But, just because the commute is shorter, doesn’t mean that I have any desire to commute AT ALL!” Oh, Norman was in a fine cheese blasted mood today! “So much of my time WASTED! Wasted on commuting, wasted on a job where no one appreciates me. Time wasted just sitting around looking for SOMETHING to do to make the time go by quicker!” Oh yes, Norman was getting himself into a cheese dip about to explode kind of mood. Watch out folks! You don’t want to get any of THAT on you!  Entering his home that Laurie, his lovely wife of 69 years, has so tenderly not taken care of, Norman sighs and puts his collection of keys, lunch dish, phone and glasses on the counter. No, Laurie wasn’t into cleaning the house or doing the dishes. She would much rather be sitting on her lovely cheese roll of a butt and play games on her I-pad or sit outside smoking her Limburger cheese cigarettes. “I’m home.” Norman states. There’s absolutely no interest in his voice what-so-ever. “I’m in here.” Laurie replies. She doesn’t even bother to get up and give him a kiss. “When did that stop?” Norman wondered. Briefly. “Oh well, just another reason to be cheese blasting pissed off!” he fumes. He continues on through the house and makes his way up the stairs to his bedroom where he’ll change out of his work outfit into his super cheesy baggy sweatpants and equally cheesy sweatshirt. “Now I’m comfy.” he states as he heads to his home office to check his emails, Facebook and Google + accounts. “Maybe I’ll work on my photography for a little while tonight.” Norman muses. “To hell with all this cheesy bologny on the social media sites,” he thinks “I’m going to do something I enjoy instead.”  Norman opens his Light Room program. A video starts to play and he hears a woman’s voice say, “Norman, dear Norman, won’t you come out and play?” The woman’s voice is like a soft sigh of wind through the pines. “Now THAT isn’t a cheesy voice.” Norman thinks. “No, that’s not cheesy at all.” Norman listens again. This time he hears her say, “Norman, dear Norman, won’t you come out to stay?” Norman’s heart starts beating faster. “What is this?” he wonders. “What video is this? I don’t recognize this! Is this someone’s idea of a cheese blasted joke?” he grumbles. Again, the softly sighing woman’s voice calls to Norman. “Please, Norman, don’t deny me any more. I’ve waited so long for you to hear me call. Now, listen close, Norman, dear Norman. For what I have to say will change your life forever.” Norman leans closer to the computer screen, listening intently. His heart is pounding like a sledgehammer now. His palms are sweaty and he feels a little faint. “What is this all about?” he thinks? He leans a little closer, holding his breath so he doesn’t miss what the woman might say. “This is your home, Norman, dear Norman, why have you gone away?” she sighs gently into his ear. “I want you to come home and care for it and yourself. That is what was meant to be and it must be or your life is for naught.” Terror strikes Norman deep in his heart! “What, what does she mean making a statement like that?” he sputters. Somewhere deep down inside though, Norman feels a grain of truth to what she says. “What do you mean, ‘This is my home and why have I left’?” he asks the computer screen. He waits, but, hears nothing. Moments pass with not a sound, except for the clicking of the mouse as Laurie plays another one of her cheesy computer games in the living room below his office.   Just as Norman was ready to click the X button to close the window to the video, he hears something. It sounds like someone laughing, a gurgling chortle of some sort. Norman turns up the volume on the computer. “Yes, someone’s laughing.” he thinks. The sound grows stronger, sweeter, purer. Norman finally recognizes the sound for what it is, a brook babbling gently over rocks. As if on cue, he hears the woman’s voice again. “Norman, dear Norman, this will be the last time I  try to bring you home. You have denied me all these years. You’ve only ever stopped by fleetingly. If you cannot come home now, then you never will.”  “What shall I do? What do you require of me? Where is this home that you speak of?” Norman gently asks of the woman he can’t see but hears deep within himself.  “Your home is here with me, Mother Nature. You were intended to be a steward of all that you see around you. You, Norman, dear Norman, were meant to chronicle my life for the betterment of the world. You were to share the joys of my passing seasons, capture the precious moments so few humans get to see for themselves. You were meant to preserve me, in all my glory, as only you can do. Your eye sees the true me. You don’t want to change the way I am. You have always been able to convey me–as me. You don’t Photoshop me or twist what you see. The world needs you and your vision to secure their future. For, without me, the world is a very cheesy place. Go forth, Norman, dear Norman and tell my story. Be true to me, but most importantly, be true to yourself. Don’t deny your longing for home any more. Come back home to me, Mother Nature.” The silence was so profound that Norman thought he’d lost his hearing. He sat in his office chair, staring at the computer. He knew, oh yes, he KNEW that his life had changed forever. How could he deny that he longed to be everything that she had said he should be? He’d felt it in his very soul his whole life.  So, Norman took a deep refreshing breath, shook off the tension and headed down the stairs. He was going to sit with his lovely wife, Laurie and formulate a plan so that he could leave his cheesy, boring, cold job and start living the life of his dreams. He knew that she would help him. She’d always been supportive. It was just a matter of putting all the cheesy cheese stuff aside and focusing on their goal.  “Well, I think I have Will Smith to thank for this.” Norman chuckled. “I guess that video I watched of him telling me over and over again that I have to believe in my dream and then focus on making it happen really had a profound effect on me.” Norman and Laurie worked diligently to achieve their goal. They lived happily ever after in the REAL world.  A world of wonders.   A world of beauty.   A world of mystery. Norman and Laurie wrote a tear provoking letter to Will Smith. There was absolutely nothing cheesy in it.

This was written by Mrs. Limburger Cigarette Smoker aka Laurie Green-Schillawski (all rights reserved, TM)

Moral of the story: Make your dream a reality!