"Dear Prudence" by Amanda Grieme

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Through the Eyes of Nathaniel...

From "Dear Prudence" (Taken From the Debut Novel.) Link Above
Ranger Tom had promised Nathaniel that he would update him as to what had happened to Ana. Nathaniel asked that he not tell him if she dies, and was left to be by himself again, on the lonely stretch of quiet beach that he considered his home. “Stop thinking that!” He smacked himself continually in the forehead, trying to erase her memory, but she wouldn’t fade. Blue face and wet blonde hair, “there was still an ounce of life, right? Just an ounce, please?”

He fell back onto the sand, burrowed his tanned feet, and buried his head into his knees. Then he cried like he had never cried before. It was a sadness that was primal, like an animal who had lost her mother in a forest; a raccoon who had lost his mate. He cried for Ana, he cried for his past, he cried to unfetter his mind, for things he had done, for those he had hurt, and for those that he had lost. Most of all, he cried because he was out of anger and tired of himself. He rolled onto his side in the late afternoon sunshine, and focused on a sailboat out in the distant water. He envisioned himself sailing on it, felt the gentle rocking motion, felt the salt breeze on his dewy skin, and drifted into dream.

When he awoke, chilled by the orange and purple setting sun, he jumped up, gathered some driftwood and twigs, and headed back to his humble island home amidst a clearing in the tall brush. He started a fire, but had to venture out to find more kindling, brush, dried sea grass, anything to burn, and happened upon Ana’s backpack that he had thrown in an attempt to lighten her load. He stood and stared at it for a moment, almost afraid to touch it, for his unfounded fear of harming her somehow. The outside looked sun bleached from saltwater. It was almost dry. He slung it over his shoulder, and took it home. It was a connection to her, and made him feel like he’d done something right. It felt good.

He stared at the firelight dance on the misshapen form, changing it from backpack, to frog, to dragon. It reminded him of the coat rack in his childhood room; it took the form of anything remotely frightening when illuminated momentarily by headlights. He sidled over, unzipped it, and peeked inside. Lying at the bottom of a soup of saltwater and shells was a waterlogged pile of envelopes, wrapped in twine. He turned it upside down, gingerly untied the twine, revealed slightly smeared, addressed letters, lumped together and falling to pieces. He slowly peeled the first letter from the top of the stack, and the photo remnant of Ana’s dog Sherman fell onto his lap. He picked it up, looked at it in the firelight and placed it in his pocket. Then he read the first envelope.
“Briar Bailey 124 Apartment 4C, 28th Street, New York, NY ....”
Regardless of the water, the address was completely legible.

“Jesse Giovani 11 Dean Avenue, Zionsville, PA ... and so on, and so forth. There were loads of them, many repeats of the same address. Nathaniel spread them out around the fire in an attempt to dry them out, most typed, some handwritten. “A boyfriend, maybe?” He stared at the first letter addressed to Briar, and carefully peeled open the envelope attempting not to tear the wet letter inside. He lay the pages out in front of him and started to sift through the erratic, water-smudged letters:

Dear Briar -
Where should I begin? Having suffered the worst episode/reaction to MMedication ever in my history of ever – two evenings ago, I have done nothing but sleep for days. My doctor tried out a drug called Xyprexa on me, . . . it hurts to even say the name (it should be named Xyprexa really wrecks ya). It was seemingly the root of all evil. Brian, I couldn’t walk or move my mouth (severe cotton mouth) three bong hits multiplied by 1000, and my legs convulsed as if they were their own entities, for hours. It was truly a nightmare! I finally fell asleep in the early AM, and slept all of Thursday away.
I went to see Dr. Freedman today, (he’s my sympathetic shrink) and he’s trying me on yet something else; lithium. Despite all of the negative connotations associated with the (L) word, I decided to give it a shot. . I mean, what could it possibly hurt? I ‘ve been a crash test dummy for the psychotropic pharmaceutical companies as of late. I have taken two doses thus far (knock on wood) and somehow I am optimistic.
Bri, ever since my hospitalization in late November, I have had horrific experiences with medication. First, I was taking a cocktail of this evil substance called Geodon, cradled by Trileptal, Buspar and Prozac. Geodon had horribly debilitating affects; I fell asleep in school while trying to teach, only to be discovered by my supervisor; the ultimate in humiliation. Later, when the dosage was cut down, I started to have really bizarre and uncomfortable reaction in the evenings, around 8:00. It was like clockwork; my eyes would begin to shut, while my legs and body would start to twitch. Weird. I was then incapacitated until approximately 11:00 pm. Jack thought that I was losing my mind. So then, my doc tried me on another; Abilify. Talk about weird, . . . I had horrible sight impairment! My vision actually blurred to the point where I couldn’t read to my 10th grade English class. Thank God we were reading Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye; cursing is key! If you want to get a kid motivated to read, Salinger is your writer. ‘Goddamn’ is the most used adjective in the story. I’ll write later. I wish that I could hear you. I miss you so much it hurts. Please believe this. Love, Ana

...stay tuned for another plummet into Ana's Psychi in the next installment.

"Dear Prudence" is inspired by RADIOHEAD in all capacities!

Download-of-The-Day - "Exit Music" off of "Kid A" - RADIOHEAD (Below are two versions. I have included the Christopher O' Reilly Piano version as well! The entire album is STUNNING.

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