A Handful of Answers

As called out by The Amazon Iowan in her post of many questions (I’ve gone on a bit… it just happened, quite beyond my control really, so it’s all after the break):

1. So what happened to the glass eye, anyway? Or perhaps I should be asking after the butter dish?

Well, turns out the undertaker didn’t at all take to the notion of burying Gramma with her eye, as he saw it as more fitting that the eye stay with the rest of her Depression glass collection. The undertaker was given to such firm notions about what the bereaved should do with their deceased’s various accoutrements as a direct result of a childhood incident with a faulty crematorium and his father’s dentures. Being as how the undertaker was the only person in their small Mississippi bordertown who turned nary a hair at offering open-casket funerals for intact and dismembered alike, the gentleman was more often than not indulged in his notions as befit the prominence of his station.

Upon discovering his gramma’s glass eye in the butter dish, the current bereaved, who was also the last living descendant of the Sugar Hill Gang, glared accusingly at the cat. He strongly suspected the creatures was in fact the reincarnated spirit of his Aunt Velma come back to vex him from the afterlife. His Uncle Harlan had also thought the high-spirited marmalade might be channeling his lost beloved, and had hopefully named it Velmina just thirty minutes before said creature had wound itself between his ankles, sending him headlong down the narrow basement stairs.

It was this unfortunate precipice of events which had led to the discovery of Gramma’s glass eye in the butter dish. It hadn’t been there long, just enough to get slathered up along most of the white, hardly at all into the colored part. The eye was still warm, which told Colbert the undertaker had snuck it into the dish just a moment before the hue and cry had been raised for a proper dairy product to cushion Miss Evelyn’s gooseberry jam, brought out only for the most special of occasions such as wakes and weddings. Colbert was sure he would have noticed Gramma looking up at him when he’d buttered his toast earlier that morning, not least because she’d always had strong feelings about the desecration of her favorite sweet butter by thoughtless crumbs, and the very act of lifting the lid of that hallowed dish still shot a pang of fear down his spine at the foreknowledge of personal guilt laid evident, along with the desire to duck each and every time, though Gramma had been laid peacefully to rest at least three wakes ago, which translated into at least four sticks of butter if he counted the chunks Velmina had just gotten into.

Aunt Velma had loved her butter too, so it was more evidence of the cat’s spirit possession that it behaved so shamefully at the prospect of messing up its fur. Aunt Velma would have grieved sorely to see Gramma’s glass eye interfering with her culinary delight, so it was a blessing and a mercy that she wasn’t around in body to watch it watching her slather the fresh biscuits laid out on the picnic table round back. Colbert wondered briefly how the cat would react to the sight of Gramma’s glass eye in its beloved butter dish, and resolved to find out at the first opportunity by way of testing Aunt Velma’s control from the spirit realm. After, of course, they’d laid Uncle Harlan to rest and all the town ladies had gotten their fill of gooseberry jam on buttered biscuits.

2. If you could orchestrate the perfect moment right now, what would it be? Either whats the activity, or whats the emotion/setup? Or both?

Peace – flow – safely grounded in the clouds… I’d be taking a break to stretch between scenes, sitting upstairs in my office looking out at the fog-covered Pacific Ocean, barely able to see the tips of the pine trees peeking through the pale-fuzzy, salt-fizzy air. There’d be a fire in the fireplace, just a small one by way of offering and warmth to counter the coolness rolling in through the open window on each crash of the waves on the sand just downstairs. Both dogs would be sprawled snoring doggy dreams in the middle of the room, and Stephen would be within speaking distance, also taking a break between scenes, and asking what I wanted to do for dinner.

3. What is your favorite plant, and why?

Hoo this is a tough one… the Joshua tree because when they fall they make great walls for dug-out desert forts if you don’t mind lots of aggressive visibility, but also the lotus because it like hope floats and blooms in the mud, and also night-blooming jasmine because it climbs and suprises me on a spring evening with earnest white scent then disappears just when I’ve started to count on it, and also hibiscus because it is flamboyant and delicate and blooms in colors I’d love to eat, and also banyan trees because I could live a lifetime of elven wonder in the roots and branches of just one small rootling, and freesia likewise because if I could just slant my eyes at them the right way I’d discover how the fairies turn their blossoms into pageantry for their queen, and a sweet lemon tree because it’s scent and sight and taste all in one, but most of all my favorite plant is the eucalyptus tree, because to live in a grove of their soft greenness casting scrolled parchment bark at my feet just waiting to be filled with secret writing would be the most peaceful and safest place of all.

4. What is your weirdest phobia–like, the silliest one? Any idea how it came about?

Having dirty feet. I have to wash my feet before I go to bed, and I really don’t like my feet to be grungerrific in the house. Which is hard with two large dogs who drool frequently and often at my feet. Or on them. Not sure how that came about, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with always needing to have hospital corners on my bed and the sheet properly aligned and squared away relative to the blanket lest they tangle all around me and hold me down when the monsters come to nibble my toes in the dark. Because they totally will if they see an opening. The monsters, that is. Not the sheets or the blanket or the toes – that’s just silly. But the monsters? Yeesh. You can never be too careful. Honestly, it’s easier to just make the damned bed properly in the first place than risk getting your sleep rudely interrupted by BLEEDING OUT from the tiny vein in your pinky toe.

5. What is your favorite place you would most like to visit but know you will never, ever get to, either because it is fictional or inaccessible?

The library at Starfleet Academy. Or the main library on Vulcan, whatever that one is called (I know I lose geek cred here for not knowing). Or the Tardis just before choosing a destination next, when all is possibility and nothing is certain.

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