Village night. SOIL II

Village night. SOIL II

Soon, it got into Mim’s head that commuting was wearing her out. Waking before daybreak and the infernal prospect of missing the return bus and not chancing on a four-wheeled vehicle to transport her home sapped her of vital energy. So Mim hit on a fitting expedient: stay in the village over the week.

Bohemian expedient

She imparted her bohemian scheme to her parents. “I’ll turn daisy-fresh, the clean country air will do me good.” “Uh-huh, yeah, absolutely,” her mom hummed in a skeptical, omniscient tone while keeping a compassionate smile on her lips. “Why do you say that?” Though Mim counteracted in passionate outbursts, Mom was difficult to convince. To lend her plan credit, Mim reminded her how pretty she looked after the harvesting season because of laboring in the field.

Each September, when school term began, it sickened Mim only to think of the harvesting drudgery. The marching with the entire army of school staff and pupils to distant crop fields, then toiling till dusk under a roasting sun. Hours stopped still, minutes lasted forever. Then the footslog back to the village. What with waiting for a lift on the road’s earth margin and with rolling to town in a chance jalopy or a wrecked van, her home zoomed out faraway in space and time.

Despite Mim’s constant grumbling and sighing, once reunited with family, she featured her fresh best, with blooming peonies in her cheeks and eye pupils sparkling with robust health. She gobbled Mom’s food, slept deep, so regained agility and mind briskness. “Very well then, Tomina, let me see you at it,” her mom said, smirking in disbelief. “Let the girl try,” her father broke in. “Why, do you think I will stop her, I won’t.” Mim’s parents always let her choose for herself whatever made her happy.

Village hovel

So said, so done. Mim planned with an old woman who lived near the bus stop to hovel her over the week. The peasant’s meager yard was far from the dreamlike courtyards Mim admired as a kid in Moldova and bore no compare to the neighboring proud homesteads, but Mim would no longer spend her life’s each tick with an eye to the roadway. No more waking at dawn’s unmerciful crack, nor wasting precious hours on commuting.

“All right, mother dear, I’ll be waiting for you. But I’m telling you, dear—as I reckon you should know—we’ll have to share the bed. There’s no other.”

“Um …, yes, it’s OK, I should put up with that. I’ll give it a try tomorrow night to see what it’s like.”

But the following evening, once she found herself inside the peasant’s yard, a swell of extreme loneliness swept over Mim. She just yearned to be shown her night quarter, whichever dump.

“There you are, mother dear. That’s the bed over there. But get this clear, I rise rather early, to weave on my loom. Can’t help it.”

“What time?”

“Well, to speak truth, mother dear, that’d be … fourish.”

The weaving loom dominated the tiny chamber. It stood muted at the window, crammed between wall and bed.

“I’m afraid I might cause you a little trouble, dear, as the bunk shakes when I pull the batten.”

A dark cloud descended upon Mim’s consciousness, ruining her contentment about a fresh start. Will she master that?

Cast in the village

While waiting for nightfall, Mim imaged the roadway’s gray course and the apartment building where her family dwelled. It rose tall on the right as soon as the file of poplars ended and the bus rolled into town. She visualized her mom and dad seated in the kitchen mentioning her. What might their daughter be doing, and would she be fine?

A deep sense of self-pity overwhelmed Mim, seated on a stool outside the measly cottage. She wished for the dark to send her into that ridiculous bunk so she could stretch her slouching physique in the snug nook by the wall. Meager words were exchanged, but what conversation could she make with the wrinkled peasant? Mim grew insignificant, a bug, a squirt on earth’s face.

All night, she did nothing but wait. For daybreak, for eight o’clock, when classes began, for two o’clock, and the commuter bus to collect her and deliver straight home. If only daylight crept sooner in this village, she prayed, nose pressed against the bristly wool tapestry. Where have you cast the poor soul of Mim, dear God, with no akin soul beside her?

Mim retraced snapshots from her gratifying existence till then. Fabulous she on balmy summer evenings, sparkling her parading along the shoreline … Mim dazzling at parties, arms linked with Stefan. Her Bovarism in the crème apartment, a luxury Mim now pined for. The windows whence she combed the misty greenish horizon across the river, imaging Anton there.

Mim’s last cry for Stefan, lenient Stefan, her gentle protector … She was blind drunk, had inflicted ferocious pain on herself earlier, experienced heartsickness before that, and the preceding week stood paralyzed in shock.

. . .

From Soil, Chapter 21 of Traveling True: A Sensual Novel, published in 2017.

About the author

Solar Writer walking on the dark side to bring mind's secrets to light, in romances with a psychological edge. Next Woman blogger showing you how to use the power of SELF to stay young, confident and magnetic.