Author Topic: final entry: Grizelda and Chickee  (Read 1970 times)

indar9

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final entry: Grizelda and Chickee
« on: September 17, 2019, 09:29:27 PM »
Annually, a remarkable occurrence brought to them their most successful work in the square, the seasonal decorations, lighting of the tree and the miracle of the ice-skating rink--real ice surrounded by blooming birds of paradise, the ever present palms and neatly trimmed warm weather greenery. Those who gathered there were in a festive mood and generous. During the season Grizelda bought special dog food for Chickee, coffee and treats from vendors for herself.

The year that finally broke the ten year drought brought heavy rainfall for days on end and the happy crowds did not come to Pershing Square to skate, holiday concerts were cancelled.Grizelda's tent had weathered over the years and leaked at every seam and pinhole. Hunger drove her out to the alleys in search of food but she would not go to shelters where Chickee was not welcome. Her living space became sodden and cold.

A pall of rainclouds hung darkly over the streets and reflected only gloom in the usually bright faces of glass-fronted buildings. Few moved on the streets. “I am sorry” Grizelda told Chickee, “we will go hungry today”. And so they did the next day and the next. Grizelda could not rouse herself, she suffered increased chills and lost track of the hours, maybe even days. She was only intermittantly aware of Chickee's movements curled against her side or sometimes standing over her.

“Oh Chickee,” she cried during a moment of wakefullness, “Please forgive me, I can't move, I can't go with you on the street, the days are dark and I am so afraid”. In that instant she saw Chickee clearly. Her vision was filled and a shift occurred that Grizelda could not name: a dazzling corridor to someplace else perhaps; a parting of the known cosmos. Words came to her, not audibly but as language fully formed in her mind, “Do not fear, I will never leave you but will stay and comfort you through this darkness”.

Chickee laid down beside her, his head on her shoulder and she was, indeed comforted by his presence and by the knowledge that the purpose she had divined for her life had been fulfilled: Chickee spoke.

Note: This was inspired by Kevin “KK” Cohen and LeeAnne “the cat lady” Levin, two Los Angeles skid row residents. They were bonded in an unusual friendship until KK was shot to death outside a convenience store. They both found meaning in their lives via their love of animals: she her cats and he his early memories of the horses he rode and cared for in Compton (yes there are horses in Compton). They tell their own stories most compellingly in the documentary “Lost Angels: SKid Row is My Home.

I have tried to imagine the slow descent into mental illness that finally brings a person to a life on the street. I'm probably way off but undaunted I'll try a retelling with the idea with dialogue in mind.

 https://www.latimes.com/local/la-xpm-2012-dec-05-la-me-1205-lopez-angels-20121205-story.html

Here is the whole documentary:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB_P3eljq1Y


ST

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Re: final entry: Grizelda and Chickee
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2019, 10:14:58 PM »
I never like seeing 'them their' used together, it just makes it a bit out of focus. My preference, not a rule.

I smiled when I read your first line, actually I wanted it to encompass the whole paragraph. 'festive and generous' in this setting is about the same thing, when one is festive, it's a feeling shared. My thoughts. But on a whole, I liked how it felt.

Quote
The year that finally broke the ten year drought brought heavy rainfall for days on end and the happy crowds did not come to Pershing Square to skate, holiday concerts were cancelled.

The grouping of your images faltered, because the focus stayed too long on the first image of the heavy rain. The connector you used 'for days on end' felt on the wrong side of 'and' . When moved, the impact of that heavy rain on that celebration is shown over a timeline.

So, what I'm saying is one way works better for the image than the other.
This is how I see writing, or rather the structure of writing. It doesn't really change the meaning, but rather sharpens the focus, so the impact is strong.

Good luck

indar9

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Re: final entry: Grizelda and Chickee
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2019, 08:07:50 PM »
I never like seeing 'them their' used together, it just makes it a bit out of focus. My preference, not a rule.

Now that you mention it I don't like them/their either, kind of sounds like "thar's gold in them thar hills" :)

Thank you ST for a thoughtful read and comments.