Wednesday, March 08, 2006

so what's normal?

the woman has been trying to arrange for a home visit with the Family Service to our schizophrenic(?) neighbour for some time now but the time the social worker does come down, they find *Wendy* not home. the neighbour says she found work.

the next day, Wendy calls the woman to ask if she told the neighbour anything about her, not to do it, as they will use the information against her. it is another one-sided conversation. the woman manages to interject enough to ask if she and the man can visit her some time.

so it comes to be that in the evening, the man and woman make their way to Wendy's. without back up. with much trepidation.

Wendy welcomes them warmly and immediately, the man and woman know they have been acting like fools.

two beautiful cats greet them at the door. big shining eyes and gorgeous gleaming coats. one white and orange. one with the same colour and markings as leukemia.

the cats lounge content in the 'garden' that stretches from the front door into the apartment, amidst a botanical spectacle of luscious, robust potted plants that culminates at a fish pond with a fountain spring. birdcages with faux birds and little trinkets inside hang decorative from the ceiling.

Wendy's home is similarly bedecked with a myriad ornaments and curiosities in soft warm light. Wendy's taste is decidedly english. there are oil portraits, victorian-inspired cushions and lampshades and a million cat and dog figurines. worn and cluttered, it is strangely attractive with a soothing lavender scent.

Wendy shows them pictures of her dogs, a golden retriever and a collie, who lived to 12 and 14 respectively and died in her arms. she talks about her cats, her plants, never once mentions the spy-hole in the wall that she said she would show the woman when she comes.

after they leave, the man wonders if the woman will be like that one day with her knickknacks, her disdain for the apathy in the world and her obsession with nature and animals. yep, who knows. for now, it is all they can do to look in on Wendy once in a while, because maybe one day, when they need it, someone might look in on them.


CatDonna & Cats said...

Well, evidently there's some very strange behaviour with Wendy but it's questionable whether she truly is "dysfunctional".

When is madness really madness? And when is it simply eccentricity?

Or do we just make up our own rules about what's normal as we go along?

I dunno, but I suspect some people think I'm weird anyway, with my rescue animals and all. ;)

It's great that you guys look in on her. I'm sure she appreciates your care. Respect! :D

Zuleme said...

I think we are all afraid of getting involved with someone who may be well.."differently minded". But I also think knowing Wendy will open you up in ways you don't know now. It is brave of you to take that chance. I hope you will write about her more and look in on her. It is a good lesson for all of us, kindness matters.


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