Wednesday, April 13, 2011
The Diary of Lydia Duprée - Part 4
My name is Lydia Duprée. I look at myself in the mirror, cracked and cloudy with age. My hair is dirty. My face looks old. The age of my face is not surprising considering I'm 67. What is surprising is that I look 90. I look as cracked and cloudy as the mirror. The stress and cold have taken their toll on me. I have no creams or moisturizers, no make-up. My vanity seems like an affliction. The luxuries I have taken for granted are gone. I have avoided washing my hair out of sheer disgust for the cheap shampoo that has been left for me. What am I thinking? I need to be clean and I need a sense of normalcy. Today I have to wash my hair and try to find at least some comfort in that. Maybe, if I’m lucky, I can chase some of the depression away. I am discouraged, despondent and utterly disheartened. I didn’t realize that I was so vain. Locked in this room is terrifying all by itself. Locked in this room with only my own thoughts and realizations is somehow worse.
Snow still covers the window. There is one large bottle of water left.
Entry 6 – Day 9
My name is Lydia Duprée. Today it's raining. That means it's too warm for snow. I hope that the rain will melt the snow covering the one window that allows me to see the sunshine, the one window that might allow me to get someone's attention, the one window that reminds me that I am trapped here with no freedom.
The rains have brought wind. The blowing makes the house creak and moan. I probably wouldn't notice it if I was upstairs, but locked in this room, the moaning is somehow more intense.
I do wish I could figure out who would want to harm me and I'm concerned for my family. Could they be hidden away as well?
I sat and stared at this paper today. I felt as if I couldn’t bear the weight of the pen. Then I picked it up and wrote these words.
I have nothing to read. I ate a small portion of food. I found myself sitting and running my fingers through my hair over and over.
My feet are cold most of the time. Sleep is the only thing that keeps my mind at bay. It doesn’t always come quickly, but when it does, it is a blessed relief.
Entry 7 – Day 10
My name is Lydia Duprée. The rain seems to have moved on. I can tell that the sky is still gray, but the chirping of a bird nearby somehow makes my heart leap. The bird is free and in the world. It’s not caged like I am. It gives me hope.
This morning when I awoke I found a book sitting next to a fresh bag of food and water. My captor is somehow kind and cruel. My imprisonment must be indefinite. I feel I’m losing track of time.
Yesterday, I wrote of having nothing to read. Today there is a book. Is the universe looking out for me? Did God take pity on me? Has my captor found my diary? Do any of these questions need answers? I can’t believe I’m thrilled to have a book to read. I’m surprised at myself for finding happiness while locked away in seclusion.
As happy as I am to have someone’s words to occupy my mind and take it away from the terrifying thought that I may never escape this room, I am also disenchanted with the choice of book that has been left for me – The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton. I have read it before. Not that that matters. It’s just that I don’t like the story. When the only friends you’ve ever known turn their backs on you and they won’t allow you to make amends, your world is turned completely inside out. The heroine of Ms. Wharton’s story lives that life. It depressed me when I first read it and it will probably depress me again. However, reading of someone else’s dismal life is a necessary distraction at the moment in helping me escape my own.
©2011 Michael Rohrer