Archives for the Date July 28th, 2021

muchdetailed: Le Bonheur (1965) dir. Agnès Varda


Le Bonheur (1965) dir. Agnès Varda

gotham-ruaidh:Little Bit Better Than I Used To BeCatch up: Chapter 1 (Starry Eyes) || Chapter 2…


Little Bit Better Than I Used To Be

Catch up: Chapter 1 (Starry Eyes) || Chapter 2 (Save Our Souls) || Chapter 3 (Dancing On Glass) || Chapter 4 (Merry-Go-Round) || Backstage (1) || Backstage (2) || Chapter 5 (Danger) || Backstage (3) || Chapter 6A (Love Walked In) || Chapter 6B (Without You) || Backstage (4) ||| Also posted at AO3

Chapter 7: Stick To Your Guns

Get a grip on yourself // Get in shape for tonight // Take a look at yourself or your dreams // You’re losing sight…

You got to stick to your guns // What’s right for you, ain’t right for everyone…

Soundtrack: “Stick To Your Guns,” Mötley Crüe, 1981 [click here to listen]

Time passed.

Claire’s sessions with Gillian progressed well. For five mornings a week, ninety minutes at a time, slowly they untangled the path that had led Claire to despair, to addiction, and to The Ridge.

Claire started keeping a daily gratitude journal. For Gillian had helped her understand that she had so very much to be grateful for. Almost every entry featured Jamie – something he’d shared with her, or something small she’d done for him, or a few chords he’d played on his guitar, or a new memory she’d timidly shared – thanks to his quiet, patient encouragement.

Afternoons were for Group, and for recreation. And now that the summer was in full swing, she was volunteering in the garden. It was Glenna’s pride and joy – and grew a healthy range of herbs and fruits and vegetables to be harvested at various points through the summer and served in The Ridge’s kitchens. And Glenna’s passion quickly rubbed off on Claire – who had never gardened in her life, but absolutely relished getting dirt under her fingernails and harvesting from the plants she’d tended to so carefully.

Together with Marsali and Jamie – and a shy newcomer, Elias Pound, barely out of high school but terribly addicted to painkillers – she continued to prep and clear the dining room each evening. With Gillian’s encouragement, she took Elias under her wing, guiding him through The Ridge’s process much like others had when she had first arrived.

And when Elias quietly shared that he wanted to be a doctor – she’d started giving him pointers on what to study, how to focus his energy, and how best to mentally prepare himself for what that life would be like. A life certainly without pills.

Her medical skills had come in handy a few times, too.

There was the evening when Glenna had cut a deep gash in the back of her hand as she’d sliced corn off the cob for dinner. Claire had expertly and calmly sutured the wound, with Elias’ diligent assistance. To the applause of the small crowd that had gathered, watching.

And there was the morning when Geneva had been stung by a bee and had a terrible allergic reaction. Dougal had burst into Claire’s session with Gillian, seeking urgent help. For all that Dougal was opinionated and in charge, he clearly knew when to step back – quickly doing as Claire bade, following her down the hall and bringing her adequate supplies to stop the swelling.

And of course there was the lunch, one rainy day, when Rupert had eaten his roast beef sandwich a little too enthusiastically and began to choke. Swiftly Claire mobilized, and with a few pushes of his diaphragm the half-chewed sandwich spewed all over the table. Everyone in the dining room had cheered.

She had a purpose.

She belonged.

She’d proudly told Uncle Lamb all about it (for patients at The Ridge received phone privileges – one thirty-minute phone call every three days – once they’d been there for two weeks). And Lamb certainly shared her joy.

“You just sound healthier, my dear.” He blew his nose into the receiver. “Excuse me. Claire – I feel awful saying this to you, but I think you’ll understand now. You were so desperately unhappy for such a long time, but you didn’t want any help dealing with it, and I felt utterly paralyzed – ”

“It’s all right,” she reassured him, twisting the phone cord in her free hand, watching through the windows as a few people played volleyball on the lawn. “I wasn’t ready to hear any of it. But now I am.” She paused. “Lamb, I’m so, so sorry. I’m sorry for what happened, and I’m sorry for how bad it got, and I’m sorry for disappointing you.”

“Oh, lovie. There’s nothing to be sorry about. I – ” His voice choked. “I’m just so glad you’re off of those stupid pills, and I’m so glad that you’re getting the help that you need.”

“I’m lucky to have really good people here, who want to help me. To build new habits, and to break the old ones. Did I tell you I’ve really gotten into gardening?”

“Yes! You’ll have to tell me more about it the next time we talk.”

“I will. All right – our half hour is just about up. I love you.”

“Oh I love you, Claire. Stay well.”

She hung up and sighed.

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