Saturday, October 26, 2013

The Cloudy Flashback

The Eight Sentences:

“You remember what I told you about sunsets, don’t you?” Lillie had asked.
“Yes, ma’am, I do, I’ll never forget it,” Claudia replied.
“Well, Dr. Thibaut’s passing was one with a beautiful clear sunset. No clouds to be seen, but a beautiful afterglow.” 
Lillie put her coffee cup on the table, raised her glasses and wiped her eyes with the ever-present white lace handkerchief. 
Claudia thought a moment and at the risk of sounding like a challenge, pressed ahead with her question, “Do you think that people can have a cloudy life — one that would have beautiful clouds at sunset, but, aaah, still have had troubles?”
“Honey, no life goes by without problems. We all have our clouds, remember that man in Lil’ Abner?”
                                                                                                                                                   Image credit:
The Back Story:
  After the death of her masters supervisor, Claudia visits an old friend in Baton Rouge, Dr. Thibaut's housekeeper, Miss Lil. In this conversation, they talk about analogies, sunsets and clouds.
  Many readers, especially baby boomers, will remember the Lil Abner cartoon strip. Joe Btfsplk was a character that featured an ever-present dark cloud over his head symbolizing bad luck. 

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  1. I love this, especially "Honey, no life goes by without problems. We all have our clouds."

    (But check your spelling of Lily -- you have it two different ways: Lily and Lillie.)

  2. Thanks for the comment, and good catch.
    I've corrected it now.

  3. I love Lil Abner.

    Is Claudia thinking about her own past, here? Can such a clear-minded, focused woman still have clouds?

  4. I remember the character, and I do like the last couple of lines.

  5. Really sweet moment. And I totally agree, there is no life without problems.

  6. Nice one, Chip. Claudia's question tugged at my heart a little--makes me want to get to know her better.

  7. Interesting conversation, I like the clouds imagery. Excellent excerpt!

  8. What is life without problems? Claudia is such a complex character . . . need to read the novel again, Chip!

  9. This is wonderful, Chip! Claudia using clouds as an analogy to life's troubles is perfect!

  10. I see you had a baby boomer snippet yourself this week. :) Claudia is one cool gal.