Thelma without a Louise (the big sleep)
(originally posted 8/14/2019)
Thelma looked a lot like Louise from the movie Thelma and Louise, if Louise had aged a few years and let herself go a bit.
The trouble with telling you about her is that it will seem in some way I am endorsing her worldview.
I am not.
I am simply telling you something Thelma believes. Something she puts into practice to the annoyance of all around her. Which explains why there is not Louise in Thelma’s life.
Not that she is a lesbian. I am more referring to a close friend who you’d feel comfortable driving off the edge of a cliff with.
And just because I reference that scene in the movie in no way means I’m endorsing it. I’ve never seen it. I will never see it. I just know that it ends with them both hurtling off a cliff for some reason.
I guess I should have given you a spoiler alert but if you haven’t gotten around to watching Thelma and Louise by now I’m guessing you never will. It came out in friggin’ 1991.
So what is this ‘worldview’ I mentioned earlier? (I can sense I’m starting to lose you with all the Thelma and Louise nonsense) (that’s what makes me the writer I am… an uncanny knack of knowing when I’m losing readers) (I should know by now, I lost of thousands of them)
Thelma sincerely believes that she’s helping by going to sleep when someone she knows is having something unpleasant done to them; surgery, cavities filled, that type of stuff.
Why does she believe she is helping?
Because when she wakes up it’s over with for the person.
I’m going to give you a minute to wrestle with that one. Her friends and family went through the same type of mental gymnastics the first time she explained it to them.
She explained it to them and then expected them to thank her.
“I had to sleep through the whole afternoon just to get you here safe and sound” she elucidated to her befuddled sister who was recovering from a gall bladder operation. Her sister, still fuzzy from the drugs, hung up on her.
Honestly I wish I would have thought to name her sister Louise. That would have been perfect. Especially given the upcoming ending. You would have sat back and said to yourself “Wow, that Manion can sure spin a yarn that makes you think.”
Now? The usual “Fuckin’ Manion.”
Although her circle of friends slowly decreased through the years Thelma still had plenty of reasons to sleep. It got to the point where she would read about people going through turmoil of one type or another in the newspaper and she would march into the nearest pharmacy and stock up on sedatives.
“I want to help “ she would tell the disinterested pharmacist behind the counter.
“And you do Thelma. That will be $49.50” he would reply disinterestedly.
I don’t think Thelma was crazy. I just don’t think she knew what else to do. Empathy is a slippery slope.
“Was crazy?” you might be saying to yourself. “Since when is this muddled excuse for a story in the past tense?”
Maybe compassion and logic and our seemingly limitless ability to rationalize things make a bad cocktail.
“Don’t ignore your reader Manion!” you’re probably saying out loud at this point. Maybe not. I like to pretend that you’re really invested in these words on a screen.
So anyway… Thelma, realized that there was so much sadness and suffering in the world that the only way to bring it to an end was to get into her 2017 Honda Accord and drive to the limestone quarry near the mall (You know the one.) (“Oh right… the limestone quarry.”). So she did. She slowly drove through the fence, it gave way surprisingly easy (a nearby spider that was watching rolled its eight eyes and said “So much for your advanced technology. So much for steel.”), and then all the way to the edge.
“Oh shit…” you’re no doubt saying to yourself now. A lump in your throat.
Thelma called her sister and said “You’re welcome” then hit the gas.