We have all heard Adele’s song, Rumor Has it.” Of course, anything that this sultry and soulful singer belts out gets our attention. Then, we slow down later and really listen to her lyrics and get the true message of her song.
Rumors. Rumors. Rumors. Rumors spread like wild fire and for some reason, people seem to come out of the woodwork when the rumor mill is in motion. Perhaps, it is because they are bored or that their lives don’t have any real levels of substance. Or, maybe, they see this as a form of ‘free’ entertainment. They do not have to spend any money nor gas. They simply have to pick up the phone and let the wheel of preconceived conceptions spin.
Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” I think of my character Phoenix in A Golden Leaf in Time Revised. At the beginning of the novel, she gets a phone call from the young security guard’s wife telling her, in essence, to leave her husband alone. She then shows up at the public library and further adds to Phoenix’s humiliation after a personal confrontation.
“Shortly after the phone call, a pregnant woman appeared at the door to the library. She had a bandanna tied around her head, and she had two small children with her. She took one look at Phoenix and shouted in front of the morning senior-citizen patrons, “Stay out of bed with my husband, or I’ll hurt you!”
Phoenix stood there in a pink two-piece cotton suit with her mouth agape. She felt the blood rush to her head and felt a light dizziness, not knowing what to do. The branch manager hurried out of his office. He took one look at Phoenix and quickly suggested that Phoenix, the security guard -husband, and the wife and children come into his office to deter further outbursts and embarrassment. As they moved into the small office, it felt airless.
There was only room for two persons to be seated. The branch manager sat behind his desk, and Phoenix sat on a high stool. The security guard and the wife stood along the wall. The children cried out of confusion. The wife accused. The branch manager attempted to mediate. The security guard stood and studied the rug. Phoenix studied the city map on the wall, never realizing that the city had so many streets. The wife talked on and on. The air thickened in the unventilated office, and what was all of twenty minutes seemed like an eternity.”
It was a pretty horrific scene and Phoenix’s co-workers are watching and privately enjoying this troubling situation. They have misled the young wife and led her to believe that something was amiss. Their professional envy has caused them to devise this scheme. Perhaps, Phoenix’s seemingly self- assurance bothers them. Or, it could be that she is often seen reading, which they rarely do. Again, Mark Twain said, “The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.”
Phoenix’s honorable character allowed her to withstand the onslaught of accusations because she was innocent. Again, Twain states, “Get your facts first; then you can distort them as you please.” She did not have to squirm nor shuffle though her inner spirit was being tested. She simply stood and endured the untruths because she knew that in a matter of time, she would be on higher ground and ‘it would be well with her.’ And the truth shall make you free!
Lynn February 4, 2015