The Blue Room
The new section of the building had been finished.
I had been to two functions there.
I was surprised at all the changed when I attended the first function. The amount of space gained by the extensions out, and upward.
A balcony section looked out over the river. Windows on all sides gave the customers a perfect view. The customers protected from all types of weather. Whether the weather be wet, or dry, windy, or cold.
You look down on the boats moored on the river. Watch the cars, and trucks, move across the traffic bridge. See the houses on the northern side of the river. The mangroves which grow along the muddy bank.
The morning sun shone through the window to brighten, and warm, the people attending the Devonshire Morning Tea before time to listen to the speakers on different topics to do with seniors. To tell them of ways to protect themselves from being cheated out of their life savings. Their safety. Health problems.
“I knew they would be here,” said my friend, who nodded in the direction of the people of whom she spoke. “The won't miss anything for free.”
I looked in the direction to find of who she spoke. There they stood with a plate loaded with scones. Each half of the scone had jam, and big heap of cream. He could have done without the cream. Probably the scone. She should have left the lot alone with her sugar, and heart, condition.
“There's our Joyce.” My eyes followed the path hers had taken. Joyce wore an old straw hat with the brim turned up on both sides. She wore dirty runners on her feet. A long skirt hung down to her ankles. Over the top she wore a shorter length dress. An old, thread bare coat covered the top half of her body.
When Joyce stepped out on to the balcony, her loud, croaky voice, carried to every corner. She couldn't stand still. She kept walking around with a lot of trips to the toilet. Joyce left before the speeches finished. She didn't seem to take in any of what the speakers had to say. She had only come for the cup of tea. Or had it been her breakfast. Lunch.
Joyce is also a radical driver. I followed her on day along the same street I had to travel. She travelled at a snail pace. Kept moving to the edge of the bitumen. Then move toward the centre. She lent toward the passengers side of the car when she took a left hand turn. There wasn't a safe way to pass her. Once around the corner, Joyce put her foot down on the accelerator. The car took off like a rocket leaving me well behind. I followed at the normal speed for a built-up area.
There were some people at the function I knew.
He should have went without what he had piled on his plate. At least, he held out on the cream on his half of scone. His tallness helped him carry the bulging front veranda, his stomach, which extended well out over the held holding up his shorts.
“These scones are very tasty,” said Dennis. “Did you have some?”
“No,” I replied. “I don't eat too many foods made from flour.”
“I was allowed only, half,” said Dennis with a cheeky grin. He turned his head to see if his wife watched him. He watched for a chance to grab another half. “But my wife has her eagle eye on me.” Not that she could have fought him if he had grabbed for another. She was only half his size.
We all settled into the Blue Room to listen to the speakers. The room didn't seem to have a life of its own. No vibrations. It was a newly painted room full of people. The sun shone to every corner hiding no mystery from the searching eyes.
Tonight. The sliding glass door to the balcony was closed blocking out the view of the river. The play of the moon, stars, and streetlights, which showed on the flowing river were blocked out. Hidden behind the drawn curtains. Couldn't see the lights from the boats bobbing on the water. The flow, and noise of the traffic, was missing.
The room appeared to be smaller. Instead of the chairs being placed in straight rows across the room, they were in a semicircle of rows.
Each light had been dimmed to create a different atmosphere with the moonlight shut out.
Streamer of thin white material fanned out from the middle of the ceiling toward each wall. I looked into the changed room from the doorway. I was shocked. I could swear I saw a mist moving around in the room. Like a mist moving in to cover an English moor. To stop you seeing where you walked. Then again, the mist may have been the dearly departed family members waiting to see if their loved ones came to visit the psychic medium. A beautiful perfume scent floated through the room like burning incense. Or someone had sprayed perfume into the air-conditioning. The smell reminded me of a field of flowers surrounding me with a gentle breeze spreading different smells.
I chose to sit on a chair a few rows back from the front row hidden behind tall people. By doing this, I hoped I'd be hidden from view. Sat close to the end of the row in the event I had to make a quick exit to the toilet, if I needed to go.
The cold winter breeze made its way up the stairs to enter the room. Combined with the air-conditioning, I felt like I was sitting in a cold storage room.
Even though, I had looked at the photo of the psychic medium in the paper, I was slightly disappointed when she appeared. The woman didn't fit with the picture I had in my imagination. When she began talking, I though she was there to introduce the medium.
There was no body to my vision. All I could see was from the shoulder, upward. The picture I had the woman had white hair. Short. Styled in the fashion of Doris Day with some of her features. Even after the host told us her name it took some time for the message to reach my brain she was the psychic medium. During the course of the evening, I waited for the vision to appear on stage. I felt cheated she didn't appear. Maybe, I was receiving some kind of message from the psychic medium of someone in her past life.
Thinking I was hidden I sat quietly listening to what she had to tell us of her personal life before she realised she had the powers to see. The way these powers had affected her life. How she had fought off alcoholism. The break up of her first marriage. The loss of her children to their father. How the courts decided she was an unfit mother.
Told of all the places she had worked. The loss of family members very close to her before she began to hear voices speaking in her head. The voices had finally pushed their way forward to be heard. They wouldn't stop talking. She believed she was going mad. She needed to find someone to treat this problem for her. She believed even the trees were talking to her.
Her voices in her head became known to the army guys. Maybe to her, the name fit because she worked at the army canteen at the time. The excess alcohol over the years had been to try to drown out all the voices in her head.
After the last bender to end all benders, she finally went to seek help. The voices advised to do seek help. She found she hadn't been heading down the path to madness. She was taught how to handle the voices in her head. The voices had been trying to reach her from the other side. Had to find out why the voices were trying to pass through her.
She talked while she paced across the front of the room. The action were like she was possessed. She seemed like a person who was able to talk under water, as the saying goes, of those who hardly stop talking long enough to take a breath. Taking a sip of water in order to keep her throat working.
Her speech appeared to be her way of filling in time waiting for the spirits to find their way to her head. The spirits who were searching for family members, or friends, who they wished to speak to through her.
We all listened to her life story enthralled. We realised now was the time for the spirits to be let flow through the Blue Room. The woman kept rubbing her head like she had a headache. The person trying to come through was giving her a lot of trouble. She searched the audience to find the person to who the spirit wished to speak to.
The woman started with the section where I was hidden. She picked out a lady a few seats up from me who had to stand to answer her questions. That lady wasn't the one she searched for. The selected person told of who she wanted to speak to but the spirit couldn't pass through the other stronger spirit who wanted the floor.
“Did the person who passed over suffer from a head problem?”
“Well. You're not the person this spirit wishes to talk to.”
“Someone in this section did have a person pass over with a head problem.” She watched for someone to respond.
The psychic medium saw the slight flutter of my hand which I didn't realise I'd moved until I looked to see it was raised. Next I knew, I was standing with a microphone in my hand surrounded by a couple hundred people listening to what I had to say.
“Who was the person who passed over?”
“She's the one who has been bugging me all afternoon. Causing my head to ache. What was her problem?”
“You're the one I have to talk to.”
Her head was overloaded with all my family members who had passed over to the other side. They were all tying to have their say.
The hurt of my dreadful loss must have been starting to heal for me because, that was the first time I didn't have to reach for a handkerchief to wipe away fast flowing tears streaming from my eyes.
The psychic medium listed all my daughter's possessions I still had. Possessions like her teddy bear, books, and other items. Jody's sunglasses she knew had been broken, recently. The loss, or stolen, wedding ring which I hadn't told anyone about. This had happened after Jody had died.
I was told what was wrong with my father before he died. About my son who had died before he had a chance to breathe. There were many other members the psychic medium had picked up on their causes for dying by holding different parts of her body. Even told me what was wrong with my mother who hadn't passed over. Why she was sick. She started coughing like she was a smoker. The sing of what had caused my mother's problem.
Jody was the most forceful spirit. All the things I was told were true. I was told I had to go out to buy a new pair of shoes. It just so happened, I had been thinking of going to buy a new pair when I was getting dressed to go to the show. The audience thought the suggestion was funny.
The next suggestion from her was to do with Bundaberg rum, I took awhile to remember my uncle Ted loved his rum.
One of my memories of uncle Ted was many years ago. He was suppose to be helping us to move into a house. He was hung over from a weekend of drinking. Instead of helping, he stood against the wall. He leaned on the fridge where he went off to sleep.
Someone woke him when the work was finished. “Aren't you going to help. You just going to stand there sleeping.”
“I was not, sleeping,” replied an indigent uncle Ted. “I was just resting my eyes. What has to be done?”
“The work is all finished.”
I don't know how his legs didn't buckle while she stood there sleeping.
I was pleased when someone else's family took the floor to take the attention away from me. I was able to sit to listen, and laugh, what I heard the other spirits had to say.
Maybe, the next time I enter the Blue Room it will have changed once again to bring different memories to me.