The Lotus Eaters – Friday Fictioneers, July 2019

Copyright Ted Strutz

Leaving the island is always easier than it is to return.

It seems life arrests mid-stroll, mid-conversation, mid-everything the moment my plane skims away across the waves, only to lurch into motion as I step back onto the jetty years later.

I chatter, to fill the silences.

“Really?” they murmur languidly, eyes glazing, and “…how lovely”.

I steer the conversation to them.

“Oh, you know…” they say, and “… pretty much as ever.”

Why do I feel they’re politely waiting for me to leave again?

And is that a collective sigh of relief I detect above the sea-plane’s accelerating engines?

Two thirds of the way through summer already.  😦  But Friday Fictioneers marches on, whatever the season.  Thanks to Rochelle.

About Sandra

I used to cruise the French waterways with my husband four or five months a year, and wrote fiction and poetry. Now I live on the beautiful Dorset coast, enjoying the luxury of being able to have a cat, cultivating an extensive garden and getting involved in the community. I still write fiction, but only when the spirit moves me - which isn't as often as before. I love animals, F1 motor racing, French bread and my husband, though not necessarily in that order.
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66 Responses to The Lotus Eaters – Friday Fictioneers, July 2019

  1. neilmacdon says:

    Loved the idea of it being easier to leave the island than return


  2. Sue says:

    Hmmmm…a welcome outstayed, lives that don’t synch


  3. ceayr says:

    Well, this is intriguing.
    And the big question – why go? – is left unasked and unanswered.
    But I love how ‘they’ are depicted…


  4. Dear Sandra,

    They say you can never go back home. An overall feeling of discomfort well described. Well done.



    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this. Something about seaplanes has always appealed to me. There’s inherent romance in them, a sense of possibility. You’ve added a layer here.


  6. Colline says:

    Definitely not a positive experience.


  7. Gosh, this really reminds of some of my visits to friends in the UK when I was living in Fiji!!

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos


    • Sandra says:

      Yes, we’ve made our ‘homes’ in several places, both here, on the continent and in South Africa. Going ‘home’ has seldom fulfilled expectations. 🙂


  8. Dale says:

    As Rochelle said, they say you can never go home again. Makes one wonder why she would bother. Then again, she might be searching for that connection that is not on the other side of the flight and in her new life…
    Excellent, Madame!


  9. Reena Saxena says:

    I see a strong metaphor running through it.


  10. michael1148humphris says:

    Interesting, so much more to this story, which reminds me I must be off😉


  11. Iain Kelly says:

    An awkward reunion, perhaps the last time they will make the trip.


  12. You make me curious as to the underlying motivations.


  13. bearmkwa says:

    Went back home for a visit, felt the same. Great capture. It’s true, you really can’t go home again… everything, including you, have changed.


  14. Outsiders not welcome, i’m thinking..


  15. Nobbinmaug says:

    Reunions can be so awkward. It’s horrible if the comfort zone is never found.


  16. 4963andypop says:

    I had the same feeling reading this, that it was a return to her homestead, her abandoned and perhaps slightly neglected past. An intriguing intro to a longer work I hope.


  17. I love how you so effortlessly encapsulate the emotions and feelings of not just a person, but an entire community.


  18. Danny James says:

    Some things are better left behind.


  19. Not long ago I returned to the village in France where I lived for several years. I can so relate to your story!


  20. draliman says:

    They’re an “outsider” now, I guess.


  21. This sounds like an insulated group of people. She’s become an outsider. She’s moved on and they haven’t. I’d bet their young people leave when they find it possible. Good story and well written as always, Sandra. 🙂 — Suzanne


  22. You portrayed the awkwardness so well, of the one who lives “away” and visits, while those who remain move on without them. Amazing story as alway!


  23. pennygadd51 says:

    No nuance of human behaviour is too small for you, is it, Sandra? You’ve turned the trivial experience of returning, marked by embarrassment on side and apathy on the other, into a wonderful story. Kudos!


  24. plaridel says:

    it looks like a sign she has overstayed her welcome. they just don’t want say it loud.


  25. granonine says:

    An awkward situation, when people just don’t have anything in common any more. I could feel the strain.


  26. Abhijit Ray says:

    May be people from a small island has nothing much to offer in the way of conversation to a city dweller. They may not be able to open up unless they consider a person to be one of them. It happens quite often. Mind is able to pick the vibes.


  27. James McEwan says:

    A stranger in your own homeland comes to mind. But this is reality, and an experience I have encountered frequently – people just can’t wait for me to leave. Well captured.


  28. lisarey1990 says:

    Leaves a lot of questions. Great read.


  29. Nan Falkner says:

    Too bad she has to leave, but Everything and Everyone change. People grow apart, children grow up and go to their new lives. Nothing IS the same ever again – But hey – that’s life -darn-it-all!


  30. How sad. I would hate to feel like this. You’ve described it well.


  31. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Friend,

    I love hearing the notes of the engines as your thoughts take wing. It isn’t long that matters. It’s the good.

    You are. You are. You are.

    I’m glad to have heard you flying, Sandra. More than I can say.

    Please pack that thought into your carry on and take it with you wherever you go.




    • Sandra says:

      How lovely to see you’ve dropped by. Rochelle and I were only talking about you the other day. She tells me you’re happy, happier than ever. And that makes me happy too. I’ll pack your comment and take it with me, as I think of you in your new life. With great satisfaction. Take care, old friend.

      Liked by 1 person

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