WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

Spect Scan PearlThere are those who would like to believe that Pearl Curran created Patience Worth out of her imagination drawing upon subliminal information stored somewhere in the neurons of her brain.  There are some who believe that functional MRIs or SPECT scans, if available during the early 1900s would have easily been able to identify parts of Pearl’s brain from which the Patience Worth material originated.  All Pearl had to do was to dissociate a little bit and presto, in the words of one pseudoskeptic, “case closed”— Pearl Curran made it all up!BRAIN SCAN PEARL2

Brain Scan Pearl3
OK, let’s go with that!  Now let’s see,—just what must Pearl have been thinking when she sat with Emily Hutchings at the Ouija Board?  Well, in the beginning Pearl was probably thinking how uninterested she was with Emily Hutchings wanting to experiment with the Ouija board; she would rather play cards or go to the movies.    Although Pearl probably envied Emily and her notoriety as a writer and homemaking expert—recognized by the “big women” in St. Louis—she felt that she just didn’t have the talent or the drive that Emily did— and besides she had a family to care for— and after several tedious sessions at the Ouija board with Emily, she was thinking how bored she was in spite of Emily’s enthusiasm for continuing to contact her relatives who had gone to the “great beyond” i.e. her mother Margaret Schmidt.  And when Pearl’s father died, after a couple of months of trying to contact Emily’s mother, Pearl just didn’t have it in her to continue under the circumstances.  So she stopped placating Emily and said,  “No more!”

Apparently Emily continued to bring her Ouija board over to the Curran’s house, because the records document that Emily would continue to plead with Pearl to participate, so—to please Emily—after a few months Pearl acquiesced and placed her fingers on the planchette along with Emily’s again.  This time maybe they could contact Pearl’s recently deceased father as well as Emily’s mother.  This went on for a good year or so until Pearl couldn’t stand it any more.  Emily was beside herself with enthusiasm bouncing up and down as a word or two came through. She just couldn’t sit still.  Pearl was rolling her eyes each time Emily ecstatically spelled out a message from the “spirit world”

“Well, enough is enough”, Pearl thought to herself.  “Wouldn’t it be great fun to make Emily think she had contacted a real spirit.  Let’s see now what will I call it.  Patsy?  No , that sounds like a little girl.  How about Pat, Pat something or other— PAT-C,  PAT-C.  PATRICIA CURRAN?  John’s dead aunt?   No, that’s not good.  I don’t know if he even had an aunt!  What would be a good name?”

“Oh, I know.  It just popped into my head!  How about the English waiting woman that I read about in Mary Johnston’s  novel ‘To Have and To Hold’ .  I don’t remember much of it— maybe daddy read it to me a long time ago when I was in school—but I think that there was a character called “Patience Worth” in that book.    That sounds like an old name; I’ll tell Emily it’s  ‘Patience Worth’ she has contacted   Emily will just flip out!  I’ll have a good laugh and the joke’s on her.  Maybe that will satisfy her and we can play some cards, play the piano and sing or go to a movie!”

“Wait a minute!”

“The problem is if Emily’s takes this seriously, which she probably will, I will need to think up things for Patience Worth to say—a,—a,—a. maybe something old-sounding using thee’s and thou’s, shalt’s and shant’s like a long dead spirit would say.  I don’t know—maybe something from the old songs I used to sing would help.    I don’t know anything about history, archaic language,  literature or poetry but I probably could write some poems, like the one I wrote in grade school, (which daddy didn’t like) and in my spare time when no one was looking, I could memorize them and then spell them out letter by letter with Emily at the Ouija board. That’s it!  Maybe I could think up some stories too—something historical (hysterical would be better! Ha! Ha!).  Maybe a big novel about ancient Rome and – – -Oh! wait a minute! How about a novel about Jesus? I could re-write the Bible!!!”

” I could write something about Medieval times—just like Chaucer did. (Wait a minute! How did he slip into my mind? That sly dog!  Who is Chaucer anyway?)  I could write like Shakespeare! (Ugh!  I couldn’t stand him.  He puts me to sleep.)  Maybe I could come up with a story about a “brat” in Victorian England. (What do I know about England? Never been there.  Never read about it.  I’ve got a lot of studying to do!) I could write about an old potter in the middle east. (Well, I do know about a group of women called the ‘Potters’ in St. Louis, but they’re no longer around.) And there might be a big market for a story about a girl who pretends to be a boy? Well, maybe not now, but  hey!, wait until women get the vote!”

“Wow, I ‘m on a roll!”

“I’ll just have to be careful so that no one in my family sees me working on this material.  I will have to look up all of this stuff in the library or John’s ‘cyclopedia in the closet upstairs or somewhere else ’cause I don’t know anything about England, history or literature.”

“Whew!, This is going to take a lot of time!”

“It’s like giving birth, I guess, but, Oh, Miss Scarlet, I don’t know nuthin ’bout birthin’ babies!  (Now where did that come from? It just popped into my mind.  I must have stole it using my ESP or Super-Psi from somebody, maybe a story that hasn’t been written  yet!.)”

“Yeah, well, men think women can’t do anything other than have babies, clean the house and cook, but I’ll show them I can do something else.  I’m tired of being kept down by the men in my life!”

“Nobody stopped Emily!  No man told her what to do!  She almost became a doctor!  Her mother did!   I may not be a doctor and  I may not be able to vote but I can still have my say.”

“I’ll become a writer, just like Emily but better than her!  Patience Worth will do it for me. Yeah, well, I don’t care if I don’t get the credit.  I will be happy just to have a voice.  I’ll get a lot of attention that way and get out of this boring male-dominated life.”

2 thoughts on “WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

  1. William Dorian

    This is absolutely hilarious! I’d give anything if my friend Eileen Curran could have lived long enough to read this. She had such a marvelous sense of humor, she would have loved these hypothetical snippets about her mom’s ulterior moments for ‘dreaming up’ Patience. Bravo!

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