Posts Tagged ‘love’

Lacey (name changed) sat behind me in secretarial class my senior year, 1956. I knew the stories she whispered to me could not be true, yet they seemed so real a part of me believed. Lacey and I weren’t close friends, didn’t run around together, rarely saw each other outside of the two hour secretarial class, which left a lot of time for those who were one with the manual typewriter. Lacey and I were.

The first whisper was about how cool she thought Russ Tamblyn was. He was a rather short standout dancer in movie dance groups like Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. His rather unruly hair had a red tint and his face was what we called cute back in the fifties.

Lacey’s fervor for Russ Tamblyn was so strong I began to look forward to her little fantasies. One day she became very excited and had to be hushed by the teacher. When the coast cleared she took a deep breath and told me Russ stayed at her house last night in a spare room. I don’t remember the circumstances of his implantation into her physical life from the screen, but it was so real to her. I could hardly wait for secretarial class the next day. Lacey was beside herself with her idol present in her own home and I began to feel how real it was. She never mentioned conversations or meals with him and the family, just seeing him, knowing he was sleeping beyond her bedroom wall.

One day Lacey burst into class extremely calm, but I could see she was boiling underneath. When the chance came, she leaned into my ear and whispered, “Russ and I did it last night.” This story needs a large piece of white space here because that’s what the time and room became for me. Everything was so real for Lacey—and for me. Your first time was a big event in your life and Lacey had experienced it with her idol!

I sat bolt upright and faced the front of the class. What was I thinking? Of course, this was all a fantasy in her head. Russ Tamblyn didn’t come to our little town. Lacey didn’t sleep with him.

“We met on the living room couch during the night like I knew we would. The look was in his eyes earlier,” Lacey said, “it was wonderful.” Then Lacey went into a sort of trance.

For several days after that Lacey first gave me that knowing smile and nod and said they met again. Sometimes she added they were almost caught by her mom.

* * *

It’s 2009. I haven’t seen or thought of Lacey in years, but I did today. Amber Tamblyn was featured in the Parade Magazine. I’ve followed her because she was Russ Tamblyn’s little girl, so I read a celebrity piece, which I rarely do. Amber is asked how it feels to be an only child. And there she discloses that she learned she is not an only child, that she has an older sister her father produced in the sixties. Suddenly for the first time in years I think of Lacey. I know Lacey’s tale was spun in 1956 and Amber’s sister was born in the sixties so there can be no connection. Yet I hear those breathless whispers and don’t know where fantasy ends and reality begins.


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monarchs-cats-004No coffee flavor wafts into the bedroom in the morning—

 Cat fur coats his pillow—

 The dinner dishes sit unmoved an hour later—

 The small wad of cash in my purse is no longer enough— 

It’s a darker dark when the power goes out—

 Pockets have new purpose, holding keys and cash at times—

 Short trips in the car increase threefold: his, mine and ours—

 Cats now go in and out the screened porch door forty times a day—

 Cell phone operation is still a mystery—

 The GPS is comfort and a modicum of freedom—

Emma mysteriously appears before the first tear reaches the cheek–

 A familiar voice on the answering machine says every day, “I’ll see you later.”

 Yes, yes, you will.

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A house unchanged , a house totally changed. I have time, lots of time to sort through a lifetime of possessions and I move at the speed of one with a long, lazy road before her. There is no hurry to eradicate the past, to decide what is important and not. No hurry, yet it begins to happen naturally, and what is important surprises. Of all the items piled in the corner of the table the largest is the size of a saltine cracker.  





The worry stone  Hannah slipped quietly into my hand as the memorial service began. “Hold this, Ahmaw, ” my granddaughter said, “It will keep you calm.”



His wallet. You have to open these things that have always been  a place you do not go. But you are there–a tiny picture from long ago.







His wedding ring. So it was the third in a line of replacements, the others lost who knows where.






The ubiquitous golf balls. 





Oh yeah, and the Mile High Club pin.

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The alienated at Valentines Day are immediately thought to be those without partners. Right? Well, that’s only half the picture. If you don’t salivate at the word “chocolate”, you are on the outs on the biggest lovers’ day of the year. You could have a dozen  lovers lauding you with gifts, but if you aren’t into chocolate, you are just not “in.”

 I feel someone has speared me with a toothpick and held me under cascading chocolate sauce spilling over a gurgling fountain. I can’t escape the barrage of advertising and recipes, approaching Valentine’s Day. “Chocolate Crusted Sea Scallops?”P-l-e-a-s-e! Until I read today’s food section in the paper I had been craving scallops. The thought of them crusted with chocolate was enough to explode that dream.

  Vanilla people cannot escape in a country of women who fuel their energy and sex drive with chocolate. In the past, these addicts harbored a bit of guilt as they indulged in their Devil’s Food cake and Dove Bars. No more. Now they remind everyone of the health benefits to their cholesterol levels. I’m happy for them. I really am. I’m just sick of hearing about their damn CHOCOLATE.  Chew it with your calcium mixed in, rub it into your thighs, slather it on your belly. I don’t care. Just do it behind closed doors as you used to do. Some of us are so sick of chocolate we want to puke.

 I’ll just celebrate Vanillatine’s Day, thank you very much.

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Our cats Luther and Emma marking their scent on posters of “Daddy.”

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