Whispering to Matilda

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


All the truth is hidden in soft clues of secret code romantic talk of the everyday mystery that haunts unknown.

Submitted: February 21, 2018

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Submitted: February 21, 2018

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Dear Matilda,

When looking at the photographs you sent to me so I can paint your portrait, I declare, Matilda, I keep experiencing waves of euphoric emotion emanating from your ethereal beauty.  There are moments when you seem almost too beautiful to touch.  You really are elegantly gorgeous.  If angels do exist, I’d say they look like you.

The fact that it seems we must all pull our own weight in this often overwhelming world is another of the many reasons I admire you so much, Matilda.  I understand the challenges you face because I am facing those same challenges with you.  I know the effort required to live an honest, healthy, happy life.  When I say you are the sweetest most beautiful woman in all of creation, I really mean it.  When I say that in my eyes you are the only woman, I am speaking the purest heartfelt truth.

 

Dear Diary,

Before I wander in confusion about how to related to Matilda my deepest longing of heartfelt desire for her, a communication of the heart which I have no idea how to go about, I must share with you the letter I mailed to my closest friend Bela, whom I’ve known since kindergarten.  Bela is far away in Alaska now.  I haven’t seen my old chum from long-lost days of fleeting youth for nearly two decades, yet other than you, my dear Diary, I have no one in whom to confide about my precious devoted Matilda.

Here is the confession I sent in an epistle to Bela:

Do you remember my mention of the fair Lady Matilda Swanson?  The Southern Belle from the Old South?  As astounding as it is to conceive, she and I are to this very moment maintaining the mutual charity of showing kindness and understanding toward each other.  She gave me one of her baby white rabbits.  Matilda is very attached to her white rabbits.  It was no easy thing for her to part with one, so I accepted the gift with a gratitude which her water gray eyes radiated the deepest sensation of amorous welcome.

Matilda and I are confidants in the great calamity of life.  We have even discussed the inevitable psychological and emotional effect our continuous private talks are having upon our relationship.  When a female and a male engage in such extended intimacy, human nature produces a species of dependency of the heart which, as you well know, once cultivated is not easily emerged from.  The reason I have not mentioned what she and I have been doing together for so long is because I never expected whatever it is we're doing with each other to have lasted.  How rare a treasure it is for a female and a male to bond through the heart-song in a trusting relationship which extends over a period of many years of the trying strain of the human condition on planet Earth.

Matilda and I have entered a needful territory with each other, realm of the heart.  I have given her every opportunity to opt out before the relationship advanced to this tender stage, yet at her insistence we have progressed our interplay to what can truly be described as romantic intimacy.  

To give you an idea (as you know me so well) of exactly how deeply Matilda and I are involved with each other, I have ceased worrying about a feared eventual parting of ways concerning the beautiful maiden and myself.  Why, you ask.  Something profound must have happened for me to speak so confidently.  You are correct.  Think back to the females whom thou hast loved.  Do you remember that with each and every one of them there came a critical moment when a sign of the greatest moment appeared - a radical alteration in their eyes, in the manner in which they conducted themselves with you, the words they spoke in private to you.  At that prophetic moment, a door was unlocked.  Those lovely girls literally opened themselves to you and you knew from then on that, should you ever betray them, there would be many tears of heartrending anguish on both sides.  You had reached a psychological and emotional crossroads with them.  They had begun to trust you.  

Do you remember the exciting (almost ominous) moment that a beautiful maiden began to trust you?  With regard to the situation, to speak mildly, between the maiden to whom I refer and myself, this, my lifelong friend, is the critical evolution which has taken place between us.  Matilda trusts me.  She trusts me with all her dear heart.  It has taken nearly three years to happen, yet because of what I've suffered in the past causing me not to repeat such painful error, I have arrived at the heavenly euphoria of being trusted by a beautiful maiden from the Old South.  This means that I would sooner die than betray her precious faith in my honest devotion to her.  In years past I didn't know what a gift I had received when I had won the trust of a beautiful young lady.  

Now I am plentifully aware of the splendid spiritual essence of the emotionally intimate union.  I shall guard this treasure of romantic affection with my life.  I would sooner die than betray her trust.  I have even said as much to her in so many words.  The stunning fact that three years were required for me to gain her permission to speak to her so delicately , , nearly three arduous tenuous years to win her faithful eternal dependency on my integrity as a gentleman is a history of our lives together which moves me to tears of thanksgiving for such a wondrous noble heart to unite in mutual fidelity with mine.  This is an astounding moment which I am delighted to share with you, my valued friend.  Now that I have with so much cautiously invested time and energy won the priceless gift of her loyal trust, there is no turning back….

 

Dear Diary,

Here is what I shall say to Matilda in an effort for her to sift the secrets of my inner psyche as a real person so that she may understand the reality of me that comes along with my spirited enthusiastic dialogue of romantic heartwarming desire for her angelic presence in what, as these words of the ordinary shall reveal, is my normal everyday life....

My dearest Matilda, flower of my heart,

I installed a new washer and dryer for my sister Tamara last weekend.  Her husband called my mother Estelle to ask if I would help.  So I went with Tamara’s husband in their pickup truck, it’s a new F-150 4x4.  They are both RNs, Tamara works the night-shift so she was sleeping.  I wasn’t making any decisions because it wasn’t my money, I was called upon so Tamara’s husband didn’t have to go alone to Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Sears to select the new laundry machine set; then of course, I would install the units.  

It took all day because Tamara’s husband didn’t know that those places usually don’t keep the most expensive largest tub and drum volume machines in stock.  That’s what Tamara and her husband like.  They like whatever is the biggest and most expensive because they earn fairly affluent salaries as nurses and also because Tamara’s husband’s parents have inherited family wealth in the form of hundreds of acres of planted pines or timberland in Gulf county which is the county adjoining Bay county to the east.

Tamara and her husband live in a medium-sized ranch house on about four hundred acres of planted pine forest that her spouse’s parents own, and that’s just one of their numerous plats.  Tamara’s husband’s parents also own and operate a timber harvest business.  The Mormons are moving their Deseret Ranches from Orlando to Gulf county.  The Mormons now own about 80% of Gulf county.  With money they got from commercial developers buying land from them down the state, the Mormons bought the timberland in Gulf county owned by the Saint Joe Paper Company who were the largest land holders in the entire state of Florida.  The Mormons have contracted with Tamara’s husband’s parents for harvesting the timber from thousands of acres of slash pine flatwoods to make pasture so the Mormons Deseret Ranch outfit can move their beef cattle from Orange county to Gulf county.  There’s a pulp mill here in Bay county that buys the timber for manufacturing raw paper products.

So after rambling back and forth all over Panama City the other day, Tamara’s husband finally found the biggest laundry set in stock, Lowe’s had it.  It wasn’t as big as Tamara and her husband wanted, but he settled for it because the biggest machines had to be ordered.  Using a credit card, Tamara’s husband shelled out sixteen hundred bucks as easily as purchasing a soda from a convenience store.  

The reason I don’t mention Tamara’s husband’s name is because, even though he doesn’t say anything about people calling him Max or Maxi, he calls himself Maximilian as if everyone else should put forth the effort to pronounce the whole entire name instead of a shorter version.  I find that a bit odd, but at least Tamara’s husband is gainfully employed and doesn’t drink booze or take dope, so I suppose he’s a decent sort.  I cannot stand alcoholics or drug addicts, I’m afraid of them because they don’t have control of their own behavior, they’re dangerous so I avoid them.

Anyway, Tamara’s husband did help me lift the new washer and dryer out of the back of the truck and wheel it inside on a new heavy duty dolly he also purchased at Lowe’s.  He didn’t know anything about installing a washer and dryer, so that was the main reason I had been co-opted to help that day.  The washer is easy because it comes with a plug already installed, so I just hooked up the cold and hot water connections then plugged it in, but hooking up a clothes dryer is a completely different story all together.  For one thing, the washer plugs into a 110 outlet, whereas the dryer requires 220, which terrifies me because I am gun-shy of electricity.  A 110 might give a person an unpleasant jolt, but 220 volts can kill.  A clothes dryer doesn’t come with a plug already installed because the outlet may be either 3-prong or 4-prong, so a person has to actually wire into the back of the dryer whichever plug will fit their outlet.  I was paranoid as always because a dryer is made mostly of metal which means that if the wiring is incorrectly connected, then one little touch of the dryer and a person can be zapped to death by 220 raging volts of deadly electrical current.

Fortunately, the old dryer was still there, so I very carefully examined how the plug was wired into the back of it.  I copied exactly that configuration with the new 4-prong plug.  I still wouldn’t plug it in or be the first to touch the new dryer.  Tamara’s husband did and as it transpired, I had connected everything properly.  The washer and dryer were $800 each.  The brand name is Whirlpool.  It’s got pretty cobalt blue lighting on a silky smooth touch-screen and makes a sound like fairies singing when it’s turned on.

On a different day another catastrophe happened that I had to help with.  This property where I am temporarily lodging belongs to my mother Estelle’s brother.  He and his wife are in their seventies and they don’t go outside to keep an eye on this property, so while I’ve been here I’ve kept a watch on things.  My mother’s brother (his name is Halliburton, but he’s weird so I never have really had much to do with him because anytime I worked with him at the construction business he had years ago or helped him at his farm, oh dear, total weirdo), well, Halliburton has over a hundred acres up the highway in the woods of northern Bay county.  He goes up there everyday to feed his cows and dogs.  

At his residential property here at the edge of town there are 1.7 acres.  There’s an old office trailer that had not had the water turned off to it and had no heat on inside, so when the temperature dipped below 32 degrees for a few hours, of course a pipe burst.  He and his wife would not have known that their pump was running and running if I hadn’t been here.  I was out making my usual rounds to see that everything was in order and I saw water flooding out from the bottom edge of the trailer.  I heard it before I saw it.  

I went to their log cabin and knocked on the door to get a key.  When I went in the old trailer, I saw that the water was coming from a broken pipe under the sink.  When I looked under the sink, I couldn’t believe that there was no shutoff valve, so I went back outside and looked all around the trailer until I found the waterline and believe it or not, there was no shutoff valve there either!  One quirky fact that did help is that the trailer is so old that instead of PVC, it had copper tubing under the sink, so I bent the tubing to crimp it like a water-hose which stemmed most of the flow although it was still trickling.  My mother’s brother was just returning from his farm about that time.  He wanted me to ride with him to Ace Hardware to get PVC pipe cleaner and cement.  Fortunately, the waterline outside was PVC.  While at the hardware store I also got a cheap hacksaw.  I turned off the water at the pump (most of Florida has well and septic tank instead of city water and sewerage, there’s city water in most of Panama City and other big Florida towns, but much of the residential areas and all of the rural are well & septic tank instead of city utilities), so after I had the water shut off at the pump, I used the hacksaw to remove a section of the PVC waterline under the trailer, then I poured a 3/4 inch cap full of the blue glue and shoved it down on the open water pipe.  After about a half hour, I turned the water back on and the cap held, so I buried the tip in leaves so it won’t be susceptible to freezing temperature.

I never have liked doing home maintenance chores.  I do it if it is necessary, but it’s not my preferred activity.  I love growing fruit trees and vegetable gardens, but home maintenance isn’t my thing.  I love being in the swamp and out on the water.  Painting, drawing, writing, gardening, and adventuring in nature - those are my favorite life experiences.  I suppose I like love, romantic love, yet contrary to what so-called popular culture would have us believe, real true love isn’t something that happens easily.  Physical attraction isn’t love.  It might be a part of love, yet love between a woman and a man is of greater complexity and requires a greater amount of time to grow than what we might see brandished about in the trendy glitz.  I’m glad romantic love is complicated because when it does happen, it is of even greater importance for it’s intricacy.  Trust and romantic intimacy are very special realities that only a very few people ever experience in a devoted and lasting relationship.  Ah well, such are my observations.  Perhaps I am a philosopher as well as a romantic.

Speaking of gardening, I love to grow old-time deep south country peas.  My favorite peas to cultivate are pink-eye purple hulls, cream 12, cream 8, crowders, zippers, and white acre.  For cream 8 and cream 12, the number indicates how many peas are in each pod, or hull as we say here in the Old South, which (a secret few people know nowadays) was once known as the Old Dominion.  Cream 12 means there are four more peas per hull than cream 8, which means cream 8 are bigger peas, which also means that cream 12 are harder to shell than cream 8, or zippers.  Zipper peas are called zippers because they are large peas and are therefore extremely easy to shell.

Old South country peas are scrumptious.  I love to see those leafy green vines growing in my garden with their blossoms and pea pods glistening in the sun.  At night and on rainy days their exquisite aroma fills the damp air.  Vegetable plant leaves might wilt in the hot afternoon sun, but when you go out to look at your garden in the moonlight, the plants are standing tall and pert as if they are reaching right straight up for the moon.

Pink-eye purple hulls are what the old time country folk call dark peas.  They’re like speckled butterbeans.  When you cook them their broth, or pot liquor, is a dark gray color.  The other peas are white peas, their soup is clear.  It takes a long time to cook peas picked out of the garden.  Homegrown peas and butterbeans have to cook at a rolling boil for well over an hour to be soft enough to eat.  Of course, you can eat them raw right out of the hull.  Speckled butterbeans are my favorite butterbeans.  They have a flavor so yummy that there are few foods on this Earth that are as delectable as speckled butterbeans.  I also grow a few green limas, because they’re good, but not nearly as savory as speckled butterbeans.  I love okra as much as peas and speckled butterbeans.  Okra is utterly divine.  In Minnesota there are these shallow marshy places where the water may only be a foot or two deep over a spread of many acres.  They cultivate wild rice in those broad prairie marshes.  When the wild rice is ready for harvest, they paddle canoes out into the marsh, lean the grassy stalks over and swat them with a cane to knock the grains into the canoe.  That Minnesota wild rice is a most excellent cuisine when cooked together with homegrown okra.  The old time country folk call okra okree.  That’s how they pronounce it, okree.  When they say egg, they pronounce it “ayg” like hay, ayg.  I wonder what the sound of your voice is like, Matilda.

I reckon I definitely have a Southern accent.  I don’t talk the way Hollywood portrays a Southern accent.  The media stereotype of a Southern accent isn’t true to life.  I’ll attempt to type what a true Southern accent sounds like.  I can refine my speech to match that of any vernacular on the planet.  I’ve talked to people from Russia and saw the expressions on their faces relax as if they feel like they’re back home across the North Sea.  When you see people relax in an emotionally comforting manner, then you know you are accurately mimicking their speech.  That’s how I knew I had painted a portrait that was a true likeness of someone, because when their family members relaxed into that gentle knowing smile of recognition, ah well, when they do that there’s no need for hearing it said in so many words.  The human face can speak volumes with it’s myriad expressions of emotion.  

I can do the same with speech patterns from anywhere on this planet, yet when I am myself at ease and not worried about how my accent sounds then when I say the subject pronoun “I” it sounds like the “igh” in “high”, not like “hi-ee”, but just “hi” so it would sound like this: (igh reckon igh’ll see if igh can ketch sum mullet fer supper.) I usually don’t use double negatives, but many people in the South will say “I ain’t got no”, as in “I ain’t got no shoes on my feet” or “I ain’t got no cornbread to go with my collards”, but of course, they speak the Southern accent with the double negatives.  

If someone asks me a question and I don’t know the answer (or if I do know the answer but just don’t want to tell) I’ll say “I h’ain’t got no idee”, unless I’m in a formal speaking mood, then I’ll use precise English pronunciation and grammar.  When saying “” do something, or “somebody ought to” do something, I say “orttah”  “They orrtah get in out of the rain before they get soaking wet.”  

When I say syrup I pronounce it “surlp”.  I say pecan pie not like “pea-can p-eye” but like “peh-kahn p-igh”.  

My favorite surlp to use for baking pecan pies is a brand called T. J. Blackburn’s, it’s made in Jefferson, Texas.  The reason everyone loves the pecan pies I bake so much and they wonder how I make pecan pies so yummy is because in addition to an old time family recipe I add four times as much vanilla extract as the recipe calls for.  

Another Old South colloquialism of mine is I say doomuhflitchy, doohickey, doomuhlolly, whatchyimacallit, and for spirit and image I say spittin’ image.  I also invent words such as ramfrazzell, open frilly, sliff, shim-blim, ham-slam, and fram-jammer.  I usually speak my made-up words as expletives.  I prefer to say grannie instead of grandma, yet it really doesn’t matter so much.  

I call the brown catfish pollywogs and the saltwater catfish I call sloop rigs, because my grannie called them sloop rigs and also because there is a type of sailboat called a sloop, based on the sail configuration, they call it a sloop rig.  I can set trotlines in the river and I have been far out of sight of land at sea on a longline commercial fishing voyage.  A longline is a trotline for the Gulf.  The lines with the hooks on them that branch off the main line of a trotline or longline are called ganyuns.  Trotlines reach across the river.  A longline in the Gulf can be run out for miles.  I also say ya’ll or y’all instead of you guys.  I love what’s called Red-Eye gravy.  When you bake a smoked ham, the seasoned juices that remain in the bottom of the roasting pan have a cup of coffee added to them, that makes Re-Eye gravy, but I have to use decaffeinated coffee because caffeine makes me a nervous wreck.  I do make real buttermilk biscuits with either Crisco, lard, or butter.  I usually use self-rising flour because it’s easier than adding salt and baking powder to all-purpose flour, although, and this is a true culinary fact I discovered myself, by far the most mouthwatering satisfying delicious best-tasting biscuits are made with all purpose flour that you add your own baking powder and salt to the dough or batter, then bake them in a real old time potbellied wood-burning iron stove, those are the best buttermilk biscuits, seriously, they truly are.  Yes, dear Matilda, I wonder if there’ll ever come a time when you and I shall hear the sound of each others voices.  If it ever does happen, I wonder what it’ll be like the very first time?


© Copyright 2018 Sean Terrence Best. All rights reserved.

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