duet of genres

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic

done done done with men!


Duet of Genres

It's funny how being deaf only in one ear can be advantageous sometimes. If you sleep on the deaf ear, you still hear sounds, like a snoring man sleeping on the other side of the bed. She didn't have one of those anymore, thank God.

She had been sleeping on her good ear, so at first, she didn't hear Willow, her Great Pyrnees, out in the yard teasing the chickens, as he was wont to do sometimes. But her arm had fallen asleep so she had to turn over, and then, she became aware of the cacophony out there on her farm. She ignored it, it wasn't serious from the sound of it.

She sat up and rubbed her eyes, yawned and looked in the mirror on her dresser.

At 66, just four years away from being 70, she was about sixty pounds overweight, maybe eighty by now. She quit caring when the last man in her life told her she was looking too much like her mother these days. The intended insult never registered, too many years of therapy, too many years of being beautiful, while not beautiful enough to launch any ships but she could stop traffic in her younger years, yes, the self confidence, the therapy, and then learning to develop other more important characteristics like wit, had created an insurance policy against insults. What's more, her mother was still beautiful at the age of 85.  it was another rotten remark made by a stupid man trying to shame her into losing weight. 

Her weight was a shield.  It was a good thing. With her wild hair cascading down her back, multicolored with blond and brown, shot through with grey, her hair was her pride, that and the big bosom she inherited from her dads side of the family, much to the dismay if her two younger sisters who took after Mom. But you can't hide eighty pounds, she thought, you just have to camouflage it better, and anyway, after retiring from a forty year career as a nurse, she just didn't give a shit any more.

With her retirement money, she bought a small farm, got some worthless horses, a few worthless chickens a few feral cats and a big ass dog named Willow.

She fed the cats, called for Willow, who usually came tearing in the back door for his breakfast but was no where nearby this morning, and finally she made herself a cup coffee. Where is that damn dog? She brushed her teeth, put a brush through her thick hair and pinned it on top of her head, washed her face and put on some sunscreen, and pulled on her dirty jeans from last night. She had a day ahead of yard work.

Moving to a farm in the country was a bit of a surprise, even for her. Raising kids had cured her of the need to fix people, being a nurse had burned her out, and the farm was pretty simple, weeds, feeding animals, weeds, housework, a garden, collecting eggs, cleaning stalls, more weeds. It's was pure solitude and gratification when she was left to her own devices, but that didn't happen often.

The community was always popping in, she had been caught without a bra on only one time. After that, she combed her hair and put on a nice bra, just in case she ended up in the ER.

But she was adamant that the days of having a man were over.

Married once to a maniac, briefly, two other long term relationships with men who were hard work, high maintenance, beautiful to look at, producing gorgeous children but not ever getting the message that you need to put in the effort to make it work. Come to think of it, they didn't want to work that hard at anything.

Sex was sort of like everything else, great sex was great but it wasn't meant to be a lifestyle, or a religion, it was just great sex, like lobster, like creme brûlée, oh so yummy. And then you get on with other important stuff in your life. So she was done done done with men.

Consider the product: ruled by the penis. Now the penis is really a very cool thing. Wow, what it can do. But, to have to live your life by the rules of the penis is a very crafty trick, if you can make it work for you, good for you. And to have to work so hard to diet, and exercise to keep looking like Barbie was just more than she could ever bear. Her DNA was just too powerful. 

Another funny thing was that it wasn't until she gained all this weight and got grey and wrinkled that she finally had her first true male friend, who wasn't attracted to her at all, however his sharing his sexual exploits with her over the phone sometimes made her want to scream at him. But he was too precious to her otherwise to hurt him like that and he didn't really want to know what women think anyway.

She needed to go find her dog.

She stepped out onto the front porch, called for Willow, and then noticed a car at the end of her driveway with a man standing at the gate, petting her worthless watchdog on the head. And when she got to the bottom of her driveway, she found herself staring at this robust white haired pink cheeked gentleman dressed in jeans and plaid shirt. And Warren Goddards eyes were still as blue as a robins egg, 

Standing there in the bright sunlight, she thought of a million things to say to him all at once. Then she became embarrassed by her appearance and didn't know where to begin, what do you say to the man you wounded so deeply? When you finally figured it all out, he had married someone else. And after his wife died, he was still angry at you.

Oh my God, she said, and he smiled. I like your dog, he said.

They sat in the sunroom, after an awkward rush through feeding the horses and the chickens and had diet Pepsi over ice and munched on cheese and crackers and talked well into the afternoon.

He was telling her about his son graduating from college and how his career was taking off, they talked about the family and where everyone was living, about the grandchildren, when he said, "I had a hard time explaining the glitter all over my bathroom floor the next morning. "

 It was 1984, at a Halloween party in San Jose, her youngest son was four months old and she had left her husband for the last time. He was seriously dating his future wife. The Halloween party was in Los Gatos near his funky old apartment. She threw together a costume called "moonlight"or some dumb excuse to wear a lot of navy blue gauze material and glitter that was more about showing off her body four months after giving birth. He had asked her to dance a slow dance. But when their bodies came together again something happened that was magical, they welded, one more time. At his apartment, she left glitter all over his bathroom floor.

And here he was in her house, now after thirty some odd years, both of them only a glimmer of what they were, yet roundly flawless, the grey the wrinkles the sagging skin, and he was still breathtakingly beautiful. Why was he here? To rekindle their affair? No, certainly not. To rekindle their friendship? We were best friends once, she said. What happened to us? And his faced clouded.

You married the asshole, is what happened to us, remember? True, she sighed, he was an asshole. But it was long after you left.

See, you didn't understand Alviso, he said. I wanted to ride the motorcycle to Alviso and sit in the neighborhood bar, which was in the middle of a dump with some trailers, where people really lived, I wanted to show you this scene, where these poor people actually made awesome music. But you snorted at the idea. And I realized that you wouldn't ever really get it. You weren't the kind of girl who could appreciate going to see Alviso, a town in the middle of a dump that people made fun of. I guess I had to let go and step aside to let the asshole in.

She sat for a long time looking out the window, she couldn't look at him.  

Really, it was all about Alviso? You let me go because of not appreciating a trip to Alviso? I think that this is what you told yourself but the truth is far simpler, Warren, you wanted her, that's what really happened.

No, he said angrily. Not true. He stood up and went to,the sink to rinse his glass. Not true at all.

Do you remember when you came to my house to see me when my son was about two?

Yes, and Michael was there, you were at work. I meant to surprise you but got the surprise instead, I had heard that you had split up, I thought I would see what was left if anything between us.

She suddenly felt so sad.

Michael and I were not back together, but I know that he told you that we were when we were not, he was visiting his son, and that's all it was. I felt horrible and called you the next morning and woke you up, you were with her and couldn't talk.

Oh my God, he said. All these years, I never knew.

They stood again, both now gazing out the window.

Why is this important now? She asked. And his face just fell apart, as blood rushed into his cheeks and his eyes welled with tears.

Because I still love you. I always have, I always will. And I will never forgive you for breaking my heart. They stood staring at each other, trembling, fragile, afraid to speak.

Come here, she said.

Submitted: January 08, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Diana Lynn. All rights reserved.

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Darlene Shorey-Ensor

Great story!

Mon, January 11th, 2016 5:07pm

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