© February 22, 2017
Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Clutching the vegetable peeler tight I crouch under the forsythia bush. Mama is calling my name. Still as a rabbit rolled into a tight little ball, I listen and wait. Now, I hear Ester trying to calm Mama. Kathy and Michael walk past. I see their feet from under the canopy of yellow blossoms. My magic cape shields me. I am in plain view but no one can find me yet.
The sun is setting. Somehow, I have to get back into the house. I am hungry and cold. I have to pee. I don’t want to get caught. Mama told me I couldn’t take the apple peeler on the porch. I did it anyway. I am always doing things in spite of myself. When I was done, I was so scared I bolted. All I could think about was Mama screaming at me and slapping me. Would she call me a jerk this time? Why was she too busy to peel my apple? “No, just go outside.” That’s all she said. Why did she have me if I am so much trouble? I can’t stand the screaming. I can’t stay here any longer either. I have been here for at least a couple of hours. I will sneak in the house, pee, and then leave.
I sneak in the back door. Phew--better. Oh no, they’re coming back. I squeeze myself behind the living room chair. Then, I see Kathy. “Here she is.”
Mama can’t understand why I was hiding. “You wouldn’t let me take the apple peeler out.” Now she denies it and tells me to quit being silly. That’s what she said. She “just doesn’t understand me.” Well, no you don’t. You never take the time to understand.
I am not telling them where I was. I might my safe place again.
© February 22, 2017
© February 22, 2017
Sunday, February 12, 2017
I have edited this and put it in present tense...
Uh. Three more hours till I get off. Guess, I will go pick up trash and empties. Jesus it’s been slow tonight. I am having a drink now… not waiting for 2. Damn cocktail waitress hours. I don’t really feel like going home. There is no one there since Tommy the weasel dropped the “You are not the kind of girl I would marry” bomb on me at dinner. What the hell does that mean? Am I too old? His mama said “Tawmmy, she’s older than Claudia”. Yea, I am a year older than his big sister. So what. Am I too ambitious? Squirrely? Not compliant and wifey enough? Who knows? I feel hollow without him. At least I have a job.
I like working at Palomino Club. You never know who is going to show up on stage or in the audience. Last week Mick Jagger was here—that was cool. Recently Stephen Stills showed up when Commander Cody played and I saw Emmy Lou Harris fall down on stage being silly. What am I doing here? Why did I drop out of school and leave singing?
What? Who the hell is this guy talking to me? How am I doing? Right. He is trying to pick me up. Just what I need—some yahoo wanting to talk.
Through the cocktail haze, I think...um...he looks ok. I hand him my number. Should I have given him my number? What’s his name? Shit. I don’t even know his name. Am I nuts? Giving some stranger my telephone number, that’s smart. Well he’s… ahm… good looking enough. Good thing it’s a weeknight so I don’t have to worry about him lurking in the parking lot when I get off. Everyone says not to make rash choices right after a breakup. Do I listen? No.
Why am I surprised when he calls? This guy seems really creepy. “No thank you.” I hang up. Done.
Seven days later, I answer the phone and hear his voice again. I wish someone would invent a way of knowing who is calling before you answer! “No thanks. I do not want to go out with you.” I hang up.. Surely, this is the end of it.
Oh my god. I need to buy one of those new answering machine things. “Do not call again. I don’t want to go out with you. I don’t like you. Leave me the fuck alone.” Surely this will be the end of it.
Nope. Damn it. Here he is again. I am over being nice—I am pissed. “Leave me alone. Do not call here again. I don't like you. You annoy me. I do not want to go anywhere with you. Ever.” I feel like a fucking broken record. Hopefully, I have insulted him enough to make him go away.
Some guys never learn. What has it been? Two days? I am angry enough not to have the sense to be afraid of him. What do I know? Nobody worries about stalkers. (It’ll be another year before Paramount releases Looking for Mr. Goodbar.)
Obviously, I am never going to get rid of this guy without hiring a strong man or filing some kind of civil suit. If I don’t say yes, he isn’t going away. “Alright. Let’s go out next Saturday. I have two tickets to a show. You buy dinner.” We have a date. Yippee.
I do need a ride to the show as I have no car. Who tries to exist in Southern California without a car? Me. Mind you, I had a car. I just sold it because I did not want to have to fix it. Now, I pretty much hitchhike everywhere. That’s really safe.
It’s Saturday. Downtown Los Angeles awaits our adventure. After dining at some dive, we head to the theater. He hasn’t got a clue what’s in store for him. Even as we are riding, he doesn’t ask. I remain mute.
At the theater, I settle into my seat to enjoy 2 hours and 45 minutes of glorious singing punctuated by two intermissions— one 30 minutes and the other 20. During his 3 and half hours of captivity, I occasionally glance at him. He looks horribly uncomfortable and bored out of his mind. Between the frowns and pouts, he is, apparently, not altogether thrilled. As he squirms in his seat, it’s also apparent he is experiencing some degree of digestive discomfort. I am here with him. Isn’t this what he wants? Poor thing, he has no idea what is happening on the stage. It’s all in Italian. There is no translation in the program nor any subtitles. All the characters are dying off one by one. I am not sure what he thinks of the wall to wall vibrato, but, I do know it is an acquired taste.
We sit in stony silence during the ride back to the Valley. When he drops me off, I thank him. “Talk to you soon” I chirp. Funny, my phone is and has been silent for weeks. Guess he was not thrilled by Tosca. Perfect way to lose a creepy guy-death by opera!
© February 12, 2017
Saturday, February 11, 2017
It was 11 pm and I got off at 2-- cocktail waitress hours. I worked at the Palomino Club in North Hollywood. This night I was chatting with a guest at the back bar. I never should have given my number to—what’s his name. Guess I was feeling weak. Tommy had just dumped me and through my cocktail haze, I thought eh, he’s good looking enough. I said ‘sure, I’ll go out with you.” It was never a good idea to make a move so soon after a devastating blow to the heart. But move I did. It was a week night so he left before closing.
He called. After talking a bit I felt there was something decidedly creepy about him. I politely declined the offer. The next week he called again. “No thanks. I do not want to go out with you.” I thought that was the end of it, but he called again. He was getting on my nerves. “Do not call again. I don’t want to go out with you. I don’t like you.” Surely that was the end of it.
Nope. I will be damned if he didn’t call again. This time I was pissed. “Leave me alone. Do not call here again. I don't like you. You annoy me. I do not want to go anywhere with you.” End of story.
Two days later he called. I did not have enough sense to be afraid. It was 1976, a year before Paramount released Looking for Mr. Goodbar. What did I know? Nobody was afraid of stalkers. There were no government statutes.
Obviously, I was never going to get rid of this guy without hiring a strong man or filing some kind of civil suit. If I didn’t say yes, he wasn’t going away. Alright. I said “let’s go out next Saturday. I have two tickets to a show. You buy dinner.” He agreed.
Saturday arrived and we headed to downtown Los Angeles. I suffered through dinner at some inexpensive forgettable place. At the theater, I settled into my seat. I enjoyed 2 hours and 45 minutes of glorious singing punctuated by two intermissions— one 30 minutes and the other 20 minutes. When I would glance at him during his 3 and half hours of captivity, he looked horribly uncomfortable. I could tell he was not only bored out of his mind but he was also experiencing digestive discomfort. It was a smashing. Obviously, he had no idea what was going on. It was all in Italian. In the age before scrolling screens, there were no translations nor subtitles. Not only did every main character die but I am sure the wall to wall vibrato wasn't really to his taste.
He took me home and I bid him farewell never to hear from him again. Guess he was not thrilled by Tosca. Perfect -death by opera!
© February 11, 2017