Several years ago, I forced Jacquie, my mother’s partner of 36 years, my mother and Maryanne to visit with the Phillie Phanatic at a local college’s alumni weekend. The Phanatic loves to mess up people’s hair. Jacquie was always fussy about how she looked, but she was a good sport that day. (I think she was holding on to the mascot’s hands so they wouldn’t wander). Jacquie was a generous soul who could maintain her dignity even when being manhandled by a 6-ft. tall, very green, and very furry creature. In heaven now, Jacquie’s hair is being permed while she is getting a mani-pedi and reading Star magazine or The National Enquirer, with a Slot machine not far away. Rest in peace.
I make up. I want to know. I am pretty sure is worth knowing; is not worth knowing. Can fill a book. Can fill a swimming pool? I don’t know so much. When I was in high school (nostalgia, again) I met a young man, a boy, really. He worked at the gas station my father always went to. He would clean the front and back windows of my father’s car. My father would tip this young man a lot. The young man would look at him, almost with love, or at least reverence. I felt embarrassed when I saw this. One day, after school let out, this boy came up to me, and said he would like to be my boyfriend. I told him he already had a girlfriend who was good for him-he did. Her name was Lorraine. She was very friendly. He said she was not all that great. I said I thought she was, and I reminded him that I already had a boyfriend. He said that he really liked my father. I am not sure how that sentence followed the others. I just remember him saying my father was a nice man, and he liked him. At the time, I thought that this boy’s father must be pretty awful, if he could say that about a complete stranger. Soon after graduation this boy shut the garage door, started the engine of his car, and killed himself. There were rumors of a violent father. Nothing more came out about his suicide. I still think of this boy, and wonder about what he must have suffered.