Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Oral Dilemma: The Baddest Blues

Roxanne has really had a rough go of things.  It's about time things start to look up, don't you think?    


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Read Part 1 here
Read Part 2 here
Read Part 4 here
Read part 5 here.  
Read part 6 here.
Read part 7 here.  
Read part 8 here. 
Read part 9 here.
Read part 10 here.  
Read part 11 here.
Read part 12 here 
Read part 13 here
Read part 14 here.
Read part 15 here

    I worked with Mike for about six months before he gave Tara a job as well. She graduated from high school with honors, earning the same scholarship that I had earned. I was so proud of my sister. We met with dad and Tammy, it was an awkward time at best. Tammy was pleasant enough, but the tension was high with dad.
I wasn’t about to apologize and Tara just sat quietly observing. I had discussed with her the potential of dad offering the summer job again and we’d decided that she’d stay with me. It was a college town and there were many job openings, several that Tara had already applied for besides working at the Smoked Velvet. Dad never offered the summer job.
In those six months, I slowly had gained some weight back. I never thought I’d be too thin but when I woke from my grieving I looked terrible. I was currently at the point where my clothes were getting a little tight. I had gone back to the gym and built up to a thirty minute workout. I felt good with my body, I was firm and toned, if not a little plump. But the  passion I once had for the fighting was gone.
Working as many hours as Mike would give me, I managed to catch up on our bills before the sale of mom’s house went through. Mom’s lawyer worked with Tara and me to invest most of our money, leaving us a tidy sum to have available for college expenses and whatever we needed. Tara suggested that I begin seeing a counselor to get over my depression. It really helped in a lot of ways, but I couldn’t quite get over the heart ache I felt since Luke was just gone. I never got to say goodbye.
I had gotten into a habit of working the evening shift since I didn’t have any social life to speak of. Friday and Saturday nights were crowded. Mike had recently decided to have a karaoke night a couple times a month. It seemed to be a huge hit, drawing a large crowd into the Smoked Velvet.
A couple patrons bought me drinks trying to get me to lighten up. I accepted the drinks and continued working. Mike bought me a couple rounds. Nobody seemed to understand that staying busy took my mind off the date, or maybe nobody knew that it would have been my wedding day.
The drinks took the edge off while I worked. Towards the end I was challenged by a couple of the college guys that were Luke’s friends. One of them called me chicken and well, I had to do it. I dried my hands and removed my apron. Slamming two fingers of scotch, I jabbed at the page and selected “ The Baddest Blues”.
I hadn’t sang in ages, I didn’t care. It was all heart. I poured myself into that song as others might drown their sorrows in a bottle. I drew every ounce of pain and anguish I'd felt since my life went to hell. I gave everything of myself not caring what I sounded like, not caring if anyone was even listening. My eyes were closed most of the time seeing Luke’s face just before boarding that plane.

“When your baby leave you, going to break your heart in two.
I said when your baby leave you, there ain’t nothin’, nothin' that you can do.
I cried myself a river, but it won’t take me back to you.

That’s the baddest blues, the baddest blues I ever know.

When he’s gone, gone, gone,  and he ain't never comin’ back again.
He done left me all alone, and he  never comin’ back again.

That’s the baddest blues, the baddest blues I ever know.”
 
I think the booze helped stave off the tears or else I’d just cried myself out already. It felt good to just cut loose and pour the soulful melody out. I could hear Etta James in my head, B. B. King with Lucille on the riffs. When the song ended and I opened my eyes there was no applause, only silence. I sighed and walked off the stage, back to work, stopping at my friend’s table to collect their bet. They stared at me handing over the twenty with their mouth’s gaping.
That was the last straw, the last humiliation I could take. I grabbed the twenty and walked out the back door. I grabbed a bottle of Jack on my way out and took off walking. I went to the park where Luke and I  would often work out together and sat under the tree where we sometimes studied. One specific time came to my mind, a fall day when we laughed together.
I cried my goodbyes to Luke, remembering all the good times we had. He wouldn’t want me to fail or give up. I’d been doing a lot of that lately. I picked myself up and staggered back to my apartment. For the first time since he died, I didn’t sleep in his clothes. I slipped on my own pajamas and made the conscious decision that I would start over.

3 comments:

  1. I`m so glad to see she`s finally healing. Well done, Ellie.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you ladies!! This has been a trial of endurance for writing it.

    ReplyDelete