Saturday, December 28, 2013
Dear Jon - Issue # 22
Hello all! My name is V.L. Locey. I am a self-published and traditionally published author that lives in the mountains of Pennsylvania with my husband of over twenty-two years, my daughter who is seventeen, a steer named after a famous NHL goalie, chickens, geese, ducks, one dog, two cats, and a partridge in a pear tree. For more info and links about me and my work, check out the Bio tab up above.
Being a fan of music – and many other things from the 40`s - I thought it would be keen to include the links to the songs mentioned in this story. Here`s Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. Feel free to play them as you read for atmosphere or wait until you’re done.
That evening was one of those nights that you never forget. Andrew and I had snuck over to see Ross after my day at work. What we found was Charlotte brazenly parked where I parked, as well as several other cars. I glanced down at my nephew. He shrugged a shoulder. Pulling off the road I backed up to the last large pine lining the drive. Laughter greeted Andy and I as we walked past the party-goers jitney`s all lined up neat as pins.
The pond was filled with people I had never met. Ross was engaged in a rather lively conversation with Charlotte, who had changed into a swimsuit. Charlotte`s legs put Betty Grable`s to shame. The redhead waved her martini at me as she lounged on a chaise beside a record player that sat on the picnic table. Ross got to his feet, his cheeks turning pink when Charlotte patted his rump as he moved past.
“Looks like you two are getting along well,” I hissed like a doused cat. Andrew stood at my side, his fingers linked in mine. Ross began to speak but was overshadowed by the redhead in the bright blue swimsuit.
“Now, Jon darling, let`s not be priggish about things,” Charlotte called out from her chaise, “After all if you can dally behind my back, I can dally behind yours. Ross, would you fetch me another drink? This one seems to have evaporated in the heat!”
“Why don`t you come with me and tell me how your ex- lover likes her martini?”
I gaped at the man openly. Andrew shook free. I watched him run to Charlotte then stand beside her, staring at her like a love struck cottage cheese curd. We passed through folks milling around with cocktails. By the time Ross had steered me into the kitchen, I was stunned too stupid to talk.
“Before you start, this was her idea and I for one think it`s a fabulous one.”
“What idea?” I forced out, pulling my tie free then shoving it into my trouser pocket. Ross looked from the martini prep to me.
“Charlotte seems to think we can pass her off as my lover now, which will get the local squares off my back while making you seem even more tragic, thus giving you the excuse to never love again since you`ve lost her.”
“That sounds just like her,” I chuckled. Ross lowered the bottle of vermouth. Someone outside changed the record. Benny Goodman filled the airwaves.
“So you`re okay with this little farce?” he asked, dropping three olives into Charlotte`s drink. I nodded with a smile.
“As long as you and she aren`t doing more than acting, hell yeah, I`m fine with it,” I told him, reaching over to pluck out an olive then eat it. He eyed me dryly, leaned in to steal a kiss, and then dug into the olive jar with his long, skilled fingers to find me another treat to eat.
“No one gets into my bed but you,” he assured me, placing the olive onto my tongue. “Now, let`s go celebrate.” And celebrate we did! By the time night fell, I was three sheets to the wind, and had lindy hopped until my hopper was exhausted. I had forgotten how great a dancer Charlotte was. That woman could cut the rug like nobody`s business! Ross declined to engage in the jitterbuggery that went on and on until we were all splayed in the grass, laughing and panting, our clothes wet with sweat and our hearts light as the glow bugs flittering past.
Sometime after three AM Charlotte pronounced several of us too soused to drive. She laid down on the chaise, her long legs spread in a very unladylike manner, then she dropped off instantly, snoring like a lumberjack. I scooped Andrew up off the picnic table where he had fallen asleep. Ross appeared at my side, took the sleeping boy, and then led us both inside. I went to his bedroom, bouncing off the walls then giggling behind my hand at my silliness. I felt the bed dipping when Ross slid into it, but my head was resistant to leaving the pillow.
“Love you, Boodles,” I grumbled then passed out.
When dawn came, so did my nephew. Andrew arrived with a hearty shout followed by a knee in the middle of my back. I yelped. Ross came in then chided the boy for waking up the lush.
“What`s a lush?” I heard the lad ask. My gut began rolling. I did not recall being on a ship.
“That`s what you call a man who knows his limits but exceeds them,” Ross explained as they left the seafaring lush to his misery. It took me thirty minutes to be able to extricate myself from the bedding, piss, and find the kitchen. Charlotte was draped over the round kitchen table, her long legs at weird angles and her head resting on her breakfast plate. That the plate had eggs and bacon on it seemed of no concern to the drag queen.
“Shhh,” Andrew warned me as I tenderly sat down beside him, “Aunt Charlotte is so lushed she lost her hair.”
I glanced more closely at the woman. Yep, her wig had left her skull, revealing the short, flat, dark hair beneath. My head was pounding. I felt slightly nauseous. I heard people outside moaning in agony.
“When did . . . did she become ‘Aunt Charlotte’?” I asked then smiled up at my lover when he placed two aspirin in my trembling hand followed by a fresh cup of joe.
“Last night, right before that Jed fellow fell into the pond,” Ross said as he took his seat across from me.
“Please, stop talking or I`ll be . . . forced to vomit in my shoe again,” Charlotte croaked, never lifting her head from the table.
“Uncle Ross said that after breakfast we`re going searching for Aunt Charlotte`s hair! Whoever finds it gets to wear it all the way back to the house!” Andrew bubbled. I nodded, winced, sighed, and sipped at a cup of coffee.
“I don`t recall much after talking about a wedding ceremony,” I told the guys.
“Did someone catch . . . the. . . the bouquet?” Charlotte asked. Ross informed her that yes, the goldenrod bouquet had been caught by the daughter of the mayor of Hannity Hills, who in turn spun around and kissed the Negro man she had brought to the impromptu party.
“Bless her heart,” Charlotte groaned then slithered from the chair to the floor, where she resumed snoring.
“Who was it that tied the knot?” I inquired, my eyes drifting shut as hot coffee trickled down my throat.
“You and Uncle Ross,” Andy informed me between bites of egg. Once the sip of coffee had been pounded out of my lung, Ross bent down, kissed my cheek, called me sugar-cakes then winked at Andrew, who howled at our antics. If only he knew that this was how I dreamed my life could be.
Well, minus the drunken drag queen sleeping on my foot.
Issue # 21