Some stories from the past, and my ongoing series, "Aunt Clara's Wheelchair"
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
In Nashville, they'll use any excuse to have a party and it was Easter Sunday. It was a beautiful sunny day and my buddy, Bill, was throwing a barbeque so I fired up my old pick-up and drove the ten miles or so out to his place. I parked a little ways into the field near the house and walked through the gate and into the front yard where quite a few folks were already mingling. There was John Allingham, a fine Irish fellow, sitting on the porch singing a song he wrote. It was called "Barbeque City".
Well, among all those other folks wandering and talking in the yard, I noticed, sitting on a log, a most pretty gal with very long, thick, red hair. She didn't see me, I think, but I sure saw her. I walked on into the house and found Bill in the kitchen. He was standing in front of the counter cutting up vegetables and shucking ears of corn. "Bill," I said, "Who's that redhead sitting on the log in the yard?" He said, "Oh, that's Mary, she hitch-hiked up here from Texas. I met here downtown a week ago and she's been sleeping on my couch. She's real cute, but she doesn't really seem interested in me. Why don't you ask her if she'd like another place to stay for a few days?"
I went back outside, stood around on the porch for a few minutes, sat down on the steps for a few minutes, formulating the plan in my head. I got up and started meandering my way over towards that wandering, beautiful, Gypsy girl. As I approached her I took my hands out of my back pockets just as she looked up at me and gave me just the hint of a smile. Well, sir, I nodded a slight hello and promptly, lest I chicken out, got down on one knee, looked her in those eyes of hers and said, "Howdy ma'am, how'd you like to sleep on my couch for a few days?" I thought I was breaking the ice by being funny, but she said, "Why not?" and got up and walked away without showing any sign of amusement, but...she had agreed. A little cool, but an agreement none the less.
Later on, as the party was fading like the sunshine, she gathered her small suitcase and backpack and we walked out to my pick-up truck, threw her stuff in the back and headed on towards town and sixteenth avenue where I lived in a small basement apartment. So far my plan was working. She hadn't said much, but she was nice and I was now preparing my mind for the next step in my pursuit of this redheaded wonder. I walked in first and switched on the kitchen light. Like I said, it was a small apartment. It had a kitchen with a stove and refrigerator and a table with three chairs. Then you would go through a doorway with no door and there was the bedroom. Or, rather, a room with a bed in it. She set her little suitcase on the floor beside the table and went to the sink, got a cup from the cabinet above, and let the water run for a minute before filling the cup with cool water. Then she sat down on one of the chairs, looked around skeptically and said, "So...where's the couch?"
"Okay," I said, "Uh...well...uh...actually...I don't have a couch, but you can sleep in the bed and I'll take the floor...okay?". "Yeah, sure," she said, "Why not?"
Now, to make a long story short, we've been together for twenty-five years or so and to tell you the truth I can honestly say that I can't recall that woman EVER sitting down on our couch, (We got one later on, after we moved out of the 16th Avenue apartment), much less SLEEPING on it. However, as for me, the teller of the little lie in the first place, I have slept on that damned couch... at least a thousand times.