02 November 2012

The Widow

The war in Vietnam was always reaching out and poking me. Growing up, I'm amazed at how I was able to deal with it. It's like dancing -- you don't know the music has changed or you just ignore it.

She was the widow of an Air Force pilot and had two small children. Six and eight or something like that. Her home was a small three bedroom ranch and I babysat nights she'd go to the Langley Officer's Club. She and a major -- they always seemed to be majors -- would get home around midnight.

I remember she looked like Paula Prentiss and I thought she was beautiful. She wore silk scarves tied over head and her smile was big like her laugh. I was a frustrated 15 and rounding 2nd base with a very Christian, and consequently reluctant, girlfriend. I'd see their headlights pull into the driveway, turn off the television, sit up straight and pick up a magazine.

They would come in laughing - sometimes still smoking - Larks or whatever it was they smoked. I'd feign surprise and toss my magazine on a mahogany coffee table. Never sure what to do or say. She'd check on her kids while the major tried to shoot the shit with me. I couldn't talk. I couldn't listen. I couldn't do anything. I was a fucking wreck and I knew why.

I'd take my babysitting money from her and run like the wind. If only I knew then what I know now. I'd have stayed for hours throwing a cock block at the major while letting her know that I was head over heels about her.


Ben said...

Great little vignette.

You need to write more over here. I come here when I can't stand to read about apparel (which is most of the time), but still need top shelf prose.

tintin said...

Ben- I'd say my prose is more 2nd to the bottom shelf. But it's the shelf I usually find myself in. Thanks. Means a lot coming from you.

Doug Hansen said...


This is good stuff. I would second what Ben said.

BTW, those Majors didn't all look Richard Benjamin did they????

The Crabby Old Lutheran

Michael Rowe said...

I'd third what Ben said.

ELS said...

I'd have stayed for hours throwing a cock block at the major while letting her know that I was head over heels about her."

I'd have paid good money to watch that. Pretend you did and write a post about it. Please end it with you getting your arse kicked but managing a bloodied-but-unbowed one-lined as you sailed off the verandah.

tintin said...

Where have you been? I could actually incorporate the first part with a number of ass kickings. Guys with short arms should avoid fist fights.

ELS said...

It is, in my pugilistic experience, the short of arm who are the biggest of gob, thus landing them most frequently in fights.

Still think your best writing is here, like a truffle.

I have been busy living and trying a quiet, sweet existence. It's bloody wonderful. But time to get off my arse.

How are you?

Smitty said...

Tintin, I found my way to this post. I'm wiping tears of laughter out of my eyes over cock blocking. Man, that hit a funny bone. Beautiful!

tintin said...

Smitty- How'd do you find your way here? I can't even figure out to get back here.

Anonymous said...

First of all I would like to say superb blog!
I had a quick question which I'd like to ask if you do not mind.
I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your mind
before writing. I've had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out.
I truly do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
are usually lost just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or tips?

tintin said...

I just saw this. I have no idea how I write. All I can tell you is, don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid you’re doing it wrong. Don’t be afraid you’re doing it wrong. Don’t be afraid to cut. Don’t be afraid of yourself.