I need to start sharing bit and pieces of the novel. I need to give to receive. I wonder about my characters, but am so afraid to breathe all the life inside of their lungs, like I am afraid they will rise and walk off the page and not look back at me. They might leave me. How can so much worry live inside of one head?
Getter's was really just an old airstream trailer parked about a mile back of Cecilia Kelly's parents property. Mrs Getter's and Dr. Kelly had worked out a deal that let her park her motor home there year round. The Getter family bartered in the business of flowers as they owned Bloomsville Nursery outside of town and gave the Kelly's flowers and shrubs and Christmas trees and grave blankets each year in return for the space to park her "Virgina Woolf" trailer as she called it.
Mrs. Getter's was supposed to have followed her literary dreams and become the next Kate Chopin, but she got knocked up in the back of Gleason's Bowling Alley at age 18 and settled into a domesticated role of mother and caretaker to her family and customer service matriarch of the family business.
She told me once with her crazy eyes "Every woman needed a hell bit more than a room of one's own". She said we all needed an airstream. Getter as we called her, came out to Woolfie three times a year by herself for some sort of vision quest. She was aways there for a week in January for her new years mediation, for two weeks in June, and a long weekend in October. Her husband came out with her for a few days at the end of her summer visit. I think he was more grunt worker that companion as he was always doing some chore or tinkering around the trailer. The rest of the year it was me and CC's own private Idaho. At the foot of the airstream is buried a half dozen Folgers coffee tin cans. Some are time capsules written by young girls, some are vessels that hold cigarette and matchbooks from long gone taverns, and I think one can still might hold a quarter bag of weed. I know one tin can holds a letter to myself, a letter from my past that even as an adult has kept me up at night thinking too long about it and the off chance that someone might dig it up and read my secrets.
Cecilia and I had met the year before in choir class. I actually courted her. She was friends with Gretchen Grendles, who I was not really friends with but more like stuck with in the realm of public school alphabetical fate. CC, as she was known to all, went to the same church as Gretchen. They both had normal families with houses that were tidy and new cars every couple years. Their handsome dads drank beer and played golf and they vacationed at Myrtle Beach. My house was a bit of a pit and we drove a primer colored old El Camino. There was no liquor to steal in our home and our hobbies included ham radios, historical landmarks, and country and western music. Way too avant-garde for ____, Ohio. In the land before cell phones my parents would chat to each other via small CB radios that hung from dashboards. It was one of the activities that I enjoyed but only in the safety of my family. CB radio aficionados have handles or aliases that they use to talk with other folks. Handles are like call letters. Mine was Sweetie Pie 73. It was obviously given to me when I was small and sweet. Now when I used it or heard it come over the radio as we drove, it sounded like a lie. I was not sweet. I was a mean ass teenager who had just discovered rage.
I think I was angry at the DNA fate I was given. Much as you might scream and stamp your little feet, you cannot choose your parents. I wanted Missy White's parents. I wanted a tan thin mother who smoked Capri cigarettes and went to bingo and cards. I wanted a dad who watched football and stroked my hair and kissed me and called me his angel. I wanted my dad to wear a t-shirt for christsakes. An athletic short? Jeans? Nope. Cool plastic sunglasses like Tom Cruise? Nope.He wore aviators when aviators were not cool. Aviators forever.
My dad proudly wore his work clothing most places. A button up long sleeve shirt and Dickies trousers announcing to the world his blue collar status with pride. I was 12 before I saw my fathers pale blaring white arms. He was a handsome man. He would be a hipsters wet dream nowadays. Thick jet black hair and chops and boots. A wicked grin. I have the same one. It works on lots of people. Always has.