Friday, April 3, 2015

April Column for newspaper


It has been fun to run this three part story written by David Lincoln Jones. It is a story about himself growing up in Granby and Neosho and coming of age when all of a sudden it dawns on him why he can't sleep with his Aunt Mary any more. It has given me a chance to catch up on some reading and actually have a few books ahead to report on. My doctor tells me I am wearing out my thumb joints so I have to look at some of my hobbies and perhaps eliminate the ones that put the most pressure on them. I believe I will be able to continue with my weaving and teaching weaving classes. Of course there is that huge pile of books to be read.

You Can't Sleep with Aunt Mary Anymore:

Last paragraph of installment two:
Other than for that one night, I don’t recall sleeping in that cold, lonely upstairs room.  It would be years before I comprehended those few words closed the door on the innocence of childhood and placed me on the long road to becoming an adult.

Last installment:

As the poet says, “as way leads to way”, other roads opened for me. New interests entered into my life. Baseball became the primary focus.  A ball glove, a Christmas gift, became my constant companion. If there was only one other person with me, we played catch. If there were two or more, some form of a baseball game started. My evenings were spent in front of the radio listening to Harry Carey broadcast the games of the St. Louis Cardinals. Any empty lot became a ball field. Bases could be a tin can, a piece of cardboard, or even dried out cow manure. We made rules as necessary. Hitting the ball too far became an out, rather than a home run.
One Saturday morning I heard the phone ring. Soon Mother called, “David, it’s for you.”
It was a girl from my seventh grade class. I barely knew her. She invited me to come over to her house. Girls existed only on the periphery of my mind. I was puzzled at the invitation, doubting that she even owned a ball glove. Nevertheless, I agreed to the visit..
My ball and glove accompanied me to the way to her house. I played catch with myself. I was adept at throwing the ball high into the air and catching it behind my back. As I turned up the sidewalk to her house, I placed the ball into the pocket of my glove, folded it and placed it under my arm as I knocked on the door.
I scarcely recognized the girl who opened the door. She was dressed in what I assumed were her Sunday clothes. A rouge blush was on her cheeks. A pleasant aroma wafted out the door to caress my nose. Her lips were more full than I’d ever seen them They were outlined  by the red—bright red lipstick.
Dressed in jeans and t-shirt I felt inappropriately dressed for whatever she had in mind.
She reached out, took my hand and pulled me into the house. “Come in, David,” she smiled sweetly.
“Are you having a party? You’re all dressed up.”
“No, it’s just you and me. Do I look all right?”
“Yes, you look very nice. Where are your parents,” I asked looking around, beginning to feel uneasy.
“They’re gone for the day.” Taking my hand she drew me to the couch. “Please, sit down.”
I sat at one end, and assuming she’d sit at the other end, turned in that direction, so we could talk. To my surprise, she sat right beside me.
As she smoothed out her skirt, she looked directly at me and smiled, “Do I look pretty?”
 Blushing, I replied, “Yes, you look very pretty.”
“She leaned over, kissed me on the cheek. “I wanted to look nice for you.”  She took my arm and placed it around her shoulders, then leaned into me and whispered, “Would you like to kiss me?
Something that I did not understand happened at that instant. . A trembling started deep within then spread through my whole body.  It was difficult to breathe.  My heart pounded. Am I having a heart attack?  Nevertheless, for some reason I could not comprehend, I definitely wanted to kiss her. So I did.
A new era of my life commenced the moment our lips touched. If there is a text book on “Kissing,” we skipped the chapter on Kissing Your Sister and went directly to Hello Lover Boy. The symptoms of my heart attack increased. A film of sweat covered my body. I had no knowledge why a heart attack would cause my toes to curl, but they were. My vision blurred. I wanted to cry.  The fear of dying overcame the desire to learn more and I backed away.
Sooner than I wanted, my ball glove was being handed to me. A last kiss on the cheek and I was out the door.
In a daze I started for home. I stumbled a couple of blocks, seemingly drunk from the experience. A sudden, half formed  thought arose and stopped me in my tracks..  It was only an idea, not fully comprehended, but I knew surely as I stood there: What just happened has something to do with why I can’t sleep with Aunt Mary anymore.