Saturday, December 30, 2006

Vintage Life

Kate's eyes moved in time with the old black and white cat clock with
the swinging tail and eyes while lying on her bed. She could stay
there in silence the rest of the day.
She rubbed the swelling knot on the side of her skull. After two days, it was better.

The day it was purchased at the open flea market her eyes caught a
glimpse of it on a folding table with salt and pepper shakers and some
old Life magazines surrounding it.

Picking it up she dusted it off and shut her eyes and just hugged it.
For a moment she was back in grandma's kitchen with the smell of
snicker doodles baking in the oven. "Someday you'll meet a fellow and
he will love you a lot if you just know how to cook. Thin women are a
dime a dozen, but you'll keep a man and be happy if you know how to
satisfy his hunger."

Kate reached into her 1950's black cigarette bag and pulled out a $20
and paid the vendor. He spit out a wad of chewing tobacco before
accepting the cash.

Ten minutes and he'd be home. Her skin began to crawl, she felt
flushed. Immediately she got off the bed and straightened up the pink
chenille spread another lucky find from an estate sale of great aunt
A house full of treasured items of the past; the past was easier to deal
with she often thought.

The day they were married it began in vintage. A vintage 1940s pink
dress for her and a vintage 1960s tuxedo from that college store on
Preston road. She loved his Beetles hair and he loved to run his
fingers in her red Hepburn do.

With crème colored skin they packed their back packs with his college
diploma in hand and lived with relatives the first year; traveling
from town to town, working odd jobs. They would make love in
bathroom stalls at football games, picnic tables in the park and in his brother's RV during a Indian art festival.

He didn't drink then, he wasn't mad; there were no demands.

In the bathroom she ran a brush through her black Louise Brooks hair.
It was slowly growing out. It was easier to escape his grasp with a
bob, no excuse for unexpected tangles. She wiped the brown lipstick
off her bruised lips with the back of her hand and she touched the
smudges up with some red. He liked red; he always said brown muted
her personality. He enjoyed red against his skin.

Two plates, fork and knifes were placed perfectly upon the table made
from an old barn door. Hand in hand with grandpa it was the doorway
to adventure as a child.
He always carried his silver bucket full of corn to feed the chickens. If
she was good he would let her pet the old mule's soft nose.

As she set the 1970s wooden salad bowl down near where the handle used
to be she reached out and touched it. She smiled, wanting so to turn
the handle and disapear.

Near the back steps of the house she heard his car jump over the bump
of the driveway and the loud thumping bass from an old song.

She smoothed her hair and dress down and put on the oven mitt and took
out the baked potatoes, panic overtook her body, as her mind escaped
to the barn.
The screen door opened and then she heard his key.

He entered dressed in his navy suit, the smell of smoke clinging to
his clothes. His words slurred "Baby, home. Don't bother, done ate.
Come sit on my lap, satisfy my hunger."

He smacked his fist into the open palm of his hand. The sound made her
jerk as she dropped the hot potatoes into the sink and turned off the
tap. Walking over to him her black dress fell to the floor and she
dropped to her knees.
Grandma's words ringed through her ears as she pet the soft nose of the mule.

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