Friday, June 13, 2008

Sometimes At Night

Do you know that wave that washes across you for no reason and it feels just like homesickness, only you’re at home? That happened to me last night.

So I went to Starr Ann’s room and stood in her doorway because Bates growled from somewhere in there and I just really wasn’t in the mood to get my foot bit.

All Starr Ann had to do was say, “Bates,” and he settled back in his bed. Then she said, “Everything okay, Margo?”

“Yeah. Just having the dark blue lonesomes.” That’s what Starr Ann and I always call it.

By the window light, I saw Starr Ann pull back the sheet. “Well, come on in here and let’s get all floaty.”

Once I was settled and we were both lying there looking out her window, Starr Ann said, “Don’t you just love those trees against the night sky?” Then she got real quiet so whatever I needed from her could filter up.

I said, “Tell me the first, prettiest thing that comes to your mind.”

“When two women are singing a duet, the smile on the face of the one who’s not singing at the moment.”

I nodded in the darkness. After another while, I asked Starr Ann to tell me something that never fails to crack her up.

She said, “The sound you made that time when we were little and you jumped off the high end of the porch holding that umbrella like a parachute.” Sure enough she cracked up. “And then you laid there in all that pain and figured it was probably that you were just too heavy for the umbrella, so you told me to try it since I was littler. And I actually did! And there we both were – laying there lucky we didn’t break something.”

“Tell me the first, saddest thing that comes to your mind.”

“When you cry.”

I smacked her arm real light. “It’s hard to make me cry.”

Starr Ann cranked her head in my direction some. “Margo, you cry at yard sales, for Goddess sake.”

“Yard sales are mighty sad.”

She got her head re-situated on the pillow, and I could tell she had that one smug look on her face.

“Tell me the first, best lines of poetry that come to your mind.”

Starr Ann recited:

I can’t believe your hands and mouth
Did all of that to me,
And they are so daily naked
For all the world to see.

“Tell me something fun I get to have tomorrow.”

The longer Starr Ann thought about it, the funner I knew it was going to be.

Finally, she said, “I’ll do my Elvis for you. I’ll do him singing Rock-a-hula Baby.” And she even gave me a preview. “Rock-a-hula, rock, rock-a-hula.”

I said, “Nobody loves me like you do, Starr Ann.”

It was too dark to see it, but I just know Starr Ann was smiling like the lady in a duet who’s not doing the singing at the moment.”