Well, seein' as we've picked up some new cowgirls around here since last year, it's prolly legal to get some new mileage out of a variation on an earlier post.
My best friend Starr Ann has the best whisper. Some people get too much wind in their whisper, making the s's all hissy and their breath hot in your ear. Some leave too much vocal cord in it, so it's way too loud and hardly whispery at all. Not Starr Ann. When Starr Ann whispers, her breath feels like a light breeze that might have blown across fresh-cut grass, and it sounds like she just melted butterscotch in her mouth.
So, last night, as I was about to drop off to sleep, Starr Ann sneaked into the room and eased in bed beside me. I knew what was going to happen next, and kept myself as still as possible without being rigid. This time I was determined to make her believe I was already asleep. Very deeply asleep.
Starr Ann got up as close as she dared and whispered, "You awake, Margo?"
I squirmed a tiny bit and mumbled nonsense.
After that, Starr Ann very patiently waited for my breathing to get all regular again before making her next move. Somehow, I kept my heartbeat under control.
Five whole minutes later (Starr Ann was being real scientific and disciplined about it this time), she pushed her face toward me and continued. "Do you know I love you, Margo?"
"Margo, who's this you're talking to?"
"Uuuh, mmm, Starr Ann."
"Good. Now, do you know I love you?"
"Margo, what are you getting me for Christmas?"
Now, this is the critical moment. This is usually where my eyes fly open and I read Starr Ann the riot act over trying to trick me into revealing what her present is. But, no. I had been preparing for this all year. This time I would fool her good.
So, she was braced for me to explode, but I just mumbled inconherently again. I could tell by the way Starr Ann's body tensed a little bit then relaxed that she was very encouraged.
She whispered, "It's perfectly okay. You can tell me. What's my Christmas present this year?"
I kinda tossed my head from side to side and garbled out the words, "Shouldn't say."
Goddess! She was falling for the whole act. She gave it a few more seconds so I could settle again before saying, real smooth, like she thought she was hypnotizing me or something. "Go ahead, baby, tell me what it is. You are supposed to tell Starr Ann what her present is. Now, what are you getting me for Christmas?"
I hesitated, then rolled my head in a way that said I was wrestling with myself over whether to do it. Finally, I said, "Jodie knows." Goddess, I'm good!
Starr Ann didn't say another word. Simply rolled gingerly off the bed and started putting her chaps on. She was no doubt heading directly over to Jodie's place to extract the precious information from her. Of course, I had not told Jodie what I'm getting Starr Ann, so Jodie was in for an interesting night.
Starr Ann was absolutely pleased with herself. She was so happy, with herself and me, that the whole time she adjusted her chaps she sang, very softly, a song that she once caught me singing the wrong words to. For some reason, when Starr Ann is feeling a surge of affection for me, she sometimes sings that song, Donuts make my brown eyes blue.
And then, in a totally predictable Starr Ann move, even though she'd come in by my bedroom door, she slipped out the window. I heard the barn door a few minutes later, and then the hoofbeats of Oatmeal, her trusty steed.
I stayed awake a long time, sending halfway apologetic thoughts to Jodie and humming Elton John's Candle In The Wind, which I once caught Starr Ann singing the wrong lyrics to. Last words in my mind as I fell asleep were, Goodbye normal genes.