I stole time away from work on Friday for lunch with my friend, Patrick. Last month, when I encountered him by chance out strolling in my neighborhood, I dug into my pocket and gave him The Vixen Divorcee’s business card. After we parted I thought, “Georgia, are you insane! What were you thinking? Now he’s going to think you are the biggest bit of inane mental fluff imaginable.”
I want to take you someplace with me. This journey is neither far, nor exotic. Depending on your mindset, you might call it banal. Or tacky.
I call it fun.
You and I, we’re driving down a back street in an industrial corner of my town on a Saturday night. Make that last Saturday night, to be precise.
We pass factories, warehouses and cross railroad tracks before we come to a parking lot loaded with Harleys, pickups and SUVs. We find one spot left for our little car. We cross the street toward a cinder-block, windowless building. Smokers crowd around the door. The temperature tonight is freezing, but the men wear t-shirts or cotton shirts with the sleeves rolled up high on their tattooed arms. The women’s arms are bare, as are their thighs, below their short skirts.
I lied to that man on the airplane to Zihauntenajo (see Birth of the Vixen Divorcee). I told a blatant lie when I pretended to be Blanche Dubois in Streetcar Named Desire. “Ah have always depended on the kindness of strangers,” I said.
What a disastrous way to live a life that would be. What a sad, frail, ineffectual creature Blanche was.
No, my truth is far different. I have always depended on the kindness of friends.
How about starting with my recent run-in with the nine-foot-tall Norfolk Island Pine sitting in my kitchen. The plant grew so big in the summer that no one could sit at my table except me. My upstairs sitting room would give it more space and light.
I carried it inside from the patio by myself at the end of the summer. Surely with all my weight lifting and yoga I could get it up 32 stairs. Of course I could.
Brenda and I are standing on the edge of the dance floor, close to the band. Our friends are gathered in a knot around a table, off to the side of the bar. They’re the senior citizen contingent in The Rec Room, this group of 55 – 70-year-olds eating the cake Ellen brought to celebrate her husband Gary’s birthday. They want to chat with each other, rehash the old days and catch up on the new. We’re all here because Gary
loves music, especially the blues, and a good local blues band is playing.
But Brenda and I want to dance. We always want to dance. I’m thinking opportunities tonight are bleak. None of our old codger friends want to do anything more active than move their mouths to talk and lift their plastic cups to their lips to drink beer.
Everyone else in the place looks to be well under 30. They’re playing drinking games that involve flipping empty plastic cups or passing full ones boy to girl, girl to boy, without using any hands.
So here we stand, nodding our heads and shaking our hips to the rhythms of these young musicians. I can’t read Brenda’s mind, but I’m guessing she expects some young blade to ask her to dance. After all, she’s light-bulb-bright charismatic, confidant and has a history of affairs with younger men. Guess that makes her a cougar.
How I hate that word. Makes her sound like a predator. She’s not. She’s attractive, successful and fun.
I don’t know. Don’t have a clue.
What I do know is that my first kiss as a divorced woman was delivered by a cab driver. Juan Carlos was his name. I met him when he picked up Ellen, Gary and me outside our hotel in Zihuatanejo, Mexico. Our destination was an elegant bar high above
the town. We could have walked, but in our dresses and high-heeled sandals, Ellen and I would have been awkward and uncomfortable.
So we flagged down Juan Carlos, who drove us up the hill. He waited while we sipped margaritas and watched the sun slide down the sky and slip behind the hills on the opposite side of the bay.