Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Rosie in the Attic

Climbed the ladder, pushed back the hatch and crawled into the attic again.  As I turned to my left, I bumped my noggin on a rafter.  I looked up, of course, to cast a scowl at the offending timber.  My eye fell on the five letters crudely cut into the wood, “ROSIE.”  “Oh, wow," I thought.  "How old was I when I carved that there?  Fourteen."

The summer I turned fourteen Rosie came up from Iowa for summer camp.  No, let’s not go there; shake it off.  I am walking along a sidewalk in a shaded residential area, a northern suburb of my mind.  Curiously the houses are of the cookie-cutter variety, remarkably similar in architecture and construction.  They are all single-story affairs, all with a front porch, roof cantilevered from the main structure and supported in front by two cylindrical pillars.  Twelve- to sixteen hundred square feet living space, I am guessing.  

Interesting is the fact that every house is painted a pastel shade, blue, yellow, green, aqua, orange, nothing glaring, tastefully selected colors, not a white one on the block.  I start to whistle  as I stroll, “In the corner of my mind stands a jukebox. . .”  Wait a minute.  I see no jukebox; just this row of homey little houses.

I am in front of a residence now which is a muted magenta/pink in color, pastel rose, in fact.  As I am reaching down for the low note. the elderly lady sitting in a rocker on her porch speaks.  “Hey, Red.”  I turn and look behind me to see who is there.   It has been sixty-five years since anyone called me “Red.”  She spoke again, “Red,” and appended my last name.  I look toward Grandma.  She laughs.  “It’s me, she says, “Rosie.  Don’t you remember your Rosie?”  

She had at least the good grace to eschew the “It is I” affectation.  I know, I know; that is the grammatically correct form, but for some reason it is off-putting to me.  Probably my plebian roots.  I stopped, of course, turned up the walk and stood at the foot of the steps.  It was Rosie.  There was little doubt that this was the same person I had met during that summer long ago.  “Rosie!  This is wonderful!  But how did you recognize me?”

“Recognize you?  Why, you haven’t changed a bit!”

That clinched it.  No doubt this was Rosie, for Rosie was, and clearly still is, an inveterate liar. 

©2015 David W. Lacy


Vee said...

What strikes me about this little tale is, "Hey Red." How many times did I hear that yelled across the ball field or playground while we were growing up?

Ilene said...

You may be plebian, but I am most certainly Royalty. This must mean that you were adopted! ;)

vanilla said...

Vee, I don't know. How many? Well, sandy-haired freckled kids could have been "Freckles."

vanilla said...

Ilene, you are royalty, adopted into the Family of the King, but your roots grew from the same stock mine did. Who says? Why, It is I!

Secondary Roads said...

Did it take a whack to your noggin to discover that she's a liar?

vanilla said...

Chuck, "liar" is a pretty harsh term. Maybe my failure to understand. Perhaps something will knock some sense into my head someday?

Sharkbytes said...

My high school math teacher taught us a great English lesson. He would recount the difficulty of answering the phone and when someone asked for "Bob"(his name) he didn't want to say "It is I." So he could say "just a minute" and pretend he had to go call himself to the phone. Or, he could just respond, "Speaking." A lesson I never forgot. It's like when the vet gives us medical advice- we seem to remember it better than coming from the doctor

vanilla said...

Sharkey, I sometimes say, "You have him." But you remind me of some of my efforts, being a math teacher, to inculcate proper grammatical usage into the eager learners. And how well- or ill-received some of those efforts were by the staff in the English department. Ah, memories.