GYPSY WINDS ~~ anna hood
(Pooka: a faerie spirit in animal form - always very large.
Appears here and there, now and then, to one or another.
A benign but mischievous creature.
Fond of rumpots and crackpots.
The pooka Harvey was made famous
when he appeared with James Stewart
in the film entitled 'Harvey')
Gordon Foster sat at his special table at Starbucks,
a slight crease between his eyes, as he mused about
how his life was going. Until Russell happened along,
things had been going rather well for Gordon Foster,
a bit dull, but he was getting on to about fifty and well,
dull isn’t so bad. After his father had died Gordon
had stepped in and taken over the hardware store
and if he did say so himself he’d done a damn fine job of it.
Business was booming, mainly because he’d brought in
a new line of housewares and his customers were buying
expensive pots and pans like they’d never cooked before.
His mother seemed pleased, thank God; she’d stopped
complaining about his drinking - that was because
he had stopped drinking - well almost. But this
wasn’t due to Mother this was Mona’s doing.
Mona was Gordon’s girl; she didn’t like his drinking either
but she didn’t nag on and on like Mother; she had a
better cure: if there was even a hint of liquor
on his breath Mona refused sex and if there was one thing
that could deter Gordon from the drink, it was sex.
Gordon had been somewhat of a late bloomer;
he’d never had a girl before Mona, never had sex
until he was forty-three, but oh he’d taken to it –
he’d taken to it like the proverbial duck to water.
When Mona had come to work at the hardware store
and let him slide his hand between her legs it was like
someone suddenly turned on a light bulb. Now she
had switched off the power. She was refusing to even
go to the movies with him, never mind sex.
“Get rid of Russell,” she’d said pursing her lips
in that way that Gordon didn’t much care for,
“and we’ll see.”
Get rid of Russell? Russell who loved a wee nip,
Russell who didn’t know the meaning of the word
closing time, Russell who had attached himself
to Gordon Foster like a tick, Russell the pooka and
not an ordinary-run-of-the-mill-Harvey-type-pooka
either, Russell the fox pooka, a very big fox pooka –
standing over seven feet tall when he was on his tippy toes
and needless to say Russell was always on his tippy toes.
Easy for Mona to say, get rid of Russell. As if he could
just get rid of Russell. As if you can just get rid of a pooka!
And besides, Gordon didn’t even know if he wanted to
get rid of Russell.
Russell had his faults - all pookas do - you can never be sure
if they’re telling lies and of course there is the drinking and the
tricks. Truth be told Russell was cunning and sly but he also
was wickedly charming in his foxy way. Oh, he was fun and
he had style. Everyone who met him, well, except for Mother
and Mona of course, liked him. He was a good friend
for all his failings.
Gordon sipped at his coffee turning Mona over in his mind.
Mona wasn’t to everybody’s taste, hell she wasn’t even
to his taste but at his age he had to take what he could get
and, God love her, Mother approved. Come to think of it
Mona was quite a bit like Mother, all knobs and angles,
eyes tiny as seeds, her hair snagged back into that tight
little bun she thought was so sophisticated. And thin!
she made his teeth ache, but she worked
hard and well, stingy as she was with it, there was the sex.
The trouble really started when Russell told Mona
that outrageous lie that Jeannie Walker the hairstylist
down to The Family Cut and Curls was trying to make time
with him. Jeannie Walker curvy and laughy, dressed
to the nines, auburn hair gleaming around her shoulders.
Unlike Mona, Jeannie always, always wore high heels.
Gordon loved this! Sometimes when she’d be cutting his hair
he’d sneak the back of his fingers against her legs... so sleek
and smooth in their nylon stockings.
A little heat gathered in his belly even as he thought of it.
And then there was that business with the Harley.
Gordon laughed out loud, causing some of the other
Starbuck’s patrons to look at him in alarm. He thought
of the look on Mona’s face when Russell told her that he,
Gordon William Foster had used their down-payment money
to put a deposit on a Harley, and not just any Harley but one
of those expensive new Fat Boys. Russell had clicked his
foxy teeth and told her the motorcycle was Black Cherry and
on the first nice day he and Gordon and Jeannie of course
were going to head off into the sunset.
Ahh daydreams. Who wouldn’t want Jeannie Walker
and who – even at his age - didn’t think about growing
a beard and riding off on a Harley.
God, Mother would have a fit!
A gypsy wind was gathering in the hills outside town
when Gordon stepped out of Starbucks; it brought
the smell of the far distant ocean into his nostrils.
He looked east, toward the hardware store where
Mother and Mona had gathered like a couple of black crows
on the sidewalk and then he looked west, down to the
Harley dealer where Russell stood on tippy toes,
the sun glinting off his red tail.
No one has seen Gordon. The Family Cut and Curls had to close
down because their favourite hair stylist has taken a powder.
And school children tell this fantastic story of a big fat motorcycle
whizzing by with a huge red fox standing on tippy toes
on the back fender.
Labels: SS Pooka