|The Clothesline War (standard:humor, 2233 words)|
|Author: Walt||Added: Aug 26 2006||Views/Reads: 2069/1425||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|You might think that these two women in their early sixties would have had enough of trying to catch a man who would bring to a relationship as many problems as pleasures, but they were both convinced that a man would be the answer to fill the voids in th|
The Clothesline War Abigail Elisa Smith was a widow of some seven or eight years, a still handsome women in her early sixties. She lived alone, with her pet cat, Felicia, in a compact three-bedroom bungalow at 87 Paul Street, directly across the street from our house. Ours is a quiet neighbourhood where nothing exciting ever happens. Abigail had a small, but seemingly sufficient, pension from her late husband's company that allowed her to travel a little during the winter, attend most of the local arts functions that she enjoyed and to entertain friends once every month or so. As much as she talked about finding another man, she had not had any success. It seemed that all the eligible men of her age were already attached, and the moment a man became free, either through the death of a spouse or divorce, there were many other widows waiting to woo him. Abigail had met two or three men over the past five years but nothing other than fantasy had developed. But that is not what she told her next door neighbour, Marion. Marion Boyd was about the same age as Abigail, and perhaps not quite as attractive, but she was also on the prowl for a man. Maybe Marion was not quite as selective as Abigail when it came to men friends, but in any case, she did have more men callers. None of them ever extended the relationship more than five or six months, but those months when Marion had a steady man were pure hell for Abigail. Marion had no hesitation in dropping hints of how her sex life was most satisfying and how her latest beau was so 'nice to have a man around the house'. You might think that these two women in their early sixties would have had enough of trying to catch a man who would bring to a relationship as many problems as pleasures, but they were both convinced that a man would be the answer to fill the voids in their lives. Whether this fantasy was a product of their upbringing, from a time when it was thought that a woman needed a man in the house, or from loneliness, it was hard for me to say. Not that either of them really had that many voids in their lives. They both had beautiful flower and vegetable gardens and other than the tilling of the soil in the spring, a man's labour was not needed there. They each had pets - Marion a small yappy mutt named Andy, that did not like Felicia the cat - that the ladies walked around the block at least once a day. No need for a man here either, unless he would walk the dog in the rain. And finding a man who liked cats was always a problem. Abby, as I called her, confided once to me that she thought any man who did not like cats was insensitive. Dog-lovers, she declared, were men who had to dominate, and since they could never dominate a cat, they preferred dogs. It was love me, love my cat, as far as Abby was concerned. Young Johnny Wilson, from down the street, cut both of their lawns with his new Honda mower. Johnny would help with any of the other outdoor chores needing a little more muscle than Marion or Abigail wanted to summon. Both ladies had their own automobiles and the CAA took care of any repairs in that department, usually after they consulted me about the problem. But they both thought they needed a man around the house. Maybe for security. Despite their rivalry for any eligible bachelor that strayed into their area of influence, the ladies were still friends. They did not invite each other over for coffee every day - not that kind of friends, but they did chat over the backyard fence and did watch out for each other in little ways. If one or the other was away for a few days, lawn and garden watering was looked after. The mail was picked up and held safely until the other's return, the papergirl paid or garbage hauled to the curb. Whenever one or the other acquired a new piece of furniture or a painting, they would have visits inside the homes, but for the most part, theirs was a backyard friendship. Until Abigail met Charles Voronich. I knew Chuck from the Golf and Country Club. Chuck was about sixty years of age and had been a widower for over fifteen years. He was a handsome man, carrying his six-foot-two frame and two hundred pounds easily. My wife attests to his dancing skills, although I do not compare very well with anyone on the dance floor. Chuck always dressed well, almost to the point of being fancy, but that seemed to be his one weakness. Of Click here to read the rest of this story (165 more lines)
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