June always had treats for Grace, even calling Grace her girlfriend.
I remember giving her $5 one Christmas ("ice") from Grace and me; she responded with a post-marked, personal letter, addressed to Grace and me.
Holly was teased and humiliated in high school because she lived in a trailer park.
She was in one of my Latin classes in high school, a smart kid. I remember her in those maroon or green polyester uniforms, required. I recall speaking to her on a number of occasions. In fact, I didn't speak to many people in high school, and no one really spoke to Holly. Really. There was no reason to not speak to her. I think that was very cold.
What can I possibly say about Beverly.
You either knew her, or you didn't.
If you did, you never forgot here.
If you didn't, you'll never know why.
I say this much: for a very turbulent time in my life (2001 – 2005),
it really made a difference sending an overnight, return-receipt requested containing my shiny, happy face for a desired job, any job. She hoped as much as I did (that) I'd get that teaching job, that art director's position.
Here's the real kicker:
I'd wait in the longest line "to be waited on" by Beverly. I'd enjoy the rare day when I managed to slide in for 12 minutes of uninterrupted conversation, learning about here son (he's so fucking tall!), seeing the engagement ring,the wedding ring. Hearing about her other half, who, sadly, died within five years of their whirlwind courtship. I may be mistaken, but he was, as I recall, her high-school sweetheart, once removed (he'd married someone else, as had she, and they were brought back together). Finding a house. Touring the house. Trying to obtain the mortgage. Being approved for same. (I remember specifically seeing Bev the morning they'd applied, and learning the time of her "phonecall."
I went back, and could see from outside several panes of glass comprising the postal boxes lining the walls, the counter area separated from the winter's winds by several itself. She was smiling. I knew it.
I saw Beverly in "real life" once, about a week (10 days?) after my last posting.
I'd been sick with the flu. I had to slip onelastimportantapplication into the OCR cancelling machine before 5p. Beverly lamented my ill state of health, wished me a speedy recovery, and, jokingly told me not to give it to her.
It was the CVS parking lot. Beverly was coming out, her white hair glowing in the cold winter light. Actually, it was the hair that caught my attention; the woman beneath was bundlinghunched against the wind.
Beverly! I called. How are you?
Sick, she said. I'd given "it" to her.
Here's what I figure about death: Lucille said, when Mike died, (that) "he knew the secret" and I never really thought about it that way. I just figured, based on my very direct and personal experience, with that white light and all, if we all knew how great death was, we'd be lining up and checking out! You know, you only go once. It might very well be the best thing ever. It should be too. Forbidden, yet ultimately personal for all.
I remember the look in Beverly's eyes when I popped in one time.
They were red, moist, and terribly bloodshot.
She was alone at the counter, oddly counterpointing the red Valentine's decor (major postal holiday!) Somehow appearing very weakened, spiritually. Short of dead.
He died. Went to sleep, and never woke up. The best way to go, I figure.
I can't say goodbye, so I'll say this:
Beverly, now you know the secret, and you're with your friend.
I know the black angel took you too soon, but you did need your rest.
So here's what's in my mind's eye:
a smoky lunchroom (yes, you could smoke in the lunchroom at work in THOSE days!), vending machines, burned coffeepots haphazardly in the sink, a 'fridge smellymoldy with a month's worth of somebody ELSE's food...newspapers strewn across round tables with those hard plastic chairs on oversized paperclip-styled legs.
You get the (my) picture.
I'm picturing June having coffee, reading the paper.
Holly strolling in, engaging June in heyhowareyou! office affection-tinged conversation, pulling a chair out and clearing June's slice of the lunchroom table. They engage each other in the latest.
And stopping, unexpectedly, as Beverly strolled in, her blue sweater characteristically wrapping her portly frame topped by bright-white Egyptian-styled hair, platinum-fine, hiding shy eyes behind a brilliant smile.
June and Holly paused, looking at each other and back to Beverly (not Bev):
BEVERLY! they voiced in harmonic staccato (BE-VER-LEE!!!)
We're glad you could make it.
C'mon. Sit. Sit. Sit.
Descanse en pace, todas.
Labels: Holly + June), The Messengers (Beverly