I have a great husband. His name is Jeff. I call him that anyway. It's not his real name--but he just "looks" like a Jeff--in fact, on our third or fourth date, I told him...you don't look like a person with your name to me. You look more like a "Jeff", and he told me how strange that was, because everyone in his family and all his closest friends called him Jeff. This was quite a revelation--because I didn't know that Jeff was actually his MIDDLE name at the time.
I mean, come on, I'm psychic, but I'm not THAT psychic.
Anyway, him, his sister, his sister's daughter, his daughter, his granddaughter ALL look alike. Right down to the nub.
It must be nice to have a family that looks alot like you. I mean, you know that those are your genes in there in the mix. Me, I'm adopted. I don't know much of anything about my family. I found my sister, but she betrayed me--my other sister that I found preferred to remain ignorant, I guess, and that's her choice, I suppose, but it sure would be nice to have someone who looks a lot like me.
A little about my sister's betrayal. It has to do with my ex-husband. She remained friends with him even after he left me (and unkindly so), and he gave her away at her wedding, to which I had told her that if she had invited him, she could forget about me coming. True to form, she didn't even bother to invite me, not that I expected an invitation. This man lied to everyone I knew about me. I just don't know yet what lie he told her to make her choose him over me--even so, she's my blood relation--were the shoe on the other foot (and believe me, it was, as her husband left her before mine left me), I would never have done to her what she did to me. I mean, those kinds of things just aren't done!!! Sigh. It would be nice to have someone in my life that looks like me. My sisters look quite a bit like me, and resemble each other even more....but it's never going to happen.
On such auspicious occasions, I like to write prose. Here's something I wrote, long long ago. I hope that you like it. It's long, has no pictures, but it's a very good read! Please enjoy!
The Green Gorilla
Long, long, time ago, when this old gal was in her first year of college, my sweetheart was taking me back to campus after a short break spent lounging at home with friends and family. It was dark and misty outside, and the trip was nearly two hours long. The local radio stations we were familiar with were long since lost in the airwaves. We drove in silence for a while. Then, to break the mood, I asked my boyfriend if he wanted to hear a story.
“Sure,” he said. “It will help pass the time.”
So I made up “The Green Gorilla” right there on the spot. It has always seemed to be best “told” rather than “read”, and I’ve written it down several times, only to rewrite it slightly differently. The names change to protect the innocent, you understand, but the basic premise is still there. Keep in mind that the story is pure fiction…or is it?
Long ago, driving down a lonely coastal road a salesman was returning home from a long and boring convention. His eyes, tired and droopy, he realizes that he’s going to have to stop somewhere to get some rest. The fog drifts in off the ocean, and through the fog he spots a small bar, in the middle of nowhere with two neon martini glasses, flashing back and forth. Jones’ he made out on the doorway, as he pulled up to park in the front. It’s late, and he’s not surprised that there’s only one other car, probably the owner’s, sitting toward the back of the gravel lot. Ralph figures he’ll stop and ask for directions to the nearest motel while getting a drink or two. Opening the car door, and stepping into the night, he feels the chill of the foggy air, and heads for the bar door, beckoning him enter.
Inside, it’s a cozy place, standard fare for small town out of the way taverns everywhere. The bartender, a swarthy fellow with a white scruffy beard, deep set eyes and peg leg fit the bill of retired seaman turned bartender. His brown, weathered face turned to Ralph while he put down the dish towel and glass he’d been drying for the last 10 minutes, just passing the time till closing. The bar stands bulwark in front of the man, who likely topped 5’10” and had a bit of a heft to him that belied a bit of a drinking problem. He smiled at Ralph, exposing several missing teeth, in a generous welcome. The initial unease that Ralph was feeling dripped away, and he walked up to the bar and sat on one of the round red stools.
“Whatcha having?” asked the bartender.
“Oh, just a beer thanks…what do you have on draft?” replied Ralph.
“Oh, the standard fare, one of them light beers that nobody will drink, Mick, and Miller. You look like a Miller feller, there. Can I draw you one?”
“Sure, Milller will be fine,” and the bartender set about his business, efficiently, set the beer in front of the stranger and started to talk of things seaworthy. He pointed to the stuffed shark on the wall, identified it as the bugger that took me leg, and how he relished watching as the taxidermist did the work.
“They call me Salem, round these parts,” he offered, and since Ralph was in mid-swallow, he had to pause a moment, point at his own chest and answer-
“My name’s Ralph. I’m from up Philly way, small town. I got a wife and kids up there.”
“What brings ye to Albintown?” asked Salem.
“I had a convention in Tampa, and now, I’m headed back up the coastline, getting in some of the sights, small towns and such. I’m not in any big hurry, just have to be home, you know, by Monday next week. Trying to make a few sales along the way. Speaking of which, you don’t happen to know anybody that would buy…” but Salem cut him off with a wave of the hand.
“Albintown’s not a town where people be buying things, I’m afraid. Most of the town’s gone bust. I’m still holding out for the few brawlers and alcoholics that still remain in this town. For the most part, it’s pretty dead around here. Business ain’t what it used to be, and I’ll likely have to fold up in a couple more years. Fortunately for my wife, it’s long past my time to retire, and she keeps after me to take her to that new-fangled water park in Raleigh.” Salem sighed about then.
“Is there a motel?” asked Ralph hopefully.
“Hmmpf”, was the reply.. “Motel folded up years ago. Two kids tried to run it for a while, but it went belly up, just like the rest. Me and my wife, we have occasion to take a boarder now and then, but they stay a night or so, then move on. No one seems to stay for long ‘round here.” Salem drew Ralph another Miller as he vanquished the first. “No, pretty quiet up here…best place for me to hide…” and he stopped suddenly, as if he’d let loose a long held secret.
“Hide? Hide WHAT?” asked Ralph, now hugely curious. “Treasure? Er, Bounty? A sunken ship? A few gold dubloons?”
“Oh,” said Salem, “now ye’re making fun of an old man with a wooden leg! No, man”, and as he said this, he poured himself some of the brew into the clean glass he’d been drying earlier. “I’ve got something ain’t no one EVER seen.”
Curiosity piqued, Ralph tried to get Salem to tell him what it was, but Salem changed the subject and they talked further of other things, long after closing time and several beers later shared between them. Ralph thought Salem an all-right sort, though a bit crusty around the edges, and so agreed to go with him to his home to board for the night. Ralph was not so far gone that he couldn’t drive, so he followed Salem out of the parking lot and onto the deserted street, and into the dark of the night, and the spook of the fog. Ralph followed at a reasonable distance, careful not to lose his leader, thinking about what Salem might have hidden on his property. Not really paying much attention to the road, although it was quite curvy and steep at times, he had no trouble keeping up with the red tail lights of Salem’s car. Soon, Salem came to a stop in front of an old ranch style home with a front porch deck that ran the expanse of the front, mostly gone rickety with old age, and didn’t look too safe. Ralph got out of his car, and so did Salem in turn, and Ralph could hear the sound of waves crashing on a shore nearby, but somehow distant. Salem noticed Ralph trying to reconnoiter the sound, and told Ralph about his surroundings in the darkness.
“Aye, it’s the shore, but it’s 500 feet down! I wouldn’t step to close, if ye know what I mean.”
Ralph was reminded of the hidden something, and so he brought it up again to Salem.
“What have you got hidden here old man?” And finally Salem relented, and told Ralph a fantastic story that only the too drunk would possibly believe.
“You expect me to believe that you have a green gorilla?” asked Ralph incredulous.
“Absotivly,” answered Salem. “Would ye like to see him? He’s really quite something, and probably asleep at this hour. I keep him in the back of this cave…can you see the torch over there?”
“Um, yeah”, answered Ralph. “But I don’t believe you. I’m not as think as you drunk I am…er, and Salem laughed, patted Ralph on the back and and led Ralph over towards the cliff’s edge near the torch. Once there, Ralph could see a wide trail, seemingly cut into the cliff face, and Salem grasped the torch to light the way onto the cliff way. A short distance, and there was the mouth of the cave, right there in the front of the cliff face. It was huge, and looked to be hewn by cavemen long since gone. The two men entered the mouth of the cave, and walked into pitch dark, except for where the torch threw light. Eventually, they came to what appeared to be a dead end.
“So much for your green gorilla,” sneered Ralph, but Salem passed his hand over a small red lazer placed in the wall, and the mountain shook massively, and the stone wall before them rose into a cavity in the cave ceiling. Ralph’s eyes got big, and the torch didn’t light the way very far into the interior, and now he was wondering about his initial bravado, and wondered if he should have been more wary. But Salem stayed right with him, and didn’t run off. Soon, they came to what seemed another dead end, with a similar red laser in the wall. As Salem passed his hand over the laser, the rocks shuddered, and rolled carefully away, again, exposing another darkened tunnel.
“One thing ye must know, before greeting my gorilla” said Salem, “is that he’s pretty harmless, but you canna touch him. I canna be responsible for what he might do to ye should ye make him frenzied.” On they continued into the dark pit of cave, until finally, they come to another torch and a cage door, with bars of iron many inches in diameter, and there, sleeping and snoring in the smallest lit corner of the cave was the biggest…and the hairiest…and the greenest gorilla that Ralph had ever seen. Not, of course that he was wont to have seen them occasionally, but this was amazing! Ralph was simply astounded, and realized with a start that he was not seeing a pink elephant, but a green gorilla, and the thing was as real as he was. A small laser light glowed in the wall near the cage door. The torch burned on the wall. The gorilla snored lightly in his sleep. Ralph was mesmerized.
“He’s a light sleeper mind you.” At this, the gorilla opened one eye, observed the two men, snorted roundly, turned over and fell back to sleep. Ralph could see the nails on the hands and feet of the animal, they were as long as his arm! The hair was soft and silky, nearly a sea green color, and the face…my god, the face was horrible, yet not so bad for a gorilla. “In fact, now he’s asleep again, ye could probably go inside and get yerself a closer looksee…again, mind…do not touch!” And with that, Salem turned, and walked out of the cave, leaving Ralph in a quiet stupor, trying to gather up the courage to take this fascinating animal on.
So he passed his hand over the laser, and the huge bars slid aside into a cavity in the wall, and walked to within several feet of the gorilla. There was no reaction, except another snort, a sniff, and a sigh. Ralph drew closer. The gorilla opened one eye, then two, eyed him with the same curiosity that Ralph had, and for a moment, Ralph hesitated, but soon, the gorilla decided he was no threat, and closed his eyes returning to slumber.
Ralph drew within a few feet of the gorilla. If he wanted to, he could touch it. Just the end of the longest hair that hung from the hand of the massive beast that clearly outsides him by at least 300 stone!
“He couldn’t possibly feel me touch the very end of one of these hairs,” Ralph said to himself, as he slowly reached out a finger to touch…and he barely even moved the hair when at last he had gathered the courage and bravado to do what he was told by Salem NEVER to do. At first, there was no reaction, so Ralph reached out again, but
In mid-reach, the gorilla woke up, stood up and pummeled his breast and roared the most horrifying roar that Ralph had ever heard in his life. FEAR struck him to the core, and he turned to run, passing his hand over the laser quickly, grabbing for the torch, and heading down the cave-way. The bars slammed shut, but by the time he reached the stone wall, the gorilla had made short shrift of the barred cage door, mangling and roaring and thrashing! The gorilla had escaped! Ralph passed his hand over the laser, and the stones slid back into place, and he ran, headlong into the dark, but as he approached the next laser light hidden in the wall, the gorilla, swiped the stones with one massive hand, and they fell into little heaps at his big, green, hairy feet! The last laser light had burned out, and apparently, was no longer operative, and Ralph ran as if the devil himself was after him, ran around the wide causeway next to the cliff face, and literally threw the torch down. As he climbed into his car, he fumbled with his keys in his pockets. His hands shook as he brought them out and into the ignition. The gorilla was now rounding the corner of the cliff face, directly in front of the car!!
“OH, GOD! Oh God! Start Will YOU!” Cried Ralph, as the car sputtered and whined, then died….”START!!!”
“RRRRRRRRRGGGGG” was the car’s reply. Now, the green gorilla was next to the car, and he picked it up with one massive hand. Ralph, still trying the key, really didn’t notice that he was nearly 50 feet in the air. The green gorilla poked his pudgy finger into the window, broke it, smiled, and said
Now, my boyfriend was on the edge of his seat when I told that story, and it’s had many revisions, but I think this is the best one yet. How about you?