On Lost Souls

cherry pie“Gladys, dear, I’m serving up some cherry pie. It’s still warm. Will you have a slice?”

“Margaret, it’s too early for pie. It isn’t even noon yet.”

Jon road up on his skateboard, “Since when do we have to worry about the time on this side? I’d love a slice of your pie, Margaret.” He leaned his board against a grave marker, “Actually, I think I’ll have pie for breakfast, lunch and dinner. That is if yer making it, Margaret.”

Margaret handed a slice of pie to Jon and giggled, “That’s the nice thing about this side. We’ll never run out of pie.” She scraped the server against the pie plate. “Gladys, if you don’t mind, dear, I’ve been wanting to ask you a question.”

Gladys sat down next to Margaret. “Go ahead. Ask away. Although I don’t know what I could possibly know that you don’t know.”

 

Margaret sighed, “Well, we led completely different lives, didn’t we? It sounds like you were quite the catch – turning down dates and men all the time. I was a one-man woman.” Margaret patted a curl in place, “Don’t get me wrong, dear. I loved him very much, but I don’t know what it would have been like to have been with another.”

Gladys laughed, “I think you were the lucky one, Margaret. I kept turning them down because I hadn’t met ‘the one’. How did you know that yours was ‘the one’?”

“Oh, my. I thought I was asking you the questions.” Margaret fidgeted with her apron strings. “Well, let’s see.  I guess it never occurred to me that he wasn’t ‘the one’. I didn’t think to look further. It’s not that I settled. Quite the contrary! I was blessed, you know, very blessed.”

Gladys shook her head. “So many of the fellas that I met … they were lost souls.”

 

Basil laughed.  “That’s good coming from a lost soul.”

“Oh, hi, Basil.  I didn’t realize you were listening in.  Yes, I guess we’re all lost souls.  I meant the fellas who lacked confidence.  The ones who wore their hurts as a badge of honor.  The ones who displayed their injuries in an effort to get me to care more or do more or relate to them more.”

Margaret handed a slice of pie to Basil.  “Hm. That’s interesting. Not to get too personal, but my husband was rather, oh…  I suppose you’d say stoic about things.  Well, Scandinavian heritage, you know.  I’m sure he wouldn’t have talked about his feelings unless I threatened to quit making pie!  But, we were close.  That’s for sure.  He didn’t feel the need to talk about everything, but I did.  And it worked.”

Basil reached for the pie, “That’s funny, Margaret.”  He took a bite, “Ah… cherry.  Mmm….   And, thank you.”  He picked up a napkin, “Your relationship with your husband sounds exactly like my relationship with my wife.  At the risk of talking about feelings, I’d have to say that my wife understood me without having to ask me a million questions.  I didn’t have to tell her when something was bothering me, she just knew I needed to get out and go fishing.”

 

Gladys smoothed her skirt as she stood up, “It seems a fine line.  There has to be enough communication to establish a connection, but too much is just plain needy.  I’d meet these fellows who – because I would be willing to lend an ear – would go on and on about their past girl, or how they were unlucky in love.  Before I knew it, they’d be expecting me to console them and fix their hurts.  Why do you think the movies are always talking about the strong, silent type?  Give me strong and silent any day of the week!”

Jon laughed.  “I gotta say, girls were always trying to get me to talk or tell them how I felt about stuff.  Seriously?  What guy wants to talk about that?  They were the ones who came off as needy.  Like they wanted me to let my guard down, and then they’d try to get me to believe that I needed them to help me with my stuff.  It was a turn off.  I didn’t need saving.”

Margaret started to slice another piece, “Oh, my!  It sounds like things were quite a bit more difficult for you, Jon.  Perhaps things were easier in my day.  How did you understand all that at such a young age?”

Jon said, “I have nothing to compare it to, but it was all about head games.  My mom talked about that stuff a lot.  After my folks divorced, she made sure to educate me about relationships – what to avoid, and to pay attention to how I felt around a person.  She was right.  Your guts tell you who to stay away from.”

Margaret looked at Gladys, “Did you follow your…  um…  your guts, dear?  So to speak.”

Gladys laughed, “I had a rule, Margaret.  Be kind to the lost souls and send them on their way.  My stomach told me they were trouble.  I only had room on my dance card for the ones who weren’t needy.  And still, I never met ‘the one’.  You were lucky Margaret.”

 

Basil stood up, “If you don’t mind my saying, Gladys, it isn’t all luck.  Margaret is a lovely lady.  That speaks for something.”

Margaret blushed and took the plate that Basil handed her.  “Well, Basil…  Oh, my!  Well, I must say.  Gladys is a lovely lady, too, you know.  I…   um….  well.  I should say that it helps to be a good person, and by that I mean, honest and caring, and one that doesn’t play those games that Jon was talking about.  And I will admit that my…  um… guts – as you say, Jon – they did tell me that my husband was the one.  But I do think it takes a bit of luck, too.  Don’t you think?”

Gladys laughed, “Yes.  I agree, Margaret.  Perhaps I’ll have a piece of pie after all.”

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3 comments

  1. Love! Thanks for fulfilling my wish! ;)
    Gladys needs more time. And Margaret is right, luck has its part. It certainly can’t happen when you are prepared and ready nor with anyone nor instantaneously. The odds are similar to conceiving after 43 (Google that one! Gah!).
    Love you and your talent. xxx

  2. A bit of luck, indeed. And sometimes sheer amazement and gratitude that we wound up together.

  3. Pat,

    I love that you feel that way after all these years.

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